Every day of life is measured in time – hours, minutes and seconds. In about as much time as it takes to snap a finger, a young college student’s life is turned upside down forever in the new Australian action/adventure/thriller web series LEVEL 17.  The series was created by John Decaux of Six Foot Four Productions, and premiered August 14th on its official Youtube page (see link below). LEVEL 17 follows the story of Ethan (Hjalmar Svenna), a young man who’s blessed with intelligence, plus the love and affection of his girlfriend Danielle (Melissa Martins). Yet, Ethan’s world is disrupted when time, the greatest commodity anyone can have, starts to run out on both him and Danielle – and when a malevolent corporation pursues Ethan, he must save both himself and his love before it’s too late. The series also stars Ben Todd as Professor Anderson, who tries to help Ethan understand his new destiny – and to help him save the world.

One episode has already aired, with a second currently in post-production (as of this writing). Decaux hopes to begin a crowd-funding campaign to raise money towards producing further episodes of the series. In addition to the show’s episodes, the Youtube page also features ‘production diaries’ focusing on the behind-the-scenes aspects of each episode, from casting to filming and post-production editing, including creating the show’s incredible special effects (more on that later).

A unique combination of sci-fi, fantasy and action, LEVEL 17 was an all-around team effort, with the production team comprised of both amateurs (including film students from throughout South Australia), plus professionals who specialized in various aspects of the series, from special effects to costume design. As Decaux recalls, the group’s dedication to making LEVEL 17 a success made the daunting task of producing the show – and his responsibilities as its creator – a lot easier. “From day one we hit the ground running and didn’t stop over a course of six days which spilled over into seven. The level of professionalism from the cast and crew was fantastic and their dedication did not waver despite some early mornings and late nights. I found myself getting even less sleep, editing footage that had been taken that day when we wrapped for the day at 9 P.M., and had to be up the next at 5 A.M.! To say the least it was an experience, despite the fatigue, that I would be privileged and happy to continue doing.”

Along with the show’s blend of action, science fiction and fantasy elements, LEVEL 17 stands out from many web series because of its dazzling CGI (computer generated imagery) and visual effects. The show’s alien characters were designed and constructed  by special effects supervisor Jack French, in cooperation with a team of ten visual effects artists. Already, LEVEL 17‘s distinctive storytelling style and its impressive special effects have garnered the show a large and dedicated fan following through its Facebook page (see link below), which proved to be beneficial to the show’s success when it debuted on Youtube. In addition, the show’s Facebook presence includes a page for the evil IOB corporation portrayed in the series (see link below).

Decaux cites Peter Jackson (director of the acclaimed LORD OF THE RINGS films) as among his chief inspirations as a filmmaker, and Jackson’s approach to both filmmaking as well as his relationship with fans is one that Decaux tries to emulate. “I followed a similar path like his by making my first feature film ALMOST THERE (a 2010 feature film that was nominated for the best feature award at the South Australian Screen Awards) over weekends for two years. (I) also love how humble he is and the way he interacts with the fans, which is the main reason we produce the production diaries,” he says.

While Decaux hopes that LEVEL 17 will be just as popular with fans of TV sci-fi thrillers like LOST and THE X-FILES, plus other sci-fi movies and TV series, he also wants his series to provide his talented cast and crew with bigger opportunities for career success in the film and TV industry. With dramatic storytelling and larger than life visual effects, LEVEL 17 is well on its way towards putting Decaux and his team closer to that goal.

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/user/ds19

FACEBOOK: (Official Series Page): https://www.facebook.com/Level17webseries

and (IOB Corporation – fictional company portrayed in the series):


TWITTER: https://twitter.com/17_Level