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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

In today’s day and age, TV shows and movies often get a bad rap for overusing CG. And it makes sense why studios would do this. By and large, doing things in post is often cheaper, easier, safer, and it allows for scenes and characters to better fit the visions of the filmmakers. But there’s still a love for practical effects, and even a modern show like Stranger Things (which has plenty of CG), manages to dial it back and do things practically every now and then.

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In the Netflix post-show series Beyond Stranger Things, director/executive producer Shawn Levy revealed that one particular scene was all practical — the fight between Hopper and Eleven that led to her journey of self-discovery:

“[The Duffers] had scipted flinging the dictionary, shoving the couch, but all those door slams and things were things we had to come up with as we were shooting it. Our special effects crew had to figure it out on the fly. [And that part with the windows blowing out] That’s real. No visual effects. We rigged all the windows. [David Harbour even did it himself]. We had blocked it in a way — we knew he would be facing that door, and so we knew his faces would be protected, and he did NOT want to use stunt double, and so that was all real.”

So all the stuff in the fight was all planned on set, which is cool enough, but they also had the guts to pretty much rig up a whole interior set and blow it up with their talent’s face right in camera.

Gotta say, that’s pretty ballsy, and while we doubt Harbour’s life was actually in danger, it’s hard not to at least worry that some piece of fake glass could lodge itself in his eye. Luckily that didn’t happen, and the scene really has a tangibility for it that would have otherwise been lost had they decided to go CG, especially given the high emotions involved.

What did you think of the scene? Did it work in the show’s favor that they went all practical for it? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: Beyond Stranger Things

  • Kindofabigdeal

    For a minute I thought they rigged the giant mind flayer in the clouds as a miniature. I was gonna say practical effects have come a long way. But I guess I’ll settle for strings attached to doors to make them slam shut.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.