Sunday, 24 July 2016

spielberg blue peter badge

Watch the moment legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg joins the prestigious Blue Peter 'Gold Badge Club'.



The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Official First Look - Test Flight of the new USS Discovery NCC-1031

Revealed at Comic-Con 2016 by Executive Producer Bryan Fuller. Get a sneak peek of the newest ship in the "Star Trek" universe. Star Trek: Discovery premieres January 2017 on the CBS Television Network with the premiere and all subsequent episodes available exclusively on CBS All Access in the US and Canada and Netflix worldwide.




The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Saturday, 23 July 2016


This is what happened when 2 guys with horns made a spontaneous decision to set up and play the Star Wars theme in front of John Williams' house on 7/11/2016! With the high part played by 13 yr. old trumpeter, Bryce Hayashi, and the lower flugelhorn part played by Michael Miller ("Mickle"), John Williams, the master himself, comes out to greet us at 01:24!



Prior to going to John Williams' house and performing Star Wars in front of his house, 13 yr. old Bryce Hayashi and Michael Miller ("Mickle") snuck in a rehearsal at a parking garage.



The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Friday, 22 July 2016


The BFG is OUT TODAY in UK cinemas and to celebrate, Entertainment One UK is pleased to make available a new clip, entitled The Queens Dream, which features Penelope Wilton as Her Majester as well as a featurette on "Being Giants". 



From the imaginations of two of the world’s greatest storytellers, Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg, THE BFG tells the extraordinary tale of a young girl named Sophie (played by British newcomer Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (played by Oscar Winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Together they embark on a marvellous and buckswashling adventure filled with snozzcumbers, dream jars, frobscottle and even the Queen! The mismatched pair form an unlikely friendship that will inspire enormous bravery in the BFG and give Sophie a taste of the family she dreams of.
Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, the film reunites the director with his Oscar-nominated collaborator on “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” Melissa Mathison, who adapted the childrens author’s timeless adventure for the big screen. “The BFG” is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer with Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Michael Siegel serving as executive producers.
The film stars three-time Tony Award®, two-time Olivier Award, BAFTA and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant; Penelope Wilton as the Queen; Comedians Jemaine Clement and Bill Hader as Fleshlumpeater and Bloodbottler; Rebecca Hall as Mary, the Queen’s handmaid; Rafe Spall as Mr. Tibbs, the Queen’s butler; and introduces newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie.
The story was first published in 1982 and has been enchanting readers of all ages ever since. Dahl’s books, which also include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” are currently available in 58 languages and have sold over 200 million copies worldwide.

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

The Bearded Trio are pleased to bring you brand new images from season 7 of The Walking Dead.

Who will Negan choose….

The Walking Dead returns for its 7th season in October on FOX

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead

images from season 7 of The Walking Dead



The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Reviewed by Patrick Gibbs and Paul Gibbs



Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella, Simon Pegg
Screenplay by Doug Jung & Simon Pegg
Directed by Justin Lin





Out of Four


With the return of Star Wars, it's easy for the Star Trek franchise to get lost in the excitement. Sometimes it seems as if fans (or J.J. Abrams) only have room for one or the other at a time, and since, in the past, new Star Wars adventures have come along less frequently, Gene Roddenberry's sci-fi franchise seems to lose some of its luster by comparison. Personally, we've always rejected the idea that fans had to choose between the two, and hope that Star Wars mania doesn't hurt enthusiasm for the rebooted Trek series. As the new installment,  Star Trek Beyond proves, there's plenty of life left in the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Picking up well after the last installment, 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, Beyond finds the crew three years into their legendary five-year mission, and both Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) are feeling uncertain about their future with starfleet. Spock has received some unsettling news, and Kirk is still wrestling with the ghost of his father. However, a distress call snaps them back into action,  and soon the Enterprise crew find themselves stranded on an alien world and in conflict with an enigmatic foe named Krall (Idris Elba).

As far as story is concerned, Star Trek Beyond is a more standard and self contained Trek adventure than the epic scale save-the-galaxy stories of either of its predecessors, and that relative smallness actually works in the film's favor. We needed at least one film for this crew that felt like a fairly standard episode to get the feel of that five-year mission and the regular dynamic of life aboard the Enterprise, and if they have to save Earth and/or the galaxy (or Alpha Quadrant, whatever you want to call it) in every installment it becomes routine.

But of course the plot is only half the fun of Star Trek, with the beloved characters being of at least equal importance, and once again the new crew shines. Pine is engaging and charismatic as always,  and ably supported by the rest (it's particularly gratifying to see the late Anton Yelchin given a lot of screen time in his final appearache as the lovably exuberant Ensign Chekov). The standouts this time are, not so surprisingly, Quinto's Spock and Karl Urban's Dr. McCoy,  who are wisely placed together for the majority of the film and given a chance for their character relationship (the most fun dynamic in all of the Trek universe) to develop. These two have nearly perfected their characters, and the interplay between them is both funny and touching.

A new addition to the cast is Kingsman's Sofia Boutella as an alien named Jaylaah. Boutella shows again that she has dazzling martial arts skills, but this time also demonstrates genuine acting talent, and is a strong and likable prescence. As Krall, the immensely talented Elba may be given the weakest character of the rebooted series' villains, but he's formidable as always and in the film's third act the character becomes more intesting than he previously appeared to be.


Abrams has handed directorial duties over to Fast and Furious Helmer Justin Lin for this installment, and allowed him to utilize his own visual style rather than aping J.J.'s (we don't even see much in terms of lensflares until near the end of the film). It's no surprise that Lin can handle the action well, but it would be a mistake to write him off as just an action director because we know him from a franchise known primarily for car chases. He proves more than capable with the story and character demands here. Screenwriters Doug Jung & Simon Pegg are clearly fans, and their fondness for and understanding of the universe in which theyre writing adds an immensley satisfying element to the film. Perhaps best of all, they try admirably to give the entire crew their moments to shine (if anyone gets short shrift it's John Cho's Sulu, with the much talked about revelation that the character is gay being understated to almost a "blink and you'lll miss it" degree). Pegg, of course, also plays the role of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, and seems to have taken advantage of his co-writer status to pad his part a little, which is welcome as Scotty is always a highlight of the new films.

In the end, Star Trek Beyond is a joyous continuation of the beloved franchise, and it turns out to be surprisingly satisfying and appropriate to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trek with more of a regular episode than some sort of major, universe changing event. The touching way the film pays tribute to the late, great Leonard Nimoy not only satisfactorily ties it into the big picture of the franchise but leaves us with a hopeful and comforting feeling that Star Trek will live long and prosper. Like any good Star Trek installment, it left us feeling immersed in the familiar universe and dying to see what comes next. The only disadvantage to the film playing like an episode is that it becomes all the harder to accept that we won't get another one next week.


The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Thursday, 21 July 2016


The new Netflix original production, Stranger Things is a love letter to the ’80s supernatural classics that captivated a generation.  With quite a bit of influnence from 80s Steven Spielberg, Stranger Things is set in  1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin  air. As friends, family and local police search for  answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary  mystery involving top ­secret government  experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one  very strange little girl.

STRANGER THINGS
FUN FACTS

      To help sell the show, the Duffers edited a mock “trailer” the combined clips from over 25 feature films, including E.T., Nightmare on Elm Street, Super 8, and Halloween.
      The composers of the Stranger Things soundtrack (Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon) were two members of an Austin synth band called SURVIVE; their music was featured in the soundtrack of the film The Guest. This is how the Duffers initially discovered them. Michael and Kyle both quit their day jobs in order to work on the show.
      The composers (Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon) have written over 13 hours of music for the show.
      Winona Ryder wanted her hairstyle modeled after Meryl Streep’s hair in Silkwood.
      Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine have appeared together once before: in the music video for Roy Orbison’s “A Love So Beautiful.”
      The title sequence was inspired by the work of Richard Greenberg, who designed a number of classic 80s title sequences (including Alien, Altered States, Superman, and The Goonies).
      Gaten (Dustin) and Caleb (Lucas) both acted on Broadway; Gaten played
Gavroche in Les Miserables, and Caleb played Young Simba in The Lion King. The two boys knew each other but they didn’t become close friends until after working on Stranger Things.
      Millie Brown (who plays Eleven) and Charlie Heaton (who plays Jonathan) are both from the UK.
      Gaten’s voice changed so much by the time production ended that the sound team was unable to use him for ADR (additional dialogue recording).
      Before starting the show, the writers all watched (or rewatched) a large list of films, including E.T., Stand By Me, The Goonies, The Thing, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
      The Duffers had all the boys audition with scenes from Stand By Me.
      To help sell the show, the Duffers created a “look book” which was designed in the style of a vintage Stephen King novel.
      Although the show was shot digitally on the RED Dragon, a layer of real film grain was applied to help achieve a more vintage look.
      It was Caleb’s request to wear a camouflage bandana in the show; he wears it for the final three episodes.
      The monster was achieved through a combination of prosthetics, animatronics, performance, and CG.
      The toddlers on set were very scared by the “monster,” but they were calmed when told that he was just like the monsters in Monster, Inc.
      To get Millie to float in a kiddie pool, twelve hundred pounds of epsom salt were dissolved into the water.
      Millie had to shave most of her hair off for the show. As can be expected of any
11­year old girl, this was a terrifying prospect. The Duffers showed her how cool Charlize Theron looked in Mad Max: Fury Road, after which Millie agreed to it.
      Finn Wolfhard is a film buff and wants to be a director when he grows up. He is a particular fan of Sam Raimi’s early work.    
      Hopper’s trailer was purchased by the art department for $1.
      For some of the laboratory scenes, Millie (Eleven) was fully submerged in an underwater immersion tank. She was able to breathe by wearing a Sea Trek helmet, which weighs approximately 70 lbs above water; it weighs 15 lbs beneath the surface of the water. The helmet was designed for shallow “underwater walking.”
      To direct Millie while she was underwater, the Duffers communicated with her through a small radio in her ear.


The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Star Wars Celebration Europe returned to London on Friday 15th July at the Excel and this was to be my first ever experience of a Star Wars Celebration.  I will admit I was excited, the closest I’ve come was watching the live feed on my computer from the year before which took place in Anaheim.  But even from this I could tell the atmosphere was going to be incredible.  Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

To celebrate the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on Digital Download, Warner Bros. UK is pleased to reveal a brand-new featurette, exploring Batman's Weapons.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice also arrives on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on August 1st. Fans can also experience the Ultimate Edition extended cut, available on all Blu-ray formats and Digital Download, featuring 30 additional minutes of story and action not seen in cinemas!



Synopsis
In “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, fearing the actions of a god-like superhero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day saviour, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
From director Zack Snyder (“Man of Steel”) comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”) as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.
The film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams (“American Hustle”, “Man of Steel”) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”, “Man of Steel”) as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”, “Man of Steel”) as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) as Alfred, and Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot (the “Fast and Furious” films) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.


The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated live action adaptation of Roald Dahl's THE BFG has hit the UK and to celebrate this whoopsy wiffling event, Entertainment One UK has made available two featurettes for The BFG.  A sneak peek of the movie and Steven Spielberg and what drew him to The BFG.

In clip 'Catch a Phizzwizard', we see The BFG (Mark Rylance) and Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) in pursuit of a Phizzwizard - one of the most wonderful dreams you can find!



In the following featurette which sees Steven Spielberg fill us in on what drew him to THE BFG



The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Tuesday, 19 July 2016



Each Episode of the Highly Anticipated New Series to be Available to Netflix Members Exclusively in All Licensed Territories Within 24 Hours of the U.S. Premiere on CBS

LOS ANGELES and AMSTERDAM– July 18, 2016 - Netflix and CBS Studios International today announced a landmark international licensing agreement for the new “Star Trek” television series. Netflix will be the exclusive premiere home of “Star Trek” in 188 countries (excluding the US and Canada). Each episode of the new series will be available globally within 24 hours of its U.S. premiere.
Additionally, all 727 existing episodes of the iconic “Star Trek” television library – including “Star Trek: The Original Series,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise” will be available on Netflix around the world by the end of 2016.
The all-new “Star Trek” will begin production in Toronto in September for its January 2017 premiere. The iconic and influential global franchise will return to television for the first time since 2005 with a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation.
“The launch of the new ‘Star Trek’ will truly be a global television event,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International. “‘Star Trek’ is already a worldwide phenomenon and this international partnership will provide fans around the world, who have been craving a new series for more than a decade, the opportunity to see every episode virtually at the same time as viewers in the U.S. Thanks to our world-class partners at Netflix, the new ‘Star Trek’ will definitely be ‘hailing on all frequencies’ throughout the planet.”
“‘Star Trek’ is one of the most iconic shows in television history and we’re thrilled to partner with CBS to bring the beloved series to Trekkies around the world,” said Sean Carey, Vice President of Global Television at Netflix. “The newest chapter of the story promises to continue the rich tradition of adventure and is sure to excite fans everywhere Netflix is available.”
In the U.S., the new “Star Trek” will launch with a special premiere episode on the CBS Television Network in January 2017. The premiere episode and all subsequent episodes will then be available in the United States exclusively on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.
As previously announced, the new “Star Trek” marks the first original series developed for U.S. distribution on CBS All Access, which provides viewers thousands of episodes of CBS’s current and past seasons on demand, plus the ability to stream their local CBS Television station live for $5.99 per month.
Alex Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller are co-creators and executive producers for the new “Star Trek,” based on Gene Roddenberry’s original series. Fuller launched his career writing for “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager.” Kurtzman is co-writer and producer of the blockbuster films “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions, and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen Berg & Aaron Harberts, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers.
About CBS Studios International:
CBS Studios International is the leading supplier of programming to the international television marketplace, licensing to more than 200 markets in more than 30 languages across multiple media platforms. The Studio participates in international channel ventures, currently comprised of 18 channels in 24 languages across more than 100 territories, reaching more than 70 million households worldwide. CBS Studios International also exports a diverse lineup of formats for local production around the world. The division distributes content from CBS Television Studios, CBS Television Distribution, Showtime, CBS News, CBS Films and a library of more than 70,000 hours of programming. CBS Studios International is a division of CBS Corporation.
About Netflix:
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 81 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Stranger Things
Production Notes

About the Show

Created by the dynamic writing and directing team of brothers, Matt and Ross Duffer, and executive produced by Shawn Levy who also directed two episodes. Netflix’s newest original scripted series, Stranger Things takes place in 1983 in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The story follows the mysterious disappearance of a twelve-year-old boy and the strange happenings in a small Midwestern town.

Stranger Things stars: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Chief Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Millie Brown (Eleven), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler) and Matthew Modine (Dr. Brenner).

The 8-part series was filmed on location in Atlanta, Georgia and will debut on Netflix globally on Friday, July 15th.


‘80s Nostalgia

“We have so much nostalgia and love for this era. We really wanted to see something on television that was in the vein of the classic films we loved growing up: the Spielbergs, the John Carpenters, as well as the novels of Stephen King. And to us, what makes all of these stories so great to us -- and so resonant -- is that they all explore that magical point where the ordinary meets the extraordinary. When we were growing up, we were just regular kids, living in the suburbs of North Carolina, playing Dungeons and Dragons with our nerdy friends. But when we watched these films and read these books, we felt transported. Suddenly our lives had the potential for adventure -- maybe tomorrow we would find a treasure map in the attic, maybe my brother would vanish into the TV screen. We really want to capture that feeling with Stranger Things. We want to bring that feeling to people who grew up on those films -- and we also want to bring it to a whole new generation.” -- Matt Duffer                  

Stranger Things was filmed both on sound stages as well as on location in Atlanta. Screen Gems Studios housed the interiors of the Wheeler and Byers homes as well as the government lab. The production filmed on location in small towns surrounding Atlanta to capture the small-town look of Hawkins, Indiana, including downtown Jackson, Ga, a school in Stockbridge, Ga, and a cold-war era looking building near Emory University in Atlanta.

“Hawkins is an ordinary, idyllic little town filled with relatable, ordinary people -- and that makes it the perfect place for something supernatural to happen,” says creator/executive producer, Ross Duffer. Executive producer Shawn Levy says about the show’s setting, like any small, American town, “there’s something Spielbergian Americana about Indiana. Hawkins is a town with history, not only in its buildings and its land, but most importantly, amongst its characters.” It was a specific look at which the production team aimed.

Production designer Chris Trujillo was tasked with creating the world of Hawkins, Indiana, in Georgia and set in 1983 – no small feat.  Trujillo says about the world the Duffer brothers wanted was “A recreation of what we remembered and loved growing up as kids in the 80s – a reinvention of classic American cinema from the early 80s. This was a dream project for me because this was my world as a kid.”

“Atlanta was actually quite the perfect location to play Hawkins because of its similar typography as well as the treasure troves of set décor we discovered at estate sales,” said Trujillo.  “We’d freak people out! We’d find these amazing homes that look like time capsules from the late 70s and early 80s and go in and go in and basically buy everything, including what was in the junk drawers.”

From Schlitz beer cans to walkie talkies to Dungeons and Dragons to wood paneled station wagons, Stranger Things evokes the 80s in subtle but meaningful ways. “We never wanted it to be ‘in-your-face’ 80s and obvious,” said Trujillo. “The lived-in look was important to us so that it would feel familiar to audiences, and not distract them.”

“You walk onto the set and you feel like you’ve fallen straight into an 80s movie,” describes Charlie Heaton who plays Jonathan Byers. “It is enjoyably nostalgic for those of us who remember the 80s, but for a kid or a teenager for whom that is another era, it’s just a great story,” elaborates Levy.

Dungeons and Dragons is thematic to the show, not just as a way the boys occupy themselves, but also in giving the audience a sense of nostalgia and a metaphor the kids’ search for Will. “In order to be as authentic to the game and honor the fans of the game, we really did a lot of research on D&D game playing,” said Lynda Reiss, propmaster for Stranger Things. She adds, “We visited a group that meets present day to play the game and even found some actual campaign books to replicate for the show, with drawings from a guy who was a kid in the 80s and played the game. You’ll see some of his drawings in the campaign books and on Mike Wheeler’s bedroom wall.”

Millie Brown (Eleven) says about the era, “It’s a lot more fun to work in the 80s than modern day! I saw a record player on one of the sets and asked my dad for one for Christmas and he got me one and I love it!”

The music adds a layer and is germane to the tone of the series in a way that Levy feels isn’t seen anywhere on TV. “It’s singular to the TV landscape. Our original music is all electronic. It’s extremely ambient and atmospheric.” But it will strike a familiar chord for those who grew up in the 80s, as it evokes the iconic sounds of electronic composers like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and John Carpenter. The show is rounded out by an eclectic mix of classic popular music from the era, from Toto to Joy Division to Modern English.

The sense of family and community is what strikes Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) the most about the era. “The family eats together and it feels very different from modern-day families. There’s a nice innocence and sense of community.”  And about the wardrobe -- “I love these clothes!,” she beams. “The scrunchies, the shoes, the high-waisted jeans - it’s cool. Plus there’s this modern fascination with vintage things in general and I’m a fan of vintage, so it’s fun.” Levy explains about the wardrobe, “We wanted to tell a true story about the time in the 80s but we wanted to tell true stories of characters. And so whether it’s Dustin’s signature baseball cap, or Mike’s ugly beige parka - we wanted to say something about character through wardrobe choices. So it was about both historical accuracy and character honesty.”

The nostalgia for our childhoods is at the center of the story. As David Harbour who plays Chief Hopper says about the narrative with the kids, “It’s before you know who you are and you’re starting to discover who you are through your friends.” “But it’s the little things like cassette tapes. The mixtape is a lost art form. Things like that really make me long for those beautiful 80s.”


Finding the Cast

Center to the story is the boys’ quest to find their best friend who has gone missing. In casting the kids, Ross Duffer says, “There weren’t any other kids who could do these roles. These are the kids. We searched all over the world and auditioned thousands of young actors. Once we found our four main kids, they really inspired our writing and the characters.” For instance, Gaten (Dustin) does not yet have a front teeth due to a condition called Cleidocranial dysplasia, so the Duffers incorporated this into the character’s backstory.

Shawn Levy, executive producer and director agrees, “When you cast kids to play friends, you never know, it’s a crapshoot.” But he adds, “The process of making the show has bonded them so intensely and it’s completely evident on screen.”

Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) describes the boys: “Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Will are these geeky kids who are in their own little world and they love to do stuff together like play video games and talk about nerdy science experiments.”

Much like the Duffers, Finn Wolfhard is a cinephile. “I’m obsessed with retro/80s movies,” he says. “That inspired me to do these auditions.” And about how the Duffers described the series to him - “A love letter to the 80s. It’s sort of like Stand By Me, The Goonies - the chemistry with the kids in Stranger Things is a lot like that.”

Leading the cast is the supremely talented Winona Ryder who was keen to do a project like Stranger Things. “It’s a genre that I hadn’t explored before and was interesting to me,” she shares. “I’m really lucky in my life that I’ve gotten to do a lot of different things and so it was exciting to try something new.” She plays Joyce, a struggling single mother raising two boys. “I took a lot from performances like Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Marsha Mason in Max Dugan Returns and Audrey Rose.”

Matt Duffer says about her, “Winona is completely fearless. She jumps in all the way, 100% and that’s what we needed for the Joyce character. She’s on her own for so much of the show, losing her grip on what is real as she goes through an emotional rollercoaster.”

Levy echoes the Duffers’ enthusiasm for Ryder “Her face and presence on screen are not only amazing and powerful but loaded with cultural memories for all of us.”

David Harbour (Black Mass), who plays police chief Hopper savors his role as a broken man (“Hopper doesn’t really care for the magical stuff, but wants to know the truth”), as well as playing against Winona’s Joyce. “They’ve known each other a long time and she’s someone who can get under his skin and he’s someone who can get under her skin.” He says about watching Winona play Joyce, “She’s like a live wire. She’s dynamite.” Ryder shares his enthusiasm, “David can really deliver and he’s got incredible range. And he’s a real comrade.” Chiming in with praise for Harbor, Levy gushes, “He’s never not great. We’ve all seen his work. But no one this far has ever put him in the center, has made him the leading man.”

Casting Eleven was a tricky task for the Duffers, but one that they succeeded in finding Millie Brown. The same age Winona Ryder was when she began working in film, her castmates praise her as a talent beyond her age.  “Millie’s a real pro,” says Harbour about the then eleven-year-old Millie (who is now twelve). “She can turn it on and turn it off so effortlessly. It’s a fascinating character and she’s digging into it real good!”  Finn adds, “It’s incredible to see what her character is capable of. When would you ever have the chance to see a girl who could kick butt with her mind!”

Authentic and “incapable of artifice,” as Levy describes him, Charlie Heaton relates to his character on a personal level. “We both grew up in a broken home and lower-class family and he has a responsibility to his family.”  Winona praises his ability and their connection as TV mother and son, “Charlie is phenomenal. I’ve never worked with anyone like him. We formed a real bond.”

Playing the sinister Dr. Brenner is the talented Matthew Modine. “One of my favorite aspects of the show is the relationship between Dr. Brenner and Eleven,” says Levy. “On one hand, you could view him as her jailor, but you also could see him as he views himself - as the only person who understands Eleven. The person who has raised her and possibly loves her.”


The Vision/Producing team

“Television is becoming more and more cinematic, and we became excited by the potential of making a ‘long form movie.’ And what better place to do that than Netflix? It was our dream home.”-- Matt Duffer

Stranger Things creators, writers and directors, Matt and Ross Duffer “came out of nowhere,” according to Shawn Levy. “I got sent a lookbook that was kind of a combination of words and imagery that evoked the world of the show in their hearts and minds and I was so struck by how vivid it was.” He was sold on the concept saying “it was the kind of thing I love, but somehow felt I hadn’t seen in a long time.”

Levy was surprised how inspired he was directing the show. “I have never directed anything quite like this, and as a result, I’m as proud of these episodes as I am of any movies I’ve directed.”

In Levy’s opinion, Stranger Things is the announcement of a new voice in filmmaking. “[the series] marks the arrival of a new vision, and a new filmmaking partnership and brotherhood that is really noteworthy. We’re going to be talking about the Duffer brothers the way we talked early on, about the Coen brothers.”

Having Netflix as the home for Stranger Things was the perfect fit according to the Duffers.  “Working with Netflix has been an amazing experiencing. They’ve been incredibly supportive of our vision from the very beginning, and they’ve placed so much trust in us. We also just love Netflix as a platform, because it allows people to watch the show at their own pace. This story is not necessarily intended to be watched over eight weeks. The hope is that people will get hooked and the crescendo will feel even more impactful when it’s watched over a relatively short period of time. We want the audience to feel like they’re watching an epic summer movie,” says Ross.

He continues, “For us, the scariest stuff from what we loved about the movies growing up was with people who we could relate to with very ordinary people who have extraordinary things happen to them. To us, that is always scarier.”

The Duffers are heavily influenced by Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. Ross says, “We were obsessed with their books and movies because it felt their stories were about people we knew and you throw in the monsters, supernatural and UFOs and it then feels like you’re experiencing it yourself.  We were influenced by so many things - movies, videogames and books, and then we kind of put it in a blender and mixed it up.”

Matt adds, “What’s fun about the show is that it’s a bit of a rollercoaster - it has a little bit of everything. We follow three different generations: kids, teens, and adults. We like to think of each of these generations as existing in a different 80s universe. The adults are in a Spielberg film -- these imperfect individuals who slowly but inevitably come to realize that something very extraordinary is taking place around them. The teens are in an 80s horror film like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street, where the pains of high school and the loss of innocence is juxtaposed with supernatural evil. And the kids are in a Stephen King novel, like Stand by Me or It: nerdy outsiders from a small town who have to band together to face this terrifying horror.”

“We want everyone to watch the show,” says Ross. “If you’re a 12-year-old, you can relate to the kids, if you’re a teenager, you can relate to Jonathan and Nancy, and if you’re an adult you can relate to Winona and David’s characters. The kids are based on who we were like as kids playing nerdy games in the basement so I think adults will also see themselves in the kids.”

Finn identifies with the Duffers. “They loved movies like this,” he says.  “They played all those nerdy games. They went off on little adventures together. That’s why they have such a great connection with these characters.”

Shawn Levy finds that what’s unique about Stranger Things and about the vision of the Duffers is that the series is “about coming of age, it’s about family that has humor and a lot of heart. It’s that archetypal, iconic moment where innocence gives way to something else.”


The Lab, the Nether & The Rift

“There’s Hawkins, Indiana, and then there’s a very dark, twisted, disturbing version of that town.” - Matt Duffer

Hovering quietly in the small town of Hawkins is the government facility, Hawkins Laboratory. According to Levy, “no one is quite clear on what they do there.” The townspeople assume it has something to do with the Cold War - being the early 80s. “It’s revealed that the testing there is not overall aboveboard, nor is it within the parameters of what is known or considered acceptable or possible,” says Levy. Overseeing the testing is Dr. Brenner, played by Matthew Modine who has good intentions but whose actions don’t reflect that. The testing reveals supernatural abilities with Eleven.

According to the Duffers, much of the conflict in Hawkins is not about monsters and the supernatural, but about people being terrible to each other and how they react to that.The boys as well as the teens encounter the dark side of Hawkins first hand when they discover the lab.

Something sinister is happening in this lab, and it’s been unleashed on Hawkins. “It’s scary that there’s evil surrounding us, and you can’t see it, but it’s right there,” says Ross.

“It’s familiar, but totally different,” Natalia Dyer describes it. “And that can be scary and exciting.”

David Harbour likens Stranger Things’ Nether to a film negative. “The town exists in a negative relief. Things aren’t alive there except for there are these predators. But there’s something beyond the monster and the Nether. There are deeper fears.”

And the gate to this Nether - this underbelly of evil - is the Rift.  Matt explains, “It was a tear in time or space that leads to this alternate dimension. It’s essentially a gate into Hell and eventually our kids realize they need to go there and open the gate to find Will and retrieve him.”  Ross continues, “For our kids, it’s like a real life Dungeons & Dragons adventure. There is a gate to this evil dungeon -- and it’s in this dungeon where their friend is trapped. Only unlike the game, the stakes are very real -- potentially deadly.”

Finn explains the way the kids finally understand the Nether -- “The boys don’t get it at first until Eleven flips the Dungeons and Dragons board upside down - and then we finally get it. The upside down means a different dimension. And the Demagorgon is the monster. And that’s when we go off on our big adventure.”


The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS

Facebook

Find us on Twitter

Buy The Bearded Trio T-Shirt Here

The Best Indiana Jones Magazine - IndyMag

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

The Bearded Trio Proudly Recommend The TGR Entertainment Network

Generation Star Wars

Talk Whatever Online

Sharing The Wars With

The Bearded Trio Recommends

Your Source For The Force

Total Pageviews

Translate

The Bearded Trio Is On

What Is The Bearded Trio?

Celebrating All the work from George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John Williams. All the latest news updated daily. We are geeks and huge fans of their works. from Lucasarts, Lucasfilm, Star Wars, ILM, Skywalker Sound and loads more. We will try to bring all the latest everyday. Follow us on Twitter or on Facebook. Feel free to let us know what you feel about our site or if you have an article you would like us to post.

Close Encounters Documentary

Popular Posts