The $4 million feature was entirely shot in the State’s north over about 35 days, including four days in Port Augusta.
Other locations included Quorn, the Flinders Ranges, Mt Ive, Lake Gairdner, Port Wakefield and Leigh Creek.
Alongside beautiful local landscapes, the film also features minor characters played by Port Augusta people.
Cinema Augusta’s red carpet welcomed cast and crew – including actors Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell and John Brumpton, director Glendyn Ivin and co-producers Antonia Barnard and Nicholas Cole.
The film tells the story of a 10-year-old boy, Chook (Tom) and his father (Mr Weaving) as they travel through the South Australian outback, trying to escape a horrible and violent past.
The further into the remote wilderness they travel, the closer the hurt of their past becomes, until Chook reaches breaking point.
Although he had never visited the region before, he knew within minutes of the first location scouting the area was special – so special, that he re-wrote the script to take the story out of NSW and set it in South Australia.
“We needed a range of locations – a salt lake, desert, a forest and mountains – all within a contained space and this region had it all,” he said.
“We were driving here today (Saturday) and I can’t imagine the film being shot anywhere else.
“The landscape really dominates the film; it is a much a part of the film as the characters are.”
Mr Irvin said Port Augusta and Flinders Ranges people would be hardest audiences to impress, because they recognised their region.
“I am more nervous about showing it here (than at the Adelaide premiere last night) because you know the landscape, and the landscape is a character in this film,” he said.
“You need what’s called ‘suspension of disbelief’; to believe these characters can arrive in Port Augusta and make a short walk to be in Quorn, take a short drive and be in Leigh Creek and within half a tank of petrol get to Mt Ive and somehow end up at the Pimba roadhouse.”
During filming, cast and crew stayed within the region and invested dollars into local accommodation and food facilities.
Mr Irvin said people in the region – especially Quorn where the project was mostly based – were incredibly warm, welcoming and helpful.
“It was such a friendly town…nothing
seemed to be a problem; we able to get what we wanted, when we wanted it,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with The Transcontinental, Mr Weaving said he was pleased to return to the South Australian outback to work for this project.
He echoed Mr Irvin’s sentiments when he said the project was made special by the people of the region.
“The landscape here is so beautiful, and people are so friendly,” Mr
Weaving said. “It really is an excetional place and somewhere I would not have been to had I not been on this film. We went to places most people don’t ever see or even hear of.”
“You have incredibly warm hearted, friendly people and we were really blessed with all the help we had; it was
a true joy to meet people around here, espeically in Quorn.”
While speaking with The Transcontinental, Tom said he loved the freedom the found working in the region.
The young Adelaide boy visited the State’s north on holidays with family when he was about five, but Tom said he appreiciated it more now and has made new friends in the region.
Last Ride premiered in Adelaide last Friday as part of the Adelaide Film Festival and met with positive reviews.
Mr Cole said the film would be officially launched in cinemas in July, after touring with several film festivals.
He expected Last Ride to showcase the region to potential tourists and encouraged viewers spread the word about the film.