Turtletaub in 2018
January 30, 1946|
Lakewood, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania, NYU School of Law|
|Occupation||Film producer and director|
Alan Turtletaub (father, deceased),Beatrice Ann Turtletaub (mother)
Early life and education
Born in Lakewood, New Jersey, he grew up in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and the adjoining township of Woodbridge. He attended Rutgers Preparatory School, graduating in the class of 1963. A center on the basketball team, he made All-State in his senior year and was inducted into the Rutgers Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. He studied at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1967. He was a reporter and then managing editor of the campus newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. He received a "Men's Senior Honor Award" for "outstanding service to the University community" and was selected to be a member of the prestigious Sphinx Senior Society. He attended New York University School of Law, graduating in 1970. He was admitted to the California Bar, becoming inactive in 2013. He was journalist for six years after finishing school, but, always felt he was a storyteller.
The Money Store
Turtletaub worked for 20 years at The Money Store, a company founded by his father, Alan Turtletaub, in 1967. The Money Store was a pioneer in the subprime lending industry, making home equity secured second mortgage and other loans to people with blemished credit. Turtletaub succeeded his father as CEO and president in 1989, and, took the company public in 1991, then sold it in June 1998 to First Union Bank for $2.1 billion. During his tenure the advertising-driven lending company's growth was phenomenal. At the time of the sale, revenue was $831 million/year, loan originations were more than $1 billion a quarter, there were 172 branches and 5000 employees, and it was the nation's leading home equity lender and Small Business Administration lender. Turtletaub had built a 400,000-square-foot (37,000 m2) ziggurat shaped headquarter in West Sacramento, triggering a rebirth in the area; he subscribed to the ancient principles of feng shui, a Chinese geometric practice, and, with architect Ed Kado, incorporated these features into the design of this "unique landmark." The need for a "deep pocket" had led to the merger; bond rating agencies had downgraded The Money Store to junk bond status. Within a day of the merger it had a solid rating. "We will now benefit from the rating of the parent company. We are going to be in the driver's seat," Turtletaub said. The Money Store did not prosper after the merger. At the time of the severe liquidity crisis of August 1998, the subprime industry imploded. The main source of funds, securitization, dried up. Turtletaub resigned as President and CEO May, 1999. By October, 1999, the deal was called a "disaster" for First Union.
Turtletaub was a "generous donator" to federally elected officials; a friend of Bill Clinton (FOB), he got to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. Competitors felt that The Money Store was treated more favorably because of its political clout, with accusations that federal rulings in its favor were "politically fixed."
The Money Store was closed in July, 2000, at a loss of $1.7 billion to First Union Bank Corp.
With a profit of $700 million from selling The Money Store, Turtletaub decided to go into the film business. He describes himself as a child of the counter-culture and only wants to make films he is passionate about and that have redemption, something more than entertainment. He wants to touch and change people and use his money, through film, to do good. He looks for movies that have "something that touches my heart," have a powerful voice, and, illuminate the human condition and emotional connections. He prefers script writers and directors who are doing their first films, as he is looking for a fresh perspective. Tutletaub's approach to filmmaking has been described as always "more idealistic than opportunistic." Before entering the film world, Turtletub spent almost a year meeting people in the film industry. He used the instincts he developed as a reporter to ask questions and learn the craft of filmmaking. In 2000 he teamed with producer David Friendly, forming Deep River Productions. The original plan was to use Turtletaub's resources to buy material to develop, then taking the properties to the studios for production. By 2005 he had scaled back, and, moved away from this strategy after an initial spending spree. Several movies were produced by Deep River, most notably Little Miss Sunshine, a 2006 Academy Award nominee for best picture. Turtletaub originally bought the script for $250,000, repurchased it two years later for $400,000 and then paid the $8 million costs of production. The film was a box-office success and critically acclaimed. Friendly and Turtletaub split after a six-year run. He joined with Peter Saraf in 2004 to form Big Beach Films, with Turtletaub realizing the "need to specialize." They have produced over 20 movies, and, are best known for lower budget comedy-drama films, such as Little Miss Sunshine and Safety Not Guaranteed. Safety Not Guaranteed has been called "one of the most influential films of the last decade." Made in 2012 with a first-time director and writer and costing less less than a million dollars, this character driven indie caught the eye of Netflix, foreshadowing the role of streaming in film creation and distribution. Turtletaub is a co-producer of a Fred Rogers biopic with an expected 2019 release; it is currently known as the "Untitled Mr. Rogers/Tom Hanks Project." In 2014 they started a TV division, Big Beach TV, which works closely with their L.A. affiliate, Beachside, focusing on micro-budget features and digital content. His theatrical producing debut was in 2009, the Off-Broadway Sleepwalk With Me. In 2014 he co-produced the Broadway revival Of Mice and Men.
Turtletaub has directed two films. In 2011 he directed Gods Behaving Badly, a film adaption of the 2007 satirical novel of the same name. The film was never released, and played only once, at the 2013 Rome Film Festival, where it received negative reviews. He directed the 2018 film Puzzle, an English-language remake of the 2010 Argentinian film, with an opening on July 27, 2018. It received generally excellent reviews with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 88%. Puzzle was chosen to open the 2018 Edinburgh Film Festival. Turtletaub was motivated to direct Puzzle for a personal reason.
"It’s a story about a woman who’s a mother and a wife living in suburban Connecticut, doting on her husband and her sons. And I knew that woman – it was my mother. I grew up in suburban New Jersey, and she doted on my dad and me. When I read [the screenplay], I felt like it was a story I could tell."
Puzzle was dedicated to his mother, Beatrice Ann Turtletaub.
Marie Phillips, the author of the novel Gods Behaving Badly, described Turtletaub on-set as genial, good-natured and friendly. His style is radical and unique; he does no rehearsals, and, allows the "actors free to bring in what they can bring in." He only does a few takes, at most, which he feels allows "something fresh to come in," not necessarily his original vision.
- Independent Spirit Award for Best Film, 2006, Little Miss Sunshine
- Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture, 2006, Little Miss Sunshine
- Producers Guild of America Award, 2016 - The Stanley Kramer Award, Loving
- Bio data, hollywood.com
- "From the Money Store to making movies: How a Lakewood native got to Hollywood". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
- Ortner, Sherry, B. Not Hollywood: Independent Film at the Twilight of the American Dream, p. 118. Duke University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8223-9968-1. Accessed November 13, 2017. "A second example of a progressive investor is Marc Turtletaub, head of Big Beach Productions.... I met him on the set of a later investing / producing project Sunshine Cleaning, and asked him about his background. He said he's from Perth Amboy, N.J."
- Middlesex Leader Press, April 27, 1967, page 10
- Franklin Focus, March 12, 1993 page 24
- Upenn docs
- Men's awards UPenn
- "Sphinx Senior Society" (PDF).
- California bar
- Turtletaub resigns
- Odekon, Mehmet, Booms and Busts: An Encyclopedia of Economic History from the First Stock Market Crash of 1792 to the Current Global Economic Crisis, page 542, 3rd Edition, (2010) M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 978-0765682246
- Financier gets Friendly
- McGeehan, Patrick (2000-06-27). "First Union To Shut Down Money Store". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- Legacy of The Money Store
- Down in flames
- "The "Zig", unique landmark, turns 10" (PDF).
- Merger with Union
- Luh, Tami. "The Money Store comes up short after big changes". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
- Sacramento stories
- Muolo, Paul; Padilla, Mathew (2008) Chain of Blame, p.35, ISBN 978-0470292778
- Money Store invests in politics
- Digital, MAZ (2012-01-12). "The Wachovia Way - Business North Carolina". Business North Carolina. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "Debra Granik, Marc Turtletaub and More on Live Filmmakers Panel with Close-Up with The Hollywood Reporter | Filmmakers | Sundance 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
- Interview, Portland, Oregon, film festival before showing Sunshine Illuminated
- "Berlin: Big Beach Films Execs Talk Gay Conversion Therapy Drama and Transgender Teen Film 'Three Generations' (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
- "Puzzle director learned craft by asking questions". NWADG.com. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- Waxman, Sharon (2005-04-19). "Hollywood Welcomes New Crop of Moguls". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- Sunshine out of the shadows
- "20 low budget movies that became massive blockbusters". Hypable. 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
- Fox friendly ink production pact
- Fleming, Michael (2004-09-22). "Turtletaub surfs Big Beach with Saraf". Variety. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
- "Puzzle". www.siff.net. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
- Lincoln, Kevin. "The Micro-Budget Indie That Foreshadowed the Next 5 Years of Film". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
- Hayes, Dade (2018-09-27). "Tom Hanks As Mister Rogers: First Look At Oscar Winner In Character For Biopic". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
- Petski, Denise (2016-12-08). "Big Beach Taps Robin Schwartz To Head TV Division". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2018-03-08). "'Sorry For Your Loss': Janet McTeer To Star In Facebook Dark Comedy Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
- "Beachside Films Seeks Interns". The Los Angeles Film School. 2015-04-14. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
- Big Beach launches television division
- "Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me Extends Off-Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
- "Marc Turtletaub Theatre Credits". www.broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
- Of Mice and Men on Broadway
- Gods Behaving Badly
- "Edinburgh International Film Festival | Deadline". deadline.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
- "Puzzle interview: Director Marc Turtletaub discusses the power of spontaneity". The Upcoming. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
- Fagerholm, Matt. "Every Time I Cast an Actor, There Is a Birth That Occurs: Marc Turtletaub on Puzzle | Interviews | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
- "When Hollywood comes a-calling... think twice". The Independent. 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
- "Picking Up the Pieces: Marc Turtletaub's 'Puzzle' stars Kelly Macdonald as a housewife who finds fulfillment in jigsaws | Film Journal International". www.filmjournal.com. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
- Park City Television (2018-02-02), Puzzle, retrieved 2018-03-23
- Kramer Award 2016