Brief History of Fantasy MoviesAlex Nguyen
Fantasy movies are a type of movie that is often very complicated to do, screen-wise. Due to the amount of time spent on one part of the film, acting and filming, the other is usually spent on special effects that enhance the user's experience.
"History" of Fantasy/History


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The first known fantasy film was by George Méliès (pictured above), a famous French illusionist and filmmaker known in the 1800's. Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) was created in 1902 by George, where the movie includes basic fundamentals of film and video used. Since there was no existence of colour film as the technology wasn't available, movies were nonetheless very good and interesting to watch. The special effects used were revolutionary for films in their time, also inventing the 'narrative' film technique, which means that there is narration going on as the story progresses.


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Ever since, fantasy movies have included the narrative film technique, along with many special effects that are technologically advanced. Fantasy movies usually contain a main character that goes through some sort of change in their life in a very unique and 'fantasy' way, where they are usually placed in a completely different location and/or world. Also, there are many things that do not exist in our world today that exists in the idea of the movie. This can often be confused with science fiction films because of the fact that science fiction also includes ideas that do not exist, such as extraterrestrial species, which are found in both fantasy and science fiction films. Fantasy movies often include different species of life other than humans and the animals we know, which makes the experience more intriguing to the audience because they are learning of a new form of life that is crucial to the storyline of the movie.

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Examples of very good fantasy films today include Tron: Legacy, a movie about a young man who's father is trapped in a computer program he developed 20 years ago. He goes to his father's company, to which he finds out that he must enter the program himself to see his father again. In this movie, there are different 'species' named programs, just like a program in a computer. These programs are portrayed as human beings, although the digital world that they live in is technically a piece of 'software', all their actions are resemblant to human life. There are lightbikes, which are motorcycles that can create a illuminant wall. Lightbikes are used in a sport that basically destroys other 'programs' to survive. The 'programs' also have special suits that suit them, and an ID ring that also can be used as a weapon. This movie is a perfect example of a fantasy film, because of how the technology used is advanced compared to other movies, while maintaining the reality of human life.


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George Lucas was one of today's modern directors that has created great fantasy movies. He is one of the world's financially successful directors, with a net worth of approximately $3.2 billion. He is famous for writing/producing/directing other fantasy series, such as Indiana Jones and The Land Before Time. He has won MANY awards, ranging from the Academy Awards, to the Golden Globe awards, both prestigious award shows that truly add to his very acknowledgement of being a great director.


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Another example of a very famous, and classic fantasy movie that he has created, is Star Wars. A trilogy of 6 films, Star Wars is based on a fictional world that has many robotic and human characters, and also characters that differ from humans, from other species. Star Wars included many genres of film, such as action, romance, and drama, was one of the movies that would make people go 'wow' because of the elements that the movie include, with an added bonus of the special effects being used to make the series a premiere film. Star Wars is one of Lucas' most successful movies because not only the fantasy elements wereinteresting , but the fact that it was also many genres incorporated into it that would make it a very complete movie.





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Here are some clips of some of my favourite fantasy movies.









Camera AnglesThe relationship between the camera and the object being photographed (ie the ANGLE) gives emotional information to an audience, and guides their judgment about the character or object in shot. The more extreme the angle (ie the further away it is from eye left), the more symbolic and heavily-loaded the shot.

1. The Bird's-Eye viewThis shows a scene from directly overhead, a very unnatural and strange angle. Familiar objects viewed from this angle might seem totally unrecognisable at first (umbrellas in a crowd, dancers' legs). This shot does, however, put the audience in a godlike position, looking down on the action.
2. High Angle
Not so extreme as a bird's eye view. The camera is elevated above the action using a crane to give a general overview. High angles make the object photographed seem smaller, and less significant (or scary). The object or character often gets swallowed up by their setting - they become part of a wider picture.
3. Eye Level
A fairly neutral shot; the camera is positioned as though it is a human actually observing a scene, so that an actors' heads are on a level with the focus. The camera will be placed approximately five to six feet from the ground.

4. Low AngleThese increase height and give a sense of speeded motion. Low angles help give a sense of confusion to a viewer, of powerlessness within the action of a scene. The background of a low angle shot will tend to be just sky or ceiling, the lack of detail about the setting adding to the disorientation of the viewer. The added height of the object may make it inspire fear and insecurity in the viewer, who is psychologically dominated by the figure on the screen.

5. Oblique/Canted AngleSometimes the camera is tilted (not placed horizontal to floor level), to suggest imbalance, transition and instability (very popular in horror movies). This technique is used to suggest POV shots (when the camera becomes the 'eyes' of one particular character,seeing what they see) a hand held camera is often used for this.






Extreme Wide Shot (EWS)
Extreme Wide Shot (EWS)

The view is so far from the subject that he isn't even visible. Often used as an establishing shot.
Very Wide Shot (VWS)
Very Wide Shot (VWS)

The subject is visible (barely), but the emphasis is still on placing him in his environment.
Wide Shot (WS) [aka Long Shot)
Wide Shot (WS) [aka Long Shot)

The subject takes up the full frame, or at least as much as comfortably possible.
Mid Shot (MS)
Mid Shot (MS)

Shows some part of the subject in more detail while still giving an impression of the whole subject.
Medium Close Up (MCU)
Medium Close Up (MCU)

Half way between a MS and a CU.
Close Up (CU)
Close Up (CU)

A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.
Extreme Close Up (ECU)
Extreme Close Up (ECU)

The ECU gets right in and shows extreme detail.
Cut-In
Cut-In

Shows some (other) part of the subject in detail.
Cutaway (CA)
Cutaway (CA)

A shot of something other than the subject.
Two-Shot
Two-Shot

A shot of two people, framed similarly to a mid shot.
Over the Shoulder (OSS) Shot
Over the Shoulder (OSS) Shot

Looking from behind a person at the subject.
Noddy Shot
Noddy Shot

Usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and reacting to the subject.
point of view (POV)
point of view (POV)

Shows a view from the subject's perspective.
Weather Shot
Weather Shot

The subject is the weather. Can be used for other purposes, e.g. background for graphics.