Filming the creepy caves of Stranger Things 2.
Photo: Jackson Davis (Netflix)

There’s no hiding that Stranger Things is an homage to films of the ’80s and ’90s. But all the bike-riding kids, aliens, and special powers in the world wouldn’t feel right if it didn’t look the right way.

To achieve the nostalgic look they wanted, show creators the Duffer Brothers went to director of photography Tim Ives. Ives shot the bulk of HBO’s Girls, and some of Mr. Robot and House of Cards, and bonded with the Duffers over a shared love of the era they were paying tribute to.

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In the below video, both Ives and the showrunners describe how they approached Stranger Things and Stranger Things 2 visually to make the series look like E.T., The Goonies, Stand By Me, and all the other movies that seeped into the DNA of the show.

Unfortunately, anyone hoping for a clue to what season three of Stranger Things might hold won’t find that here. This video was created specifically to give Ives a better shot at winning the “Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series” Primetime Emmy, so it’s much more focused on that. Nevertheless, it offers a very cool peek behind the scenes of the usually secretive show.

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Stranger Things seasons one and two are on Netflix. Season three is expected next summer.