“Dating a soft boi is confusing at the best of times,” says filmmaker Imogen McCluskey about the inspiration, mined from personal experience, for her web series Love Bug.
“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. Am I making this up? Does he even exist? Am I insane?
“You’re in a state of flux and unknown – an anxiety only compounded by the current environment,” she continues about making the film with the current self-isolation restrictions as the background. “Unease and anxiety is rough amongst 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. Love Bug is my way of looking at these intersecting issues and creating a fun, relatable short series you can watch in one sitting.”
Love Bug‘s conception, writing, rehearsals and filming were all accomplished within 1 week. It stars Maddy McWilliam (from McCluskey’s impressive debut Suburban Wildlife, which premiered at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival) and Justin Amankwah.
“Justin and Maddy are such generous and intelligent performers, and we loved sinking our teeth into the challenge of recording it all over the internet,” McCluskey says of the filming process, which involved the cast and Imogen filming face-to-face calls over Zoom, with Imogen watching on as director on a minimised screen. “But it wasn’t without issues. The screen lag and slow-internet speeds often spoiled good takes, as well as pesky housemates intruding on a private scene.”
“Producing content from three different bedrooms across Sydney proved to be a technical challenge,” admits Maddy McWilliam. “However, I wouldn’t have changed anything – even if I could lol thanks covid19. For me, acting at home, with only my wardrobe for costume, was so nostalgic and playful. It brought me straight back to being a kid and shooting home movies with my cousin.”
“I was so instantly on board when Imogen brought up this short film because of how uncertain everything is feeling at the moment,” adds Justin Amankwah. “It was nice spending the day doing something fun, productive and safe. And I think the story will be fairly familiar for a lot of people.”
Love Bug will premiere on Sunday 5th April on the AFTRS Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/aftrs/