POWERFUL STORY: Actors Brad McMurray and John McNeill in a scene from the locally made film Burns Point, in production this month around Ballina.
POWERFUL STORY: Actors Brad McMurray and John McNeill in a scene from the locally made film Burns Point, in production this month around Ballina.

Ballina cane fields perfect backdrop for new TV crime drama

PERENNIAL "bad guy" Brad McMurray has worked alongside big-name actors Nicholas Cage and Harvey Keitel, but when he got a casting call for local indie crime drama Burns Point, he jumped right in.

The film, mainly shot around the steamy cane fields south of Ballina, is three weeks into shooting, with a couple more to go.

The Gold Coast-based actor of 20 years said the authentic feel of the Lower Richmond suited the drama of the film perfectly and was even considering it for his own film now in the works.

"I turned up to one location and there's literally no set design required," he said.

Burns Point features actor Andrew Lowe as Jeremy, who seeks vengeance after his sister is killed and the killer's father, a cop, ensures his son is acquitted in a trial.

It also showcases veteran actors Ron Kelly (Sea Patrol) and John McNeill (Underbelly).

Mr McMurray won't reveal anything more than his character's name, "Eddie", and that he is one of the local "bad guys" around the town in which the film is set.

He has nothing but praise for the film's creative father-son team Chris and Tim Blackburn - former career journalist and Empire Vale resident Chris Blackburn wrote the script, while his Canadian-based director son Tim is directing.

Mr McMurray said as soon as he read the script and heard the actors involved in the film, he was in.

"For me it's all about the strength of the script. This is a really powerful story."

The screenwriter is on set every day ensuring his vision is translated to the screen as faithfully as possible, and the actors involved are happy to oblige.

"We don't stray too far from his original idea," Mr McMurray said.


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