The Tale of the Sisters Grimm

BY ANNIE MOLENAAR

When my skype call with Grimm Sisters connected, I half expected to find the girls surrounded by fabric off-cuts, tins of paint and alien props in an overcrowded warehouse. The image of the wild-eyed seamstresses I’d conjured in my mind was quickly cut down and instead, I was met by a much more refined setting, with the ladies perched in front of the dark, blistering fire place at the Old Bar, sippin’ on red like a couple of queens. It was better than I could have ever imagined.

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Unholy Matrimony have been following the Grimm Sister’s since the dawn of their Dark Room creation - a photo booth for the strange and unusual - so to say we were keen to interview them would be a gross understatement.

The girls, who have been friends for years and run some of Melbourne’s most iconic bars together such as The Tote and The Old Bar, stumbled onto their dark room idea through a mutual interest in horror movies and a developing history in creating custom-design Halloween parties. At these parties, they quickly established a reputation for putting together some of the most intricate and expertly crafted props and experiences old Melbourne town had ever seen. Demand for their unique set of talents grew and their desire to constantly push boundaries, invent new ideas and exceed the expectations of their clients, meant that they were no longer simply designing and dressing parties, they were creating full sensory experiences.

PBSFM Radio Festival Launch - Work Your Magic  Event styling for the week of PBSFM’s annual radiothon and a custom built parlour magic themed Dark Room photo booth. Featuring props such as exploding hat of tumbling cards, embellished show jackets and handmade life-sized sawed in half magic trick.

PBSFM Radio Festival Launch - Work Your Magic

Event styling for the week of PBSFM’s annual radiothon and a custom built parlour magic themed Dark Room photo booth. Featuring props such as exploding hat of tumbling cards, embellished show jackets and handmade life-sized sawed in half magic trick.

They were passionate about what they were doing. So much so, that some nights they would work at the bar until 4am then head home and sleep until 9am, when they would get up and set to work sewing, paper-macheing, glueing, painting and crafting their props together. They made (and still make) everything from scratch. They pride themselves on their attention to detail and ingenuity. But these details were getting lost in the bigger parties where the spaces were either too vast or became over-crowed; party-goers were drinking and not engaging with all they had created. The sisters were sometimes left feeling a little underwhelmed as their hours upon hours of toil weren’t being received in an environment where they could be fully appreciated.

Alien Double Feature at The Astor Theatre  The meticulously detailed, hand-crafted life size props including facehuggers, chestbursters, ovomorph eggs, and other movie inspired props for an anniversary screening of old films. Shot against a handmade, purpose-built two metre tall alien hive wall.

Alien Double Feature at The Astor Theatre

The meticulously detailed, hand-crafted life size props including facehuggers, chestbursters, ovomorph eggs, and other movie inspired props for an anniversary screening of old films. Shot against a handmade, purpose-built two metre tall alien hive wall.

Enter the dark room idea. A small custom-designed space where entrants could truly participate in the experience and even walk away with a souvenir from it - a photo. Their thinking behind it didn’t just revolve around it being a more fulfilling experience for them as artists - although it has done that - but they really wanted for it to be such a visceral encounter for their guests that it would become the talking point of every event.

And it has.

Death & Decadence  A baroque themed birthday event where the sisters used a custom combination of their Red Death and Victorian Gothic Dark Room themes and props. The intricate hand-sewn velvet stage curtains featured are hugely popular and they’re currently working on both black and golden versions.

Death & Decadence

A baroque themed birthday event where the sisters used a custom combination of their Red Death and Victorian Gothic Dark Room themes and props. The intricate hand-sewn velvet stage curtains featured are hugely popular and they’re currently working on both black and golden versions.

Grimm Sisters have changed the face of the photo booth and events industry and positioned themselves as a force to be reckoned with because there is literally no one else doing what they are doing. They are creeps making creeps and they are bloody good at it too. Whatever your twisted mind can dream up, whatever your dark heart desires, they can bring to life.

Check out more of the Sister’s work here and book them for your next event.

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