After five seasons, Cobra Kai feels like one big family. Which might be why the team decided to dedicated episode three's Playing With Fire' to Jeff Kay, one of the team members who passed away recently.
As the screen fades to black, text pops up which reads, "In memoriam, Jeff Kay, 1965-2021."
Jeff was an assistant director and production manager working on Cobra Kai's fifth season, when he died of a heart attack on 17 October 2021. He had previously worked on Drop Dead Diva, Rizzoli and Isles and American Housewife, while IMDb suggest he was the specific episode's first assistant director.
As well as the on-screen tribute, many of the Cobra Kai cast and crew took to social media to share their condolences, with one writing, "I just got to know Jeff over this past month in Atlanta. He didn’t know me, but took his time to talk to me about this industry. He told me about his bagel shop he [used] to own, how he got in the film industry and his love for golf. Wish I knew him like everyone else did. RIP."
Actress and writer Jewel Shepard added, "For those of you who watched S5 ep3 of Cobra Kai and noticed an “in memory” at the end credits and wondered who was that person?... One meets lots of different folks in the biz, especially crew. Most folks who aim to be AD’s start in positions of “production assistants” working long hours trying to gain the number of hours needed in a month to get a union card. Out of hundreds few lasted, like Jeff Kay.
"Directors set the tone for the project, but a 1st AD is the pulse of a production. A beloved AD is one who can via his energy and enthusiasm as well as knowledge can keep folks invigorated to continue a 15 hour day going 5 days a week, through, pandemics, problems, etc on budget."
Two things about TV production:
1) The crew is family. You work so hard, so long, you become extremely close.
2) The 1st AD runs the set and is in charge of everything. No 1st AD … no show.
Jeff Kay was one of the best 1st ADs in the biz.
Jeff Kay was family. #RIPJeffKay pic.twitter.com/P09ISbakSU
— Nicolas Falacci (@NickFalacci) October 17, 2021
Directors set the tone for the project, but a 1st AD is the pulse of a production. a beloved AD is one who can via his energy and enthusiasm as well as knowledge can keep folks invigorated to continue a 15 hour day going 5 days a week, through, pandemics, problems, etc. on budget
— Jewel Shepard (@Jewelshepard) September 12, 2022
Our thoughts are with Jeff's friends and family at this time.
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