Stranger Things 4 production secrets: 16 behind the scenes facts about making the show
Teams were on set at 2am to create the monster Vecna, and it took them up to seven hours
It’s been nearly three years in the making, so it’s no surprise that creating Stranger Things 4 has been a monumental job, with a lot of production secrets and behind the scenes tricks behind making it look so good.
From the pretty insane production budget of the Stranger Things 4, to precise details about the hair and makeup and costumes that were made for the characters, Netflix has shared with us some great behind the scenes secrets. Here are all the best facts about how the latest episodes of the show were made.
Eleven’s costuming this season is less vibrant, and that was done on purpose
You may have noticed Eleven’s costuming this season is less vibrant than in season three. The outfits are meant to still be very tied to the Hawkins colours as opposed to integrated into the brighter California colours, visually showing that she’s still out of place in her new home.
Will’s costuming is also still very tied to Hawkins colours and patterns, showing he’s not adjusting to California life easily either.
This season cost Netflix $300million to make
Each episode of season four is said to have cost $30million – meaning the entire season has had a budget of around $300million. It’s one of the most expensive Netflix shows to date – good job we all love it then!
There were three main filming locations in Stranger Things 4
Production this year was set across three main filming locations, more than any previous season: Atlanta, Georgia; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Lithuania.
The scenes set at Pennhurst Mental Hospital were filmed at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta. It’s the largest college campus in the world, with 27,000 acres of land.
Creel House is real, and used to be a bed and breakfast
The real-life Creel House location is in Rome, Georgia, just a few miles from Berry College. The creative team was looking for a uniquely “frightening” house with a distinct presence, vertical architecture, and a third-level attic. When production designer Chris Trujillo first saw the house, it reminded him of Norman Bates’ house in Psycho.
The real-life Creel House was built in the 1870s and was previously a bed and breakfast. The homeowners moved from Minnesota with the intention of renovating it. About a month after they closed on the house and began renovations, the locations team for Stranger Things knocked on their door.
The costume team worked with Quicksilver this season
Heading to California for some of the filming has seen a bit of a change of vibe in Stranger Things 4. The costuming team collaborated with Quiksilver to design Argyle’s California-specific look this season. His shoes were custom-made by Vans, and he wears custom tie-dye socks. Mike’s California costume was also manufactured by Quiksilver. It’s meant to look a little too “matchy matchy.”
Converse was also part of the costume making
For the Hawkins High looks, Converse custom-made shoes in three different colours to match the school’s palette.
The costume team went to Poland to make historically accurate designs
To source historically accurate costuming pieces for the Russian portions of the season, the costuming team went to Poland to pick pieces, and also relied on a military advisor. The pieces you see in the show are historically accurate uniforms. The colour palette in Russia skews colder, with monochromatic blues and greens, and contrasts with the California and Hawkins settings.
Russian prison scenes were filmed in a real prison
Authenticity was an important part of the Russian storyline in Stranger Things 4. The Russian prison scenes were shot at Lukiškės Prison in Lithuania, a former prison that shut down operations in 2019.
The monster Vecna was heavily influenced by Freddie Krueger
The Stranger Things 4 monster Vecna was heavily influenced by Freddy Krueger from The Nightmare On Elm Street films, as well as Pinhead from the Hellraiser series. Robert Englund, the actor who famously plays Krueger in the franchise, also plays the character Victor Creel this season.
It took a four-man team over six hours to create Vecna
To apply Vecna’s full-body practical look, it took a four-man team between six and seven hours. The character had to be camera-ready early in the morning, so the application process usually began around 2 or 3am, and would take an extra hour at the end of the day to remove.
Argyle is wearing bloodshot contact lenses this season
Because of Argyle’s specific interests, Eduardo Franco (who plays him) is wearing bloodshot contacts throughout the season. It was the first time Franco ever had to wear contacts.
Some actors had makeup applied to drain colour from their skin
Everyone in all of the institutions this season — the Hawkins Lab, Pennhurst Mental Hospital, and Kamchatka — have been made up to reflect their drab, colourless surroundings. The makeup team used green makeup to remove the pink, healthier tones from the actors’ skin.
Some of the characters’ hairstyles are based on film stars and celebrities
Originally, the Duffer Brothers wanted Eddie’s hair to have a look similar to David Bowie’s iconic mane as Jareth in Labyrinth. The hair team based the final look on Ozzy Osbourne and other well-known band members from the ‘80s. Chrissy’s hair design was inspired by Olivia Newton-John’s character Sandy in Grease – very American good girl, classic cheerleader – but with very ‘80s bangs. Jason’s hair design was based on Tom Cruise’s hair as Joel in Risky Business.
All scrunchies in the show are custom-made
You might have noticed a lot of the characters wearing hair scrunchies, which is very ’80s. The costuming team makes all of the scrunchies on the show so that they match the rest of the costuming exactly. This season, Max’s scrunchie has been dyed a darker colour to show she’s been wearing the same one for over a year, so it looks a little dirtier and sadder. Plus, at the end of season three, the Stranger Things hair team intentionally gave Eleven the same green scrunchie that Max wore earlier in the season, as a small parting gift from her friend.
Eleven is wearing a ring this season
Ok, I can forgive you for not noticing this, but in Stranger Things 4 Eleven is wearing a ring. This was meant to have been given to her by Mike at some point. Cute!
The characters’ hairstyles also have a meaning behind them
You should know by now that nothing on this show is done by accident. Lucas’ new flat top haircut signifies his transition into a more popular jock, and was inspired by the hip-hop duo Kid ‘n Play. This season, Mike is trying to grow his hair out like Eddie, his new role model, so it’s a little longer in the back with short layers. Will has the same bowl cut hairstyle to show he is still very tied to childhood, and wants things to remain the same. Eleven’s hair this season is meant to look frizzy and mousy, and mirror the character’s insecurity and lack of self-esteem now that she doesn’t have her powers. Hopper’s shaved hair this season is meant to match Eleven’s shaved look in season one, a full father-daughter moment.
Stranger Things 4 is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.