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David Ayres Battlestar Galactica Alien Designs
Written by Marcel Damen   
Saturday, 09 April 2011

David Ayres is a professional movie makeup EFX artist, known for his work on movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Buck Rogers, Halloween and Roswell. For Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World" he worked on several aliens in the Casino on Carillon. Most of them were in the background, but he sculpted and painted 3-4 of them. Others also working on the aliens were Craig Reardon (design), Werner Keppler (head of the lab department) and Gunnar Ferdinandsen (mold maker).



alien design by David Ayres for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

alien design by David Ayres for Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



David Ayres' recollection of working on Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World":

I went out to the back lot to the New York Street, behind the bank front, and was appalled at what I saw piled up in a large mound, open to the element, no roof. There were masters and original molds from Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyle and Mr. Hide, Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Mole People, etc. I believe all those building are no more, burned in the fire years ago. I did rescued a lot of priceless stuff to use on the show, but don't know what happened to it all. We used castings from The Wolfman's test make-up of the ears that were never used on Lon Chaney Jr., and put them on The Mole People masks.

Werner Keppler was head of the lab department and Gunnar Ferdinandson was our chief moldmaker. We pieces together bits and pieces to make some crazy looking aliens for the show, but I guess they never got on. I don't know what happened to them. Craig Reardon was working on the show too. David Ditmar would come and go working on something else.

Don Angiers was working there with Stan Winston on The Wiz, running foam latex. They were using Don Post foam latex and it wasn't working right. Post's VP Bill Malone came in and ran a batch and left. The production was dragging, so I was put on as an extra make-up artist and filled in on Kojak, Charlie's Angels, Operation: Petticoat, and for a longer while, Ba Ba Blacksheep with Robert Conrad. Then I went on to work on Paradise Alley with Sylvester Stallone helping Mike Westmore. This was all at Universal Studios.



alien design by David Ayres (left 'big head' alien; right alien design by Craig Reardon) for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

alien design by David Ayres (left 'big head' alien; right alien design by Craig Reardon) for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

alien design by David Ayres (left 'big head' alien; right alien design by Craig Reardon)
for Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"

alien design by David Ayres (left alien; right alien design by Craig Reardon) for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

alien design by David Ayres for Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



David Ayres' alien from the Battlestar Galactica pilot was also reused in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century series. In the image below you can see them sitting at the bar. The one on the left is how David painted it, the one on the right is painted differently and has some hair added.



reuse of David Ayres'alien design on 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century'

reuse of David Ayres'alien design on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century



Special thanks goes out to Joerg Zimmermann for spotting the alien on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and making screenshots.

 
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