Musings & Interests of David Stipes
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  • Romance, Deep Space Nine style

    Posted on May 1st, 2009 dstipes No comments

    Romance between a “changeling” and a “solid” was not going to be easy on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For the episode, “Chimera,” Odo and Kira decided to take their relationship to a new level. Because she was a solid, Kira could never “meld” into oneness with the changeling, Odo, so they did the next best thing which was ….  what? 

    At this point the DS9 production team was stumped. What could Odo do?

    “Uh, anybody have any ideas?”  “How about Odo becoming a cloud and snowing on Kira?”  Nope. The women in the production thought it too cold sounding.  “Kira could snuggle into Odo as he morphs into a pillow or a blanket.”    Hmmm, Odo would have to morph through his goo state to become a pillow or blanket.  That didn’t sound warm or cozy. Nothing suggested felt visually beautiful or romantic. So production filming began without this sequence finalized.


    Fortunately I was the visual effect supervisor for this episode and  I remembered a story my then wife told me about how she reacted when, as a little girl, she first saw the northern sky filled with shimmering sheets of colored light over the Great Lakes in upper Michigan.


    So I pitched the idea to the director and producers that Odo would become a warm romantic aurora borealis surround Kira with shimmering colors, iridescence and sparkles of light.



    Everyone liked the idea. Director, Steve Posey, director of photography, Jonathan West, actors Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois, and the effects teams at EdenFX and Pacific Ocean Post, created a sequence that a number of women have agreed was warm, lovely and romantic.


    This article and images are used for non-profit educational purposes only.

    Star Trek and all related elements ™, ® & © 2009 CBS/ Paramount Television. All rights reserved. The use of anything related to ‘Star Trek’ on this site is for educational purposes only and is not meant to be an infringement on CBS/Paramount Television property rights to ‘Star Trek’


    7 responses to “Romance, Deep Space Nine style”

    1. Nice story! Whatever would men do without the women in their lives for inspiration? 😉 Just kidding! The amazing part was that you could achieve the effect and also encompass the emotion.

    2. I’m glad you liked the story. It was fun and satisfying to see the shots come together on that sequence.

      Part of the reason I shared this story was to show how life experience and knowledge can be used to inspire or even solve artistic and technical issues in visual effects and media arts.

    3. I clearly remember that episode when it first came out. Nice to know the story behind it 🙂

    4. Hello Matthew,

      Thank you for the note! Some of these “behind the scene” stories are fun.

    5. Indeed, lovely idea, and an excellent actuation of it on film, eh.


    6. Hey Deg,

      Thank you! This is one of those terrific behind-the-scene stories that come along that was neat to live and fun to share.

    7. No prob, David, and THANK YOU! for the efx and this blog entry on it, eh. 🙂


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