Searching for Norman: a grandson's journey presents the story of Kevin Gellerman, a man who sought to unravel the mystery of his grandfather's death during World War II. Kevin's journey begins humbly enough -- with a Post-It® Note providing few details obtained at Arlington National Cemetery. However, as Kevin continues to uncover the facts, he learns that a monument to his grandfather has been built outside a rural village in France. Kevin ends up experiencing much more than he ever imagined when he is invited to participate in an annual ceremony that commemorates his grandfather's heroism. Viewers follow Kevin on what he describes as "a journey of a lifetime."
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Directed by Minneapolis resident and IFP Minneapolis/Saint Paul member Luke Taylor, the documentary was made possible through the creative efforts of a team of individuals. The script was co-written by Luke Taylor and Phil Bogdan. Eric Dela Cruz and Cheryl Taylor were co-producers. Original music was composed by Randall Hanson. Searching for Norman is narrated by Joshua S. McCaffrey. Additional camera work was provided by Jothan Sargent. Creative consultants were David McKoskey, Mike Nead, and Marc Guilliet.
Several members of the production team have collaborated on a number of previous film and video projects, some under the group name Trans Collegiate Pictures or more recently, TCP Films. Some TCP works have screened at Minnesota film festivals such as the Bearded Child Film Festival in Grand Rapids, the Lake Wobegon Film Festival in Sauk Centre, and at IFP MSPs Cinema Lounge in Minneapolis. While these past projects were more whimsical in nature, Searching for Norman represents the the first entirely non-fiction effort to date.
Creative consultant Mike Nead is a successful video producer and the owner of his own production company, MediaNeads Inc. Nead has done numerous industrial and commercial videos for global clients and respected organizations. In summer of 2005, he will be working on a feature-length film being shot in Minnesota.
The film was shot entirely on miniDV. The most-used camera on this production was the Sony DC TRV-33, although a Canon GL1 was used for some scenes. The film was edited on a Macintosh G4 using Final Cut Express.
Scenes for Searching for Norman were shot on location in Minnesota and in France. The production was self-funded.
Certain historic images that appear in the film are from the Minnesota Historical Societys collection and are used with permission. A DVD copy of Searching for Norman has been donated to the MHS.
A copy of the DVD has also been donated to the Media Resources Collection of the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library at the University of St Thomas.
|At right: Filmmaker Luke Taylor prepares to interview Kevin Gellerman.
All interviewees and others shown in the film granted their permission to appear in the documentary. The complete documentary would not have been possible if they had not so generously shared their stories.
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© 2005 Luke Taylor.