Beginner’s Guide to… Epic fantasy


Bran is a young man content with this life in a sleepy village, cut off from the rest of Buresia. One night a stranger comes and forces Bran to leave the village and travel across Buresia to defeat a dark force.With him travel a band of mismatched companions, thrown together by chance, but eventually becoming firm friends. While on the quest, Bran discovers he has a unique gift that means he is the only one who can stop the dark force, to be faced at the climax of the film.

The plot of an epic fantasy is essentially a coming of age story. There are wise mentors guiding the protagonist down the right path, friends to help him through the difficult trial, a love interest to fight for. As the story develops, these characters will rapidly mature and see the clear differences between good and evil. It is a story that has stood the test of time in literature, but only recently started to be seen on the big screen. This is because achieving the great depth and scale of these stories on film has only just been possible. Epic fantasies are set in parallel worlds that have their own geography, religions and history, and the techniques to fully capture this have only been around in the last 25 or so years. Due to the improvement in CGI and larger budgets for international travel, directors can successfully create the grand scale that comes with an epic fantasy. So only now can all the beauty and richness that is described on the page (since most epic fantasies were originally books) be brought to life on screen.

In the past, epic fantasies have been saddled with the stereotypes of overacting leads, big bosomed women and low budgets, which means that film studios have avoided financing many projects. However, since the huge success of Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter, people in Hollywood have seen how epic fantasies can become megabuck franchises due to the hardcore fans that support them. Unfortunately, even after the success of such franchises the old stigmas still exist in the mind of the public, so epic fantasies are still found more often on the bookshelf rather than in the DVD rack.

Must see movies:

The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Labyrinth (1986)
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
The Chronicles of Narnia  (2005-present)
Stardust (2007)
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)


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