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 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!



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


Jonathan Kafoure - Jon

Melissa Crouterfield - Sarah, Biosuit Scanner

Giancarlo Beltrami - Military Guard

Doug - Kellogg - Military Guard

Jonah Guelzo - Biosuit Scanner


Joel Guelzo


James Banks

Special Effects

Joel Guelzo & James Banks


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."

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!


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.



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:

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

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 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.


- 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:

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.