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The Art and Making of ParaNorman

Marvel at the artistic wizardry that brought 'ParaNorman' to life.

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The Art and Making of ParaNorman
By Jed Alger
Chronicle Books
160 pp.

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"ParaNorman," the stop-motion animated feature film currently in theaters, is about a boy named Norman, who can see and talk to ghosts. Norman is charged with the task of saving his town from a witch’s curse. His story was brought to life by the talented folks at Laika, the studio which previously brought us stop-motion classic "Coraline."  This new movie is a feast for the eyes as well with so much detail in every scene – from the clothes on the puppets to the miniature sets. You leave the theater asking: How did they make that movie?

Well, the answers to all your questions can be found in The Art and Making of ParaNorman by Jed Alger, with a preface by Laika president and CEO Travis Knight, and forwards by ParaNorman writer and director Chris Butler and director Sam Fell.

Inside this book you’ll get to pull aside the curtain to learn the process of bringing these puppets and their surroundings to life. Here’s just a sampling of the details in the book about the film’s production:

– Film editor Christopher Murrie was extremely important to Laika's method. While most film editors get to work when the majority of the filming is done, Murrie was involved throughout. Briefly, in this method, when the film’s storyboards (drawings that show how the story will be told on film, where camera angles are decided) are completed they are made into jpgs and woven into a very rough take of the movie. Once they get the voices recorded they are added to the rough film. As scenes (tests and finishes) are shot they are then added to the film, replacing the storyboard version. And all the while the directors, writers, artists all meet in the editing room to see what’s working, and what needs adjusting.

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