A man in a white coat speaks to a teenage girl in a hospital gown who looks terrified; behind them, bloody bodies are on the floor in a child's playroom; still from "Stranger Things 4"
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Tv Netflix creates artists to bring some of the most popular shows of the year to life

Netflix creates artists to bring some of the most popular shows of the year to life

A man in a white coat speaks to a teenage girl in a hospital gown who looks terrified; behind them, bloody bodies are on the floor in a child's playroom; still from "Stranger Things 4"

What do programs like “Beef”, “Stranger Things” and “Wednesday” have in common? As well as being some of the liveliest Netflix shows to hit the streamer over the past year, they all boast impressive work from craft teams that elevate the already great material to even greater heights.

At IndieWire’s Consider This Event on June 3, several members of each show’s production team joined crafts journalist Jim Hemphill for an onstage panel discussion to bring the projects to life. On stage at the NeueHouse Hollywood were “Beef” editor Laura Zempel and composer Bobby Krlic, “Stranger Things” mixer/supervising sound editor Craig Henighan and “Wednesday” composer Danny Elfman along with his co -composer Chris Bacon and music supervisor Jen Malone. After the panel, various attendees — including Henighan, Zempel, Elfman, and Bacon — sat down for one-on-one interviews with animation and craft editor Bill Desowitz, to discuss the process behind the shows in even greater depth.

“Stranger Things”

For the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” Henighan’s two main tasks were to create the voice of the episodes’ main antagonist, Vecna ​​(Jamie Campbell-Bower), as well as the ticking grandfather clock that signals his I arrive. For Vecna’s voice, he used some manipulation to alter Campbell-Bower’s voice, but was primarily focused on stripping all other sound out of the show to convey how big of a character’s life is.

“I wanted him to be one of the villains in the story,” Henighan said. “I wanted his voice to be able to permeate each speaker when you look at it, so all other sounds just disappear. The first scene we worked on was in episode one, so all the sounds go away and all you hear (is) “Chrissy,” and that whole voice is in every speaker and it takes over the soundstage.

cnx.cmd.push(function() { cnx({ playerId: ‘3d0a5756-3228-4ac8-88bd-d87efcb63d91’, mediaId: ‘34827295-59fa-4c93-8cb9-59139bfc088c’, }).render(“connatix_contextual_player_3 4827295- 59fa -4c93-8cb9-59139bfc088c1”); });

For Grandpa’s Watch, Henighan started with just the script, which simply said “tick tok.” To make the distinctive sound, she used a cello string as a grandfather clock to give a creaking sound, and she lowered the clock sound and added a pitch envelope to give a gong-like sound. She then added a different, distorted chime recommended by show creators Matt and Ross Duffer, which complemented the clock’s essential chimes.

“By scene, it has a different vibe,” Henighan said. “Maybe we put in a little more reverb, maybe we bring something out.”


After nine episodes of crossing the stories of main characters Danny (Steven Yeun) and Amy (Ali Wong), “Beef” reunites the complicated duo for its finale, which also brings an unexpected surrealism to the plot. For Zempel, editing the episode was fun thanks to working together with Yeun and Wong, but he also presented new challenges as an editor.

“As soon as I got the script and it started with two crows talking to each other, I knew we had free rein to do whatever we wanted. So we had a lot of fun experimenting with the shape and trying new things while still keeping the core of our characters at the heart of that episode,” Zempel told Desowitz.

cnx.cmd.push(function() { cnx({ playerId: ‘3d0a5756-3228-4ac8-88bd-d87efcb63d91’, mediaId: ‘a0e3c8f4-004d-4c55-88cf-af63fb245020’, }).render(“connatix_contextual_player_a0 e3c8f4- 004d -4c55-88cf-af63fb2450202”); });

Because the episode only focuses on one storyline, Zempel was able to focus intensely on how Amy and Danny’s dynamic changes, as the two go from enemies to friends. Zempel said that during editing, he tried to keep in mind the couple’s emotional state, as they’re stuck in the middle of nowhere hallucinating, and cut the episode in a way that kept the stakes clear.

“We worked a lot in the room working with (Lee Sung Jin), our showrunner, moving some scenes around and trying to build their relationship that was honest and authentic,” Zempel said. “It was just keeping the whole episode almost like a short film, because it was so different from previous episodes of the season, we really focused from start to finish.”


“Wednesday” marks the first time Elfman, who has done themes for shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “The Simpsons,” has scored episodes for a TV series. The experience reunited him with his frequent collaborator Tim Burton, though Elfman says there wasn’t much difference between doing a show with Burton and making a movie.

“It’s always a process of experimentation, at first he doesn’t like to talk about his work, his projects at all,” Elfman said. “It’s kind of like ‘do something and let him do it.’ And since we’ve been doing it for 38 years, I expect that. ‘Oh right, I’m starting god knows where, and from that god knows where I’m going to do a bunch of different ideas and narrow it down to okay, it seems to work.’ It’s always a process, people think that after this time we have a shortcut and it’s a no-brainer, but it really isn’t, even after all this time I still don’t know what’s going on in his head. It’s a very strange and interesting place.”

cnx.cmd.push(function() { cnx({ playerId: ‘3d0a5756-3228-4ac8-88bd-d87efcb63d91’, mediaId: ‘9da7201e-3cfd-4c7a-b33a-ddb09999ea9c’, }).render(“connatix_contextual_player_9da7 201e- 3cfd -4c7a-b33a-ddb09999ea9c3”); });

Bacon has also collaborated numerous times with Elfman on films such as “Dumbo” and “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” and brought experience composing for such shows as “Bates Motel”; he joked that his sub-credit on “Wednesday” was “Danny’s Whisperer”. He explained that, while working on the show, their collaboration was similar to what they did in the movies, where he built on the foundation provided by Elfman and Burton.

“Danny and Tim got a lot of deference, rightly so,” Bacon said. “When I entered, it was more of the same thing. Danny and Tim set what the tone would be. The very first thing I heard was the main title of ‘Wednesday’, and I was able to take that and build a lot of things on top of it.

Check out more stories from IndieWire’s Consider This event here.

Related Post