Based on novels Ian’s Realm Saga by D.L. Gardner this fifteen minute “plus short film is the broad brush strokes of what a full scale full adaptation of D.L. Gardner’s Ian’s Realm series. Gardner and her collaborators, given the time constraints of the short film form, are unable to touch on every pivotal event in the series but they do an exceptional job of encapsulating the book’s essence or spirit in the brief time allotted. Chris Love’s direction is never heavy handed and displays a sure feel for the source material while cinematographer Tylor Jones does a superb job of aiding our suspension of disbelief and imaging the wilds of Washington state transformed into a land of dragons and magic.
This is a top notch professional effort with polish and style to burn. The short film brings Gardner’s characters and locations to life without straining for effect and her story benefits from a solid cast of performers cast into a variety of roles. Jeffery Stillwell’s turn as the title character hits the mark, but the supporting actors and actresses are equal to their casting. Few of them exhibit any signs or hints of amateur skills and they bring credibility to the material that enhances the viewing experience.
Ian’s Realm enjoys added drama thanks to Jack Berro’s superb musical score. This is an often overlooked or underappreciated component of the film experience, but the right music is even more crucial for epic narratives like this. The music never lapses into melodramatics, however, and the creative minds behind this film show clear discernment about where those moments are placed throughout the film.