News

NORMAN: October 2017 Update (Video)

Hi everyone, sorry it's been quite a while since my last update on the film. It's been an insanely busy few months, and we have some really cool updates coming soon.

Norman is coming along well, and we expect to have the first half of foley finished in the next two weeks, with the second half early to mid November. Things have been a bit stressful for myself and my brother lately, having to do a bunch of extra free lance jobs, and balancing work, family, and life on top of finding time to keep chugging along with Norman.

But I want you all to know that we are really making good progress, and Jonah and I think it's still gonna happen to have Norman pretty much finished before the year is up. This might not include the final touch that is Color Grading, but at least the film will have all finished sound and will pretty much be finished. I cannot tell you how excited I will be to have it at this point.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a video I recorded with my friend on answering a question I have had asked to me many many times over the years while working on Norman.

Today's video update talks about how to promote your work so that others care about it. Hopefully you will find this interesting, because I think this is absolutely crucial in getting your idea out there and made. If you can't promote your work or talk about it in a way that gets others excited, you won't have an easy time getting it made, kickstarted, shared, etc.

One of the ways that helped my film get funded, was having a well polished site around the time when I launched. My friend owns a company called Knapsack, and he built it for me, as well as designed various logos, facebook posts, and worked with me on all things promotional related to make sure my product stood out from the rest.

What is so cool about their company, and you will learn more from watching the video, is that they can literally build you a working site all within one work day. I urge you, that if you find yourself in the same boat as me, and you have a project that needs promotion, or you are trying to kickstart something, do yourself a favor and make sure you have a good site, you have good designs, logos, etc, to the best of your ability. This makes all the difference in the world.

If you are in need of a website, I highly recommend www.knapsackcreative.com

Thanks everyone, and stay tuned, we have a lot more content coming your way in just a few weeks time.

-Joel Guelzo

NORMAN: Sound Design Update Week #9

It's been awhile since our last sound update, so while I was over at Jonah's studio the other day, I recorded a quick update on how things are going. Jonah estimates he has about 25-30% left of the film to do until he is done. We are making major progress.

Huge Milestone Announcement!

Words cannot describe how happy I am right now. Instead of explaining in text, I recorded a video for this special announcement to hopefully convey in at least some small manner how I feel right now.

NORMAN: Featurette / Deconstructing ANI

One of the most complex things to create for this film, was the character of ANI. Because she is a combination of visual effects, practical effects and voice overs, her character was extremely hard to make work on screen because of the low budget and time in between working on the shots.

I try to deconstruct what it takes to create ANI on screen that looks interesting, and is a character that hopefully is fun to watch and get to know more about.

NORMAN: Sound Design Update Week #4

Jonah previews another scene he is working on, that involves a more bare bones, scrapped together time machine that Norman made. This version, we wanted the sounds to be more raw without as many effects added to it, so we recorded a lot of live elements to mix into the final scene.

NORMAN: Sound Design Update Week #3

In Week 3 of 8 so far, Jonah talks about choosing the right sound for Norman's mini time machine and making sure it sounds like it's actually coming from the device by using various audio effects.

NORMAN: Sound Design Update Week #2

In week 2 of 8 so far, Jonah talks about panning each sound element for every scene and adjusting audio levels for scene changes and cuts.

NORMAN: Post Production Update: Jan 3, 2017

I am so excited to let everyone know that after months of planning, saving up money, and planning out a schedule, my brother is able to start this final stretch of sound design and mixing for Norman. We fleshed out a workable schedule for him to stay on track for roughly 8 weeks worth of work. He starts today, and will be working on a four day a week schedule, back to back as much as possible, till the picture is complete.

Why am I so excited about this? My brother does all sorts of freelance work for his income, so because of that, it's hard to find a nice chunk of time for him to commit to only working on Norman. My brother wants to make the audio the best he possibly can, but it can be super hard when he has other freelance work that comes in that he has to take to put food on the table for his family.

So, for the past several months, we have worked up a schedule to clear some of his plate to allow some solid uninterrupted time to work on Norman and to once and for all finish out this last part of the project.

We are going to try and record a short video with updates weekly, as sound design is being done. I wish him well as he begins an extremely tedious part of the project, and thank you all again very much for all the support and patience as this project continues towards the finish line.

THE MAKING OF NORMAN: Collectors Book Available Now

I've been asked many many times, if I'm going to release the NORMAN Collector's Book to the public.

Well today, I'd like to announce that it is now available online to purchase.

If you are one of the Kickstarter Backers who paid for this originally, please DO NOT buy one, as I am sending out more shipments of booklets this week.

I apologize it has taken awhile. They ended up costing a lot more than I had planned on because of how much bigger the booklet ended up being, compared to the original idea. I wanted to make sure it was something worth your while, and would be a really nice keepsake for not only the backers, but to my cast and crew as a thank you and nice memory to look back on.

If you are someone who enjoys reading about the behind the scenes side of filmmaking, I think you might really enjoy this.

PURCHASE THE BOOK AT: 
http://www.blurb.com/b/7350683-the-making-of-norman

Or at www.normanthefilm.com

We have some exciting news coming in the next two weeks concerning post production on Norman, that I am very excited to share with you.

Thank you all very much, and may you all have a very Merry Christmas!

-Joel Guelzo

2nd Wave of Collectors Booklets Coming Soon

I am shipping off the 2nd wave of Norman Collector Booklets next week. I finished the first wave of shipments last week, and once I finish sending off all the booklets to the original first backers, I've been asked by several followers of the project, if the booklet will be available to purchase for anyone who didn't originally back it at the start of the Kickstarter campaign.

The answer is YES.

The original plan for this booklet was very small, and was meant to act as just a simple reward for backers, but I would love to have more people be able to get a hold of a copy if they are interested. I spent a lot of time putting it together, and plan to give some away to my cast and crew as gifts, but would enjoy being able to see others enjoy it as well.

Once I have fulfilled all the original orders from the early backers, I will put up information and have a link on www.normanthefilm.com for others to be able to purchase it.

In the meantime, we are still hard at work in post production, working on sound design for the film. Sorry that updates have been slow, but it's been a bit of a dry period in production, as pieces come into play to continue various stages of work on the film.

Thank you for your continued support.

-Joel

NORMAN: Collectors Book Finished

So after about a year and a half worth of work, I have finally finished the NORMAN Collectors Book that I will soon be shipping out to the exclusive Kickstarter backers who chose that reward tier. I am very excited to share this bit of news with you all, as it has been fun to finally be getting super close to the end of this almost 5 year journey. I will be sending out emails to the specific people who backed the project in the next couple days, so keep an eye out for it.

This Collectors Book contains 84 pages of content, including some really awesome stories and insight from cast and crew, as well as some really beautiful photos taken during the filming of Norman. I can't wait for you all to get your copy, and I thank you again for all your support.

Unfortunately for now, I will only be shipping this out early to the select backers who pledged at the tier level to receive one. If you are interested in getting a copy, please subscribe to our email newsletter at www.normanthefilm.com to be notified the moment the book will be available for public purchase.

Here is a short video showing what the Collectors Book looks like.

Thank you all so very much!
-Joel Guelzo

The Switch: A 48 Hr Film Contest

Last year I entered a local film festival that gives you only 48 hours to write, direct, shoot, edit, create music and finish a short film based on a random genre you pull from a hat. So once again, I decided to enter the Lynchburg 48 Hour Film Contest again this year, and this is the film my team created, called, "The Switch."

The film shoot was extra special because Melissa (who plays ANI in Norman) was available that weekend to film, so I had a blast being able to work with her again. Thanks everyone for all your hard work!

 

Hope you enjoy it!

P.S. Norman news is heading your way soon! Stay tuned!

 

CREDITS:

Directed By

Joel Guelzo & James Banks

Produced By

Joel Guelzo

Written By

James Banks

Jonathan Kafoure

Edited By

Joel Guelzo & James Banks

Music By

Daniel Ciurlizza

Music Department

Tato Ciurlizza - Vocalist

Nestor Estrada - Sample Development

Travis W. Hendrix - Flute Soloist

Jaime Lew - Score Technical Engineer

Mitch Del Rosario - Ambient Sound Design

Daniel Ciurlizza - Synthesizer Programmer

Sound Design By

Jonah Guelzo

Production Sound Mixer

Jonah Guelzo

Cast

Jonathan Kafoure - Jon

Melissa Crouterfield - Sarah, Biosuit Scanner

Giancarlo Beltrami - Military Guard

Doug - Kellogg - Military Guard

Jonah Guelzo - Biosuit Scanner

Cinematography

Joel Guelzo

Lighting

James Banks

Special Effects

Joel Guelzo & James Banks

Colorist

James Banks

Hair / Makeup

Mauresa Guelzo

Special Thanks To

Stone Blue Productions

The General

Joy Guelzo

Tyler Lyon

NORMAN: Visual Effects Montage / By Hello Studios

One of the toughest things about making Norman, was to try and get high production quality visual effects on a zero budget essentially. Adam and Sam, from Hello Studios, created a short montage video to show off the types of effects shots they accomplished for my film Norman. I think they have done an outstanding job and have gone above and beyond the original scope of the project. I hope you enjoy a short look into the amount of work that has continually been going into making Norman into a really awesome film. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is what Hello Studios had to say about this video.

"For the past couple years, there has been an ongoing back burner project called NORMAN - A Joel Guelzo Film that we've whittled away at from time to time. It's a movie we're helping do the Visual Effects on and everything is super close to being complete. Here is a montage of just a handful of the hundreds of VFX shots in the film."
http://www.hellostudios.net/

Have any questions about the film?

A week ago, an awesome fan of the project who has been following it since I first posted it up on Kickstarter back in January of 2014, sent me an encouraging message wanting to know about how things are going, and when he might be able to see the film.

I was actually having quite a rough day, and It was such a blessing to have that message pop up on my phone. It really meant a lot to me. I sent him a few voice messages telling him about how things are going, whats left to do, and thanking him for the kind message.

We ended up talking for an hour or so, and he asked me about a few things about the making of Norman, wanting to know about working with extras on a low budget, locations, and a few other questions. I enjoyed being able to tell him about the film and what we did.

At the end of our chat, he mentioned that he thought it might be cool to make a post letting followers of the project know if they had any questions they would want to know about the film, be it the actual filmmaking, editing, cameras, getting locations, making props, etc, to post a message to the Norman Facebook Page.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might want to know about, as best as I am able to, excluding story spoilers, as that is kept under lock and key till the film is done. :)

I am so grateful for all the help and support that has helped get the film where it is today, and If I am able to give back even in just a tiny way by answering some filmmaking questions that could potentially help out other filmmakers or just people interested in making films, I would be more than happy to.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you all know that if you had anything you wanted to know about the film, feel free to message here. I will do my best to answer you or get James, my brother Jonah, or Stephen who played Norman, or Jason who built the props to answer.

Since there won't be too many more behind the scenes videos released from now till the film is over, because we are getting so close to finishing things up, I thought this might be a nice way to still connect with the people following the project.

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

-Joel

Featurette: Composing Music

As we near the end of post production on Norman, there have been less and less videos to post about the film because of the nature of how busy work has been to get the film done. So for today, I really wanted to give all of you a really nice behind the scenes perspective on the work that has taken place to bring the music for Norman to life.

Music to me is such an important thing for films. It can completely make or break the film in my opinion. Creating a film with such a low budget usually guarantees you one option. Low quality midi sounding type music. It's super low cost, and there are so many "composers" out there that have keyboards and Garage Band on their macs that can spit out a theme for this or that using loops or synthesized sounds.

This was something I was incredibly worried about for Norman. To me, knowing all this work I put into my film over the years, only to have a subpar soundtrack to finish it off with. This scared me so much. I can instantly notice generic sounding music, short cuts with fake instruments, so I knew it was going to be incredibly hard to find a way to get amazing original music for my film, but I promised myself I would figure out a way somehow.

Years passed by, and after my Kickstarter ended, I had gotten an email from a Daniel Ciurlizza, of Outlier Studios. He told me that he enjoyed my trailer and liked the scifi genre a lot and would love to talk with me. At this time, I already had a composer who had done the trailer music, but when I showed him Daniel's work, he told me, "Joel, if you can afford this guy. DO it!"

So after months of chatting with Daniel, and getting to know him, I decided it was worth the chance. I was still a bit nervous about working with someone so far away from where I lived, to handle the music for my film. What if there was a problem, or things go bad? I didn't have the money to easily try over again.

Fast forward one year later, and all the music is finished. Let me just say, it was one of the best decisions I could make for Norman. Daniel didn't just write me music for my film. He created Norman and ANI as real characters to me. He added in emotion where I didn't think could be added, he redid several tracks for months at a time, wanting them to be perfect. He fell in love with the story and project and really put every effort into making the music his own. He wanted to add his own stamp of approval. He told me recently that coming to the end of this production, that he actually will be quite sad to see it all over.

Norman has become such a large part of my life, and it has been an incredible joy to watch Daniel join this adventure as well.

I hope you enjoy the video, and that it gets you even more excited to see the final product. This journey is truly nearing the end.

Thank you for following along with me and supporting me.

Enjoy!

-Joel

Featurette: Giving Life to ADR

I apologize for the delay in updates, but I would like to say that we are really making a lot of headway on the film. We are nearing the tail end of post production work.

My sound designer and brother Jonah, has finished adding in all of the ADR work for Norman and all of the other side characters you will find out about when the film is done. He has meticulously added in background sounds for all sorts of environments like creaking trees, wind whistling across sand dunes, to subtler ambiences like the hum and pipe noises of an older basement, or the gentle throb of machinery of Norman's science lab.

Music is extremely close to being done, and it is a surreal experience to witness the film come to life through Daniel's music. I can hardly believe we are nearing the end of this specific chapter. I cannot wait to share more with you concerning the music of Norman.

In this post production featurette, my brother goes into detail on how he is breathing life into the ADR we recorded for Norman and helping it to sound more natural and fit into the environment of the film by using convolution reverbs and effects to match the sound quality of a space helmet, a large room, or a basement.

All these details are key to creating a very rich sounding environment and securing that the viewer is never taken out of the story, but helping to draw them into Norman's world and his adventure.

I hope you enjoy this video and get to see a little of what goes into making a film the very best it possibly can.

Listen to the Norman Trailer #2 theme by Daniel Ciurlizza.

Enjoyed the trailer? Listen to the musical theme Daniel Ciurlizza composed just for the second Norman Trailer. His work truly grasps the feeling and mood of what I have been wanting Norman to be for such a long time. Thank you Daniel for all your hard work!

Music by DANIEL CIURLIZZA Website: www.danielciurlizza.com

Music Department: Elvis Bates - Score Technical Consultant & Sample Development Daniel Ciurlizza - Synthesizer Programmer & Violin Soloist & Percussionist Nestor Estrada - Music Assistant Jaime Lew - Score Technical Engineer Corin Neff - Synthesizer Programmer

Score produced by Outlier Studios

https://soundcloud.com/danielciurlizza/norman-trailer-2

NORMAN - Official Trailer #2

I am very proud to present the official second trailer for Norman. Hours upon hours of work have gone into making this trailer an awesome viewing experience for all of you. I would like to thank Daniel Ciurlizza, the official composer for Norman, for all of the hard work and passion that he has put into making the music of Norman the best it could possibly be. I am truly grateful to have him working on this project. The music you hear in the trailer is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. I cannot wait to share more with all of you . It is truly incredible music and really makes the film feel alive.

I'd also like to thank my brother Jonah, who has gone out of his way to make sure the trailer sounds as awesome as possible. Even though he is incredibly busy at the moment, he still set aside time to get this done for me. He is working hard to finish some other projects so he can dedicate time  to the main film once the picture is ready for him to begin official sound work. I simply cannot wait.

I hope you enjoy it, and I apologize for the continued wait to see the finished film. I am doing everything I can to complete Norman at the highest level possible.

If you want to keep from missing  out on any news concerning Norman, I would love for you to go to www.normanthefilm.com and sign up for the newsletter. It is a great way for me to keep in touch with you and, when the time comes, to let everyone know where you can buy and see the finished film.

Enjoy!

- Joel Guelzo