A Maple Ridge stunt performer has turned actress, writer and executive producer for a new award-winning web series.
Cassandra Ebner started writing Life XP a little bit more than two years ago after she broke her ankle on the set of a television show.
Life XP is an action-packed dramatic comedy that takes place both in real life and Virtual Reality.
After being fired from her job, the main character Angela, played by Ebner, is thrust into Beta Testing the latest VR system.
Each week she is immersed in a new video game, however, it starts to have an impact on her everyday life.
All Angela wants is to be the hero of her own story. But since she has never played a video game before and her life is going into shambles it may prove harder for her to gain the XP points needed to become the champion of the television show.
Ebner, who has called Maple Ridge home for the last three years while travelling back and forth to Los Angeles, was a fan of gaming when growing up.
“I used to watch gaming series growing up, play video games with my family, was a YouTuber and a fan of so many action movies. There are so many homages to all these things,” said Ebner about Life XP.
Angela, she said, is awkward and not your typical hero.
“All she wants is to be the hero but her story doesn’t seem to go that way,” said Ebner, adding that she loves this genre.
“I love action adventure. The 80’s we’re filled with such a fun time of a group of characters thrown on a journey together and how they deal with it,” she added about her inspiration for the show.
Filming started for Life XP in August, 2018, when Ebner applied for and won funding through the Independent Production Fund, a private Canadian independent foundation that supports the production of Canadian dramatic digital media entertainment content and television series, beating out 144 other Canadian entrants.
Most of Life XP was filmed in Maple Ridge.
Ebner started creating her own films when she was only 13-years-old and was in her first movie at 16.
Now she already has an impressive resume performing on hit TV series like Game Of Thrones as a child of the forest, The Super Hero as Raelene Sharp, and her upcoming role on The 100 as Klara. along with other roles on Shazam, Warcraft, Supernatural, and Croft.
What she found most challenging about creating Life XP was having to take on so many roles in addition to acting.
“Remembering which hat you are wearing is sometimes challenging. Realizing you just need to be the actress instead of trying to help everyone else,” said Ebner.
Life XP has been winning awards at screening festivals worldwide and was selected over 80 other global web series to pitch at MIPTV, a global market for co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content. in Cannes for the Web Series In Development section.
Ebner won the Best Actress Award in a Comedy at the Hollyweb Festival and was honoured with an Upcoming Performer Award at Artemis Film Festival. She also won Best Screenplay at KWC Fest for Life XP.
She is nominated for Best Actress for Life XP at the Rio Webfest screening that takes place on Nov. 15.
Previously Cassandra won Best Female Action Performer of the Year at the Action On Film Festival in Los Angeles for her performance in Croft, she won a SAG award for Best Stunt Ensemble on Game of Thrones and another SAG nomination for War for the Planet of the Apes for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.