Stranger Things 4: Jamie Campbell Bower’s villainous Vecna required 25 prosthetic pieces in 7-hour process of transformation

Stranger Things 4 - Volume I introduces a vicious creature Vecna, the most sinister villain the series has seen so far, had a painstaking process of coming to life. Played by British actor Jamie Campbell Bower, the menacing “dark wizard” that stalks the teens of Hawkins, Ill, was assembled from prosthetics, special effects makeup, with minimal use of CGI. According to Barrie Gower, the prosthetics designer behind the character, was approached by the Duffers with the request that he design them an iconic villain for the world of the thriller show. As reported by Variety, to create the character, Gower was given concept art from series designer Michael Maher but precious little information about the creature he would be designing. “They have this artwork, which is beautiful, and we had the name of the character, but we didn’t have any backstory at all. We knew it was from the Upside Down, but we had no idea if this character was once human and we had no idea the whole story arc would be told throughout this season.” “From a makeup effects team point of view, none of us were privy to Jamie’s role as the orderly, and all of the scenes he show with Eleven [Millie Bobby Brown],” Gower told the outlet explaining the process of creating the main villain. “So now actually seeing it for the first time, we’re in awe of this whole story arc.” Despite the show employing the very latest in CGI and digital effects, when it came to Vecna, it relied on more traditional special FX techniques. According to Gower, the Duffer Brothers were very keen on having the character be done mostly practically, as a way of creating a real physical presence on set, per the outlet. To transform Bower, Gower said the team essentially applied an entire “second skin” Bower, with around 25 pieces of latex or silicone rubber material being glued to his body via a medical adhesive, making the entire suit weigh roughly 30 pounds when applied to Bower, with the most weight coming from the chest and head pieces. The award-winning artist also revealed that the first application of the prosthetics took eight and a half hours, which the special effects team cut down to six hours and 21 minutes with practice. “Jamie is in a 24- or 25-piece prosthetic makeup that's all glued to his skin every day, and we had new appliances for every single shoot day. So in total, we had something like about 26 - 27 sets of appliances we had to make for Vecna.” “It was a bit of a marathon of makeup application every day, which we started off with the test makeup in November of 2020,” he added. “I think it started off at about an eight and a half hour process with a team of four of us gluing him into this makeup. Then we managed to chisel it down to about six hours and twenty minutes in the end. So that was our fastest record, but it was like an orchestrated dance that we had to do with Jamie every day.” While the Vecna costume was '90 per cent practical', the show did utilize some animation effects in order to creating moving vines on the villain's body. "There would be a little bit of VFX augmentation in post, but it'd be things we couldn't necessarily achieve practically, like giving a subtle movement to Vecna's vines on his body. They would be removing the nose of the actor and his pupils as well." The first seven episodes of Stranger Things 4 debuted on May 27, and Volume 2 of the series is set to premiere on July 1 - with two feature-length episodes to round out the latest season. The eighth episode will reportedly run for one hour and 25 minutes while the ninth episode will clock nearly two and a half hours. Also Read: Jamie Campbell Bower on his game-changing secret role in Stranger Things 4 -“I can only apologize to fans of the show for being part of such a massive red herring”

Stranger Things 4: Jamie Campbell Bower’s villainous Vecna required 25 prosthetic pieces in 7-hour process of transformation
Stranger Things 4 - Volume I introduces a vicious creature Vecna, the most sinister villain the series has seen so far, had a painstaking process of coming to life. Played by British actor Jamie Campbell Bower, the menacing “dark wizard” that stalks the teens of Hawkins, Ill, was assembled from prosthetics, special effects makeup, with minimal use of CGI. According to Barrie Gower, the prosthetics designer behind the character, was approached by the Duffers with the request that he design them an iconic villain for the world of the thriller show. As reported by Variety, to create the character, Gower was given concept art from series designer Michael Maher but precious little information about the creature he would be designing. “They have this artwork, which is beautiful, and we had the name of the character, but we didn’t have any backstory at all. We knew it was from the Upside Down, but we had no idea if this character was once human and we had no idea the whole story arc would be told throughout this season.” “From a makeup effects team point of view, none of us were privy to Jamie’s role as the orderly, and all of the scenes he show with Eleven [Millie Bobby Brown],” Gower told the outlet explaining the process of creating the main villain. “So now actually seeing it for the first time, we’re in awe of this whole story arc.” Despite the show employing the very latest in CGI and digital effects, when it came to Vecna, it relied on more traditional special FX techniques. According to Gower, the Duffer Brothers were very keen on having the character be done mostly practically, as a way of creating a real physical presence on set, per the outlet. To transform Bower, Gower said the team essentially applied an entire “second skin” Bower, with around 25 pieces of latex or silicone rubber material being glued to his body via a medical adhesive, making the entire suit weigh roughly 30 pounds when applied to Bower, with the most weight coming from the chest and head pieces. The award-winning artist also revealed that the first application of the prosthetics took eight and a half hours, which the special effects team cut down to six hours and 21 minutes with practice. “Jamie is in a 24- or 25-piece prosthetic makeup that's all glued to his skin every day, and we had new appliances for every single shoot day. So in total, we had something like about 26 - 27 sets of appliances we had to make for Vecna.” “It was a bit of a marathon of makeup application every day, which we started off with the test makeup in November of 2020,” he added. “I think it started off at about an eight and a half hour process with a team of four of us gluing him into this makeup. Then we managed to chisel it down to about six hours and twenty minutes in the end. So that was our fastest record, but it was like an orchestrated dance that we had to do with Jamie every day.” While the Vecna costume was '90 per cent practical', the show did utilize some animation effects in order to creating moving vines on the villain's body. "There would be a little bit of VFX augmentation in post, but it'd be things we couldn't necessarily achieve practically, like giving a subtle movement to Vecna's vines on his body. They would be removing the nose of the actor and his pupils as well." The first seven episodes of Stranger Things 4 debuted on May 27, and Volume 2 of the series is set to premiere on July 1 - with two feature-length episodes to round out the latest season. The eighth episode will reportedly run for one hour and 25 minutes while the ninth episode will clock nearly two and a half hours. Also Read: Jamie Campbell Bower on his game-changing secret role in Stranger Things 4 -“I can only apologize to fans of the show for being part of such a massive red herring”