As an Actor and member of the sometimes but usually difficult arena that is the
Australian film industry, occasionally you have small victories. Let the record show that today, March 22nd 2017 is one of those victorious moments; for the journey that was The Legend Of Ben Hall feature film that I was honoured to be a part of is now officially released nation-wide for sale across Australia on both Blu-Ray and DVD.
My involvement in this film started in 2014 when I was fortunate enough to bump into the writer and director Matthew Holmes at a premiere for another feature film I was involved in - The American Girls.
The initial Legend Of Ben Hall film was only supposed to be a short of around 40 minutes and it was all virtually cast. Despite that, I sensed something special about this man and put $1,000 down on his Kickstarter campaign in a show of support. After all, we can't all just be in it for our own personal gains, supporting others in the industry and putting your money where your mouth is (essentially; having integrity in life) is of paramount importance to me. So blown away was he by my display of generosity, despite literally having been a stranger to him, he offered me a small yet-to-be cast role. I initially declined it as I didn't want him to think that this was the only reason I financially backed him and the project - which it clearly wasn't because the offer was not made until after the fact, however he insisted that I be part of it, so I caved and graciously accepted.
After the filming was complete for the 40 minute short, a trailer was cut and distributed around the industry circles which generated a considerable amount of interest, bar one problem. The film had great commercial potential, but not at 40 minutes in duration; it had to be longer, something more befitting of a feature film. And so began the journey to transform the short film into the cinematic Australian epic it has since become today. Here is the international trailer, if this doesn't make you want to see it, nothing will!
With the trailer generating a LOT of interest, it was clear that this factual Australian historical bushranger story had to be told. The only other problem now was raising the capital to make it.
In addition to seeking funds from the Australian film industry commissions and funding houses, the director also approached the select few Kickstarter backers who invested the most, of which I was one of them. The case for the feature film was made, the interest from distributors and the public was there, only additional funds were required.
If you've never met Matthew Holmes (writer/director) then you're probably completely unaware of the true meaning of passion. This man literally lives and breathes his craft and pours his heart and soul into his productions, even short films. I can honestly say that had I not seen one of his original short films The Artifice and then met the man in person, then I never would have invested in him in the first place. Let's face it, when you make an outward investment in any creative endeavour, you're actually investing more into the person than the project. This said, it actually didn't take me very long at all (after some legal mumbo-jumbo) to put my hands in my pockets and offer more funding to this amazing project (amount undisclosed). This was one of those moments in life where an opportunity presented itself to be part of something you already felt was and would continue to be special, so I had a duty to not turn my back on it or Matthew.
As a result, my acting role was slightly expanded to a few additional scenes (because the film was now longer) and I was also now officially an Executive Producer of the film, such an honour then as it still is today, even more so on this day of its official Australian release on Blu-Ray and DVD.
But fear not, this film had a stellar and rigorous theatrical stagnated release all across Australia in both regional and metropolitan cinemas and even some make-shift cinemas in the town halls of remote country areas. In fact despite its official retail release it continues to be screened on select cinema screens at various locations across Australia, exemplifying the true impact this film has made.
In continued success, the distribution rights for The Legend Of Ben Hall have since been sold to Germany (where it will be available for sale in April 2017) as well as the biggest market on Earth, the USA (which will most probably be in May 2017).
Below is the German Blu-Ray and DVD cover artwork, complete in their native tongue. I must say, it's quite an honour to be in an Australian industry renowned for consisting of mainly struggling artists who just happen to be part of something which has not only captured the attention and hearts of Australians, but also of people internationally. Unfortunately it's an all-too-rare occurrence in Australia to see a totally independent feature film achieve not only a theatrical release but subsequently Blu-Ray and DVD release both here and abroad - and for that and that alone (despite countless other reasons), it should be applauded.
The German Blu-Ray and DVD cover artwork above.
The Legend Of Ben Hall Australian Independent Feature Film is now available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD from reputable retailers such as JB Hi-Fi and EzyDVD as well as countless other retailers. There is also a very special additional gift included in the Special Collectors Edition version. 'Stand & Deliver' is a 90-minute documentary and a must-see for film fans and movie buffs. It's a detailed account of the 2 year production complete with Cast and Crew interviews, behind the scenes footage, productions stills and deleted scenes.
JB Hi-Fi proudly promoting the release in-store.
- Exclusive Official Teaser Trailer Airs On Australian TV
- The Legend Of Ben Hall Teaser Trailer Goes Public
- Official Cinema Release Date Announced
- The Legend Of Ben Hall World Premiere
- Hugely Successful World Premiere In Forbes
- Feature Article In The Diamond Valley Leader Newspaper & Herald Sun
- Interviewed By Old Paradians Association For The Legend Of Ben Hall
- Sunbury Screening A Stellar Success
- The Legendary Tour Of Ben Hall, Through My Eyes
So there you have it; the story of this spectacular film and story through my eyes accurately made by a future legendary Australian director and now available everywhere to buy, own and enjoy forever. Matthew the director has inadvertedly affected the lives of absolutely everyone involved in this film and helped them (us) all experience a little magic in a period of our lives which we can now re-live as often as we want through the Blu-Ray and DVD. This is not only my own little piece of history, but also everyone elses who was involved in bringing this modern Australian epic masterpiece to life.
To find out more about this must-see film, please see:
-The Legend Of Ben Hall Website
-The Legend Of Ben Hall Facebook Page
-The Legend Of Ben Hall IMDb page