Hollywood stars align to tell story of a local winding road
FAMOUS musician William Hamilton vanished from the Maleny Hinterlands in 1994, and when two podcasters decide to solve the old mystery and interview his family, it becomes clear that some are willing to go to violent lengths to uncover the dark secrets at the heart of this famous family.
The writer and director of the project is Clare Sladden, a Byron Shire born-and-bred filmmaker now residing in Brisbane.
The audiobook attracted a stellar line up of Australia talent - including Dacre Montgomery (Stranger Things), Yael Stone (Orange Is the New Black), Noni Hazlehurst (The End), David Berry (Outlander), Anna McGahan (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Byron Bay resident Bernard Fanning (from Powderfinger), Gabrielle Rogers (All Saints) with original music performed by Fanning and Elana Stone (from All Our Exes Live In Texas), and with special guest Clementine Ford (Fight Like a Girl).
Ms Sladden said recording the five-hour audiobook with actors and musicians in Sydney and Brisbane during the pandemic was, at times, an exercise on co-ordination.
"I wrote the first draft October to December. We were supposed to record in March and April but we ended up doing in August, which was a blessing in disguise because we were able to engage some brilliant talent who were not working at the time," she said.
"Most of the actors had never done audiobooks before, and it was my first time directing bits of audio only, three of the actors were in Sydney but it was great and it all came together with the music, which is very interesting for me because in my mind this was originally a feature film, and ended up becoming a podcast first".
"My brother Tim Sladden wrote all the songs for the podcast.
"Original music was performed by Bernard Fanning, and we also had All Our Exes Live In Texas's Elana Stone singing music by the character of Norah, which is played by her real-life sister, Orange is the New Black's Yael Stone."
Ms Sladden, who spoke to The Northern Star from her parents' home in Byron Shire, thanked Ballina-based not-for-profit Screenworks for their help with the project.
Warning: The audiobook contains strong language and adult content.