What Stranger Things Has Learned from Game of Thrones

GOT Stranger Things

On the surface it might not seem like HBO’s Game of Thrones has a lot in common with Netflix’s Stranger Things, except that they’re two of the most popular shows around at the moment.  But Entertainment Weekly  reports on one similarity you probably didn’t even consider: security.

Season One of Stranger Things was shot without any concern for paparazzi or leaks, but thanks to the show’s popularity, the producers realised they would have to change tack when it came to shooting Season 2.  They decided to ask advice from the veterans on Game of Thrones.   Executive producer Shawn Levy comments that:

We literally consulted with the producers on Game of Thrones to learn security protocols…we had no security protocols last season and we have extensive security protocols this season. I can’t speak about what they are because then people could crack them. We protect every story point, every page of every script.

Show co-creator Ross Duffer added that he’s now burning his daily shooting notes instead of just throwing them away.  Even the cast have been sworn to secrecy. Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, says:

Now we even have a code name [for the show].  And now I have a code name! It’s this weird thing. On the call sheets our names are across it and if we lose it, we’re dead.

It’s great to see two different but well-loved shows consulting over something like this.  Let’s hope the Stranger Things cast and crew become just as adept at avoiding leaks and spoilers as the Game of Thrones gang!

37 responses

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    1. Yeah, Game of Thrones has terrible security, so I hope they don’t follow GoT’s example too closely.

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    2. Someone should send Stranger Things the entire leaked script for season 7 of Game of thrones.
      Maybe they’d reconsider doing what they GoT does.

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    3. mau,

      Really. “Let’s hope” they become “just as adept at avoiding leaks” as the GoT gang?????

      Perhaps they should learn lessons from GoT’s susceptibility to leaks.

      Studios are going to have to start circulating fake scripts or alternative scripts, and not distribute the real ones to try cast and crew until right before filming; and refrain from sending anything over the Internet.

      It’s unfortunate, but that seems to be necessary in the new hack-‘n-post world we live in.

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    4. Yes, but imagine if there were no security protocols. GoT has proven to be a very difficult production to keep air-tight, even though they’ve been trying. It is a popular program worldwide that’s been doing filming in multiple countries with a massive cast and several crews. They’ve used hundreds of locals to work on the show, filmed in cities and locations that have become known, famous and tourist destinations because of it. They have paparazzi taking pictures and video of some outdoor scenes from obscene distances with what I can only describe as NASA-grade telescopic lenses. Remember the video of that KL beach scene where the guy zoomed out at the end and he was on the other side of a bay!? They have fans year around jumping on social media to document every move the stars make. At times it seems I have a better grasp on what some of them are up to than members of my own family!

      Obviously HBO likes to have some buzz continue throughout the “offseason,” so they’re probably not overly concerned about certain things. Leaked inside information has to be damn near impossible to completely eliminate though with so many people involved. They can track physical items all they want, but if someone is willing to simply tell others things anonymously what can they do?

      Stranger Things, while it did well and was a hit for Netflix, I have to imagine would have a much easier time containing things if they used some tips from GoT. It’s a smaller production in terms of cast and crew and fairly centralized while filming mainly in Jackson, Georgia, with some occasional nearby additional sites.

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    5. Geoffery,

      Well, Stranger Things’ Executive Producer Shawn Levy is quoted as saying that they “literally consulted with” GoT producers to “learn security protocols.” As a result, he claims they now have extensive security protocols to protect every story point, and every page of every script.

      So he’s the one who probably should’ve said he was being “mildly sarcastic.” I also wish he hadn’t misused the word “literally”, as so many people do these days.

      Stranger Things’ producers have invited the bewildered responses, not you Geoffrey.
      😉

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    6. Barbera,

      I didn’t know what you meant by “Onion posting” until I googled it, and learned there’s a site that publishes farcical, satirical fake news – that’s often picked up and treated as “real news” by legitimate publications.

      This gives new meaning to the old saying (incorrectly) attributed to Mark Twain that “a lie travels halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes”, or other variations thereof.

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    7. Ten Bears,

      Funny it should come to this, any person reading the Onion should have enough snap to know what off-the-wall humor is. Seems people who really believe this stuff would not be survivor types! Even the survivorists fall for this kind of bilge.
      The marching morons.

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    8. Boojam,

      Yeah, I agree, but when the NY Times and other “respectable” news organizations reprint this kind of stuff without questioning it, all of a sudden it gets a veneer of veracity. Some people read it and think “ah, truth is stranger than fiction” – without wondering “wait a minute…this has got to be a hoax” or “is this an April Fool’s Day joke?”

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    9. There is no bigger production these days than a new Star Wars. A fan site had almost the entire plot to “The Force Awakens” over a year before the movie came out. And we will likely know a ton about “The Last Jedi” soon from the same fan site.

      GOT has even more leaks than Star Wars. Maybe they should have NOT gone to the GOT group for tips.

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    10. Of course, real fans pretty much knew what was going to happen in seasons 1 -5 if they read the books (a few changes – generally welcomed – to tighten the story line for TV) so security couldn’t have been that important until last season

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    11. GeekFurious,

      Maybe they should hire a full time scriptwriter to type up 20 different but equally plausible fake versions of the story consistent with the filming locations and characters’ physical interactions. Distribute the fake scripts and see which one(s) leaks.

      I don’t know. There must be too many assistants, secretaries, and other production staff with access to the scripts. But to have the actual scripts stolen and leaked so far in advance of filming, which I assume is what happened this year, seems like it should’ve been avoidable. …. Unless a set of faux scripts was stolen and leaked, and the showrunners get the last laugh when S7 airs. 😎

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    12. Ten Bears:
      GeekFurious,

      I don’t know. There must be too many assistants, secretaries, and other production staff with access to the scripts. But to have the actual scripts stolen and leaked so far in advance of filming, which I assume is what happened this year, seems like it should’ve been avoidable. …. Unless a set of faux scripts was stolen and leaked, and the showrunners get the last laugh when S7 airs.

      If any of the leaks turn out to be so, something funny is going on. By now production should have a locked down list such that any leaker is traceable. At least that any Big Picture leak , even if it was not done , even inadvertently, by authorized persons should be traceable.

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    13. Ten Bears:
      Geoffery,
      Well, Stranger Things’ Executive Producer Shawn Levy is quoted as saying that they “literally consulted with” GoT producers to “learn security protocols.” As a result, he claims they now have extensive security protocols to protect every story point, and every page of every script.

      Why do you think that’s not a correct usage of literally? If he talked with D&D about security issues, then yes he literally consulted with them. Or do you think literally means something else??

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    14. QueenofThrones,

      He improperly used “literally ” as a throwaway intensifier. The word shouldn’t be used as a synonym for “actually” either. Yes, he actually consulted with GoT producers to learn security protocols. However, unless it is necessary to distinguish use of a word or statement in its literal sense from its figurative sense, the word “literally” isn’t appropriate. Here, if The Stranger Things producers couldn’t “figuratively” consult with the GoT people, then inserting the word “literally” added nothing.

      (Now, if he’d said something like “I met with Benioff and literally picked his brain for advice on security protocols”, that would’ve been even worse. Then he’d be using “literally” when he meant the opposite, i.e. “figuratively” – unless of course he went in and drilled into Benioff’s skull and extracted bits of brain tissue).

      -Source:
      King Stannis, Grammar Nazi
      The King Who Cared

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    15. How many people get all 10 (this year 7) scripts? We know the cast do, I believe the directors do too. I don’t see how anyone on the camera crew or makeup crew or sound crew, etc would have as much in depth knowledge of all 7 episodes that have been posted. So it was leaked by someone with direct access to the scripts who not only could have read all 7 episodes but may have even been able to have it front of them when posting the info.

      Since there doesn’t appear to be much evidence that these were stolen from anyone in particular, you’d hate to think someone from way on the inside, like a cast member for example, leaked the season. I don’t see the reason in risking your career and doing that. But the conclusions one can come to on who could have had enough access to be able to leak all 7 episodes with such precise information, is limited.

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    16. orange:
      How many people get all 10 (this year 7) scripts? We know the cast do, I believe the directors do too. I don’t see how anyone on the camera crew or makeup crew or sound crew, etc would have as much in depth knowledge of all 7 episodes that have been posted. So it was leaked by someone with direct access to the scripts who not only could have read all 7 episodes but may have even been able to have it front of them when posting the info.

      I thought what we had seen was that only MAIN cast get all-season-scripts, and that group gets smaller all the time. Seems , even major secondary characters don’t get but relevant scripts. One thing I don’t know is how many of the production staff get the scripts? That work has to be started months before shooting starts, seems production design would have to know almost all the story. Still it’s a bit weird both season5 and 6 and now, maybe?, season 7 have had breaches, we will have to see.
      Does George R R Martin get all the scripts? After all he is still an executive producer. He doesn’t even mention watching the show any more, tho I guess he does? Has George been loose with security?

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    17. Boojam,

      I know they send GRRM the outline every year. Whether he gets the scripts, I don’t know; unless he asked for them, probably not at this point.

      orange,

      People involved in production design, costume design, VFX, etc. would have all the scripts; they’d need them to do their jobs. Hell, the intern who prints off everyone’s copies of the scripts would have access to them.

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    18. Ironically, this seems to me more like a publicity stunt than a genuine need for the ST showrunners to ward off inquiring minds. ST is not a world-wide phenomenon. ST doesn’t have a rabid fan-base, many of whom (readers) became obsessed with obtaining leaks because after so long knowing what was going to happen, they can’t stand being in the dark. ST is also not as epic nor as populated with a plethora of main characters in constant peril of death. In other words, they;re making a Mountain out of a molehill while garnering publicity and associating their show with the GoT juggernaut.

      For what it’s worth, I’m luke-warm on ST. It’s entertaining, but obviously Eleven like Jon Snow will return, and the only mystery that engages me is what happened to Barb. There are Stranger TThings in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy.

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    19. Sean C.,

      Yeah I guess that’s true. It’s a lot of detailed information though for every episode and every plot and every character. I don’t know how it works but I would have thought that maybe costume or VFX for example would get a specific scene they would work on and not all 7 scripts in their entirety, but I don’t know.

      As for GRRM it’s not from him. He’s stated in the past he doesn’t see the scripts. And while he has gotten outlines in the past, I’m not sure he got outlines for season 7. He hasn’t said that, but when he was in Mexico in late 2016 he was asked something about season 7 and responded with your guess is as good as mine, I have no idea and that was a question for David and Dan. So it did make it seem he was totally in the dark about season 7.

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    20. Stark Raven' Rad:
      Ironically, this seems to me more like a publicity stunt than a genuine need for the ST showrunners to ward off inquiring minds.ST is not a world-wide phenomenon.ST doesn’t have a rabid fan-base, many of whom (readers) became obsessed with obtaining leaks because after so long knowing what was going to happen, they can’t stand being in the dark. ST is also not as epic nor as populated with a plethora of main characters in constant peril of death.In other words, they;re making a Mountain out of a molehill while garnering publicity and associating their show with the GoT juggernaut.

      For what it’s worth, I’m luke-warm on ST.It’s entertaining, but obviously Eleven like Jon Snow will return, and the only mystery that engages me is what happened to Barb.There are Stranger TThings in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy.

      Yeah, I liked ST, and I don’t wear rose colored glasses when it comes to GoT, but this association of ST and GoT to each other in terms of popularity is forced IMO and slightly irritating, especially because it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. GoT is hugely mainstream. People who barely watch TV know what Game of Thrones is or probably watch Game of Thrones. People in rural towns in India know and watch Game of Thrones (personal anecdote: I have family in a small ass town Indian town in a small ass Indian state). They don’t know what ST is and, frankly, it’s more quintessentially American in a way that wouldn’t likely appeal to them. Dat 80’s nostalgia, yo.

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    21. orange: As for GRRM it’s not from him. He’s stated in the past he doesn’t see the scripts. And while he has gotten outlines in the past, I’m not sure he got outlines for season 7. He hasn’t said that, but when he was in Mexico in late 2016 he was asked something about season 7 and responded with your guess is as good as mine, I have no idea and that was a question for David and Dan. So it did make it seem he was totally in the dark about season 7.

      Did George watch season 6? Or 5 for that matter?
      He used to comment , a little bit, on the seasons, but can’t recall anything for a couple of years now, except that ‘the books are the books and the show is the show’.

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    22. For what it’s worth, just to see what would happen, I asked my Amazon Alexa yesterday when the next Game of Thrones episode would be aired (through the “TV Shows” skill) and it said June 25. Can anyone confirm that that might be the date for the first season 7 episode?

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    23. Ten Bears:
      GeekFurious,

      But The Force Awakens wasn’t very good. Besides, Brienne didn’t show her face and her character’s actions made no sense. And I must’ve missed Syrio.

      Ten Bears,

      I agree about the Force Awakens. That movie was a steaming pile of hot garbage. Just terrible. Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled program 🙂

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    24. Let’s hope the Stranger Things cast and crew become just as adept at avoiding leaks and spoilers as the Game of Thrones gang!

      LOL

      The last two seasons’ ENTIRE PLOT for GOT have leaked months before the air dates, and in seasons past 4 episodes at a time would leak.

      Let’s hope they are no where near as inadequate as GOT when it comes to security.

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    25. Mr Derp,

      I’m glad it wasn’t just me. I kept waiting for something exciting in The Force Awakens, and nothing happened. Then, Brienne’s character – brave Captain Phasma or whatever – gives up everyone on her team because…someone points a gun at her? Bad guy henchmen are supposed to blow themselves up when that happens. Or say, “Go ahead and shoot me.” Plus, the whole big objective of the movie was to what ? Get a map to where Luke Skywalker is hanging out??? Huh?
      And I still can’t figure out how Luke’s trunk with his light saber just happened to be in the basement of some random diner on some random planet the M Falcon just happened to land on.
      I did like Daisey Ridley. I thought she got trapped in a crumby movie. Nothing made sense.

      PS Interstellar blew too. I swear, if Michael Caine recited that poem one more time I was going to start shooting spitballs at the screen. Oh, and spaceman Matthew spends his daughter’s lifetime to fulfill his promise to return to her – and then says hello for five minutes and walks out??? And astronaut Matt D turns into a murderous coward for no damn reason ? The supposedly cute and funny robot was neither. And Jessica Chastain was wasted. Interstellar should’ve come with a disclaimer: “Hey, if you want to see a good space movie with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, go see The Martian. Ned Stark’s in it too. ”
      I’d rather rewatch Daeny and her three dragons roast the ship in S6E9 on a 2-hour loop than see Interstellar or The Force Awakens.

      Nothing worse than a dumb movie – other than an overhyped $200 million dumb movie.

      OK. Sorry. Digression over.

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