Filmmaker R. H. Norman will show his most recent narrative short film HAJJI at the 21st Annual Dances With Films at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood, Saturday, June 9th at 2:45PM. The festival runs June 7- 17th.
Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead) plays a soldier in a reality-based conflict zone in "HAJJI", an inspired-by-true-events short which explores the cycle of violence caused by modern warfare in the Middle East.
Written and directed by R.H. Norman, the story follows two soldiers, played by Marquand and actor Dayo Okeniyi (Hunger Games, Shades of Blue), and their interaction with a local family, which culminates in an unfortunate act of unspeakable violence. The film is produced by David Lawson Jr., a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was drawn to the project by its unique perspective on war.
Norman, who was mentored by Werner Herzog and whose other short films include “Gusano” and “Mulberry”, is also known as a producer, editor, storyboard artist and colorist. “Hajji” also stars Maddie Rien, Ray Haratian (Argo), Dajan Ahmad, Bahara Golestani, and Rajeev Chhibber. In addition to producers Okeniyi, Marquand, Lawson, and Norman, the film was produced by Micheline Pitt, Sean McDaniel, Christopher Ely, Damir Omic, and John Thomas Schrad of ReKon Productions.
In this episode, R.H. and I discuss self-funding a project, working with a producer to attach celebrity talent, writing an ambitious tightly woven short film, finding the victim in a dark character, creating a full character arc in a short film, choosing the specific moments to use in a short, the difference between writing a short film and a feature, writing characters for child actors, connecting dialogue to theme, playing with the timeline of a film, what makes a complete scene and much more...