PETER SPIERIG and MICHAEL SPIERIG (Directors) first became interested in film making back in the mid 1980s and at the age of 10 began making short films. While in high school Peter produced and directed a number of short films that won him "Most Promising New Filmmaker" acclaim at the Queensland New Filmmakers Awards.
In 1997 Peter and Michael Spierig graduated from the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia. Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television while Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. While at college, Peter and Michael jointly produced and directed a number of award winning short films. These films included two action adventure shorts entitled THE GARDEN and HAPPY HOUR.
Peter and Michael's short films caught the attention of Queensland's foremost commercial director Dick Marks, who subsequently hired the brothers to direct television commercials. Peter and Michael continued to write and direct short films while making a living in the advertising industry. Their final short film THE BIG PICTURE went on to win and screen at several prestigious national and international film festivals including Rotterdam International Film Festival where it was purchased by a US distributor. After making over fifteen short films and dozens of television commercials, the Spierig Brothers decided to take the leap into feature film production in early 2000.
They thought long and hard about the type of project they wanted to make as their first feature. Horror films tend to complement low budget film making and since it was a genre that they both felt passionately about, the choice seemed obvious. Since they were already reasonably well acquainted with computer technology and special effects in particular, they believed that they had the ability to make a small, independent movie look like a much bigger production. They then wrote UNDEAD and set about raising all the funds to make it themselves, even selling their car to raise additional cash. Hundreds of make-up effects and appliances were created by Steven Boyle and his small team, to create the hoards of zombies and unique creature designs. All interior locations were built from scratch by a design team, who dug through junkyards to find set dressings. The brothers then set out on their biggest challenge of creating over 305 visual effects on their laptops. During that time they also continued to edit and arrange the sound design.
UNDEAD screened at 17 major film festivals, including Edinburgh, Montreal, Toronto, Sitges, Berlin, Amsterdam and Puchon. At the Melbourne International Film Festival, the International Federation of Film Critics awarded UNDEAD the prestigious Fipresci Award. The film was sold to 41 countries, and was released in the US and Canada by Lionsgate, who developed a close relationship with Peter and Michael.
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