Talent search for boy to star in ‘Crazy for the Storm’ directed by Sean Penn

Crazy for the Storm Talent Search

“Crazy for the Storm” is a true story based on 11-year-old Norman Ollestad.
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Gerber Pictures in association with Storyopolisis is in pre-production on the true-story survival drama feature film “Crazy for the Storm” for Warner Bros. Pictures. The movie centers on eleven-year-old Norman Ollestad, who survived a plane crash which left him stranded on an icy mountaintop by using the skills his father instilled in him. The film’s Primetime Emmy Award nominated casting director is conducting a national talent search for a 9-11 year old boy to play the lead role. The movie is based on Ollestad’s novel “Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival”. Shooting will take place in Los Angeles starting April, 2013.

“Crazy for the Storm” tells the story of Norman Ollestad, who at eleven years old was riding in a Cessna in a blizzard through California’s San Gabriel Mountains in 1979, on his way to pick up a trophy he won in a skiing competition. The plane crash that followed killed his father and the pilot, also badly wounding his father’s girlfriend Sandra, who with young Norman was savagely thrown onto the top of an 8,600-foot mountain in the freezing, February chill. After Sandra dies, Norman endures a grueling nine-hour life-or-death journey down the mountain during a blizzard. On the descent, Norman recounts in flashbacks how his father infused his love for extreme sports in him as a boy, pressing him to become a competitive surfer and skier, experience that allowed him to survive the ordeal.

Starring in “Crazy for the Storm” is Academy Award nominee Josh Brolin playing the role of young Norman’s father Norman Ollestad Sr. After taking an improv acting class in high school, Brolin decided to pursue professional acting. His first role was Brand in “The Goonies”. Some of his notable roles were in the films “No Country for Old Men,” “American Gangster,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “Milk,” “True Grit,” and “Men in Black 3”. Brolin recently starred in the Paramount Pictures film “Labor Day” starring opposite Kate Winslet and Tobey Maguire. He also recently wrapped “Oldboy” starring alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Olsen. His most recent project is “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” starring with Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, and Juno Temple.

Two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn is directing “Crazy for the Storm” from an adapted screenplay written by Will Fetters. This will be the third time that Sean Penn and Josh Brolin have worked together on a feature film. For the film “Milk,” Penn won an Academy Award and Brolin was nominated. In the Warner Bros. Pictures film “Gangster Squad”, Penn played the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen while Brolin portrayed the determined Sgt. John O’Mara. In 2007 Sean Penn directed another biographical drama film, “Into The Wild”. That film was nominated for two Golden Globes and two Academy Awards. Writer Will Fetters’ credits include the Summit Entertainment film “Remember Me” starring Robert Pattinson, and the Warner Bros. Pictures film “The Lucky One” starring Zac Efron.

In addition to writing the novel that the film is based on, Norman Ollestad will also executive produce “Crazy for the Storm”. Ollestad attended UCLA Film School, where he studied creative writing. Primetime Emmy Award nominee Bill Gerber, president of Gerber Pictures, will produce. Storyopolis co-founder Fonda Snyder will also produce along with literary manager Rob Weisbach, who represents Norman Ollestad. Fonda Snyder was quoted as saying, “It is both challenging and exciting to have a relationship with a powerhouse studio such as Warner Bros. The resources and support they provide have proved invaluable. As a producer with a first look deal, we are responsible for bringing quality material to Warner Bros. that we believe in.

Open Casting Call Details

[NORMAN OLLESTAD] Male, 9-11 years of age, Caucasian. Must have surfing experience to play this lead role. The boy should be mentally tough and comfortable with sensitive and difficult scripted material.

First, submit the child’s hardcopy photo & resume to the following:

Francine Maisler & Associates
10202 W Washington Blvd.
Sydney Poitier Building
Suite 3200
Culver City, CA 90232

Second, you must upload an audition video on the following OFFICIAL “Crazy for the Storm” open casting call website: www.CastItTalent.com/crazyforthestorm

The above website hosted by Cast It Talent is a subsidiary of Cast It Systems, and is the ONLY website that is officially assisting Warner Bros. Pictures casting directors in the casting of this film. No experience is necessary and both SAG and non-union talent from ALL areas are being considered for the film’s starring role of 11-year-old Norman Ollestad. There are NO FEES to submit for this role.

Please read the following New York Times article to get a better understanding of what Cast It Systems is about: New York Times Cast It Systems Article

Minors and foreign talent must be legally eligible to work in the state of California and in the United States.

The 2013 Los Angeles Actors Resource Guide eBook comes with free quarterly updates and includes the following information and documents for adults, minors, and foreign talent who would like to work as an actor or extra on film and television productions in Los Angeles and the United States:

• USA Child Actor Work Permit Requirements
• California Child Actor Permit Application
• California Minors Summary Chart
• Child Actor Coogan Trust Deposit Instructions
• California Division of Labor Standards Offices
• Immigration Work Permit Information
• Non-Immigrant Visa Application

In addition to the following Los Angeles Actors Resources:

• Audition Tips
• How To Make an Audition Video
• Los Angeles Casting Directors List
• Los Angeles Extras Casting Directors List
• Los Angeles Talent Agents List
• General Talent Agent Information
• Los Angeles Acting Classes List
• Acting Classes for Young Actors in Los Angeles
• Los Angeles Headshot Photographers List
• Sample Actors Resume
• Sample Beginning Actors Resume
• Sample Cover Letters
• Entertainment Industry Terminology
• Miscellaneous Los Angeles Resources
• Actors Unions
• PDF Users Guides

The 2013 Actors Resource Guide eBooks are available here.

Principal Actor Casting

See the post titled Headshot and Resume Information regarding how to submit for acting roles.

Submit photos and resumes by mail only.
No phone calls or personal drop-offs.

Los Angeles:

Kathy Driscoll-Mohler
Melissa Kostenbauder
Francine Maisler & Associates
10202 W Washington Blvd.
Sydney Poitier Building
Suite 3200
Culver City, CA 90232

Extras Casting


Production Companies:

Do NOT send photos and resumes to the production companies, as they will most likely end up being thrown away. They do not cast the films, rather they hire casting directors who sort through the thousands of submissions.

Gerber Pictures
4000 Warner Blvd.
Building 138
Suite 1205A
Burbank, CA 91522

16740 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91436

Warner Bros. Pictures
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

Executive Producer: Norman Ollestad

Producers: Bill Gerber, Fonda Snyder, Rob Weisbach

Director: Sean Penn


To Be Cast – Norman Ollestad
Josh Brolin – Norman Ollestad Sr.
To be Cast – Sandra


From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared “Boy Wonder,” as his father called him, to become a fearless champion—and ultimately saved his life. Flying to a ski championship ceremony in February 1979, the chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father’s girlfriend Sandra, and the pilot crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains and was suspended at 8,200 feet, engulfed in a blizzard. “Dad and I were a team, and he was Superman,” Ollestad writes. But now Norman’s father was dead, and the devastated eleven-year-old had to descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.


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