HE WAS one of the nation’s most notorious bushrangers and now the captivating story of Ben Hall has been brought to life on the big screen.
A screening of the Legend of Ben Hall was held in Tamworth on Monday, as an acknowledgement of the connection his family has with the city and the Gunnedah area.
Director Matthew Holmes was on hand for a post-screening Q&A session, ahead of the official release of the film into selected cinemas on December 1.
The film had been in the works for nine years and took two years to produce.
“I’ve always had an interest in Australian history and this is a particularly fascinating Australian story and a true story and that’s what attracted me to it,” Mr Holmes said.
Mr Holmes said he was pleased with the public response to the film so far. He said many people enjoyed being taken back in time.
“The reception we’ve had from it so far has been tremendous, people have really enjoyed it,” he said.
“I have two more companion films for this that are written and in development, so we’re going to get them off the ground as soon as possible, forming a trilogy of all this history.”
With the film set 150 years ago, Mr Holmes said the challenge when building their own sets and making their props, was for it to look authentic.
“We were Melbourne-based so we had to find NSW look-alike locations,” he said.
“As far as casting; I was looking for people that looked like their historical counterparts and that was the first thing I was casting them for.
“Being a film set 150 years ago, we had to build all our sets and make all our props.
“It’s been a very challenging project, because we’ve had to do all of that ourselves.”
He said the area had a strong historical attachment to Ben Hall because his son, Henry, a character in the film, spent the last few years of his life in Tamworth.
“He was known around this area as Ben Hall’s son, he was a straight living normal guy – a nice guy.
“This is where he ended up, there is a lot of family history and people that know about Ben Hall through Ben Hall’s son who lived here.