Sharpes and Boulder Beaches, just north of Ballina, were the locations last week for a new Stan Original series called Eden, one of two major productions to be shooting around the Northern Rivers at the moment.
The eight-part drama series, which ‘explores the dark and secret lives of a raft of characters in a place that looks very much like paradise’, is the latest creation from the people who brought you Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the reboot of Seachange and the UK cult hit Skins.
Eden will star a diverse cast of young actors, led by Sophie Wilde and BeBe Bettencourt, alongside Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash), Cody Fern (American Horror Story), Cassandra Sorrell (The Ugliest Duckling), Claude Jabbour (Stateless), Alexandria Steffensen (Happy Feet), Christopher James Baker (Ozark) and Samuel Johnson (Molly).
John Curran (Bloom, Tracks, Chappaquiddick, Praise) will serve as set-up director on the series, with AACTA Award-winner Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch) also attached as director.
Inspired by the iconic beauty of the region, and with major production investment from Screen Australia, the new drama series examines the unseen lives of a collective of locals after the disappearance of a young woman.
Behind the scenes
Eden was created by emerging Australian writer-director Vanessa Gazy (Highway), who will serve as head writer and executive producer.
The script has been developed in collaboration with UK writer Bryan Elsley and is based on an original concept by the Northern Rivers’ own Deb Cox, of Every Cloud Productions. Mr Elsley previously worked with Every Cloud on the web series Deadlock.
Deb Cox from Every Cloud Productions, said, ‘It’s been wonderful working with Stan to build on our long-term experience of drawing stories from the region and to revisit our previous creative collaboration with Bryan Elsley. Introducing Vanessa’s fearless storytelling to that mix has created a series dramatically unlike any other previously seen on Australian television.’
Bryan Elsley from Balloon Entertainment, said ‘What’s really exciting about Eden has been the discovery of such terrific writing talent in Australia. Our all-female writing team, led by Vanessa Gazy, have brought fresh and distinctive voices. Combining their talents with a knock-out cast will make for exhilarating television.’
Film-making at the moment brings special challenges, which is one reason why Eden has been shooting on closed locations and without the usual media hoopla.
Eden publicist Tracey Mair emphasised to Echonetdaily that all people who have travelled from interstate have completed the necessary quarantining.
‘We are absolutely rigid sticklers for COVID protocols, because if anyone is sick, we cannot continue,’ she said. ‘We are also incredibly mindful of our responsibility to the community.’
Ms Mair said there is a 64 page document containing strict COVID protocols which are being strictly adhered to. ‘There is no safer place to be, actually, than on a film set at the moment.’
Grainne Brunsdon, Head of Screen NSW, said: ‘I’m thrilled the production of Eden will bring focus to the Northern Rivers region, using the breathtaking landscapes for on-screen locations, while also increasing local jobs and boosting the region’s economy. We look forward to tuning into Eden on Stan in the near future.’