(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Gary Dean Hutzel|
|Date of birth:||4 November 1955|
|Place of birth:||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Awards for Trek:||Emmy Awards, 2 wins, 7 nominations|
|Roles:||Visual Effects Supervisor|
|...detailing the Romulan shuttle studio model|
|...setting up the two-foot Galaxy-class studio model for filming at Image G|
Gary Dean Hutzel (born 4 November 1955; age 58) is a visual effects (VFX) artist who has worked as VFX coordinator and VFX supervisor on the first five seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the entire run of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Hired in early 1987, Gary Hutzel started out as VFX coordinator for the franchise and has fulfilled that role for the entirety of his tenure at the franchise. After the production of the pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint", it was soon realized that the new show was the most VFX laden television production of its day, much like its illustrious predecessor, Star Trek: The Original Series was in its. A fourth senior VFX staffer was deemed necessary to alleviate work pressure on the senior VFX staff which included up to then, besides Hutzel, Robert Legato and Ronald B. Moore. To that end Dan Curry was brought in, partly on recommendation by his friend Moore. In order to streamline and increase production efficiency, the four were paired in two teams to work on alternating episodes, Hutzel being paired with Legato. The two-team VFX format went into effect halfway through the first season, the 16th episode, "Too Short a Season", being the first episode Moore and Curry worked upon as a team. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 31) The format worked so well, that it has remained in use for almost the entire subsequent run of the Star Trek television franchise (though the boundaries between the two teams became a lot more fluid during the later seasons of Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise), and Legato and Hutzel remained a team ever since.
Upon the conclusion of The Next Generation's fifth season, Gary Hutzel and Robert Legato transferred to the new television production Deep Space Nine to fulfill the same role. On that occasion Hutzel was permanently promoted to VFX supervisor (having already been given the opportunity to serve as such on the earlier The Next Generation episodes "The Most Toys", "First Contact" and "Imaginary Friend"), the fourth VFX staffer to hold the title. Their place on The Next Generation for the remaining two seasons was filled by a new team that consisted of David Stipes and David Takemura. Upon the conclusion of the first season of Deep Space Nine, for which he and Legato, reinforced by newcomer Michael Backauskas as VFX coordinator, served as the only senior VFX staff, though supported by Dan Curry and one of the few Star Trek television series seasons that did not utilize the two-team VFX staff format as theirs was the only one, Legato decided it was time to move on and left the franchise late 1993 to join Digital Domain. Glenn Neufeld replaced him on Deep Space Nine, and it was Neufeld who teamed up with Takemura for the second season, forming the second Deep Space Nine VFX team for the remainder of the series. After Deep Space Nine was completed, Hutzel too, left the franchise in 1999, as there was no position for him available on the only other Star Trek production at the time, Voyager.
Along with James Martin and Herman Zimmerman, Hutzel was instrumental in the creation of the Defiant-class USS Defiant. He also built the blown up Borg cube breakaway model seen in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II". He appears in interviews on several of the DS9 DVDs. His work on Star Trek earned him two Emmy Awards, as well as additional seven nominations.
Unlike fellow VFX Supervisor David Stipes and others, Hutzel, for practical reasons, and simply because he did " (..)prefer to photograph the ships, especially a beautiful ship like the Defiant, or the station" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 105, p. 57), was the effects supervisor who resisted the application of the computer generated imagery (CGI) techniques, the longest, preferring instead the traditional techniques of producing VFX, holding on to them well after CGI was firmly established in the franchise. Friend and close co-worker Doug Drexler has explained Hutzel's stance, recalling:
"I'll tell you why Gary held out on CG for so long. When you hire a CGI facility to create your visual effects, it represents a loss of control for the VFX supervisor. Especially for someone like Gary, who is a card carrying D[irector of]P[hotography], and accustomed to shooting his own footage.
"When your shots are being created at a facility, you tell them what you want, and when you come back, you hope it looks like what you are expecting. Not only that, the bureaucracy at the facility can be slow moving, and if you need a change, it could take days to get the wheels turning. That is why the visual effects for Battlestar Galactica, which is Gary's show, are in house. Gary runs the CGI from top to bottom, without the middleman. Gary Hutzel is one damned amazing guy. Now he gets his CGI exactly the way he wants it, without any bureaucracy, egos, facility overhead or games. Gary did use some CGI on DS9, but it was always a struggle for him to get what he wanted.
"Ultimately, CGI... if you have a set up like Gary... is faster, cheaper, and can look better. The models never wear out, internal lighting never needs to be changed, alterations are a snap, you don't need a teamster to pick it up from the warehouse and drive it to the stage either. I can go on." wbm
Though their duties and work were on par with that of colleagues Rob Legato and Dan Curry, neither Gary Hutzel nor Ron B. Moore received official credits for their efforts on the first two seasons of The Next Generation. This was partly due to Hollywood union regulations, partly due to studio policies, and partly due to the lack of space and time on the credit roll at the end of a show, as Moore has later gratefully elaborated upon, when the oversight was corrected, "But in TV you only have so much time at the end of the show. Getting your name there is not easy. At the beginning of TNG only Rob Legato had a visual effects credit. Rob went to bat for Gary and I. He eventually got us credits in the shows. It was nice of him to do it. There are so many people who worked on the show that didn't get credit. People whose contributions were essential to the shows received no on-screen credit. It is not always fair. I believe Rob even offered up to give credit on an episode and give it to someone else but the idea was rejected." (Flying Starships, p. 124)
Career outside Star TrekEdit
Hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Gary Hutzel originally began studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.  Hutzel decided to change his career to the motion picture industry and moved to Santa Barbara, California to study photography at the Brooks Institute (as his colleague Ron B. Moore had done years earlier), from which he graduated in the mid-1980s, together with class mate Dana White. wbm His motion picture industry career started with a job as a driver and video camera operator for a commercial production house, Filmfair, where he became interested in visual effects. After a stint as freelancer for CBS on the new Twilight Zone series, he was approached in 1987 to work on The Next Generation, coincidentally reuniting him with fellow Brooks Institute graduate White.
As mentioned by Drexler, Gary Hutzel joined Ronald D. Moore's revamp of Battlestar Galactica, in 2003. He worked as miniature cinematographer and VFX supervisor on the first mini television series in 2003 and as visual effects supervisor on the mini series Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance in 2006, Battlestar Galactica: Razor Flashbacks in 2007, the television movie Battlestar Galactica: Razor in 2007, the mini television series Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy in 2008, the video production The Plan (2009), the spin-off series Caprica (2009-2010), and on the original remake Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009).
For his work on the Battlestar Galactica projects, Hutzel earned Emmy Award nominations in 2004, shared with Lee Stringer, Emile Edwin Smith, Jarrod David, Kevin Quattro, Aram Granger, and Kyle Toucher, in 2005, shared with Lee Stringer, Adam Lebowitz, and Gabriel Koerner, another one in 2005, in 2006, shared with Doug Drexler, Chris Zapara, and Kyle Toucher, and in 2009, shared with Kyle Toucher, Shawn M. Jackson, Pierre Drolet, and David R. Morton. Hutzel won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series in 2007, shared with Doug Drexler and Adam Lebowitz, and in 2008, shared with Doug Drexler, David Takemura, Kyle Toucher, Sean M. Jackson, Pierre Drolet, and Derek Ledbetter. He also received an Emmy Award nomination in 2010 for the spin-off series Caprica, shared with Doug Drexler, Kyle Toucher, Pierre Drolet, David R. Morton, and Derek Ledbetter. Hutzel and his team also received the Visual Effects Society Award for their work in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and another nomination in 2008.
Beside his work on Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, Gary Hutzel worked as miniature director of Photography on the science fiction thriller Red Planet (2000, his first post-Star Trek credit), as VFX director of photography for Image G on the science fiction comedy Spy Kids (2001), and as VFX supervisor on the television movie A Wrinkle in Time (2003), the pilot episode of the Bionic Woman remake (2007), and the action film Drive Angry 3D (2011). For his work on the television science fiction thriller Virtuality in 2009, Hutzel received another Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special which he shared with Derek Ledbetter and Pierre Drolet.
In 2011/2012 he again worked with his fellow Star Trek alumni on the Battlestar Galactica spin-off production Blood and Chrome, earning him yet another Emmy Award nomination in 2013 (again shared with Drexler, Takemura, Toucher. Ledbetter, as well as with David R. Morton), and subsequently followed Drexler to work on the science fiction television series Defiance.
Star Trek credits Edit
(This list is currently incomplete.)
- Season 1 - Visual Effects Coordinator (uncredited)
- "The Outrageous Okona" - Visual Effects Coordinator (uncredited) (Season 2)
- "Manhunt" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Evolution" - Visual Effects Coordinator (Season 3)
- "Who Watches The Watchers" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Booby Trap" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Price" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Defector" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The High Ground" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "A Matter of Perspective" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Offspring" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Allegiance" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Tin Man" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Most Toys" - Visual Effects Supervisor
- "Ménage à Troi" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Best of Both Worlds" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" - Visual Effects Coordinator (Season 4)
- "Brothers" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Remember Me" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Reunion" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Final Mission" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Data's Day" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Devil's Due" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "First Contact" - Visual Effects Supervisor
- "Night Terrors" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Nth Degree" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Drumhead" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Host" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "In Theory" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Darmok" - Visual Effects Coordinator (Season 5)
- "Silicon Avatar" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "The Game" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Unification I" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "New Ground" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Violations" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Conundrum" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Ethics" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Cause and Effect" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Cost of Living" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Imaginary Friend" - Visual Effects Supervisor
- "The Next Phase" - Visual Effects Coordinator
- "Time's Arrow" - Visual Effects Coordinator
Emmy Awards Edit
Hutzel received the following Emmy Award wins and nominations in the category Outstanding Achievement in Special Visual Effects for his work on Star Trek:
- 1990 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "Tin Man", shared with Robert Legato, Steve Price, Don Greenberg, Erik Nash, Don Lee, and Michael Okuda
- 1991 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "The Best of Both Worlds", shared with Robert Legato, David Takemura, Michael Okuda, Don Greenberg, Erik Nash, Steve Price, Syd Dutton, Robert Stromberg, Bill Taylor, and Don Lee
- 1991 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", shared with Robert Legato, David Takemura, Patrick Clancey, Steve Price, Michael Okuda, Erik Nash, Syd Dutton, Bill Taylor, and Don Lee
- 1992 Emmy Award for the episode "Conundrum", shared with Robert Legato, David Takemura, Patrick Clancey, Adrian Hurley, Adam Howard, Don Lee, and Dennis Hoerter
- 1993 Emmy Award for the episode "Emissary", shared with Robert Legato, Michael Dallas Gibson, and Dennis Blakey
- 1996 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "The Way of the Warrior", shared with Joshua Cushner, Judy Elkins, Steve Fong, Dennis Hoerter, Adam Howard, Don Lee, Fredric Meininger, Glenn Neufeld, Scott Rader, Jim Rider, and Joshua D. Rose
- 1997 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", shared with Judy Elkins, Paul Maples, Adrian Hurley, Don Lee, Steve Fong, Davy Nethercutt, Kevin Bouchez, Laurie Resnick, Adam Howard, and Gregory Jein
- 1998 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "One Little Ship", shared with Judy Elkins, Gary Monak, Paul Maples, Adrian Hurley, Steve Bowen, Steve Fong, Davy Nethercutt, Kevin Bouchez, Laurie Resnick, and Fredric Meininger
- 1999 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "What You Leave Behind", shared with Dan Curry, David Stipes, Adam Buckner, Arthur J. Codron, Judy Elkins, Paul Maples, Gary Monak, Steve Fong, Don Greenberg, Paul Hill, Davy Nethercutt, Kevin Bouchez, Gregory Rainoff, Adam Howard, Larry Younger, Sherry Hitch, Rob Bonchune, and David Lombardi
Star Trek interviews Edit
- TNG Season 4 DVD special feature "New Life and New Civilizations" ("The Best of Both Worlds"), interviewed on 7 March 2002
- TNG Season 5 DVD special feature "Departmental Briefing Year Five" ("Image G", "Shooting Elements"), interviewed on 7 March 2002