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GateWorld talks with Richard Hudolin
GateWorld is pleased to present extracts from an interview with Stargate SG-1 production designer Richard Hudolin! Hudolin talks about his work on Sci-Fi's upcoming mini-series Battlestar Galactica, on which he served as production designer. (The mini-series also co-stars Grace Park -- who played Lt. Satterfield in Season Five's "Proving Ground" -- as Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii.)

This interview appears in the official Battlestar Galactica mini-series magazine, and is reprinted here courtesy of Titan Books. The magazine is now on sale -- Battlestar Galactica airs Monday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 9, 2003, on The Sci-Fi Channel.

"When he [director, Michael Rymer] said 'Battlestar Galactica,' I said, 'Well, I'm trying not to do so much sci-fi right now.' But a project like this comes along once every 30 years, so I thought I should be smart and take this one on because it was an opportunity to try to redesign an icon. We set out to make it spectacular and make it something that people have never seen before ... we wanted to portray a different kind of reality.

"I mainly looked at things relating to World War II. Galactica was supposed to have been designed a number of years earlier. It's out of date and about to be mothballed.

"We really didn't want to be creating the old Battlestar. There are some nods to the old ship. But we always wanted to make it our ship.

"For the interior there's a lot of old technology mixed with the new technology, but nothing that takes you into the state-of-the-art, or even the modern day. You'll see some somewhat retro items like the old-style telephones and old style maps alongside computer screens and other elements that would take you into the 1980s and 1990s ... the idea that the Galactica is out of date [is] in focus all the time.

"We wanted to stay with the old Viper because it's something everyone recognises as 'Battlestar Galactica,' and is the link to the past.

"The Raptor is the Galactica's reconnaissance ship, and I wanted it to look nasty. One of the coolest looking ships is the Apache helicopter. So we basically took the Apache and adapted it and enlarged it.

"The Raptor wasn't just computer-generated -- we actually made the Raptor, so that we could effectively get it to fly using a crane. We built a frame into the design of the plane, which could be lifted by a crane and swung around. Apparently the actors were quite surprised by that, because they were expecting to just have to move around [and fake the ship's movement]. So when this thing lifted them up to about 80 feet, everyone was going, 'Oh my God! How well did they build this thing?'

"This was a huge project. The scale is amazing. Everything is oversized. The hangar bay was built in a studio that was about 100 feet by 100 feet, it had a 25-30 foot ceiling, and we filled it wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling! We had to do that to show that people are small in this ship."

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