Norbit

Norbit In Theaters

Norbit Movie Poster

MEET RASPUTIA

"Norbit" Gag Reel

"Don't Adjust My Seat" Clip from "Norbit"

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

“My name is Norbit Albert Rice, and I was an orphan…” Thus begins the story of Norbit (Eddie Murphy), who was brought up by Mr. Wong (Eddie Murphy) at the Golden Wonton Restaurant and Orphanage. There, Norbit met his true soulmate, the lovely Kate (Thandie Newton). The two became inseparable – that is, until Kate was adopted and left Norbit to begin her new life.

One day, the lonely and easily intimidated nine-year-old Norbit is rescued on the school playground from the taunts of three bullies by hefty Rasputia (Eddie Murphy), age ten, who wields a mean right hook. As Norbit and Rasputia grow up, they marry and Norbit becomes part of her family.

In “Norbit,” the King of Comedy is at it again. Eddie Murphy is Norbit. Eddie Murphy is Rasputia. Eddie Murphy is Mr. Wong. Murphy uses his extraordinary talents to bring these diverse and unforgettable characters to life in this boisterous, ribald comedy.

Dysfunctional at best, Rasputia and her three brothers – Big Jack (Terry Crews), Earl (Clifton Powell) and Blue (Lester “Rasta ” Speight) – run the Latimore Construction Company, an outpost from which the brothers try to run the town of Boiling Springs, Tennessee. They spend most of their time running the good, hard-working people ragged, badgering, them and extorting money from them.

An employee of the construction company, the meek and downtrodden Norbit is treated with disdain by his brutish brothers-in-law and even more contemptuously by his wife. The ravenous Rasputia often sends him to the local Rib Shak – owned by ex-pimps Pope Sweet Jesus (Eddie Griffin) and Lord Have Mercy (Katt Williams) - to pick up her supersized dinner.

Such is Norbit’s lot, until his world undergoes a dramatic change when the grown-up and beautiful Kate returns to Boiling Springs. Kate has come back to buy the orphanage from the retiring Mr. Wong. But she is being bamboozled. Her seemingly adoring fiancé, Deion (Cuba Gooding, Jr. ) turns out to be a phony. He is secretly in cahoots with the conniving Latimores. They are planning to turn the orphanage into a strip club – The Nipplopolis.

But steadfast Norbit sees through their façades with a dawning realization that all is not right in Boiling Springs and in the Norbit household. With the reawakening of his feelings for Kate, Norbit gains a newfound assertiveness, rejecting the role of downtrodden, exploited milquetoast in favor of the crusading hero who knows how to dress sharp, please the ladies and ride a bike.

Will he finally stand up to the Latimores and save his true love from marrying the wrong guy? Will the mild-mannered mouse find his inner lion and set things right in Boiling Springs? And will he ever lose the yoke of servility imposed by the overwhelming, overpowering and overeating Rasputia? Therein lies a tale that can only be told by a masterful storyteller - "Norbit."


Wild About Movies predicted that "Norbit" would become the first movie of 2007 to cross the $100 million mark at the movie box office. Wasn't to be. The incompetent marketing team at Paramount, (the hijackers from Dreamworks, who, well, you know the story by now), fucked up. And "Norbit" only managed $95 million and no bragging rights to a $100 million finish at the box office. Michael Vollman (Paramount publicity head honcho, but incompetent), whom the Geffen group insisted they bring with them when they strong armed into the nonsensical deal that Brad Grey (whose days at Paramount are numbered) were bought by Paramount 2 years ago, will surely be fired from Paramount soon, and Michael Agulnek, one of the suavest and sophisticated - and sexy - of all Hollywood studios Vice Presidents of publicity - will take his place and turn the failing studio, Paramount, back around, as it was when Sherry Lansing was at the helm, during her tenure during "Titanic," etc.

UPDATE: We were wrong. It was which became the first 2007 movie release to climb over the $100 million mark at the theatrical US box office. And "Norbit" couldn't break the $100 mark - settling for a $96 million gross.

STARRING: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Eddie Griffin, Terry Crews, Clifton Powell, Cuba Gooding Jr.
DIRECTOR: Brian Robbins
STUDIO: Paramount Pictures
RATING: PG-13 (For strong language and sexual situations)

Wild About Movies Grade: B

"Norbit"
Behind The Scenes

Norbit Movie Photo

Eddie and Charles Murphy wrote the script for “Norbit” on a kind of “What the Hey” basis. “My brother’s been writing scripts for years and years,” says Eddie Murphy, who not only plays three characters in “Norbit,” but shares producing duties with John Davis. “And he got this heat off the ‘Chapelle’ show. I was like, ‘Hey, let’s write something together. You’re this hot writer now. Let’s do something.”

Although they had previously teamed up on other projects, as Charlie Murphy recalls, the process was not without pressure.

“What made it hard was the fact that I was working with someone of the caliber of Eddie Murphy. He’s my brother, but he is Eddie Murphy, so it’s a high expectation there. I knew I wanted to make sure I did a real good job. And Eddie made sure that we did a good job.”

Inspired by footage that they viewed on the Internet, the brothers worked together to frame the story.

“On the Net,” recalls Charles Murphy, “there was footage of a man and his wife having a straight-up, knock-down, drag-out fight in the street. And it was always basically the same reaction from guys when they watched this – they’re shocked because the woman is destroying the guy with no problem.”

“So my brother and I wrote this thing,” says Eddie. “It was about that battered husband.”

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

Such was the inspiration for a most unlikely couple – the quiet, subservient Norbit who is cruelly and continuously dominated by his controlling wife, Rasputia. But in the hands of the side-splitting Murphy brothers, the story was given a comedic twist and expanded to include a whole array of outrageous characters. “Rasputia is an overbearing, abusive wife. Norbit is kind of like a passive, gentle guy, who Rasputia has under her thumb,” is how Eddie Murphy puts it. “And she’s always controlling every aspect of her husband’s life.

“Norbit and Rasputia meet in the sandbox, literally,” he continues. “He meets her when he’s a little boy. And, from day one, she’s,” he states, matter-of-factly, “‘You’re gonna be my boyfriend.’ And she makes him be her boyfriend - all through grammar school and junior high school and high school. And they get out of school and get married. She takes over his whole life from childhood”

Producing a film with broad comedic appeal is nothing new for producer John Davis. “When Eddie and his brother Charlie asked me to be involved with their script, I was ecstatic. This is the fourth movie I’ve done with Eddie.” Davis. and Murphy had previously worked together on several successful comedies including “Dr. Dolittle,” “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “Daddy Day Care.” “And what I loved about this one is that it’s Eddie Murphy playing multiple characters and bringing an outrageousness to them.”

Eddie Murphy concurs: “I wanted to do something a little edgy, because I’d been doing a lot of family movies, a lot of stuff with kids - “Shrek” and “Daddy Daycare” and “Haunted Mansion,” which were terribly cute films, but I wanted to do something that people were, coming to me and asking, ‘Hey, when are you gonna do standup?’ and, ‘When are you gonna do something that I wanna see - the Eddie Murphy movie, something with a little unnnh?’ So we said OK, we gave them something a little edgy because that’s what they’ve been waiting on, and that’s what I’ve been wanting to do for a while.”

With the script greenlit, finding the right director for the project was crucial. Brian Robbins enthusiastically came on board to direct after reading the script and realizing that here was an opportunity to work with one of his long-time idols.

“The opportunity to work with Eddie Murphy was a no-brainer for me,” recalls Robbins. “As a kid who grew up in Brooklyn, New York, I remember watching “Saturday Night Live” and imitating everything Eddie did and knowing every word from every sketch. “48 Hours” and “Trading Places” were like watershed movies for me. So to shoot a scene and then go back to the monitor with Eddie and stand next to him and laugh together about what we just collaborated on was an unbelievable thrill for me. How do you top that?”

For Murphy, the situation is symbiotic. “I’m very happy with Brian Robbins directing,” he says. “I worked well with him. I’m doing another film with Brian Robbins right after this.”

The cool thing about this project, says Murphy, is the opportunity to juggle multiple characters. “I like doing the make-up movies just for the simple fact that when I put on make-up, I get to go to some whole other place,” he says. “You make me an old lady, now I gotta, come up with some new stuff for this old lady. If I’m an old Jewish guy, if I’m an old Asian guy, or Sherman Clump - anything that takes me away from this skin opens me up to all these different possibilities. And I love that.”

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

“This is a complicated movie,” comments Davis. “There are a lot of days here. There are a lot of visual effects. And we needed to shoot each scene two and three times because you need to shoot it with each of the characters. Brian Robbins storyboarded the entire movie ahead of time. He was never intimidated by the challenge ahead of him.”

The importance of being prepared was crucial in Robbins’ mind and he carefully planned out each and every scene.

“I set out to storyboard the entire movie before we started,” Robbins says. “That took several months to do. Even the simplest of two-character scenes required careful planning because if Eddie was both characters in the scene, obviously, I needed to figure out what the staging was for both sides of the scene before I even walked onto the set.”

In addition to the director’s preparedness, Davis also admired Robbins’ unruffled demeanor and his sense of humor.

“He’s the calmest guy in the world on a set, which allows him to roll with the things that happen. You’ve got to be calm when this many pieces have to fit together. And Brian is also a really funny guy so he was a great person to do this movie.”

Thandie Newton, who is working with Robbins for the first time, agrees with Davis’ observations about the director.

“He's just very sure of what he is doing,” says Newton. “I have never seen a twitch or a moment of indecision. He’s just got it under control. Brian is ego-less, happy and proud of the work. It’s a lovely thing. And Eddie plays three characters, each completely different. And it surpasses my ideas of what we were going to do, my expectations, everything.”

This pride in his work was evident not only in Robbins’ preparedness but in the everyday mood that he created on the set. Things were kept light and easy-going by design.

“I work best when things are calm,” the director says. “When you're making a comedy, you don’t want it tense,” states Robbins. “You want everybody feeling loose and funny and relaxed. I wanted to create an environment where everybody was free to do their thing and not be insecure or uptight.

“Making a movie is hard work. It’s really hard. But we just had a really good time making this movie and I think everybody felt like we were doing something good. Like we were really working on something that felt like it had a little magic going on.”

That magic was captured by the industry’s faux-features veteran Rick Baker, the man responsible for turning Michael Jackson into a vampire in the “Thriller” video, and for so many feature films, from “An American Werewolf in London” to “X-Men: The Last Stand” … and a few Eddie Murphy vehicles as well.

Baker’s presence on the set was, for Murphy, an indispensable influence in shaping the comedy. “Well, Rick did ‘Coming to America’ with me years and years ago,” he says. “And I just feel most comfortable when I’m working with him and I’m doing these characters. I feel like what he brings to it makes whole characters come to life. They’re like real people. I’ve seen other people do make-up movies, and some of them are funny. But what Rick Baker brings to it is the nuances, the small differences. You forget that it’s make-up. You feel like it’s a real person you’re looking at.”

With the script ready and the filmmakers on board, casting was the next order of business. Eddie Murphy began this process assuming that he would be playing Norbit, but not necessarily Rasputia.

“Originally, when we were first writing the film,” recalls Charles Murphy, “we were talking about who would be the female that would play Rasputia. And then it evolved into being Eddie playing the role himself.”

With the addition of restaurateur-orphanage proprietor Mr. Wong, Eddie Murphy’s menagerie of characters numbered three – diverse and ripe for his unique interpretation.

Fans of Murphy and film audiences the world over have seen this talented actor play various roles before. But the filmmakers all thought that these three particular characters would allow Murphy to showcase even more of his talents.

“Eddie’s done movies before where he’s played multiple characters,” comments director Robbins, “so that part is nothing new. But what’s different about this, is that Norbit is such an interesting, sweet and pure guy. Additionally, it’s very much a fairy tale. It just feels different. It feels like something we haven’t seen before. And his characterization of Rasputia is just wild … wild and funny and fantastic”

“I think Eddie Murphy is just brilliant,” continues Robbins. “I mean there’s just no other way to really describe what he has the ability to do so effortlessly. He’s a genius at taking a character and giving it a voice and a look and like really enveloping it inside and out. I mean, there are people out there doing these types of roles, but no one touches him. He’s just at a whole other level. There’s not one scene in this movie that Eddie didn’t take what was on the page and twist it and make it funnier and come up with better stuff.

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

“I realized the more I didn’t cut the camera and we just did it again and again and let him sort of get momentum and rhythm going, he just got funnier and funnier and more and more brilliant. And his ability to improvise with himself as these characters is pretty amazing.”

“I remember watching Eddie the first day as they were putting the Mr. Wong make-up on,” Davis says. “He had watched films that had Chinese characters in them. And I watched him find that voice. And then I watched him take all of that and create something completely unique and different.”

Remembering day one of shooting, Robbins, too, recalls the complete transformation that Murphy went through. “On the first day shooting,” he says, “Eddie was Mr. Wong. And when he came out, you had no idea that Eddie Murphy was on the set. I mean, you truly had no idea. It was just startling.”

For the role of Kate, the filmmakers interviewed and auditioned dozens of beautiful, talented actresses. But finally, the choice came down to one person – Thandie Newton.

“There was a certain quality that Thandie had that we couldn’t find in anybody else,” says Davis. “When you’re casting a movie, you don’t know it at the time. It’s not the person you expect. You find one person, sometimes two, but usually one person who’s right for that role. We met 40 or 50 actresses. We read them all. She was the only one who was right for that role.

“She also wanted to do this movie and of sought us out,” continues Davis. “And it’s always great when someone is passionate about doing something. Also, she is unbelievably beautiful, and she’s got this really naïve part of herself that she can turn on onscreen. And you believed that Eddie actually could fall in love with her and she with Eddie.”

“We wanted Thandie because she’s so sweet and she’s a really good actress,” says Murphy. “And we needed somebody that was going to make you believe that, she’d they’d really be in love with Norbit.”

“I saw Rasputia as the evil stepmother and Norbit was sort of Cinderella getting locked in the basement,” Robbins says. “And then Kate was the princess coming to rescue to him. Thandie was really lovely and sweet and it’s a different kind of role than we’ve seen her in because she’s always so dramatic and put-upon in all her films. So, it was nice to see her just sort of like be naïve and upbeat and smile in a movie.”

Newton was thrilled that she became part of the ensemble cast that would be working with Eddie Murphy. Although not initially thought of as a comedic actress, she enjoyed the challenges that working with so many comedians would offer her on this film.

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

“I felt that it was an opportunity to really explore character,” comments Newton, “and despite the fact that, in many ways, Kate is the ‘straight man’ of the film, there were still moments of fun and silliness that I could really enjoy. And to be honest, the main thing that I wanted to experience was to be around a craftsman like Eddie - a genius - to be in the presence of someone creating something memorable.”

Although the humor in the script and the story intrigued Academy Award®-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., it was also the prospect of working with the talented Murphy that was the main draw for signing on to play Deion Hughes, Kate’s devious, conniving fiancé.

“I’m a huge Eddie Murphy fan,” says Gooding, Jr. “My first film was ‘Coming to America.’” I had a real little part and all the lines were cut out. So now I have a bigger part in an Eddie Murphy movie. He’s a cultural icon. So when I had an opportunity to work with him on film, I took it.

“He’s a consummate pro at improvisation, you know,” he adds. “Responding to, and encouraging improvisation is a real key to a successful comedy.”

No one was more thrilled to acquire the services of Gooding, Jr. than Davis and Robbins.

“One day he just popped into my mind,” Robbins says. “But everyone thought, ‘He’s never gonna do this.’ But I said, ‘How do you know?’ So, we wrote him a letter and sent him the script and he responded immediately… sort of the same way I responded, which was, ‘A chance to work with Eddie Murphy? I’m there.’ And we were really lucky to get him.”

“He was up for it,” reiterates Davis, “and he wanted to work with Eddie. He also really liked the script. It was just a great gift that he did the movie.”

Casting the three outrageous and dim-witted Latimore brothers, the filmmakers needed just the right combination of talented actors. As the town bullies who wreak havoc on the little town of Boiling Springs, Tennessee, these actors needed to not only create individual, comedic characters, but to be convincing as a family – albeit unconventional and gangsta-like – unit.

Terry Crews, best known for his current role in the hit series “Everybody Hates Chris,” was cast to play Big Jack. On the surface, as Crews explains the character, he just wants to be taken seriously. But like a bull in a china shop, Big Jack intimidates the townspeople as he and his brothers extort money from the initially timid group.

“I was in the NFL for seven years, so I knew a lot of Big Jacks,” Crews begins with a smile. “There were Big Jacks everywhere. You go to the club, Big Jack walked in. You know what I mean? And I did base this character on a few people that I knew who scared the hell out of me. When I was coming up, there were people who had no clue that what they were saying offended everybody.”

With a strong background in improvisational theater, a long list of playing “heavies” as well as appearing in such comedic classics as “Friday After Next” and “Next Friday,” Clifton Powell was hand-picked by Eddie Murphy to inhabit the character of brother Earl. Playing the oldest, and yet smallest Latimore brother, Powell had great fun pulling from his diverse background to create his character.

“My co-stars are ex-football players,” comments Powell, “and I have been doing this a long time. So I think my presence, in general, is just very strong. That’s why they cast me against these guys. When you are playing against these huge guys, you have to have a strong presence. I know how to turn it on and turn it off.”

As the “baby” brother, 6ft 6in., 305 lbs. ex-professional football player Lester “Rasta” Speight was cast as Blue. By far the biggest, most muscular brother, Rasta and director Robbins worked out a surprising personality trait for this bruiser – a Mike Tyson-inspired lisp.

“At first Brian wanted something like a high pitch, like Mike Tyson,” laughs Rasta. “But then we brought it down to my natural voice, but just a little higher. And then that seemed to fit better because we didn’t want to make it too cartoonish.”

Powell, Crews and Speight had no trouble working as a cohesive unit. Both on screen and off, the three actors were in sync and enjoyed each other’s camaraderie.

“The chemistry was there right from the beginning,” comments Speight. “Everybody just knew their part, knew what they needed to do, and it just came together. Because if the chemistry’s not there, then it’s not working, and then you know it’s kind of flat. But not here, this is going to be hysterical.”

Adding to the hysterics on and off the set are Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams, two comedians/rappers who team up to play the retired pimps, Pope Sweet Jesus and Lord Have Mercy. Having turned over a new leaf, the two are proprietors of the local Rib Shak. Pope Sweet Jesus (Griffin) and Lord Have Mercy (Williams) are brought to life with riotous humor.

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

As Williams notes, “The chemistry is already there. So it was just a fortunate situation for me. I mean I’m in an Eddie Murphy movie, with Eddie Griffin.”

“I’ve known Katt for a few years,” adds Griffin. “I like to call him a protégé. Let’s put it like this, they couldn’t have picked a better Lord Have Mercy.”

“I've never been around comedians like this,” Newton says about her co-stars. “I always thought comedians were supposed to be depressed people. These guys just want to make you laugh. They just have an effuse happiness, silliness and lightheartedness. They just want to keep things light. Keep you looking on the bright side.”

Director Robbins took full advantage of having a cast full of comedians – actors who could make any scene funnier by keeping the cameras rolling and giving them free reign to be creative through unbridled improvisation.

“These are all smart guys,” comments Robbins. “Since so many of the cast are comedians, I would just push them. I’d be like, ‘What else you got?’ ‘Let’s try something else.’ It was fun and they were always game for it. And this went for Eddie too.”

“We had a bunch of roles in the movie that were really funny. We wanted to cast them with funny people. We got, Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams. … and Marlon Wayans,” says Murphy. “We got Marlon Wayans to play the aerobics instructor. He’s hysterical.”

Buster, Rasputia’s aerobics instructor with dreams of TV-video superstardom for his patented “Power Tap” method, is a stroke of casting genius as well as a pivotal character who plays a role in coming between Norbit and his wife.

“Power Tap is what Marlon Wayans’ character, the instructor teaches,” says Murphy. “It’s kind of like when that guy Billy Blanks had Tae Bo. He was mixing, karate with, you know, aerobics. This guy, Buster, he’s a local guy who mixes tap dancing with aerobics, and it’s called Power Tap. So he has his students tap dancing real hard to lose weight. It’s very, very funny visually. And it sounds funny too.”

“And Rasputia is in that class. It’s to lose weight, and she starts flirting with Marlon Wayans. And, they have a heated affair. He pounds her out,” Murphy adds with a chuckle, “and Norbit catches them.”

“I encouraged improvisation, “continues Robbins. “Anytime you have guys like Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams around, you would be foolish not to let them do their thing. So I always encouraged them to go off the page and keep it going and I kept the cameras rolling.”

RICK BAKER – THE MAGIC OF HIS MAKE-UP

In the world of special effects make-up, one name stands out: Rick Baker. Baker has won six Academy Awards® in the category of Best Make-Up for his work on the films “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Men in Black,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Ed Wood,” “Harry and the Hendersons” and “An American Werewolf in London.” As one of the most honored artists in motion picture history, the filmmakers were overjoyed that Baker agreed to work on their project.

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

“It took him nine months to create these looks,” recalls Davis. “When we first went in, we wanted to start the movie earlier. But Rick Baker said, “If I’m going to do the movie, it’s got to be perfect.’ And I didn’t completely appreciate what perfection meant until the day we were on the set and we were ready to shoot. Eddie walked out dressed as Mr. Wong. And from the eyelids down, it was imperceptible that there was Eddie Murphy in there.”

“What came to my mind when I first read the script,” Baker says, “Was, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to do. These kind of make-ups are very tough to do, human make-ups. They’re the ones that fail the most often, and, they’re much harder than doing an alien or a monster.

“It was just challenging to do a body that big that was going to be naked, and that’s where we spent a lot of our time and energy - developing this body. It would look real and move real. And also, just the challenge of turning Eddie into an Asian, an old Asian man, you know, because he’s … not Asian, you know. And he’s not an old Jewish man, either. But, I knew that it would be an interesting challenge and it would be fun to see what Eddie does with it, when he’s made up.”

“On a movie like this, where the make-up is everything to these characters,” comments Robbins, “to have the best guy ever, the guy who sort of invented it be involved, really makes me comfortable knowing that it’s going to be great. And I would just marvel at the make-up. It took forever every day but it was worth it.

“Even Eddie, who was in the editing room the other day, was like, ‘God, look at that make-up. Look at Mr. Wong. I can’t believe it.’ Even he who sat in the make-up chair for 75 days was still marveling at it. It’s really quite brilliant.”

Allowing Baker and his team the time they needed to cast, create, test, sculpt, paint and re-test resulted in two astonishingly visual characters – Rasputia and Mr. Wong.

The final features of Rasputia were carefully worked out. Her face was constructed out of nine pieces of foam latex. Each piece was then carefully painted to look like skin.

Prosthetic makeup supervisor Kazuhiro Tsuji applied each piece to Murphy’s face one at a time each day he worked as Rasputia. This process took two hours of concentrated and painstaking work.

Tsuji was also the artist on set when Murphy was transformed into Mr. Wong.

So the creative team created Mr. Wong from scratch. After the design was completed, Tsuji applied 11 individual and carefully shaped pieces of silicon to Murphy’s face. This material is delicate and needed to be applied cautiously. Therefore, it actually took longer to turn Murphy into Mr. Wong than it did to turn him into Rasputia. Tsuji usually needed three and a half hours of time to create the Asian orphanage owner.

VISUAL EFFECTS TIMES THREE

Portraying the three main characters in the film meant that Murphy would appear in many scenes with himself. This bit of movie magic needed to be finalized in post-production and there were a few different ways that it could be accomplished.

Norbit Movie Photo, Eddie Murphy

As visual effects producer Les Hunter explains it, “In some cases we utilized traditional split-screen photography which we’ve all seen. For instance, on one day Eddie is on the left side of the screen as Norbit, and on the next day we film him as Rasputia on the right side of the frame. And so, we do a split-screen line down the middle and you get both performances there.

“In other cases, we used green-screen technology to composite him into the shots. Lastly, and we’re doing a lot of this for this film, is utilizing head replacement or face replacement.”

The filmmakers, stunt coordinator, costumer and visual effects team had to work together to make the right choice for each shot. Again, planning was of the utmost importance.

“We would listen and try to give Brian everything he asked for and everything he wanted.” comments Hunter. “We would sit down with him and the other producers and talk about each scene. Then we’d take each storyboard, break those down, in terms of our best approach to completing each shot. And if we ever hit a wall or something that was some kind of constraint, we’d sit down and we’d talk about our options.”

Then it is up to the visual effects artist to go in and finesse each image, by hand and with great attention to detail, smoothing over and blending each frame. As Hunter explains, no matter how advanced the technology, the human touch is still necessary.

But even with careful planning, everyone knows that part of filmmaking is always to expect the unexpected. And such was the case on “Norbit.”

“Ultimately, you have to be ready to go with the flow,” Hunter acknowledges.

“Things don’t always work out every day the way you expect. Maybe the lighting conditions change or the time you have to shoot something doesn’t always go as planned. So there were instances when we would change something that was going to be a split-screen shot into a green screen composite or something that we thought was going to be composites, we decided to make this a head replacement. Eventually, we got into a rhythm, and as the show went along, we learned our system a little bit better and better.”