Griffith filmmakers release Hollywood blockbuster

Griffith Film School graduates Peter and Michael Spierig have cemented their position in Hollywood with their latest feature, Winchester, which hits Australian cinemas this week.

The Spierig brothers and fellow GFS alumnusTim McGahan, who produced the film, unveiled the supernatural thriller to audiences in the US last month.

Filmed in Melbourne’s Docklands Studios, with funding from Screen Australia and Screen Queensland, Winchester is the latest A-list movie produced Down Under.

Starring Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and Aussie actors Jason Clarke and Sarah Snook, the film is based on the true story of eccentric firearms heiress Sarah Winchester, who built the infamous Winchester Mystery House in California.

It has all the right ingredients of a classic horror movie: a reclusive heiress, a mysterious medium and a haunted house.

The Spierigs, who co-wrote and directed Winchester, said they were proud to make indie films that captured the imagination of cinema audiences around the globe.

Producer Tim McGahan couldn’t agree more.

“It seems a long way from the old days at Griffith Film School dreaming of maybe one day making feature films, but here we are with a film that we are very excited to present to audiences all around the world,” he said.

Head of Griffith Film School Professor Herman Van Eyken said the trio’s success in the film industry reflected the calibre of teaching and learning at GFS.
“It is fantastic to see alumni like the Spierig brothers and Tim McGahan working on big studio productions for a global audience,” he said.
“They showed enormous promise during their time at GFS and it is great that they are shooting and producing work here in Australia.”

Peter and Michael made their directing debut in 2003 with Undead, and rose to fame with a pair of sci-fi thrillers,Daybreakers andPredestination, both starring Ethan Hawke. Last year, they were handpicked to direct Jigsaw, part of the hugely successful Saw franchise, which grossed more than $100 million at the box office.

Tim has produced several films with the Spierig brothers, and also enjoyed success in his own right since graduating. He became the youngest ever Australian cinematographer to be accredited by the Australian Cinematographers Society.

With a focus on creating world-class content and creating sustainable businesses, Tim is the Managing Director of the Blacklab group of companies, a production powerhouse that produces commercials, TV and feature films.

Winchester is now screening nationally.