Chris Norlund

writer - director - professor

Chris Norlund

writer - director - professor

I write. I direct. I teach.

I knew I wanted to make movies ever since I was a kid. The first real drama I ever saw was Boyz ’n the Hood, a story inspired by real things and real people. Up until that point, I, along with so many other kids, simply knew things like Star Wars and Spiderman. Boyz was different, it changed me. It inspired me to become a filmmaker.

We make movies to find emotional truths. We tell stories to try to understand our lives. To explore what it means to be human.

I understand the lives and voices of many diverse types of people because I have lived all over.

I’m an orphan refugee from the Vietnam War.
It is a burden I’ve had to carry around with me for years, but I’ve come to accept it, because it’s who I am.

Although born in Saigon, I grew up in the US. I lived in Oregon, Washington, New York, Wisconsin, Florida, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and now California. And I lived abroad for about 8 years. I spent time in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. 

I speak four languges. I taught myself, with lessons on the Internet, to speak Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. English is my native tongue since I grew up in the US. 

Language is an invaluable skill. It reflects one’s ability to understand culture and communicate. I believe my skills in communication reflect my ability to understand people. In fact, the CIA was interested in me for their clandestine agent training, but that was after I was in the US Navy training to be a pilot. But I got hurt, and that ended my military service. I volunteered after the attacks of 9/11.

If it sounds like a movie, you’re right. In fact, I wrote a script about it called, Binh. It’s a good script and I hope it can get it greenlit someday.

But this isn’t my first rodeo. I wrote and directed a couple of 30 minute films in Korea. They were essentially no budget, made only for a few thousand dollars. But I’m quite proud of what we were able to achieve with no money, but a lot of heart. The first film, Deception, was small, we only had about 30 actors audition. But word got out that we had something good going. On the second film, Into Pieces, when we had about 300 actors audition. It was then I knew I had wrote a script that connected with people.

I was a professor of film and tv in Korea, and my last post was in the Graduate School of Film at Hongik University, the top art school in the country. My students were industry professionals, and I taught directing and storytelling. I graduated from Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, and truth be told, I believe my dream scenario is to teach one class a year and direct one major project a year. That way I can fulfill my desire to teach and my desire to create.

While in Seoul, I had the pleasure of being on set for the filming of Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron. It was the inspiration for returning to the USA.

I’ve been blessed to be part of the 2016-17 WGA Military Veterans writing program. I'm also currently a finalist for the 2017 sundance youtube new voices lab.... fingers crossed.

Thanks for stopping by.