Forced to self-isolate, Imogen McCluskey spent two weeks writing, directing and editing a webseries about dating during the pandemic, based on personal experience.
The result is Love Bug, which will premiere on AFTRS’ Facebook page from 9 am this Sunday followed, she hopes, by other platforms such as Vimeo.
The show follows two characters played by Maddy McWilliam and Justin Amankwah, who are dating although they are in self-isolation.
The relationship ebbs and flows as they both lose their jobs. They communicate via Facetime and texts, raising questions about the nature of dating and commitment.
Writing, rehearsals and filming took place in one week, followed by several days of post. The director and actors filmed the face-to-face calls over Zoom, with Imogen watching on a minimised screen. Her frequent collaborator Lucca Barone-Peters composed the music.
The actors appeared in Imogen’s AFTRS graduate film and Maddy starred in her short Atomic Love and her debut feature Suburban Wildlife, a coming-of-age movie about four young friends who try to avoid the looming responsibilities of being adults.
McWilliam also appeared in Hannah Lehmann’s Seven Studios series The Unboxing commissioned by Facebook Watch.
Born in Ghana, Amankwah was named best actor in an independent production at the Sydney Theatre Awards two years in a row his roles in The Flick (Outhouse Theatre Co.) and Good Dog (Green Door Theatre Co).
Imogen says: “Dating a soft boi is confusing at the best of times. Lines are blurry and you’re constantly second-guessing yourself and where you stand. They’re loving and affectionate, up until commitment or defining your relationship comes into the conversation – and often you’re gaslit into thinking you’re just plain crazy.
“You’re in a state of flux and unknown – an anxiety only compounded by the current environment. Unease and anxiety are rough among everyone across society today, and particularly young people – with many losing their jobs and futures thrown off course. But we still want to connect, fall in love and build communities online; which I’m so grateful for.”
Watch the series on Sunday here: https://www.facebook.com/aftrs/