Fans are eagerly awaiting the final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix, which are to be released on Friday.
The fourth season has brought with it many twists, turns, and plotline surprises – as well as the show’s most sinister villain yet: terrifying hell demon, Vecna, played by British actor Jamie Campbell Bower.
The mind-bending finale revealed that Vecna’s true identity was Henry Creel aka Number One, shocking viewers.
Coming soon: Fans are eagerly awaiting the final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix, which are to be released on Friday
Now celebrated makeup and visual effects artist Barrie Gower has teased what fans can expect out of the second part of the season, which will consist of two feature-length episodes.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Barrie said: ‘I can’t really say too much without giving stuff away obviously, but there’s a nod to what we’ve done in the final two episodes [in season four] right at the end of episode seven, where we see that story arc of Jamie Campbell Bower as the orderly and there’s the big reveal at the end of episode seven that we find out he’s obviously Vecna.’
‘So his transformation at the end of that episode as he’s kind of going through the netherworld into the Upside Down, that’s a bit of a nod as to where we might be taking him in the next episodes.’
Terrifying: The fourth season has brought with it many twists, turns, and plotline surprises – as well as the show’s most sinister villain yet: terrifying hell demon, Vecna, played by British actor Jamie Campbell Bower
Barrie teased: ‘Without giving too much away, there’s a lot of Vecna in the last two episodes, and there’s some quite exciting stuff we were able to do for it.’
Previously, he shared the inspiration behind Vecna in a video interview with Vanity Fair, in which he also detailed the painstaking process for bringing directing duo the Duffer brothers’ vision to life.
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.
Jamie stunned fans when he revealed that he’d had to spend more than seven hours transforming into the terrifying monster every day on set.
Skilled: Now celebrated makeup and visual effects artist Barrie Gower has teased what fans can expect out of the second part of the season, which will consist of two feature-length episodes
That process has now been documented in a fascinating Netflix time-lapse video revealing a sneak peek into the lengthy and arduous techniques used to transform Jamie into Vecna.
In the video, Jamie is seen sitting in a makeup chair for hours on end, while a team of artists carefully applies the pre-made prosthetics to his face, arms, and body.
But according to Barrie, the arduous process of bringing Vecna to life for the small screen began long before the actor began his transformation.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, the Emmy-winning prosthetic artist revealed that Stranger Things producers, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, approached him to create their season four villain after seeing the work that he and his team had done on Game of Thrones – particularly with the HBO series’ evil demon, The Night King.
He added that the Duffer Brothers had also been impressed by the radiation-burns Barrie et al had created for HBO’s Chernobyl and wanted to use those elements for their own ‘iconic’ villain.
Trooper: Jamie stunned fans when he revealed that he’d had to spend more than seven hours transforming into the terrifying monster every day on set
Attention to detail: Jamie took the chance to listen to music that helped inspire his character while in the makeup trailer
After concept art was drawn up by artist Michael Mayer, who also runs the VFX department, the Duffer Brothers and Barrie settled on their final vision for Vecna - and the special effects artists set about turning that image into a living, breathing monster.
Barrie recalled: ‘We were sent those designs and then we took a full body live cast of the actor Jamie Campbell Bower.
‘From that point we had quite a large extensive build to actually create the character which we started with a full body live cast made out of plaster of Paris.’
Daily routine: Small holes were created in the ears so the actor could actually hear through the costume
The team then did a process called ‘floating’, in which the plaster cast of Jamie was submerged in a tank and painted with a soap product, before they sculpted on the Vecna detail in wax modeling clay.
The next stage was to separate the sculpture from the modeling clay, which involved sinking the entire cast into water overnight.
Barrie explained that the process allowed the water to reactivate the soapy product so the plasticine could ‘float off’ and then be carefully removed from the cast in sections.
Iconic: Stranger Things producers, Matt and Ross Duffer, had approached Gower with the aim of creating their own version Game of Thrones bad guy, The Night King
There were around 25 overlapping prosthetics to create the entire character, which had been injected with materials like silicone foam latex.
It was decided that they would use full body makeup rather than creating a pullover suit in order to ensure the actor’s movement’s while filming wouldn’t creating a bulking effect as the costume bunched up.
In order to do this, they used silicon medical gel to create the prosthetics because it is soft enough to allow for movement and stretch while being worn by an actor.
The Vecna costume also saw Jamie wearing foam latex prosthetic finger extensions on his left hand, which had been causing staff’s hands to cramp after revealing minutes.
Unrecognizable: Gower joked, ‘There wasn’t anything else we could get on Jamie’
Creepy: The team worked on several gruesome looks for the popular series
However, Barrie gushed over the fact Jamie never complained about the pain or the length of time it took to glue on his costume each day.
The actor also wore dentures over his own teeth in order to create the rotted look seen on Vecna, as well as wearing full scleral contact lenses.
‘There wasn’t anything else we could get on Jamie,’ Barrie joked.
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.
Aiming high: The Duffer Brothers were set on creating their own iconic villain for the series
As for Vecna skin tone, the show has a special makeup pallet designed by Premier Product which used a set of colors inspired by different sea life and human bruising.
The first seven episodes of Stranger Things season four debuted on May 27, and Volume 2 of the series is set to premiere on July 1.
The eighth episode will run one hour and 25 minutes while the ninth episode will run nearly two and a half hours.
Fans of the series will no doubt be hoping that the final episodes reveal Vecna’s ultimate demise – having seen in the most recently-released Volume 1 episodes how Jamie’s human character transformed into the monster after being cast into the Upside Down by Millie Bobby Brown’s character Eleven .