Visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel, known widely for his work on the Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine series, died on March 3rd. He was 60 years old.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Hutzel passed away from an apparent heart attack in Vancouver during production on the upcoming TV show Beyond.

Virtual production on Blood & Chrome.
Virtual production on Blood & Chrome.

The four-time Emmy winner worked initially with miniatures and motion control before more recently embracing virtual sets and employing CG methods on such shows as Battlestar Galactica, Defiance, Caprica and Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. Many of these shows were Emmy winning or nominated for visual effects.

fxguide spoke to Hutzel most recently in 2013 about the VFX of Defiance and Blood & Chrome, two projects that took great advantage of this new virtual production paradigm.

Fellow Star Trek alumni Michael and Denise Okuda paid tribute to Hutzel in a Facebook post:

“We are reeling in shock at the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Gary Hutzel. His creativity, dedication, and unfailing good humor helped make him a major contributor to the worlds of Star Trek: TNG and DS9, as well as to Battlestar Galactica and numerous other projects that were fortunate to benefit from his genius.”

Hutzel was an admired member of the visual effects community and his contributions will be long remembered.


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  • Jason Johnston

    What a shame. This kinda breaks my heart. I’ve been binge-watching TNG, DS9, Firefly and BSG and it hadn’t occurred to me that Hutzel worked on those shows until recently. It’s like you finally learn who’s responsible for some great work and before you have time to really appreciate it, that person dies and you find out you won’t be able to experience anything new from them ever again. It’s worse when you actually know them. From what I hear, he was a nice person to know, too. His work was influential and a piece of my life’s puzzle: a reason I became a filmmaker. He’ll be missed.

    • Jason Johnston

      Correction: Hutzel didn’t work on Firefly, but that show is part of my sci-fi Netflix binge watching, so that’s how it snuck on there.