Australian filmmakers Fury Fingers are known for creating live-action films about video games. Skip Initiative, a production grant supported by Screen Australia and Google Australia, allowed the team to try something new while still staying on-brand with their forthcoming web-series, Love, Guns & Level Ups, part of which was filmed at Supanova 2019 – Adelaide.
“At its core, it’s a rom-com, but with action and adventure elements,” writer and director Nick Cleary tells Supanova. “It’s got some horror, animation components and we even throw to a few medieval and western scenes.”
Love, Guns & Level Ups is about an international cosplayer, Bree (Lisa Fanto), connecting online with an introverted game developer, Elliot (Eduard Geyl). Despite their great connection online, their relationship faces numerous challenges when they meet in real life.
Cleary and co-writers Andrew Shanks and Daniel Vink drew on many people they knew and admired when writing Bree’s character.
“She’s a cosplayer with a very artistic spirit,” he tells, “and she has a big following online that is allowing her to do some very cool things, like a tour with Supanova. She is savvy and strong.
“[Elliot] is a gamer, a bit shy, very charming and sweet. And he’s a creator too, he is developing his own video game within the series.
“That’s part of the fun of writing lovers – what makes them similar can really bond them, but when there are differences, it creates a lot of drama. Elliot is very private and doesn’t enjoy the spotlight, so that aspect of their relationship creates challenges, given Bree’s chosen career.”
Concerning their past works, such as Goons Inc, The Diversion and Boom Raider, Fury Fingers are known to focus on creating video game-based storylines. With Love, Guns & Level Ups, they were writing outside of their comfort zone.
“The focus on the writing became highlighting emotional stakes, and that followed through on how we directed the actors and chose how to film them,” Cleary says. “But by keeping a strong video game aspect in the series, we were able to create clever scenes and scenarios to pressure the characters or give emotional moments energy.”
Fury Fingers are also known for their VFX and fight choreography, and support from the Skip Initiative allowed their production team to take Love, Guns & Level Ups to a new level.
“We wanted to put all our skills on show as filmmakers, so the series is loaded with parkour artists, stunts and sword choreography,” he reveals.
“We have made lots of friends and built good relationships with artists in these fields, so when it’s time to write a project we are always considering how we can incorporate our friends to showcase their skills, make our film greater and hang out with our buds on set.”
The team filmed parts of the series at Supanova in Adelaide last November.
“We regular Supanova every year and we know how accepting and creative the community is,” Cleary says.
“It was very cool being able to just turn up and not worry about dressing up a set, or arranging props, or casting extras; everything was just right there in front of us. Talk about authenticity!
“Eduard and Lisa are great actors, so once we started filming, people just assumed they were just regular folk talking and hanging out, and walked past them as they normally would. A few people actually interrupted scenes to ask Lisa for a photo, because she was dressed as a Blood Elf from World of Warcraft. She looked great!”
Love, Guns & Level Ups will premiere on Fury Fingers YouTube channel on September 18.
“All the episodes will be available at once, so it’s a great one-hour binge. Share it so we can make more, and in turn, you can watch that too!”
Check out the trailer here.