Sweet Tooth is the new Netflix series garnering all the critical attention and gathering large viewership number. The show is based on the DC comics of the same name and the central character, Gus, is winning hearts with his anger fits and cute looks. Supplementing the cuteness was a prosthetic antler and deer like ears, something the production shot using puppetry instead of going the CGI route, according to the showrunner.
Executive produced by Robert Downey Jr., Sweet Tooth is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a father is trying to protect his son, Gus, from the outside world. Gus is a human-deer “hybrid” baby born around the time a deadly virus wipes out most of the human population. Every child born around and since the time of the virus is an animal-human hybrid which causes fear and killing in a new and fearful world.
But Gus is safe from harm, living with his father inside the Yellowstone Park, away from prying eyes. He and his father build a life for themselves, and stay safe for 10 years, but when the serene atmosphere is broken, Gus goes on an adventure to find his mother, with help of some friends. Hiding his ears and antlers from the world, the adventure is only beginning for the little kid. And the showrunner of Sweet Tooth detailed the use of prosthetics and puppetry for those adorable ears and antlers.
Sweet Tooth Prosthetic went the Puppetry Route Instead of CGI
Prosthetics in movies and TV shows have slowly been replaced by dots and stickers on the body of a performer. But there are still people who try to do as much on camera as possible and Netflix‘s new series Sweet Tooth sees Jim Mickle and the crew pulling out all stops make sure they capture almost everything on camera.
In the show we are introduced to hybrid children, kids are born half animal and half human which means they have body parts of the animal. Instead of putting all the kids in green leotards and covering them with tennis balls, the production decided instead to use real prosthetics and puppetry to shoot the hybrid kids.
The lead character of the show is Gus. He, as mentioned above, is a combination of deer and human. Gus has deer ears and antlers, and the ears move with different emotions the kid is feeling in any particular scene. The movement of ear, instead of being done by camera, the showrunner explained a handler on set watched Gus and through wires that run down his back controlled the ears.
Jim explained, “It’s all puppeteered. It’s Fracture – the company, Fracture FX – that did our effects. A guy named Justin Raleigh. We made a decision early on that we wanted to try the puppet route, and not do just 3D ears, and try to have as much as we could baked into it on camera. So Christian [Convery] basically has a little helmet, which is hair, and it sits on top.”
“Then he’s got these ears that will sit over the top of his ears, and little cables that run down his back. And he has these little motors that are strapped to his back the whole time that are hidden. Then there’s a puppeteer that operates on him remotely. They can do all sorts of shapes and reactions and speeds. It’s amazing to watch. It’s the puppeteer that will watch his performance, and just anticipate his emotions, and work alongside of him,” he explained further.
Sweet Tooth was a great show with a growing fanbase and there is little doubt the show won’t be brought back for a second season. With a great cast and a story that is environment friendly and also timely, we will be watching Sweet Tooth grow on screen in the coming years. As for now, all of the episodes are currently streaming on Netflix.
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