On the eve of the world premiere of his film Last Ride, director Glendyn Ivin tells Simon de Bruyn about the team that helped bring his feature debut to the big screen.

When it came time for director Glendyn Ivin to start working alongside Mac Gudgeon on the script for Last Ride, he decided to try something unconventional to get to know the well-regarded screenwriter.

“We actually did the drive together that’s in the film. We got in a car and went out camping, and spent our time on the road to get to know each other,” he says.

Gudgeon, who has written a lot for television including Halifax f.p., Stingers and script edited many Australian films including Wolf Creek, had written the first draft of the screenplay based on the novel The Last Ride by Denise Young.

Ivin says that ever since this script was sent to him five years ago it has been embedded in his mind. He explains that the story in the book actually ends at the midway point of the film, so Gudgeon had to create a second half for the story to continue.

Ivin then came on board the writing process, to put his “fingerprints on the story”, and found his collaborator to be very open to suggestions and input from the director.

“It’s a great adaptation, and the film is a really different experience now to what the book is. I discovered that I really like working with writers. While I’d still like to direct something I’ve written I think there’s something fascinating about working with a writer who you click with,” he says.

He is also full of praise about what he calls his “dream team”, the duo of Antonia Barnard and Nick Cole.

“Nick optioned the book before it was published, as a manuscript and it’s been his unwavering 100 per cent belief that’s driven this project. He’s made some really clever decisions, he is an ex-director as well and an amazing collaborative producer. Antonia is one of the grand dames of production so it’s a dream team of producers really,” he says.

He also enlisted cinematographer Greig Fraser and editor Jack Hutchings, who both worked on Cracker Bag, the short film which won Ivin the Palme d’Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

Last Ride will debut at the Adelaide Film Festival on Friday 27 February, with additional screenings throughout the weekend. The $4 million film was shot in South Australia and stars Hugo Weaving alongside Tom Russell in his first feature film role.

Check out Madman’s newly updated website for the film: http://lastridemovie.com/

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