Wyrmwood duo signs with US agency
For a first-up effort, the horror/comedy Wyrmwood looks like being a powerful catalyst for the careers of brothers Kiah Roache-Turner and Tristan Roache-Turner.
A US distribution deal is in final negotiation after Studiocanal acquired the Australian and UK rights and last week the brothers signed with one of the top five Hollywood talent agencies.
Paradigm Agency, which handles horror maestro James Wan, courted the brothers after seeing a trailer of the film they co-wrote and produced, and Kiah directed.
Two Paradigm reps attended the world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas, where the micro-budgeted film got rave reviews from critics.
“The Paradigm guys were completely passionate,” Kiah tells IF. Before signing the brothers had arranged to meet with the US studios, agents and producers in Hollywood, all on their own initiative.
Kiah was stoked to be discussing directing US projects budgeted at between $40 million and $60 million. But he and Tristan next want to make a ghost film they have written, which they liken to a modern version of Ghostbusters, with plenty of action and humour.
Paradigm's Christopher Smith tells IF, "We are so excited and honoured to be working with the boys. They displayed such confidence in filmmaking in their debut film. Clearly emerging filmmakers coming onto the stage."
The brothers started shooting Wyrmwood in December 2010 without a completed script, just the intention to make a movie which mashed the Mad Max and horror genres.
NIDA graduate Jay Gallagher, who had made a couple of short films with Kiah, agreed to play the lead, who loses his family in an Apocalypse and sets out with his best mate (Leon Burchill) to find his missing sister (Bianca Bradey).
As IF reported, they raised $60,000 from crowd-funding campaigns and the balance of the budget from family, friends and their own pockets.
The brothers shot the film over 20 weekends over nearly four years in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Oberon. Screen Australia provided completion funding and Studiocanal acquired the Australian and UK rights.
XYZ Films is the sales rep for the US rights Altitude Film Sales is handling the rest of the world