Stranger Things: Meet The Duffer Brothers Ross And Matt

duffer brothers, stranger things, ross duffer, matt duffer

Stranger Things: Meet The Duffer Brothers Ross And Matt

Ross and Matt Duffer (The Duffer Brothers), the two brothers who produced one of the hottest hits on Netflix: ‘Stranger Things,’ have both come a long way in the filming industry. They are natives of the northern part of Carolina. They co-directed the thriller “Hidden” and also wrote part of “Wayward Pines” for the Fox series. They came to love storytelling as a result of their love for books and movies which were released in the early ‘80s. Most of these books were written even when the boys still had their diapers on, or before they were born.

The influence of authors and filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King can be seen all over ‘Stranger Things.’ This movie comes with eight-part (series) and is a wonderful job that recaptures the flow of the early ’80s.

Recap of Stranger Things

If you missed out on last summer’s phenomenon of ‘Stranger Things, here is a recap:

The season one of this series is about a gang of kids that resided in Indiana as far back as the early ’80s. Out of the blues, one among the gang disappears mysteriously. There’s a strange scientist, poor research facility, a girl who ran away from home with a creepy name (Eleven). She also had special powers. There is a town sheriff who is all washed-up, and there are screens with many illuminating Christmas lights.

‘Stranger Things’ premiered on the 15th day of July, on Netflix. The title, ‘Stranger Things’ became naturally humorous to viewers. At a time in last summer, almost everyone was talking about it. It was famous for the runaway girl, the gang of kids, and the weird girl (Barb). Above all these, you could feel the intensifying interest on the show itself.

Before the First Show

To understand what transpired behind the scene before the release of Stranger Things, you need to see their first movie series titled ‘Hidden’ which sad released back in 2015. It is not so hard to understand. Before the time of Hidden, Matt and Rose, who were born and raised in the northern part of Carolina, graduated. They graduated from Chapman university– with a long history of stretching far back to their second grade of producing homemade series. They also had a history of an attempt to break into Hollywood.

They finally sold the series ‘Hidden’ to Warner Bros. The masterpiece named ‘Hidden’ is an interesting and intense movie like a puzzle box, it’s all about a family that was hidden away in someplace like a bomb shelter. The reason for this dwelling situation came into light at a slow pace, as the movie progressed. As soon as they succeeded in selling the script and were also hired to take charge of the directing, their future in the big picture was sealed. All of a sudden, however, it became uncertain.

A systematic change didn’t help matters at the studio, but as result of some eventualities, the movie came like an afterthought for almost everyone on the crew list except the Duffer’s themselves. It would have made much sense at this moment for Netflix that the industrial dragnet of content was obtaining the movie (Hidden) for themselves if it was just to strengthen the in-house of Duffers brand.

Netflix was doing well no doubt, but Warner Bros was also determined to make this hard for anyone to see it”. At that time, Hidden was (to the Duffers) “their biggest break.” It’s just like finally getting recognition for your effort after years of hard work. After you have proved yourself and gotten the chance to take your best shot, your opportunity is suddenly taken away from you. This happened to the Duffer brothers because of some challenges.

It was like seeing your dreams come to pass and then, all of a sudden, “the dreams crumble.” It’s a strong phrase that would have brought about the end of their career in Hollywood if not for the intervention of Shyamalan who offered them the privilege to write for the Wayward Pines.

After the first season of writing for the Pines, the Duffer brothers were ready to move out to something new. But this time, they were determined to do just what they had in mind.

“When we were selling the show, we made a lookbook that was designed to look like an old Stephen King book,”

Matt said during an interview. They also did a copied trailer, too, which was kind of cheesy but seemed interesting to many.’ They were putting the John Carpenter music theme over the shots from E.T. and checking how it blended in. That was where they developed the tone of their first show.” Now, with the success of the show, the Duffers found themselves on the other edge of the continuum. “At the end of it all, ‘Hidden’ was a wonderful story,” Ross said. It was fascinating because they already knew what it felt like to fail and did all they could to stop it from ever happening again.”

When they started to talk about this concept for the new show, they also had an insight of a paranormal child who had gone missing in the storyline. Then they talked about some mysterious ideas of government, experimentally. They felt too much was happening at the very end of the War, at the time when projects like the MKUltra were rumored to be ramping down.

Rose Duffer said that this was the initial idea, and they thought it would make more sense at the end of the early ’80s or late ‘70s. Most of their greatest movie-going experiences were mainly in their own house, or on VHS. These were the movies that were on their shelves. Movies that they had seen countless times. “When you’re still growing up as a kid, you don’t ever watch a movie just once; you watch it many times,” Rose Duffer said. The kind of movies they wrote was the kind of movies they grew up watching. It has always been part of them.

Why they loved this perspective so much is simply because these books and movies were just about ordinary and simple people they could relate with and understand. They feel like “ wow, that’s like my best friend or that’s just like my mother, and that person is just like me. These have always been their favorite kind of story, “that’s the kind of stuff we fell in love with” according to Matt Duffer.

The summit of stories of this nature (ordinary meets the extraordinary), was in the early ’80s. It’s so amazing how some films like the ’Goonies’ or ’E.T,’ have become cornerstones for generations that are yet to come. The Duffer brothers talk to kids a lot, and most of them have watched these movies. They all possess a kind of ageless quality to them. There’s nothing in ‘E.T’ or the ‘Goonies’ that portrays the ‘80s pattern of movies.

So, that was what they were going for. The show will appeal to many people who grew up in a certain kind of environment or grew up watching certain kinds of movies. They were certain to add elements of these movies in their show. But for sure, it will work for a whole new generation.

While they were promoting this wonderful new Netflix series titled “Stranger Things” at the TV Critics Association media press tour, Matt Duffer was putting on a black shirt, and Ross Duffer, his brother, was wearing a dark gray, striped short sleeve shirt. How they dress is the best way distinguish between the two filmmakers.

You can’t completely get the specific rating of Netflix, but you should know that this series (Stranger Things), has been one of the most rated and successful movies since the “Making a Murderer” movie. As earlier stated, the background of ‘Stranger Things’ originated from legends like King, Carpenter, and Spielberg. However, it is also a real story that is standing on its tremendous kid cast and creativity.

In an interview, Matt and Ross discussed the influences of Stephen King’s book they wished they could have adopted the same way as they are committed to having this wonderful story on Netflix. It is almost believable that if the Duffer brothers had the chance, they would be willing to travel over to the US in a decorated rickety school bus, trying to fix the settings of the nation’s TV, from one household to another.

This issue of settings also describes the peculiarity of their position. But as TV has become the new cinema, writers like the Duffer brothers now have to worry more about not just your TV, but TVs of individuals of few million people like you. They have made a name for themselves in the industry and still making waves in filmmaking. The future is bright for the brothers. The series is still one of the biggest hits on Netflix. Hopefully, subsequent productions by this brothers will be as amazing as their previous work.


Filmmaking Resources


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2 Comments

  1. Nicholas Screenstoryteller on October 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Does the person who wrote this narrative speak English as a second language? It is challenging to follow, with strange changes of tense, sentence fragments, and odd uses of prepositions. I appreciate the links, but the text is a lot of work to get through!



    • IndieFilmHustle on October 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Thx for the comment. We’ll check on it and see if we can make it better.