Director, Simon Wincer has directed many celebrated films and television series including Free Willy, Phar Lap, The Lighthorsemen, The Phantom, Lonesome Dove and Into the West. He was also the Executive Producer of the iconic Australian film The Man From Snowy River.
When Eric O’Keefe told him about his planned book on the 2002 Melbourne Cup, Simon knew it had to be a feature film and he had to direct it. “The Cup is the story of human triumph over tragedy. It is a moving, emotional story. A great story and great stories make great movies.”
This is a very personal story for Damien Oliver, and he has been available throughout the process. “It is still hard for Damien to talk about his brother, but he has been fantastic and has been delighted with how we have told his story”
Eric O’Keefe says The Cup is the best story he has ever encountered. A respected journalist, Eric has covered assignments all over the world, “but nothing can compare to the saga of this broken-hearted man and the broken-down horse he rode to victory.”
Eric first met Simon Wincer in 1998 on location in Canada during the filming of a Tom Selleck Western called Crossfire Trail. They had several subsequent encounters, so it was only natural that Eric contact him once he began researching The Cup. “Given Simon’s renown with movies featuring horses ringing him up was a natural.”
Eric worked closely with Damien Oliver and Neil Pinner and knows they are great mates. He says that Stephen Curry and Martin Sacks have “done a remarkable job of bringing this to life in the film”
Bruce Rowland is one of Australia’s most successful and highly-acclaimed composers. Bruce’s work as a composer, arranger and conductor is well-known within Australia and internationally. He believes the score is often the unsung hero of a film and it should enhance the film. Bruce hopes the score for The Cup will “help move the audience”.
Bruce and director, Simon Wincer have been friends for years. Bruce has composed the score of two of Simon’s most successful Australian projects – The Man from Snowy River, and Phar Lap.
Bruce loved the script from the first time he read it even though he admits to be “overwhelmed” at first by the magnitude of the task. He then broke the movie down into scenes to begin the process to create the perfect music score.