When it comes to filmmaking in Adelaide, it’s always encouraging to see bigger projects taking place. And last year, Aussie YouTube filmmakers, Fury Fingers Films (Andrew Shanks, Nicholas Cleary, and Daniel Vink) were selected for Skip Ahead, a production grant provided by Screen Australia, Google, and YouTube to create more ambitious content. And from that grant comes Love, Guns and Level Ups, a new six-part series. Does the show bring a new benchmark for filmmaking in Adelaide while also being an entertaining romantic geek story?
When Adelaidean game developer Elliot (Eduard Geyl) and British cosplayer Bree (Lisa Fanto) meet on a game server, sparks (and bullets) fly. As an online relationship grows between them, the couple is given the chance to meet in person when Bree travels to Australia as a cosplay ambassador for the Supanova Expo. However, Elliot soon realises the difficulty of maintaining a long-distance relationship and the reactions from Bree’s fanbase.
Similar to other YouTube shows like Video Game High School or movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, one of the biggest appeals of Love, Guns and Level Ups is watching a blend of real-world people interacting in a video game setting. The show very clearly had a lot of passion and heart from the creative team as each episode has a fast pace recreation of different video game environments and genres. You’ll get to see the actors in very entertaining scenarios of a battle arena, a desert where they fight off parkour mummies, and a zombie apocalypse world. Knowing that the Fury Fingers team had ten days to create six episodes makes the experience much more impressive.
But the show isn’t just all flashy effects and action as the core relationship in the real world between Elliot and Bree is engaging to watch and develop as it explores long-distance relationships with a mutual interest in pop culture. The Supanova episode stood out as a highlight as it was delightful seeing Elliot and Bree meet in person for the first time, and both Geyl and Fanto share great chemistry with each other. The show also explores some interesting dynamics of the online world with Bree and the “girl gamer” argument, as well as Elliot and the dilemma of white knighting against Bree’s perverted fanbase. The show does, however, have a predictable plot that ticks off a lot of rom-com cliches, and it feels very limiting as we don’t get to see much of Elliot or Bree’s lives outside of the relationship or the games.
Overall, Love, Guns and Level Ups is another fun and heartwarming addition to the extensive library created by Fury Fingers. With the limited resources that they had, the show has impressive special effects and fight choreography, along with two very engaging leads that explore different themes of the pop culture world. If you’re into video game stories with a romantic twist, especially when you can easily access the show from home, I can definitely recommend Love, Guns and Level Ups.
Rating: ★★★★ out of 5
All six episodes of Love, Guns and Level Ups will be premiering on the Fury Fingers YouTube channel on Friday the 18th of September.