Special effects artist brings the newest 'Stranger Things' monster to life - Albuquerque Journal

Special effects artist brings the newest ‘Stranger Things’ monster to life

Vecna is the villain created by Barrie Gower for the fourth season of “Stranger Things.” (Courtesy of Netflix)

Barrie Gower’s mind is one of wonder.

Over the course of his career, he’s won awards as a prosthetic makeup artist.

He’s worked on “Game of Thrones,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “The Witcher” and the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” just to name a few projects.

“We started on this project two years ago,” Gower says. “My wife and I were already huge fans of ‘Stranger Things’ and we got the call out of the blue from the Duffer Brothers. They needed a new villain for the fourth season.

The fourth season picks up six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins.

Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier.

In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

The production partially filmed in Albuquerque.

For the new season of “Stranger Things,” Gower and his team created Vecna.

Gower is no stranger to being involved with successful TV franchises. He did five years of “Game of Thrones” and was impressed walking into the doors of the “Stranger Things” production.

He worked in Atlanta and Lithuania with a few more of his characters for the current season.

Barrie Gower

His experience was once in a lifetime.

“It was like being back at art school and everyone was covered in paint or clay,” he says. “It’s a messy process, but a really gratifying process. My wife and I often say it’s a lifestyle to bring these characters to life.”

Gower grew up north of Birmingham, England. He became enamored by John Carpenter movies and fell in love with special effects.

“I used to have a makeup kit and I would cover my friends,” he says. “I didn’t realized I could have a career making monsters until I left art school. I got into special effects makeup and it snowballed from there.”

In 2009, he got to work with special effects legend Rick Baker.

He then worked on the “Harry Potter” franchise and met his wife in Budapest.

The pair then started BGFX, a visual effects firm.

Gower says he dreamed of a career creating characters and is inspired by many things.

“I have mundane dreams when I sleep,” he says. “But when I’m awake, I have some crazy imagination. We build fantasy and find a way to execute the vision. Vecna came from ideas from sea life of all different shapes and forms. We started with concept art and everyone on my team has a warped mind.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

_WebHeadline”>EXCERPT: For the new season of “Stranger Things,” which partially filmed in NM, Barrie Gower and his team created Vecna.

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