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When the first season of Stranger Things was released on Netflix, it became an overnight sensation. Many wondered how, exactly, this show not based on existing material and without an A-list cast had struck such a chord, but in addition to the delightful storytelling capabilities of creators/showrunners The Duffer Brothers and the charismatic cast, Stranger Things also looked unlike any other show available. The Duffers approached the season as one long movie, and in doing so culled together references from a variety of influential 80s films to create an aesthetic that evokes the classic Amblin films that many grew up watching.
Cinematographer Tim Ives was absolutely vital to making this visual a reality, and Stranger Things not only evokes the work of Steven Spielberg, but it also just looks incredibly cinematic in its own right. Stranger Things 2 upped the ante even more, bringing more dynamic colors and shades to the aesthetic as the canvas grew larger.
Chance - Ives - Phone - Work - Stranger
Recently I got the chance to speak with Ives over the phone about his work on Stranger Things, and the DP discussed how the show was first pitched to him, which films and filmmakers he drew from to create the aesthetic in Season 1, and how the visual approach shifted in Stranger Things 2. He also discussed working with director Andrew Stanton, crafting the Snow Ball set piece, the show’s use of light sources, and what he can tease about Stranger Things 3. Ives was also kind enough to briefly discuss his work with director Lee Toland Krieger on the upcoming Syfy series Deadly Class, produced by The Russo Brothers.
Check out the full interview below.
Stranger - Things - Beginning - Episodes - Show
You’ve been with Stranger Things from the beginning, having shot the first two episodes. I was curious how the show was first pitched to you, and what those initial conversations...
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