There is no shortage of gizmos imagined by the creators of Star Trek that, at one point, seemed too cool to be true. Communicator badges? That’s pretty much your average cell phone. A holodeck? Sure seems like virtual reality to us. The Personal Access Display Device? A tablet!
As Star Trek: Discovery wraps up its second season this spring, Seattle-based AtmosFX has partnered with the creators of Star Trek to produce a mix of advanced technology and home decorating.
With only a projector and the downloadable Star Trek: Beam Me Up Digital Decoration, fans will be able to beam characters and original dialogue from every major Star Trek series (and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) into their homes!
For more than a decade AtmosFX has been the leader in digital decorating, with sales in more than 100 countries worldwide. Best known for their dynamic Halloween and Christmas displays, this is AtmosFX’s first partnership with the iconic science-fiction franchise.
AtmosFX’s co-founders Peter Reichert (CEO) and Pete Williams (Head of Production) speak more about this enterprising collection of decorations and how they were able to bring the Star Trek: Beam Me Up Digital Decoration Collection to life.
Kirk, Spock, and More to Beam Into a Living Room Near You
StarTrek.com: Tell us about AtmosFX. Why did you both leave MTV to create it?
Pete Reichert: We met each other at MTV, where we got to work on many amazing shows and brands like Beavis and Butthead, Undergrads, and Liquid Television. Ultimately, we left because we wanted more creative freedom to explore different kinds of animation and storytelling.
Pete Williams: We founded AtmosFX in Seattle in 2006. At first, we spent our time developing high-quality video effects, animation and motion graphics for the entertainment industry, amusement parks and things like that. We particularly loved creating “scarier” effects – ghosts, monsters and so on; things you’d see around Halloween.
PR: Right. While working together at MTV we realized how much we’ve both always looked forward to decorating for Halloween.
PW: Since we were kids!
PR: That got us to thinking: “What keeps us from creating those same special effects – the stuff we were already making for television studios and amusement parks – for anyone who likes to decorate?” We figured there must be millions of other adults and kids who would love to get their hands on this stuff. We started calling them “digital decorations.”
PW: We started with Halloween, because it was always our favorite. Plus, everybody decorates for that. After a few years, we started creating digital decorations for other holidays like Christmas, Easter and more.
AtmosFX has been successful creating digital decorations for holidays, so what made you decide to expand into a non-holiday brand like Star Trek?
PR: Probably the easiest answer is that, just like Halloween, we both love Star Trek. Heck, I met James Doohan at a convention in 1979!
PW: It didn’t take us very long to understand that people decorate for zillions of reasons – and a lot of them are not associated with holidays. Our digital decorations have been used at theme parties, birthdays, dances – even weddings.
PR: We’ve seen businesses use digital decorations as a way to stand apart from competitors, too.
PW: The uses are endless. So when we started thinking about partnering with entertainment companies for a new digital decoration, a Star Trek theme made perfect sense. The fan base is so creative, so loyal, we can’t wait to see how they will use them.
How did you start your design process for the Star Trek: Beam Me Up collection?
PR: After getting over our excitement of getting work on a licensed Star Trek product, we went through a series of brainstorming sessions on what fans might like when they’re decorating their home or parties.
PW: There are so many iconic starships and creatures and characters in Star Trek, it was a challenge to know where to start.
PR: After fleshing out a variety of concepts (some of which we may do later) my inner James Doohan told me to focus on the characters. And that’s exactly what we did.
PW: Never argue with Scotty!
With so many characters to choose from, how were you able to select which ones you wanted to feature?
PW: While we’d like to say something funny like Star Trek Fight Club...
PR: You’re not supposed to talk about that!
PW: Our resident Star Trek superfan and production manager, Paul Williams, my brother, came up with these great mini-stories built from the original dialogue and recordings from each series. They do a great job capturing the moods and themes that were specific to each series. As we pieced those mini-stories together, it became obvious which characters would be essential.
Most important question: What Star Trek character do each of you feel the most affinity with?
PW: Definitely Quark. We have the same ears.
PR: I started watching reruns of the original Star Trek series in 1974. James Tiberius Kirk...with Doctor McCoy a close second.
Order the Star Trek: Beam Me Up Digital Decoration collection, or the Star Trek digital decoration bundle (with an HD projector), now at AtmosFX.com.