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NORMAN: Featurette / Designing the Portal Effect

Something I really wanted to make sure was held to a high standard in my film Norman, was to make sure that all of the visual effects are as photorealistic as possible. The team that is helping me create the visual effects for Norman are pushing their selves to create visuals that feel like they belong in the picture. There is absolutely no green screen used in this film. Part of making a movie for me is being able to pretend live in another world for a little while, and to be able to film in real environments that are beautiful to the eye.

I knew in the end that Norman would need many visual effects shots to be done to even be able to tell the story of Norman, but I wanted to make sure that nothing looked cheesy or forced. If the effect doesn't look completely convincing, or takes the viewer out of the story, we take it out, start over, or figure out a new way of accomplishing this task.

I just don't understand why some movies can have a hundred great effects, then all of a sudden, a CGI effect that is completely horrible and takes the viewers out of the moment. I am hopefully trying to avoid this any way I can. I am taking the less is more approach.

When the time comes to start creating the look of ANI and bringing her to life, I want to make sure she isn't just eye candy for this film, but the effects feel set back in the picture, and you forget she is movie magic, but just another character in the story to bring to life the world of Norman.

Here is a short video showing some of the behind the scenes of creating the look of the time machine's portal effects. The effects are getting very close to being finished, and we are still tweaking things here or there, but we are trying to capture a look that isn't just something you have seen before, but something that makes sense to our story and vision of time travel.

I hope you enjoy this,

-Joel Guelzo