Gary Hutzel, the decorated visual-effects force known for enriching the looks of Star Trek spin-offs and Battlestar Galactica, died last week. THR reports the 60-year-old suffered a heart attack while in Vancouver, where he was working on a forthcoming Freeform show called Beyond. “We are reeling in shock at the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Gary Hutzel,” visual-effects artists Michael and Denise Okuda wrote on Facebook. “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.”
An Ann Arbor native, Hutzel got his start in the industry as a second-assistant cameraman on Teen Wolf in the mid-’80s. He made a permanent shift to the effects side in 1989, lending his talents to such projects as The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Battlestar, Spy Kids, Caprica, and Defiance, in a career that spanned roughly three decades. Hutzel earned 20 Emmy nominations for his work, winning four times for contributions to Star Trek and Battlestar. He’s survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.