I haven’t binge watched a show in a long time till Stranger Things came along. After watching the first 20 minutes of the pilot on a weekday, I knew I had to pause and binge over the weekend. Stranger Things is an American science fiction horror web television series released on Netflix on July 15, 2016. The show is set in 1983 Indiana, USA, where a young boy vanishes vanishes mysteriously. In the middle of the show, I got a ‘Fringe’ vibe, but they played it out nicely and realistically to the 80’s.
The ensemble cast portrays the best acting I have seen in a while, since How To Get Away With Murder. The kids without a doubt steal the show and characterize great acting. I mean how can you not fall in love with El (eleven), the main character with psychokinetic abilities and limited vocabulary. I did some research after the show and I am going to try as much as possible to not give away spoilers as I share with you 10 facts you probably didn’t know about Stranger Things;
1. Over 1,000 Kids Were Auditioned For The ‘Kid Roles’
The show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, American twin brothers who write and direct science fiction and horror shows for film and television, auditioned 906 boys and 307 girls to find their young leads. They read classic scenes from Stand By Me, a 1986 American coming-of-age comedy-drama adventure film, in their auditions. The writers also watched similar films.
2. One of The Kids Hit Puberty Drastically During Filming
Usually during post production of a movie, actors come in to do voice over on certain parts. Gaten’s voice changed so much by the time production ended that he was unable to do any additional dialogue recording. His voice changed dramatically during filming. Hello puberty!
Also, as referenced in the first episode, Dustin in real life has the medical condition Cleidocranial dysplasia. Cleidocranial dysplasia causes abnormal development in the bones in the skull and clavicle area and explains why Dustin has no front teeth.
3. Charlize Theron Was Present on Set (sought of!)
Millie Bobby Brown, the fierce actress who portrays Eleven only knew about cutting her hair at the last minute. Millie was initially scared but after seeing a picture of Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, she was able to channel her into her character. No wonder she was such a badass on screen.
4. The Water Scenes Weren’t As Easy To Put Together As It Seems
In order for the directors to communicate with Eleven in the water tank, she wore a small radio earpiece hidden in the helmet she wore. The helmet weighed 75 pounds out of water, and 15 pounds when submerged. It also took 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt to help Eleven float in the kiddie pool in the gymnasium.
5. Lucas Had Some ‘cool’ Input In His On-Screen Fashion
One of the breakout stars of the show, Caleb McClaughlin, who plays Lucas, requested to wear a camouflage bandana during the show, which made him look totally badass. He wears it in the final 3 episodes of the series.
6. The Kids Created A Bond Before Filming Even Began
Aside the individual brilliant acting by the leading kids in the series, they worked really well together. This makes sense as they bonded over group chats. They formed a text group and began incessantly texting each other over the summer before filming began. By the time they arrived in Atlanta to film, they were already a close-knit group.
7. The Directors Were Nervous During The First Shoot
The first scene the Duffer Brothers shot was the first scene they ever wrote for the show: the Dungeons and Dragons scene. They weren’t sure if the bond the kids built over the summer will reflect in shooting, will nerves set in? No one wants to see a bunch of pretentious and annoying kids on TV.
They held their breath, called action, and… it clicked. “The boys flew through the scene effortlessly and energetically, and their chemistry was electric; they felt like they had known each other their whole lives. This was the second biggest moment for Stranger Things.”, stated The Duffer Brothers.
8. We Weren’t The Only Ones Irked Out By The Monster
The toddlers on set were very scared by the “monster,” but they were calmed when told that he was just like the monsters in Monsters, Inc. The toddlers, twins Anniston and Tinsley Price both played Holly.
9. Despite The 80’s Look, The Red Dragon Was Used Throughout Shooting
The series was shot on a digital cinema camera, the red dragon, but to achieve the vintage look, they added a layer of scanned film grain to the colouring process.
The main title sequence (designed by Imaginary Forces) was inspired by the work of Richard Greenberg, who designed many of our favorite title sequences, including the main titles for Alien, Altered States, Superman, The Goonies, and The Untouchables. Greenberg was known for using the lettering of the movie titles to create hypnotic combinations of movement and color and shadow.
More Cool Facts;
- Hopper’s trailer reportedly only cost the art department $1 to buy. This is quite impressive.
- Stranger Things was the first acting role for Shannon Purser, who plays the stand-out queen Barb.
- The monster was achieved through a combined effort of animatronics, prosthetics, CG, and performance.
Checkout the trailer for the show and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s into science fiction and horror (partly).
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