Michael Norris is an actor, director, and producer of Christian films. He and his wife, Valerie Norris founded 2nd Fiddle Entertainment and have produced two feature-length films to date, Birdie & Bogey and their latest release, Maggie’s Passage. They currently have two film projects in the works, the first of which is called “Blind Faith” which is about an 18 year old piano prodigy who loses his sight.
How did you get involved in filmmaking?
I was exposed to filmmaking young through my father. Kind of raised on a set.
Tell us about your acting background.
In the 80’s and 90’s I did a lot of bad action films. People wanted to use the Norris name at a discount. Not proud of them, but it began laying a foundation for things to come.
How did the idea for your most recent film Maggie’s Passage originate?
Maggie’s Passage was going to be a short film to showcase my cousin. But when the time came and I wanted to turn it into a full-length feature, my cousin wasn’t right for the role.
Can you share a behind-the-scenes anecdote from its filming?
I, for the first time, let God take total control. It was my wife’s and my money, our idea, our production, but we really prayed hard that HE would take control. There are many times when I was thinking UH-OH but in my heart I believed God would make all well. And HE did.
Describe the process Ray Normandin and you used to write the script for the film?
Not much of a process with Ray. To be honest, a blank page scared me. I would let Ray write at night from LA. In the morning, I would get the pages and re-write. But the film that was on-screen was not the script written. I like to say we wrote the script but God made the film.
How did your experience in producing Birdie & Bogey aid in the production of Maggie’s Passage?
Birdie & Bogey helped in the fact that I wasn’t leaning on Christ. We were just making a movie. It has shown, not only in impact but also monetarily. It just isn’t a blessed project. But I blame my fear on that also. I feared doing things I wasn’t sure I knew how to do. I changed all of that on Maggie.
What are the challenges and advantages of juggling multiple roles in the production of your films?
I have to do it. I love to direct. But distributors want the Norris name value. My wife takes a major burden off of me. She says, “Just go create. I’ll take care of the rest.” Without my wife, there would be no 2nd Fiddle Entertainment.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Christian filmmaking?
“Faith-based” films are getting better. But I feel we as a community, need to make films that non-believers can watch and not feel they are getting pounded over the head. Our mission really is to try to lead people to Christ.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
Two films are in development. But first, Blind Faith about an 18 year old piano prodigy that loses his sight. Tag Line: It took Finn Hannah going blind for him to truly see.
I just want to be a child of God and be a great husband and father. And if I can help, try to lead people to Jesus. I was looking back on 20 years of pictures with my wife a while back. I wish people could really understand that life is short. But, we can have eternal life. And also, I would like to thank all the people who have seen Maggie’s Passage and spread the word about the film. I like to say, the little film that could.