Netflix is paying a B.C. man to play with his toys.
Earlier this month, Netflix shared on its social media channels scenes from its program Stranger Things recreated by Nanaimo’s Todd Cameron using vintage toys. Cameron caught the streaming service’s attention with his vintage toy recreation of Schitt’s Creek scenes, which have been popular on social media.
“It’s quite surreal. It was only a year and a half ago that I really started even considering myself an artist,” he said. “And so within just over a year to have Netflix knocking on my door and saying they want to work with me, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”
Cameron said taking on Stranger Things, a program in the mould of ’80s movies like E.T. and The Goonies, is “the perfect first project” for him.
“Not only do I love the show but it’s all this ’80s nostalgia: ’80s actors and toys and movies from the ’80s and the music is ’80s,” he said. “I’m an ‘80s kid myself so [I] really enjoyed having that be my first project for them.”
Aside from his usual figurines and toy sets, this time Cameron repurposed an action figure from the movie Alien as the monster from Season 1 and used Lite-Brite pegs to simulate Christmas lights in one of the show’s “iconic scenes.”
“They just told me the characters that they wanted, they gave me a couple little directions, but for the most part just let me take the scenes and interpret it in my own way…” he said. “So I just watched the series over again and just let my inspiration take me where it would.”
This is Cameron’s “first paid gig” as an artist and his first time having to sign a “big, long contract” related to his art. He said they were open to his suggestions and made sure he was comfortable. Although they found him through his Schitt’s Creek work, Netflix were also interested in Cameron as a person, he said.
“They just really like the idea that it was just dad working at home during the pandemic, off work, and just trying to keep busy and create some smiles…” he said. “I wasn’t really trying to make a career. Just trying to have some fun and that’s what Netflix seemed to respond to.”