Not every superhero can be perfect. Just ask the characters that populate the magical, medieval world of the new fantasy/action/adventure web series FREELANCERS, created by Ignatius Fischer, and produced by Witness Pictures, led by the show’s co-producer, Brian Dillon. The series revolves around three people, each blessed with their own powerful abilities: Ivan Strang (Ivan Borntrager), a mind-bending, disappearing (and reappearing) wizard, Nick the Bold (Nicholas Givanio), a brave, swashbuckling warrior with a high threshold of physical pain, and Caitlin Geier as Caitlin Marcks, the beautiful swordswoman thief. Together, they’re on the run from a group of vicious bounty hunters, who are after a magical artifact Caitlin has stolen. The series debuted in March, with five episodes set for its first season.

Inspired by the popular geek web series THE GUILD, Fischer created FREELANCERS, first as a short film, and then as a web series, after developing a larger storyline for the show. However, Dillon says, producing the series was a bigger challenge than even Fischer had anticipated. “The show was primarily produced out-of-pocket with friends and family pitching in, and so it took thirteen months to shoot what would normally have taken thirteen days. Fish, as Ignatius is called on-set, is fond of explaining how FREELANCERS failed spectacularly to heed the four basic tenants of micro-budget filmmaking: 1) don’t do period pieces; 2) don’t cast more than four actors; 3) don’t do visual effects; 4) don’t do stunts.”

FREELANCERS cast 20 actors, worked with a top Hollywood stunt unit for its fight sequences, employed elaborate visual effects, created unique wardrobes for each actor, and filmed in multiple locations. “Couple all of this with traveling to remote locations (one time even braving mountain lion warnings!), hauling gear and personnel into the woods, tracking down a fairy tale mansion, fabricating prison cells, alchemist shops, taverns and assembling a ton of weapons, props and other production design elements and you stand on the other side almost in utter disbelief that they even TRIED to pull it off!” Yet, for the crew of Witness Pictures, making an epic web series on a tiny budget comes naturally, and it’s that quality that shows in each episode of the series.

The show stands apart from many fantasy films and TV shows for its lighthearted – but not necessarily parodic – approach to the genre, not to mention the overall look of each episode. “While he (Fischer) enjoys (truly) the ultra gritty, dark and heavy fantasy shows like Game Of Thrones and Lord Of The Rings as well as the comedic ventures like Journey Quest, he wanted to make something sort of in the middle, something a little more light-hearted but definitely not a spoof of the genre.  Another thing that definitely sets this show apart is the look and feel – it’s definitely produced as much as possible within its meager budget to look and feel like genuine cinema rather than a “micro-budget web series”.

Fischer and Dillon hope to not only be successful with FREELANCERS, but they also hope to provide viewers with a series that they will enjoy watching. Amidst all the special effects, fancy costumes and its large cast of characters, the show’s message, Dillon says, is simple: “The overall message probably has something to do with good and evil and the gray area in between in which most of us live, and the fact that neither good nor evil will ever exist without it’s opposite, but that ultimately one is constantly choosing, in the tiny every day decisions of life, one or the other, and so one always has the chance to do good.  Or evil.  The battle not only rages on, it is absolutely inherent to the existence of the universe.  But all of this will be couched in good, old fashioned adventure storytelling!”