Film Mythology

Follow the structure of the hero’s path in your favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy films and learn how mythology informs not only the shape of the fantastical worlds in each of these films, but also why the protagonists struggle against such incredible odds to fight for what they believe.

Welcome to my series of panels that examine the mythology behind the most successful and influential Sci-Fi and Fantasy films ever made. I call them my:
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Mythology Presentations.

  • Discover the hero journey structure that lies underneath the most popular Sci-Fi and Fantasy film franchises.
  • Realize the significance and meaning of the hero’s struggle by understanding the spiritual framework of these films.
  • Learn how to apply this understanding of structure and meaning to your own screenwriting and creativity.

These are elaborate and humorous PowerPoint-style presentations with slides and video that explore the  storytelling in Sci-Fi and Fantasy films. They are fun and fascinating explorations into why we love these stories so much!

For all Booking Arrangements, please contact my agent, Arlene Thornton.


Repertoire of Presentations:

1. Star Wars

Explore the meaning behind the sci-fi film franchise that first popularized the archetypal hero journey.  George Lucas was heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell’s work on comparative mythology when creating his epic set among the stars.  Learn the mythological roots of “The Force” and discover how the mythology of Star Wars both succeeds and fails over the course of its various film incarnations.

2. The Matrix

Heavily influenced by anime, cyberpunk and post-modernism, The Matrix trilogy is even more demonstrably mythological in its influences and structure than Star Wars.  Mixing Buddhism, Hinduism and Gnostic Christianity, the Wachowski brothers created a worthy spiritual successor to Star Wars.  Unearth the reasons why the first Matrix film is so compelling, and why the sequels lack the clarity and focus of the first movie.

3. Battlestar Galactica, Dune & Tron

The original 1978 Battlestar Galactica was green lit after the tremendous success of Star Wars and used a lot of the same special effects techniques.  What may not be as obvious is the undercurrent of Mormon mythology that shaped the storytelling of the series. While the movie Dune was not a huge success either critically or financially, the mythos of Frank Herbert’s creation is both rich and extensive and has influenced science fiction ever since. In 1982, the movie Tron was an early attempt to mythologize the realm of cyberspace so that we could develop a more meaningful relationship with our new spirit animal, the computer.

4. Tolkien’s Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings was J.R.R. Tolkien’s grand attempt at mythopoeia: the creation of an entirely complete fictional mythology.  In both it and its two prequels, The Silmarillion and the Hobbit, Tolkien combined his love of language, his passion for Anglo-Saxon myth and his devout Catholicism into a story steeped in mythology and religious meaning.  See how this grand metaphor is brought to the screen and uncover the deeper meanings behind the most influential modern fantasy epic.

5. Narnia, Harry Potter & the Golden Compass

A contemporary and friend of Tokien, C.S. Lewis was inspired to write his own fantasy epic, the Chronicles of Narnia.  Narnia is more allegorical than Middle Earth and more overtly Christian in its message.  Watch how this plays out in the film adaptations and decide for yourself if Lewis succeeded in creating his own fantasy mythology.  Released almost concurrently with the Lord of the Rings films, the Harry Potter franchise has revitalized the fantasy genre for younger readers.  What are the mythological influences on Harry Potter and what larger cosmological meanings can be drawn from Harry’s adventures at Hogwart’s?  Also addressed will be Phillip Pullman’s secular fantasy, the Golden Compass.