What Stranger Things’ SFX Artists Did to Create Vecna

Stranger Things' SFX Artists Vecna

Vecna was covered in K-Y jelly and lube, and a kind of wet-looking gel. He was given a glossy look every day, and producers would regret shaking his hand.

The team was approached by the Duffer brothers to create their own iconic villain for this season. They were given various concept art designs by concept artist, Michael Mayer. They took a full-body life cast of the actor, Jamie Campbell Bower, and painted his body with soap products.

Stranger Things. Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 1 is currently available on Netflix; Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 releases on July 1.

Is Vecna CGI?

First, the SFX Team sculpted Vecna over the top of Jamie’s body in wax modeling clay. Then They had to separate the sculpture into many different parts like a jigsaw puzzle and mold them separately.

It took about eight and a half hours to apply 24 or 25 overlapping prosthetics to the actor’s skin, and the character of Vecna had a lot of intense, strenuous kind of movements in the show.

Vecna’s prosthetics are made of a combination of two different materials. The head and shoulders are very soft and move with Jamie’s skin, but the left arm and hand are heavy and have foam latex gloves.

The biggest challenges with Jamie were making sure he could talk, eat, see, and hear, and make sure Vecna could go to the bathroom during the day.

Jamie went into a zen-like mode during the makeup process, listening to aggressive death metal and murmuring things under his breath. He would be sitting there very still, not really making much conversation, and then an AD would step on the trailer.

The VFX team used software and animation to give the vines on Vecna’s body a slight movement and removed Jamie’s nose. The production wanted a practical Vecna, so Patt Foad and Duncan Jarman created a mechanical left hand with finger extensions.

Vecna takes out his victims by using his hand to penetrate their skulls and sucking their brains out. The length of the fingers was reduced by about four to six inches.

Jamie came over to the UK, tried on the prosthetic hand, and was absolutely fine wearing it for several hours. The show looked at many different color references and used blues, greens, and purples to create Vecna’s skin tone.

Stranger Things Vecna makeup

To make Victor Creel’s eyes look gouged, the makeup artists used a makeup pallet with 10 different colors and sculpted the makeup over the top. Robert was able to open his eyes and look around inside the makeup.

“We were incredibly lucky to work with Robert Englund on this character because he’s an absolute seasoned pro with prosthetics. It was like a dream come true to work with Robert Englund and he couldn’t have been nicer.”

The sculpture of Victor Creel’s appliance was made from hair-punched eyebrows, eyelashes, gloss materials, and a large scar that went around Robert’s temples and down around onto the face. It took about two hours to make.

As prosthetic artists, they look at a lot of graphic material. For Victor Creel’s makeup, the SFX team looked at facial scarring going through the eyes.

“We had to make the appliance look very realistic and grounded as well.”

We a huge fans of effects, whether they’re practical or digital, and we think Rick’s work on American Warewolf is still the standard that we all aim to be as good as.