STRANGER THINGS PRODUCTION.
RUNNING UP THAT HILL The strength of Kate Bush’s music helps fight the powers of evil
and Monstro for Season 3 – along with Leica optics; Summicrons initially, then Thalias when the cameras switched from Super 35 to full-frame. This reliance on Reds was largely down to Netflix’s 4K requirements, but also because they were integral to the show’s look. “We tested out the Reds alongside the Arri Alexa LF and Mini LF, plus six or seven different lenses,” says Heymann. “We quickly found that we could achieve the same look with Arri that both Lachlan [Milne, second DOP on Season 4] and I were more accustomed to. It gave us a slight edge in the highlights. “After a season of Thalias on the Monstro, everyone was accustomed to the field of view that comes from full- frame, so we stuck with that, but it means limitations in terms of optics. We settled on Camtec Falcons – primarily rehoused Canon FD lenses. The older coatings give a certain texture, there’s more highlight halation, warmth and flare. It gave us enhanced texture, whereas the Thalias were cleaner, more pristine. “With the Mini LF, we could meet the 4K requirements, but in smaller form, so we’d mix and match according to requirements. It still had the look we wanted once the colourists were able to do an Alexa version of the show LUT. We kept one LUT throughout and there’s no DIT, so a lot of the look comes from lighting. “We used very little white light and the camera was rarely set to a tungsten or daylight colour temperature – it was often somewhere between 3800 and 4200K. Then you have a practical that’s
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE Set in 1986, Season 4 captures the riotous colours of the decade, alongside more sinister aspects
Did you know? Episode 1 of Season 4 includes a huge pep rally with 300 extras, originally slated to shoot early in production, but was delayed due to Covid-19. It was eventually completed in a post-vaccine world, late in the spring of 2021.
task at hand. Despite this, Heymann remained undaunted, employing principles he’d learned on $1-2 million indie films. “Ultimately, regardless of the budget, the same rules apply. It’s just a question of how big the spaces are and how many tools you have to control it, becoming more about communication,” he explains. “It takes a while to figure out how this giant machine operates. This is especially pertinent with
really warmed up, often sitting at 2800 or 2600K especially for night work, so you have this colour contrast,” Heymann asserts. “Depending on the mood of the scene and where you want daylight to be reading, we’d go with a cold sun when the characters’ emotional states called for something stark or foreboding.” With the aesthetics nailed down, execution became primary – along with an appreciation of the scale of the
13. JULY 2022
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