Production Manager Abby Singer Dies at 96

Courtesy of DGA
Abby Singer

The second-to-last shot of the day, "the Abby Singer shot," was named in his honor.

Abby Singer, whose career in production management in film and television spanned over five decades, has died at the age of 96. He passed away early Thursday of cancer and old age at the Motion Picture and Television Country House, a Directors Guild of America spokesperson stated. 

The longtime industry veteran worked on TV series' The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Remington Steele, Hill Street Blues, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant and The Bob Newhart Show. He is also credited for having the second to last shot of the day on many sets being named in his honor as the "Abby Singer shot" or just "the Abby Singer."

He was born on Dec. 8, 1917 in New York City as Abner Eli Singer. Over the course of his career he was nominated for five primetime Emmys, from 1984-1988, for his work as a coordinating producer on the NBC hospital drama St. Elsewhere

“From his first job as the assistant to the head of production at Columbia in 1949 to his final film as Unit Production Manager for Family Plan in 1997, Abby Singer was renowned for working consistently, enthusiastically and most importantly -- efficiently," said DGA president Paris Barclay in a statement.  "It was this efficiency that led to the coining of a phrase known throughout the entertainment industry and around the world as the ‘Abby Singer shot’ -- the next to last shot of the day."

Singer would say variations of "Fellas, we got this shot and one more and we're moving over to the next stage" or "this and one more and we're going home," he told the Television Academy's Archive of American Television in a May, 2012 interview. At the time, Singer noted a Vanity Fair article, "The TV Snob's Dictionary," that defined the shot as "an "[e]ccentric designation for the penultimate shot of the shooting day."

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a step daughter and three granddaughters.