Sweet Tooth has been a smash hit for stream queen Netflix. Director Toa Fraser explains how important the city of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland was in the development of the Warner Bros. show.
Award-winning writer-director Toa Fraser has worked all over the world, but when it came time to make Sweet Tooth for Warner Bros. and Netflix, he came home to Auckland, New Zealand.
“One of the most satisfying things about Sweet Tooth for me is to see how embraced it has been by Auckland,” says Fraser, whose credits include the feature film No.2 - aka Naming Number Two, a Sundance Film Festival award winner - and episodes of Golden Globe winner The Affair.
While Fraser has a personal connection to Auckland, he films here for a range of reasons.
“The great thing about shooting in Auckland is the variety of locations: ocean, city, forest - these are all the sorts of things that international productions are looking for,” he says.
Not just a pretty face
Sweet Tooth was shot entirely in New Zealand, but the country didn’t only provide locations. It’s a testament to the strength and depth of the industry that Auckland also offers world-class studio facilities, while 95 per cent of Sweet Tooth’s crew was drawn from locals.
“As a kid I aspired to see on screen the heroes and people that represented my unique experience,” Fraser says. “For us to be able to create heroes on screen, it’s vital that we have a strong screen industry.”