How Dune, Titanic, and More Inspired the Stranger Things 4 Finale

Heymann: That was one of the advantages of this great ceiling that Chris and his team had built: we could control every single square in the total grid individually. It wasn’t like the whole room was going on and off, but there’s a very dynamic feeling where the light dances around and the shadows move when we went into flicker mode there.

Matt Duffer: Then of course we have the young Elf here, and so we shot with this incredible young actress, Martie Blair, and she did it all as a young Elf and she carried it out. At one point, Ross and I were directing Martie and then we realized, while we were trying to help her become Eleven – I just looked back and Millie was there. I was so like-

Ross Duffer: -who knows Elf better?

Matt Duffer: I said, “Millie, would you be open to helping and guiding Martie?” And she really jumped in and loved teaching Martie how to be Elf. Martie really looked up to Millie. she was a Weird stuff superfan, elf superfan, so it was a dream come true for her to work so closely with Millie.

Matt Duffer: Because we were still in the middle of production, we recorded [Millie’s] face, current age clear, performing these scenes based on what Martie had done, and aging that face. It’s been a year-long process to get it out of that eerie valley and into a place people believe.

Ross Duffer: That mirror was a nightmare during production. We wanted this large mirror because we used it as our way to go between Elf’s point of view and then actually go back into the past. So between older Elf and younger Elf, to show what it really was like. It’s just extremely complicated to, one, keep the camera out, and two, the camera person out. Also every time we see Millie, when we see the mirror, we have to see the young Elf. And there were even some photos that we just didn’t realize – like in the beginning of episode five, where Millie bursts into this room, we caught a glimpse of her in the mirror. Of course it was Millie, and we hadn’t shot with Martie or prepared for it to be a visual effects shot. So we just took Millie and let her shrink. Somehow I think we got away with it.

The Titanic Shot