Ahead of the SXSW premiere for the dramatic comedy Shotgun, co-writers and co-directors Hannah Marks and Joey Power, along with stars Jeremy Allen White and Maika Monroe, made a stop at Deadline’s Studio to speak about the film’s origins and love story.

The story follows Elliot (White), a 23-year-old living in New York with no real responsibility. Shortly after meeting Mia (Monroe), Elliot is diagnosed with cancer. They fall in love under the cloud of his illness, despite barely knowing each other.

“Joey and I are always really paranoid about getting sick so we talked a lot about what that would be like if we were sick and how that would impact our relationships,” said Marks. “We just both really love blending comedy and drama and romance together and so it just started from there.”

Although much of the plot revolves around Elliot’s diagnosis, the filmmakers insisted on not making it the focal point of the film.

“We really wanted it to not feel like a cancer movie and just feel like a love story,” said Marks.

“Even though there’s sickness in the film and that sort of motivates part of their relationship, we think that them getting together under very specific circumstances speaks to early love relationships in most people’s life,” said Powers.

“If you’re gonna die you’ll fall in love,” Marks pointed out. “You’re scared and if someone’s there for you, that can be more special than anything in your life.”

Check out the interview above.

The Deadline Studio at SXSW 2018 is presented by MoviePass.