StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Emmy Award-winning visual effects artist Gary Hutzel, who passed away suddenly on March 1 at the age of 60. Hutzel served as visual effects coordinator and supervisor on the first five seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the entire run of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He introduced many technical innovations to Star Trek's visual effects,
Longtime friends and colleagues Doug Drexler, Mike & Denise Okuda, and John Eaves honored Hutzel with the following statements:
Doug Drexler --
We lost greatness today. Brother, partner, best friend. One of the greatest creative minds I've ever worked with. A wizard that made the impossible possible on a television budget. You go to the movies and see a VFX credit roll that runs for 15 minutes. It better damn well be great. Gary would do movie sized stuff, and everyone would fit on one card. The guy was a genius. This is the way it was: Gary set up an environment that was more like a band of brothers and sisters. A club house where everyone was a creative equal. Everyone was a filmmaker first, and a VFX artist second. He often said that you could not defeat a good idea, and with Gary you could have one. How strange is that? All of us lost greatness today, and for me personally, the loss defies measure.
Mike and Denise Okuda --
The joy and wonder that Gary Hutzel found in his work was a big part of why he was such a treasured friend and colleague. So much of Star Trek’s visual magic grew from Gary’s artistry and dedication, as well as from the passion he inspired in his team.
John Eaves --
Back in the TNG days, I was making models with Greg Jein and we would take them to a place called Image G to be filmed. That is where I met the great Gary Hutzel. What an amazing man he was, and it was great fun to watch him set up a motion-control shot for the VFX. A man with a great sense of humor, and he loved to be creative and work, work, work. You had to make him take a day off or go home at the end of a long work day. We did a Joe Dante show called The Osiris Chronicles and whenever the main ship would be on the rig to film he would shout out, "It's a fish!" Hah... and that is what it looked like. I loved that Mister Hutzel and will miss him terribly.