The art of transitioning is somewhat lost in mainstream film and television. At the most, you might get a meaningful fade or dissolve, or a notable wipe, but by and large, scenes simply cut from one to another, as they do from character to character within a scene. But lest we forget, transitions between scenes and characters are yet another means at a filmmaker’s disposal for telling their story. Think about 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and one of the most famous transitions of all-time: bone to spaceship. Not only does this particular transition indicate a massive passage of time, but it also implies how the discovery of one tool led down a long and winding path to the space age; it is indeed a transition that traces all of human evolution in the blink of an eye, and clearly so. That’s how you do it.
While most contemporary television and cinema, as mentioned, can’t be bothered to focus on something as seemingly so small as artistic and purposeful transitions, there is one show that Mr. Nerdista has noticed is embracing the use of meaningful transitions, and it just so happens to be everyone’s favorite show right now: STRANGER THINGS.
In his latest essay, Mr. Nerdista examines the transitions in STRANGER THINGS through a three-fold prism of their soundscape, their imagery, and how they foreshadow coming events. With so much being made of the narrative and referential merits of the show, it’s nice to see something that focuses on a more technical aspect, because great storytelling like STRANGER THINGS doesn’t just happen because of a great story and great actors to bring it to life, there’s also how you tell it, how you arrange the pieces for transmission to an audience, and how that arrangement resonates with them. If the current fervor is any indication, STRANGER THINGS is resonating just fine. This is one reason why.