MAKING ROM COMS GREAT AGAIN – NEW ONLINE SERIES LOVING CAPTIVITY LAUNCHES 30 JULY 2020
Developed through the first COVID-19 lockdown and produced as the original Stage 3 restrictions were eased in Victoria, Loving Captivity follows Ally, a 30-something single mum who reluctantly agrees to isodate with Joe – a flirt-machine she was dumped by before the world changed. She’s keen to know why he ended it. He’s keen to know why she plans so far ahead.
Loving Captivity features award-winning actor Christie Whelan Browne (Mad as Hell, Neighbours) and Lewis Mulholland (co-creator/writer of the series).
Shot with the support of a City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grant, the series is a heartfelt, candid exploration of dating in the new world; and why social distancing might be the best thing that ever happened to our relationships.
Bringing you this sometimes-funny, sometimes-dirty, always-hopeful series are writers Libby Butler (The Heights, Erinsborough High, Neighbours) and Lewis Mulholland (On The Ward, Where To Bury Me). The pair met at an Australian Writer’s Guild speed-dating event last year, and upon discovering their mutual love for rom-coms, set about mining their lives – and each other – for the gold.
Loving Captivity was directed by Butler (in her directorial debut) and produced by Mulholland, Butler and Scarlett Koehne (Clickbait), with cinematography by Jaque Fisher (Erinsborough High, Gatwick – The Last Chance Hotel).
Screen Australia’s Senior Online Investment Manager Lee Naimo said, ‘Libby Butler and Lewis Mulholland have a strong track record as writers and we’re very pleased to support their first original series and Libby’s first foray into directing. Together they have crafted a funny and romantic drama that captures the intimacy of a relationship even over video chat.’
Taking COVID-19 seriously, producers engaged minimal crew and cinematically shot at the creators’ houses, utilising innovative split screens to showcase the creative ‘dates’ and remind audiences of the physical distance between the two characters. Thankfully, there’s not a Zoom call or webcam shot in sight (we’ve all had enough of those), especially as Melbourne is in its second round of Stage 3 lockdown restrictions.
Having survived a term of home-schooling her six-year-old daughter (who stars as Clementine) while making the series, co-creator Libby Butler said: ‘Loving Captivity is our love letter to the pandemic. As a mum slash writer, the lockdown wasn’t so different to my normal life; I work at home and can’t go out hunting the next love of my life at night because of a sleeping six-year-old. It was liberating to write about my dating experiences – and limitations – in the context of COVID-19.’
Co-creator Lewis Mulholland said: ‘COVID-19 has sucked for a lot of reasons, I don’t want to take away from that, but lockdown has had its benefits too; more time with people we love, buying less crap and less swiping to the next date while sitting in a bar with your current date. Our show is about the positives.’
Loving Captivity is a Heroine Productions and Nicey Pole Films Co-production. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Financed with support from the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants. Created by Libby Butler and Lewis Mulholland. Producers Libby Butler, Lewis Mulholland, Scarlett Koehne. Directed by Libby Butler.
Episodes of Loving Captivity will begin streaming on Facebook from Thursday 30 July 2020.
Libby Butler is a television writer/script producer, born and based in Melbourne. Having cut her teeth inhouse at serial drama Neighbours, Libby is now focused on original work. She has a one-hour drama in development with CJZ and is undertaking a Film Victoria Writer’s Placement on Season 2 of Ms. Fisher’s Modern Mysteries (Every Cloud Productions). Writing credits include The Heights Season 2 (Matchbox/ABC) and acclaimed web series Erinsborough High (FremantleMedia), which she also scriptproduced.
Lewis Mulholland is a writer, improv performer, sometimes-actor and always-NBA fan. Lewis worked on top secret films with major studios as a Writer’s Assistant to Chris McKay (Lego Batman). He was the writer’s assistant for Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell on The Letdown (ABC/Netflix). Lewis writes comedy but he was raised on a steady diet of procedural TV and cannot wait to write an episode of Law & Order: SVU or Burn Notice. When he’s not in isolation or writing, Lewis is in the gym practicing his free throws.
Christie Whelan Browne is one of Australia’s most versatile stage and screen performers. An award-winning actress, Christie has been described by The Australian as ‘immaculate and untouchable’; by The Age as ‘magnificent’; and by the Herald Sun as ‘a musical and cabaret talent not to be missed’. In 2019, Christie joined the cast of Neighbours as psycho-stalker Scarlett, as well as Series 10 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell. She recently starred in Series 3 of Mustangs FC (ABC’s iView) and the second series of Network Ten’s Kinne Tonight.