We've exceeded our funding goal!
But... let's go further. If we can pass $100k before this campaign ends, we can turn 'The Legend of Ben Hall' into a 55 min short feature.
Let's make this film BIGGER, BETTER... AND LONGER!
Ben Hall is to Australia what Jesse James is to America - a fascinating, real-life outlaw who has been deeply forged into our cultural folklore and national identity.
'The Legend of Ben Hall' will be a highly-realistic, cinematic and gritty 40-minute narrative depicting Ben Hall in the final days of his life, culminating in his controversial death outside Forbes NSW in 1865.
We want this film to be ready for the 150th anniversary of Ben Hall's death, which is next year - May 5th 2015.
STORY SYNOPSIS. After three years on the road, Ben Hall and his Gang are the most wanted men in the British Empire. As the law closes in around them, the desperate gang make plans to flee the colony; but unknown to them, an associate has sold them out for a huge reward.
As Ben Hall seeks to make peace with his tortured past, the police and their informant set a cunning trap for the outlaws. As the mist rises from the fields on the cold morning of May 5th 1865, Ben Hall emerges from his camp... and walks into legend forever.
'The Legend of Ben Hall' will be a gritty action spectacle and a powerful human drama. We will meticulously and authentically recreate the harsh Australian colonial period and the historical characters within this fascinating true life story.
Too often, film adaptations stray from the real history. Not our film. Nobody will have ever depicted the Ben Hall story in the level of detail and historical accuracy as we plan to do. From the weapons and costumes, to the characters and dialogue - this level of authenticity is rarely seen.
Our Executive Producer and Historical Consultant is author and historian Peter Bradley, Australia's leading authority on NSW bushrangers and in particular, Ben Hall.
We want to resurrect this story from history books and explode it onto the screen in a glorious, sweeping way for a whole new generation to discover - in High Definition and surround sound. Australia has been waiting decades for a Ben Hall film; the time has come to deliver one.
Beyond pure entertainment, The Legend of Ben Hall will also be used to raise Australia's awareness of our colonial history and promote tourism in central NSW. We will also enter the film into dozens of prestigious film festivals with hope of snatching up some coveted awards!
We even hope to get The Legend of Ben Hall on television!
BUT... the journey will not end with this film alone! This will hopefully become a vital stepping stone for director Matthew Holmes' proposed 3-hour epic feature of the ENTIRE Ben Hall story, based on his 160-page completed screenplay. So if you want to see an epic Ben Hall feature at your local cinema complex in the near future - this is your way of making that a real possibility!
PS - If you wanna know how Kickstarter works and how to pledge toward this film, just watch this short video below!
*NOTE: Apologies, but PayPal is not actually an option on Kickstarter yet. Sorry for the inconvenience.
REMEMBER: You can donate ANY amount of money you want to this project. If you wanted, you could choose the $50 reward pack but pledge $1000! It's up to you how much want to give and what reward you want in return.
SO... COME MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS FILM.
We have already cast a handful of highly-talented Australian actors that bear a striking resemblance to their historical counterparts.
We are casting the RIGHT PEOPLE for the roles.
JACK MARTIN as Ben Hall. Jack is rising actor from Sydney who has been cast in the coveted title role due to superb dramatic talents and his uncanny physical likeness to the real Ben Hall. An intensely committed actor, Jack is immersing himself in the history so he can deliver the most powerful portrayal of the doomed outlaw ever seen.
MEET THE REST OF THE CAST BELOW!
THE PRODUCTION CREW
Our production team is a world-class collection of filmmakers, whose credits include The Man From Snowy River 1 & 2, The Lighthorsemen, Ned Kelly, The Last Outlaw, Ponderosa, Ben Hall (TV series), Peter Pan, Wolverine, Brides of Christ, The Silver Brumby, Tomorrow When the War Began, Australia, Phar Lap, Sleight of Hand, McLeod's Daughters.... plus many more.
WRITER-DIRECTOR-PRODUCER Matthew Holmes has been working in film and TV for over 15 years. He has written and directed a variety of projects including features, shorts, TVCs, animated films, web clips and music videos. His 2007 independent feature Twin Rivers has been airing on Foxtel since 2008 and has received distribution through DV1 Entertainment. He is currently developing two feature films - the genre-splicing thriller 'Territorial' with Wolf Creek director Greg Mclean and a supernatural horror 'The Artifice' with Stephen Susco (writer of The Grudge 1 & 2) which is now being considered by two major Hollywood studios.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & HISTORICAL CONSULTANT. Peter Bradley is Australia's leading authority on NSW bushrangers and in particular, Ben Hall. A direct descendant of Hall's family, Bradley has spent years researching the topic and has produced two amazing books - both of which are Rewards on this campaign. His vast knowledge will help ensure that our film is as historically accurate as possible.
PRODUCTION DESIGNER-ART DIRECTOR Leslie Binns is a veteran designer of Australian period films whose credits include The Man From Snowy River I & II, The Last Outlaw (TV), Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Anzacs, Noah's Ark (TV), December Boys and Salem's Lot. He is arguably the most experienced Production Designer of period films in Australia today.
MUSIC COMPOSER Mario Millo is an AFI, ARIA, APRA and AGSC award winning composer whose screen credits include The Lighthorsemen, Shame, Changi, Against the Wind, Brides of Christ, Paws, A Fortunate Life and Heroes' Mountain. He has an outstanding reputation in the Australian film industry for creating powerful, thematic and emotional film scores.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jonathan Rossiter, A.C.S. was Australian Cinematographer of the Year 2013 and has won many accolades for his work on the animated short Sleight of Hand. This multi-award winning A.C.S accredited cinematographer has been working in the industry for 30 years on TVC's and short films at Australia's leading animation and special effects company Anifex Pty Ltd and is now a freelance cinematographer.
ASSISTANT CINEMATOGRAPHER & DIGITAL COLORIST Peter Szilveszter recently lensed Matthew Holmes' chilling short film 'The Artifice' to stunning effect. Szilveszter has been producing high-end short films, documentaries, wedding videos and corporate work through his company Living Lens and is now emerging as one of Australia's newest and most exciting cinematographers.
ALBUM AND SOUNDTRACK COLLABORATOR Nigel Maclean is the great, great nephew of Ben Hall. He is a Director, Composer and an established multi-genre violinist who has won international and national recognition. He has played a variety of roles including Orchestral Leader, Solo Artist, Assistant Producer, Producer, Director (FilmHarmonix) and Composer. As a solo artist his performance and recording credits include Kate Ceberano, Joe Chindamo, Paul Kelly, Renee Geyer, John Denver, David Hirschfelder, David Hobson, Dan Hicks and Joe Camilleri. During his role as Notation Editor for Oscar nominee David Hirschfelder, Nigel worked on soundtracks for films Elizabeth, Sliding Doors, Better Than Sex and What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted. Moreover, Nigel has contributed to improvisations on soundtracks for Underbelly, Angel Baby, Rage in Placid Lake, After the Deluge, One Perfect Day, CrashBurn, Crackers, The Interview and more. Nigel orchestrated and conducted the music for Geoffrey Wright’s production of Macbeth (2006), and composed music for a short film Forged by David No, which won Gold Medal for Best Music in a Short Film at the Park City Film Music Festival (Utah, USA) in 2008. Recently Nigel composed music for Jack Charles vs The Crown (Melbourne International Arts Festival 2010) and has been credited as composer/producer on Kate Ceberano’s recent 'Lullabies' album. Nigel has twice won the National Bluegrass Championships and has been awarded three Golden Fiddle Awards.
COSTUME DESIGNER - Michael Chisholm is one of Melbourne's most in-demand Costume Designers whose credits include Snowy River: The McGregor Saga, Ponderosa, Storm Warning, Rush, Offspring and the upcoming Justice Is a Smoking Gun.
HORSE WRANGLERS - Evanne Chessom and Bruce Gleeson of AUSTRALIAN MOVIE LIVESTOCK are arguably Australia's most prolific and experienced horse wranglers. Just look at their film credits: Australia, Ned Kelly, The Cup, Phar Lap, The Silver Brumby, Tomorrow When The War Began, Breaker Morant, Lightning Jack, The Lighthorsemen, Ben Hall (TV series), My Brother Jack and dozens more. Yes, our wrangling department is in the best hands.
HAIR & MAKEUP SUPERVISOR - Deirdre Dobbin is a highly experienced Hair and Make-up Artist who has worked on features, TV and TVCs. Her first collaboration with director Matthew Holmes was the 2014 short 'The Artifice'. She has also worked on Peter Pan, Strangers and Demons In My Head.
THE REWARDS FOR OUR PLEDGERS!
We believe strongly in giving our Kickstarter pledgers what they deserve - since it's you guys that will make this film a reality.
Here are just a few of the rewards on offer! For a complete list of each Reward Category, check the side panel to your right.
Check our sample of a PRODUCTION DIARIES. These short, informative clips will be regularly added to the website - so you can keep up to date on the film's progress and watch it all come to life before your very eyes!
The above Soundtrack Album will include composer Mario Millo's haunting score and a variety of traditional Ben Hall themed songs as well as some originals. Artists that have already agreed to jump onboard are The Vandabelles, SAMI, Visnja, Collector and Jack Martin... and there'll be many more to come yet! Watch this space!
OUR PREVIOUS WORK
Check out what the THE LEGEND OF BEN HALL crew created earlier this year! THE ARTIFICE (below) is a 12-min supernatural short film and was shot over a 48-hour period in February 2014. (This film is included on the Blu-Ray)
This film was made for $1,200 - so just imagine what we can achieve with $75,000!
In 2007, Director Matthew Holmes completed his 6-year independent feature Twin Rivers (trailer below) a period drama set against the 1930's Depression Era Australia. This was made for about $25,000 of his own money.
Traditional funding avenues are becoming harder and harder to access, and going down such paths is long, tedious and ultimately encumbers the project with unwanted compromises. By financing the film through Kickstarter, the filmmakers are free to use the funds in the best way they deem, giving the director the freedom to realise his vision.
Kickstarter also allows us to engage with our audience directly and listen to what they want. We can learn what is important to them, so we can deliver it! After all, our audience is what matters most.
Ben Hall is a story that belongs to the Australian people, and we want them to become a part of it. Our Kickstarter community will give us the chance to take our fans along for the ride!
MEDIA AND PUBLICITY
Be sure to stay up to date via our Facebook page - but for ALL the updates and exclusive online content, become a Kickstarter pledger for as little as $10!
Risks and challenges
Director Matthew Holmes has always found ways to complete all his independent projects despite enormous obstacles.
Filmmaking always presents challenges, but our team is experienced enough to find creative solutions for every problem that may arise, especially with our network of cast and crew reaching into every corner of Film & TV production in the country.
The best thing about this project is that it is being made with film industry professionals - not amateurs. We have highly experienced crew members who have worked on a vast array of Australian and international feature films, TV shows and commercials over the past forty years and our network of filmmakers is huge. Plus, every person involved is highly passionate about this story and is committed to bringing it life.
We are more than confident that Ben Hall will explode onto the screen in early 2015, ready for the 150th anniversary of his death!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (38 days)