A Nanaimo filmmaker is exploring different avenues of storytelling as he builds his fantasy world.
Quinton Foote, who created a short film about warring gangsters in the ’20s called Denouement, and a Star Wars fan film called There Can Only Be Two, has also undertaken a fantasy series told through written and spoken word.
“Stories have always been my biggest thing in life – I’ve always been easily swept off by fantastical adventures,” said the 26-year-old filmmaker turned novelist and podcaster.
In April 2021, Foote released his first novel The Mighty Ven Devar. The author, originally from Qualicum Beach, said he was heavily inspired by the central Island since the story takes place in the fictional “Great Northern rainforest” among “coastal elves.”
The Mighty Ven Devar follows an unlikely group of adventurers who come together to escort an abducted princess home.
Foote’s sequel, The Siege of Shadow, released last month, picks up where the heroes left off as they reach the City of Shadow and are met with an insurmountable siege that has long attacked a specific race in the series.
The writer said that while the first book dealt with “finding a place in the world” and “needing to belong somewhere,” the second book addressed the importance of perseverance and “overcoming odds that seem insurmountable.”
“With it being something that inspired me over COVID, I think [the themes] are something quite relatable,” Foote said.
His greatest inspiration for the fantasy world came from 53 straight weeks of playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends through the pandemic. As the dungeon master, Foote would organize and narrate the fantasy role-playing games, and in doing so, said he felt confident he could create a fantasy series of similar kind.
The writer is now working on a third novel and imagines the series expanding to six parts.
While writing, the author said he missed working collaboratively with other people.
“That was one of my favourite things about filmmaking – getting a group of artists together, like the makeup department, the cinematography, wardrobe department – coming together and just making a vision,” Foote said.
In furthering his world building, he and his friends have launched a “real play” Dungeons and Dragons podcast series that takes place on the same continent as his novels but a decade before the start of the first book. The podcast, called Fables of Litore: The War of a Thousand Dragons, has 11 episodes to date and tells the tale of a great war between two countries.
Foote said he has also considered creating a short film series as “Sunday morning cartoon-style” sketches based on the podcast campaigns since he and his friends are eager to further their storytelling to as many media platforms as possible.