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Zoic Studios Sign

Zoic, shorthand for Zoic Studios, is responsible for the visual effects shots used in the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries and Season 1.

Zoic was initially indirectly involved in the Tom DeSanto continuation through one of Zoic's owners. While this project failed to get off the ground, Zoic were approached by series writer/producer Ronald D. Moore to handle the Miniseries, based on work both Zoic's Visual Effects Supervisors Emile Smith and Gary Hutzel had undertaken on Star Trek.

When the Miniseries was given the greenlight for production, Smith was directly involved with Moore and Michael Rymer, the series' director, in extensive pre-visualizations that determined the look and feel of both the mini and the series itself. Hutzel acted as Zoic's Visual Effects Supervisor on the Miniseries.

Digitally Extending BSG Sets

The effects produced for Battlestar Galactica range from completely rendering all space vessels and backgrounds for the series through to digital extensions of the sets themselves, digitally melding live-action shots with digital backgrounds that enable the production to present the cavernous interiors expected on a vessel the size of Galactica (see left).

As a result of their work on the Miniseries, Zoic was awarded the 2004 Visual Effects Society's award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Television Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

Zoic Studios was additionally responsible for many of the effects seen in Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Angel; Zoic was also involved in the effects for Serenity, the movie continuation of the short-lived Firefly TV series.

Special effects credits include: CSI: Miami, FOX's Tru Calling (starring Buffy regular Eliza Duskhu), Century City, and UPN's short-lived remake of the Twilight Zone. Additionally, Zoic worked on effects for the aborted John Woo remake of the science fiction cult classic, Lost in Space.


The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) tucked away in the background behind Zephyr (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 1"). Lower Right: Magnified and enhanced.
Serenity on Caprica (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 1").
  • The Zoic personnel were apparently responsible for the insertion of Serenity from Whedon's Firefly series, as they previously worked on that series. Serenity can be seen flying above Caprica City just prior to Laura Roslin learning of her terminal condition (TRS: "Miniseries").
  • As something of a morbid joke, Zoic effects artists hid small barely noticeable hints of movement and activity inside the Olympic Carrier during "33."
  • Zoic is likely responsible for the insertion of the original USS Enterprise from Star Trek, seen at the upper right corner of the last glimpse of the Fleet near the conclusion of the Miniseries. This in-joke is in reference to Ron D. Moore and his history as a writer and producer for the later Star Trek series of the 80's and 90's.
  • Zoic apparently released a list of names of several other battlestars supposedly built in the Colonial Fleet. This information may have come from the secretive and private Series bible, available only to the cast and crew of the series. In any case, since these battlestar names cannot be verified and have not been mentioned in any episode of the Re-imagined Series, they are not considered canon and are not included in the Re-imagined battlestar-related articles on Battlestar Wiki at this time.
  • In Season 2, visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel began building up an in-house effects team, which by Season Three would produce over 70% of the show's effects shots. This allows them to produce more elaborate special effects for less money. The rest of the work is done by Atmosphere VFX (Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three).

See Also

External Links