News

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

Production Update: February 21st, 2015.

I was on the drive home after spending an evening with a good friend talking about how Norman is going and felt like recording an audio segment about how things are going.

- Joel Guelzo


NORMAN: Featurette / Recording Original Live Music

Hey everyone.  Today's video update shows a recording session we had with a hobby band of ours called Sparrow. Throughout the film, Norman will put on a record for background music as he works on his time machine, so instead of licensing music, we thought we would give it a try and record the music ourselves. My brother Jonah headed things up at his studio, and with only four mics, we tried a recording method similar to how songs would be recorded back in the day to help give our music an older feel.

You can listen to the tracks here:
http://sparrowband.bandcamp.com/

Here is the behind the scenes look video:


NORMAN: Featurette / Building a Time Machine

One of the initial problems I had when setting out to make a film that includes time travel was creating a time machine that could achieve several things.

1. Look visually interesting.
2. Have a unique take on design and function that is fresh and new.
3. Look like it could be "possible" that it could work.

Jason and myself talked about many designs before settling on a few that we thought were interesting and achievable within the budget I had to work with. One of the early designs we toyed around with was using carving foam to slice, glue, and sand together a very complicated shape, and then add led lights within and paint the exterior with a glossy white plastic type of paint that would have a very nice sheen to it.



We actually started to build this version using the carving foam, but only after getting over halfway finished, did we realize a few problems we might have after the fact.

1. Using carving foam made a crazy huge mess. (haha)

2. If the time machine broke during filming, the process of rebuilding it would be extremely time consuming and the cost of additional materials was very high.

3. We also had a hard time designing this version that could have enough weight so that when we attached it to our movable base plate, it never had enough mass to look convincing enough that it wasn't just a cheap prop.

Even though it would cost me quite a bit to abandon this idea and start over from scratch, it was extremely worth it in the end. So many times do you come up with an idea that works so well on paper but completely falls apart when it actually comes down to trying it in real life.

I had an idea in the back of my mind that I couldn't shake. I told Jason I would love to make one of Norman's time machine's feel like the millennium falcon. Old, barely working, and you have to smack it to get it to work. I kept coming around to this idea of a time machine that looks like it couldn't possibly work but somehow it does. I personally think this crazy idea has paid off in an unexpected way, lending this feel of Norman only using the available technology and scraps here or there to duck tape this together.



I am not sure if this was cruel or not, but I wanted to show Norman building the time machine in the film, piece by piece in a cool montage type way, so Jason and I, as we would build each new section of the time machine prop, we would disassemble it and have Stephen in character rebuild it piece by piece as I would film, allowing me to have a lot of footage to work with, and to show all the little screws, nuts, bolts, tape, wires, of the time machine itself being pieced together. I am really proud of our final design of the prop, because I wanted it to look and feel like it was built by hand, almost like we in real life could do the same, using a bit of wood here, metal here, screws and bolts.

I think the end result has a really fascinating look and makes it all the more exciting to see that Norman's time machine actually works, yet at the same time seems like it could blow up or do some serious damage.

Here is a short behind the scenes video showing us putting the time machine together and a few extra shots from the movie. I hope you enjoy it.

-Joel Guelzo


3D Modeling Work

I wish I could share with all of you guys some of the things we have been tirelessly working on as of lately. A good friend of mine, Dave Lee who originally helped me design ANI in 3D a model that could be 3D printed, has been spending hours upon hours on some other material to be used in the film. I got to see another look at what he was working on the other day, and the amount of detail he has put into his work is amazing. Even though the final shots that will be using his work might not even get to show it all off, Dave has gone the extra mile to make something that won't only just work well for the movie, but to be proud of something himself, knowing he put 100% into it. 

I am really blessed to have such amazing friends who have sacrificed their time to give me their best for this film.

P.S. This image has nothing to do with what Dave is working on since I can't show you that part yet as it is under wraps. You will just have to wait to see the finished film. In the meantime, here is a cool photo that was taken as we spent 18 hrs filming one of the big scenes in the movie with Norman's time machine.

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

Meet the New Composer for Norman

Hello everyone. Just a quick update.

Just started working with the composer for Norman this past week. When I originally released the Kickstarter trailer for my film, I had a friend of mine, Jonathan Pierce do the music for me. After the Kickstarter finished, and after many months of chatting together about ideas, I am really excited to announce that we have a new film composer for Norman.

Meet Daniel Ciurlizza, an amazing composer and really awesome guy. I met him through a Kickstarter message, and we started chatting and talking about the film, and before I did anything, I asked my previous composer, Jonathan, what he thought about this guy, and his offer to work on music for Norman. He told me to go with Daniel, realizing his skills and talent were amazing, and thought he would make a really good fit for Norman. So after several months of thinking about it, and listening to music by him, I decided to go with him, and just last week we started working on spotting the film. This basically means we go through the entire film second by second, talking about where and when music would be, the themes of the film, the feel and tone of the story minute by minute. This has been a really enjoyable experience and has helped me to really see how professional Daniel is and how incredible he is going to be for the film.

We are just about done with spotting through the entire film, so once we finish this element, Daniel will begin the actual writing and composing part of production. I am super excited about this and can't wait to see the music synced up to the film.

NORMAN: Featurette / Stephen Birge ADR Session

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. We shot a few last pickup shots, a few small new scenes and recorded all of Stephen's dialogue. It was a really long and tedious process, but it was fun to be able to come back to scenes that we shot years ago, and try to re-capture the same tone and emotions and even enhance some lines this time around. I am finally really able to say that we have finished all of Stephen's scenes, and we are in 100 percent post production mode right now. Being able to get all of the dialogue, narration done is a massive stepping stone to completing this film.

Here is another featurette showing you how we went about Stephen's ADR recording session. Thanks to my brother Jonah for pulling through and getting me the best audio recording he can for my film. Also thanks to Rode K2, Ediprompt and Edicue for allowing us the use of your software and mics.


Post Production Update: Audio Recording With Stephen

I just wanted to give a quick update of what is going on in post production world. Right now we are working on finalizing the dates to fly Stephen Birge back into town to wrap up all of his voice over work and ADR for Norman. We are planning mid August as of right now, so hopefully by the end of August, the latest draft edit of Norman will be extremely far along that we can begin to start laying in music.

Visual effects are currently being worked on as we speak, and they are looking very good. I plan to be able to share a few screen shots as they become locked and finished.


NORMAN: Featurette / Capturing Gun Sounds

Here is a featurette all about capturing gun sounds for Norman. My brother Jonah explains what it takes to capture really good weapon sounds to be used in films. I hope you enjoy a behind the curtain look on how we will be bringing the world of Norman to life through sound.

Production Update Video #1

I present to you our first big Production Update Video. Nearly 8 minutes of behind the scenes, clips from the film, and James and myself talking about what we have been doing since receiving the funds from Kickstarter. We are deep into the editing process and this is really where the movie starts to come together. Every last nickel and dime has gone into making the extra scenes happen. This movie will truly be amazing because of all the support that you have given to make it happen. I am doing everything on my end to make sure the quality of Norman is the highest it can be.

We begin VFX on Norman this June 9th, starting with a big production meeting, going over every scene to discuss which scenes and shots need effects, from big to small. I will send out an update sometime after that meeting to tell you how things are going, but for now, sit back, and relax, and enjoy this video. I hope you enjoy it, and are as excited as I am to see Norman when it is finished.

Joel

Post Production Update: Editing is going well.

Post production is defiantly where I think any film completely comes together. No matter how much you plan and make sure what you shoot and film will be what you want in the final film, things always change. Editing is where your film truly comes to life in ways you never thought it would. Over the past month or so, since wrapping up principle photography, myself and James, my assistant editor, producer, assistant script writer, idea man, problem solver, and sidekick, have been working through the Norman edit timeline over and over again, cutting things shorter where it needs to, and extending and letting other scenes breath a bit longer. Every scene in the film, every cut, we are trying to make sure there is a purpose for it, and that it fits into the overall story.

Sometimes it can be hard to cut things out of the film that you know you have spent hours and hours filming, but once it's out of the timeline, and the film starts to become smoother, and flow better, you know it's for the best.


Right now, we are working on the inner dialogue and narration that happens during specific segments of the movie that help to flesh out Norman's backstory, and understanding how he is feeling about his current situation. Once this is finished, we will be able to start finalizing ANI's dialogue and hopefully be able to record her lines in the next couple of months.

Thanks for following along with my film, and Norman's journey.

Talk soon.

New Scenes Shot: Progress Report

I just wanted to write a short update on how things are going with the new scenes we planned to shoot to include in Norman. We raised above and beyond what we needed via Kickstarter, and because of that, we just finished shooting all the extra scenes with Stephen Birge this past weekend. Here are a few photos showing the behind the scenes look at the new scenes.

Click on the photo to view more.

Last Chance to Secure a Copy of Norman & Collectors Behind the Film Art Book

Just wanted to remind everyone that at 6:50PM EST, the Norman campaign ends. If you are at all interested in seeing the final film and you haven't secured a copy already, you have about 8 hours to do so.

Also here is a peek at what the Collectors Behind the Film art book looks like. It will feature some professional photos from the making of Norman, and some personal stories about what it took to create the film from start to finish.

NormanBooklet.jpg