About Us

Lion Forge

Twenty years ago, Josef Bastian, a writer and instructional system designer, had a vision – to create a world of storytelling based on myth and legend. His concept was ambitious, and he had written over 20 novels, but something was still missing.

In 2017, he was was introduced to Stephen Sadler, also a writer, engineer, and tech innovator with success selling his technology to Walt Disney Studios, as well as other majors in Los Angeles.

With the perfect complement of skills and talent, Josef and Stephen set off to build their collective dream - a world that combined technology and mythology. The goal was to create an interactive, immersive experience and forge a totally new storytelling platform. They knew it wouldn't be easy, but they were determined to take this new idea as far as it could go.

And that's exactly what they did…

At Folktellers Studios, we believe that a story, well told, can change the world.

Made up of experts and artisans from film, music, television, gaming, literature, and digital media, our team crafts immersive tales of magic and wonder, encouraging audiences to engage with us on a deeper, more experiential level.

Being from Detroit, we’re used to creating physical, tangible things like V8 engines, carburetors and two-ton vehicles. Everyone knows what a car or a truck looks like, so we don’t have to help them visualize what we’re talking about.

But in the entertainment industry and the world of storytelling, things are VERY different. This is an environment where creators must build castles in the clouds, in the hopes that someone will support and back them, helping the clouds thicken, so the castle can rise higher and higher until it can be seen from anywhere.

This is the creative world where VAPORS become SOLIDS.

As creators, we at Folktellers Studios have been on a decade-long journey of building our “Cryptofolk” vision using a transmedia platform. The ultimate goal for our studio is to create a modern storytelling experience that is accessible to an expanding audience in books, film, television, gaming, live concerts, and more.

This was the bold, vaporous idea we started with.

In the beginning, we launched our Folktellers vision through a successful book series about the Legend of the Nain Rouge – Detroit’s Red Dwarf and harbinger of doom, followed by numerous other stories that built upon our canon around the power of storytelling.

Since our initial launch in 2009, the vapor has thickened into a dense fog in some areas, while solidifying in others. Now, we are deep in the process of releasing a series of new studio projects, working with myriad partners from across the entertainment realm.

Slowly, the vapor thickens.

Over the past few years, we have been through countless pitches, presentations and meetings. We have had to create treatment upon treatment, summary after summary, and synopsis after synopsis just to convince the powers-that-be that our ever-expanding universe is tangible, real, and substantive.

Numerous other writers, artists, and producers have been brought in to provide the development work required to frame the universe in a way that other influential people might engage at a deeper level.

The vapor is now an ectoplasm – mushy and malleable.

Now, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to bring these ideas to fruition. Business-minded people, who understand the world of entertainment, are now lining up, as they begin to see these former fumes as viable products and properties – something that can be bought and sold for profit.

The vapors solidify.

Slowly, we have moved from the act of creating into the art of negotiation, where we leverage the best lawyers, industry experts, and consultants to ensure that our alchemy won’t blow up in our faces, in the volatile and demanding laboratory of entertainment.

Our formula has proven correct and the experiment is going off well, providing us with the design and dollars necessary to turn our precipitous dreams into physical realities.

The vapors have become a solid foundation, as we watch our castle rise, expand, and grow to dizzying heights!

Such is our alchemy. We are the Folktellers, the team who dares to go beyond the wispy smoke of our own minds, in an effort to form something new, different, and compelling – TOGETHER.


At Folktellers Studios, we have spent years building up a catalog of compelling stories across our transmedia platform. We continue to win awards and recognition for the engaging, immersive tales we tell, focusing on meaningful family entertainment.

  • Two-Time Children’s Moonbeam Book Award for Young Adult Fantasy
  • Three-Time Mom’s Choice Gold Medal for Fantasy Fiction
  • American Book Fest Gold for Pre-Teen Fantasy
  • National Indie Book Award Finalist for Best New Fantasy Series
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