Stranger Things 4 - Shining a light on the production design of the 'Rainbow Room' and the 'Byers Home'
When we last joined the cast of Strangers Things, many of the main characters were leaving town. This generated plenty of speculation in terms of where the Byers would end up - and what their new home would look like. When the new series was released in May this year, we discovered that the Byers had been relocated to Southern California for their own safety and were now living in a brand new home. So, what was involved in the production design behind the new settings?
The new family home - in Albuquerque
The Byers family has expanded in this new season with the originals joined by Eleven and Charlie. There have also been other changes, such as Joyce’s new job which involves working from home - and which has basically taken over the living space. The production design team behind Stranger Things apparently considered building the Byers Home completely from scratch. However, in the end it was decided that there were a lot of practical advantages to finding somewhere already in existence. So, a location was found in Albuquerque, New Mexico and production designer Chris Trujillo and his team started to bring the new home to life.
The Byers Home
One major reason for choosing a real home for filming was that it allowed the team to move between the interior and exterior, both of which would reflect that this was a real home in a real neighbourhood. The interior design of the new Byers Home has a Spanish feel and it was created with the intention that the audience would appreciate that the family has taken a socioeconomic step up. When Trujillo and his team were looking for somewhere to act as a location for the home they sought out a ‘time capsule’ residential location that wouldn’t need a lot of work to be convincing. Features of the Byers Home are designed to give the audience some insight into how some of the characters have developed. For example, Eleven is trying very hard to fit in as a ‘normal’ kid and so has a classic, suburban bedroom. Jonathan has become even more enmeshed in feeling like a hippie outsider while Joyce is now slightly business-obsessed. As well as the gold and yellow hues that are designed to indicate the California move, the production design team focused on what each character might have taken with them from Hawkins.
The Rainbow Room
This is a returning feature this season, the location where Eleven played with others in the program. However, it has been considerably expanded now, not just revealing more of the lab itself but also other connected areas such as hallways and doors within the clandestine facility that reveal more of the extent of what went on there.
Production design for Stranger Things is always fascinating and this season has proven to be especially intriguing - enough to distract us, for a moment, from Vecna..
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