Stranger Things 4 S New Monster Is Made

Stranger Things 4 S New MonsterStranger Things 4 S New Monster

STRANGER THINGS 4’S NEW MONSTER IS MADE WITH PRACTICAL EFECTS, SOME CG AND LOTS of LUBE

Stranger Things 4 S New Monster: With terrifying monsters like the Mind Flayer and the Demogorgon, Stranger Things slowly built up a formidable list of monsters. The show takes a different route for its latest season. Vecna is the show’s new villain. She is less of an insular beast than a classic-style 1980s movie monster, much like Freddy and Jason. Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, showrunners, tapped Barrie Gower, a prosthetics designer to bring their vision of a villainous character to life. Gower told The Verge that the most interesting thing about Stranger Things was its huge property and great design sense. They had a clear idea of what they wanted with the character.

Stranger Things 4 S New Monster

Gower is not new to showcasing villains. He has worked previously on Game of Thrones’ Night King, as well as other notable projects that range from Harry Potter through Chernobyl. He was only on the fourth season of Stranger Things. Amy Forsythe (head of makeup department), who has been working on the show since its inception, says Gower’s experience brought a new dimension to the show. She explains that practical effects are a big part of the nostalgia of the 1980s and were being lost in the show’s production. “Having someone with Barrie’s expertise comes in really leveled the show.”

Vecna, a gloopy-black creature, looks like something from the Upside Down. He’s also the most humanoid creature in the series. Gower said that the process began with concept images by Michael Maher Jr., followed by lots of discussion with Maher and the Duffers as well as the visual effects team. Gower states that the goal was to make the character as practical and realistic as possible.

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Vecna’s costume is made up of several pieces that are glued to the skin of the actor, instead of a rubber suit. This gave the actor more movement freedom and offered a few benefits. Rubber suits can also buckle which is not a great look on camera. The application took on average 6.5 to 7 hours.

Stranger Things 4 S New Monster
Stranger Things 4 S New Monster

“ON THE DAY, HE HAS to BE SUPER SLIMY.”

There are, let’s just say, human issues that must be considered when designing. Heat is one. Although the costume was made to be as comfortable and convenient as possible, actors could still be seen cooling off in an air-conditioned tent between takes. Gower says that the most important thing for an actor is to use the toilet at least once a day. So you had a special undercarriage, which was worn under some cycling shorts. This allowed him to open a Vecna pouch and go the loo.

Gower points out that Vecna’s creation techniques were many years old, but the team was able to use more modern materials. These techniques gave the monster its distinctively slimy appearance. Although the prosthetics were finished with a glossy silicone coating, it wasn’t enough. K-Y Jelly is used when he needs to be super slimy. UltraWet is a clear gel we would slather on him. “It’s the type of thing that you would do on set and regret it because you’re covered with slime.”

It’s not to suggest that it wasn’t practical. The plan was to add digital effects to Vecna’s design from the beginning. The VFX team created a disturbing effect by making his ropey tendons move and twist in a subtly controlled manner. Digitally, the actor had his nose removed. The prosthetics and makeup teams created the majority of what you see on the show.

Gower says, “We have worked on shows where we would create characters. And as far as your are aware that’s how it would play in final edit.” Then you look at the show and wonder, “Where is the character we created?” This was not the case [on Stranger Things]. It was a wonderful collaboration with VFX.

Vecna fits in seamlessly with the world, based on what I have seen so far of season 4. His victims have distinct looks, with gouged-out eyes and badly broken limbs. Forsythe explained that the cohesive visual style is due to the close collaboration between departments. She says, “The collaborative aspect of it is so much fun.”

Production was hampered by the pandemic, as with many other films and shows from the past few years. The team filmed 14 months, with a six month gap due to COVID protocols. Forsythe says, “It was just an wild little 20-month shoot.” “From start to end, I could have had two children,” she says. She also notes that continuity was the greatest challenge. She says, “We had four different makeup artists.” It’s just the nature of the beast. We would lose someone important to our team every time we hit our stride.

When you watch the new season, you will see the benefits of focusing on practical effects and combining them with digital ones. Stranger Things 4 is unlike any other season. It has the feel of an 80s horror movie with a terrifying monster that grows scarier each time it’s revealed. Gower believes that the cast members’ performances are influenced by their practical focus. He says that it is enjoyable for cast members to have something practical and physical on set. It’s not a man in a mo-cap or green suit. He is there in the flesh.”

However, there are some drawbacks. Forsythe recalls taking a photograph of Vecna in-costume sitting in her 1965 Ford Ranchero with members of the makeup & prosthetics team at the back. She says, “He slimed my car’s driver’s seat.”

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