/The Spierig Brothers Gain An Edge

November 5 2018

Having completed Winchester with Cutting Edge, Filmmakers Peter and Michael Spierig share their experiences.

The Spierig Brothers and Cutting Edge have been collaborating on feature films since Peter and Michael directed their debut, ‘Undead’ back in 2003. They continued to bring their post production to Cutting Edge with ‘Daybreakers’ (2010), and ‘Predestination’ (2014), both starring Ethan Hawke, and most recently Winchester (2018) with Helen Mirren.

It’s a 15 year-long partnership resulting in an impressive body of work. As Michael Spierig explained, “Cutting Edge have always supported us from day one. Filmmaking is a collaboration, and post production is the last rewrite you get to do on your project. When you get to share that rewrite with people you trust and believe in, it only elevates the material.”

We chatted the Michael Spierig about their take on post production and what it’s like to work with Cutting Edge.

You’re involved in almost every aspect of filmmaking writing, directing and producing, but what is it about the post production process that you enjoy most?

Assembling the edit is always the most enjoyable process of the whole filmmaking experience. Although, it can be a double edged sword… sometimes there are magical discoveries where a scene plays even better than anticipated, or the cut reveals shortcomings that need to be addressed before proceeding further.

And, what’s it like completing post with Cutting Edge?

Always enjoyable. Cutting Edge has consistently gone above and beyond to assist our wildest ideas, and in many ways, contributed to the creative solutions.

We have kept coming back because of the high standards and talent. We have seen technology change so rapidly since ‘Undead’, a movie that we shot on 16mm and ran through the CE telecine chain. All the big, cumbersome hardware has shrunk down, but what remains is talent… the gifted people who drive the technology to achieve the desired effect.

You have collaborated quite closely with the Cutting Edge VFX team, can you tell us a little about that?

It has always been a very enjoyable, evolving process. We usually come in quite prepared… lots of storyboards and animatics. We’re pretty clear on what we hope to achieve, but the joy of collaboration comes when the team offer up more than you envisioned. That happens a lot.

On Winchester you went to great lengths to accurately depict the mansion at the center of the story. The Cutting Edge VFX team rebuilt much of the mansion in 3D. Can you tell us about that experience?

The Winchester house was certainly a major character in the film and the biggest VFX challenge the production faced. We attempted to bring the house back to it’s 1906 (pre-earthquake) construction. This involved using a drone to 3D scan the actual house, then through hundreds of photos, and countless hours of texture mapping, build a version of the house that could be added to a facade build in Melbourne. The end result is a mix of set extension, practical set, and actual house photography… all blending seamlessly.

What should we expect next from you guys?

The cinema landscape changes so fast, it’s hard to predict what the future holds for us. However, we will continue to bring projects to Cutting Edge and make movies in Australia.


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