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Posts tagged: North by Northwest

A far better than normal ‘Norman’

The soon-to-be-released “Norman” is a Spokane rarity – a locally filmed movie getting outstanding reviews and major film festival awards.

“Norman” is a coming-of-age story about a high school loner who pretends to be dying – although his father is actually the one with cancer. Some plot twists turn his world “upside down and then ultimately right side up.”

“Norman” will debut on screens Oct. 21 in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and, yes, right here at the AMC River Park Square.

It took a long time for the movie itself to come of age. It was filmed in June 2008 in Spokane by North by Northwest. It was directed by Jonathan Segal and stars Dan Byrd (“Cougar Town,” “Easy A”), Emily VanCamp(“Everwood,” “Brothers & Sisters”), Richard Jenkins (“Eat Pray Love”) and Adam Goldberg (“Entourage”). It features a soundtrack by Andrew Bird.

The Hollywood Reporter said this, “‘Norman’ has some big things going for it, not least of which is the stupendous central performance, one of the most intelligent and deeply felt big-screen portrayals of a troubled teen in the last several years.”

Variety called it “poignant and understated.” It has picked up awards at the San Diego Film Festival, the Rhode Island Film International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival.

It has now been chosen for the AMC Independent series, which brings indy films to AMC screens. You’ll see the roaring Spokane Falls and you’ll see some familiar local talent in this film too, including Bobbi Kotula, Jerry Sciarrio and Kevin Partridge.

Hey Norm! ‘Thunderballs’ cast includes George Wendt and Old Spice Guy

North by Northwest has just finished filming the Spike TV pilot “Thunderballs” in Spokane, and yes, it featured a few faces you might know.

George Wendt (Norm of “Cheers”) played the dad of one of the guys on the bowling team. The show is a comedy about some 30-something friends in a bowling league. 

Isaiah Mustafa, best known as the hunk in the Old Spice commercials (above), also played a bowler, and a particularly athletic one. He's a former pro football player.

David Koechner, who played Champ Kind in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and Todd Packer in “The Office” played a former pro bowler.

Rich Cowan of North by Northwest said it was a 30 minute pilot. If the pilot gets picked up by Spike, it will mean regular work for a lot of local film crew people and actors. Cowan said they should know by the end of July if “Thunderballs” will become a regular industry here in Spokane.

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