2019 is set to be a year to remember for fantasy films, with a number of potential classic movie releases set to hit cinemas. It’s important to make sure you don’t get left behind, so make sure you’re up to date with the latest news, developments and trailers. Water Cooler Movies, a website dedicated to the film industry, recommend that if you’re keen to learn more about upcoming films, you should “actively seek out news about the films as much as you can.” This could mean checking sites such as IMDB every other day and subscribing to newsletters from specialised film sites.
Make Time for the Movies You Want to See
With the ever-increasing popularity of streaming platforms and the rise of internet culture, watching a movie can become a very disposable activity. Scheduling time in your diary to watch a movie can help to bring the focus back to the appreciation of the art form itself. Pia Shah, a senior film critic for Variety Magazine, suggests setting aside time for a movie “where you pay attention and make your own interpretations, instead of just wallowing in its superficial beauty”. This is especially true for fantasy films, as they often have complex narrative with rich characters and intricate world-building.
Read the Book First
As with any film or TV adaptation of a work of literature, it’s generally recommended to read the source material before watching the movie or TV adaptation. Reading the novel or short story can give you a greater appreciation for what the filmmaker is attempting to communicate. It can also help you to make informed decisions about the success of the film. Whenever possible, one should read the book before the movie, if only to compare the two versions and ascertain how closely the director has stuck to the source material.
Learn About the Filmmaker and the Cast
The people behind the camera are often just as integral as those who are in front of it when it comes to the success of a movie. Knowledge of the director’s past work and the actors involved can help give you an understanding of how the movie may turn out. Do your research and find out what kinds of films they have been involved in, their way of working and any awards they have been recognised for. This will also increase your enthusiasm for the film and may even make watching it a more personalised experience.
Develop Your Own Style of Watching
The world of fantasy movies is expansive, and it’s easy to get swept away. Different viewers watch for different reasons, and by being conscious of your own motivations for watching a movie, you can make your viewing experience even more enjoyable. Movie expert Daniel Reyes recommends setting goals for yourself as you watch. This could range from trying to spot all the references to other works of literature to paying attention to camera angles and how they evoke emotion. This can help to enhance your viewing experience and can even help you become a better filmmaker yourself in the future.
Plan a Viewing Party
Going to the cinema to watch fantasy films is far from the only way to enjoy them. Tom Lasko, head of movie marketing at Netflix, speaks highly of the effectiveness of watching a movie with a circle of friends. He suggests that “getting together with friends and family to view a movie can often be a more impactful and enjoyable experience than seeing a movie alone.” Whether it’s playing a drinking game or scoffing popcorn, a movie viewing party could be an enjoyable way to kickstart the New Year and enjoy the world of fantasy filmmaking.
Don’t Forget to Participate in Discussions
The internet has made it so easy for fans to interact with one another and to have open discussions about their favourite films. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit and Goodreads are great places to find discussions about 2019’s upcoming fantasy films. Getting involved in these conversations can give you an even greater understanding of the logic behind fantasy films and can also help to further your appreciation for the genre.
Stay Up to Date with Fantasy Movies
The fantasy movie genre is constantly evolving, and keeping up with new releases and industry developments can be difficult. One of the key ways to stay informed is to take note of movie awards and announcements. Media outlets such as The Verge, BBC and IGN are all reliable sources of information on the film industry, and they can provide information on potential upcoming releases. It can also be helpful to get to know people in the film industry as this will give you an insider’s perspective on what’s coming up.
Develop Your Own Opinion
Fantasy movies are often subject to great debate, and the opinions of critics, film buffs and casual viewers can sometimes be at odds. Pay close attention to why people love or hate certain movies, and make your own conclusions about which movies are worth watching. Be sure to take into account the socio-political context of the movie, especially with regards to how it plays into existing stereotypes of the genre, and trust your own judgement.
Explore Alternate Versions of the Story
With the increasing number of movie adaptations of books and comics, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the details of the adaptation and discount the original material. To truly appreciate a fantasy film it pays to explore the original versions of the story. Whether it’s the original novel or comic book, or other incarnations such as a TV series or video game, it’s always worth trying to find out about the source material. It can often offer a totally different perspective on the story and the characters involved.
Be Open to the Possibilities
The best way to appreciate fantasy films is to “go in with an open mind”, according to Stephen Thomas, head of the American Cinematheque. This means being prepared to be surprised by the performances of some of the lesser known actors, and being willing to give the movie a chance, even if it’s not your thing. Don’t be too quick to judge, as the beauty and magic of the genre is the potential to explore different worlds and wonder at their possibilities.
Support the Filmmakers
Fantasy films can be expensive to make, so it’s important to support the filmmakers behind them. This can be done in a variety of ways, from buying tickets and merchandise to spreading the word about the movie on social media. At the very least, be sure to watch the movie, as this may be enough to guarantee that further films get made.
Embrace Fantasy in Everyday Life
The world of fantasy films is one that offers the chance to explore otherworldly realms, travel to far away places and be enchanted by enigmatic characters. To truly appreciate this genre, it pays to take its magic and inject it into your own everyday life. Whether it’s letting yourself daydream or getting lost in your own imagination, embracing fantasy in everyday life can help to bring a newfound appreciation to the genre’s potential.
Reflect on Your Experience
Watching fantasy films can be a very personal experience, so it’s important that it’s looked back on with appreciation. Reflecting on your experience can be done in a variety of ways. Writing in a notebook or blog, discussing your thoughts with friends or participating in online discussions are all great ways to do so. It’s also important to look back on films and take note of the themes and motifs that you’ve discovered. Understanding what made an impact on you will help you to appreciate the genre even more.
Consider the Message Behind the Movie
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of a film and forget to reflect on the meaning or individual messages within them. Movies often tell us more about ourselves than we might realise, whether it’s about our values or our standing in the world. Being conscious of this will help to bring a new level of understanding to every genre of film and will also increase your appreciation of the fantasy medium.
Don’t Compare Different Genres of Movies
The fantasy genre is a vast one, and it’s often tempting to compare it to other genres when talking about films. Some fantasy films may borrow elements from different genres, such as horror, science fiction and romance, but this should be seen more as an opportunity to explore rather than an indication of lazy filmmaking. Every genre has its own unique style, and each fantasy film should be given the chance to stand on its own as an individual work of art.
Be Open to Different Interpretations
As mentioned before, fantasy films often require the viewer to make their own interpretation of the material. That said, it’s important to be open to different interpretations from other viewers and to accept their views as valid, even if you feel that yours is the correct one. Being open to different interpretations, whether it’s on a film forum or during a discussion with friends, can help to lead to further, deeper conversations about fantasy films.