On receiving a Visual Arts Board grant in 1979 Peter Leiss studied acting in New York, studying extensively at HB and Gene Frankel Studios under the direction of Rochelle Oliver, Edward Morehouse, Joe Daley, Earl Hymann, Herbert Berghof, James Brick, Sanford Morris and Gene Frankel. Leiss later appeared in numerous plays, films, soaps and TV shows both in the USA and Australia.
On his return to Australia in 1996 Leiss became one of the founding directors of Wax Studios Theatre Company, which produced over 40 productions in three years. Many were critically acclaimed for their progressive and original production value. One of these productions was a dark comedy about Hollywood, ‘What Ever Happened to Rusty Bolts?’ written by Tania Donald & Simon Park. Leiss was the producer of the first production and also played the lead character, Rusty Bolts.
As a writer, he wrote the feature length film script ‘Zach's Labyrinth’, based on the 'Nugan Hand' scandal. He also wrote the play ‘Antarctica Starts Here’, staged in 1999.
In addition to his work in theatre, Leiss is a fine art photographer and has exhibited extensively. His work has been sold at Christies auction house in New York and is represented at the prestigious Bibliotheque Nationale Collection in Paris, along with other international collections. Leiss has lectured in photography and filmmaking at RMIT and CAE. When based in NY, Leiss was an independent freelance stills photographer for film, fashion, architectural and celebrity portraitures.
During his time in the United States, Leiss was also associate producer of Red White & Black Pictures in LA, which specialized in developing feature film projects (1992-93).
His work as a film editor in TV (ABC and HSV7) and film, enabled him to branch out as a writer, actor, photographer and director for training and promotional films for corporations, banks, and many private clients. Leiss has also explored new areas in his own projects, particularly in observational behavioral filmmaking.
Leiss’ collaboration with film director Ian Pringle, producer of Romper Stomper, began in the late 60’s when they successfully produced a number of shorts, along with their first two feature films: ‘Flights’ (1978) and ‘The Cartographer and the Waiter’ (1979). Peter featured in the lead roles in both films.
Since 2001 Peter Leiss has been directing, shooting, writing, editing and producing digital films, for personal projects as well as commissioned works.
contact: Count West West Pictures