What is “The Turtle Path”?

I was in a meeting last month with movie executives. The meeting was to discuss the finalized movie screenplay of my book 2nd Line West which is being made into a motion picture.

I continue feeling humbled to be in the company of such quality professionals. We have Paul Saltzman – director/producer, Tom Schlesinger – screenplay writer, Bob Wertheimer – line producer (takes screenplay and establishes a line by line production budget), our financier Michael, and his wife Laura, my youngest sister Julianne; who wrote the original screenplay for the movie being coached by Tom Schlesinger. My sister has Story Credit for the film. We discussed many topics and one of them was our decision to either take this movie the major motion picture route or to the in-home Netflix, Amazon Prime market.

This is an important decision as it affects many other variables such as:

  • final budget total,
  • the type of actors and actresses we will be able to entice to this project,
  • distribution differences, as well as
  • the competitive landscape

During the discussion I heard the term “The Turtle Path” for the first time. Bob used it while we were discussing the major motion picture market.

When asked what is the “The Turtle Path” Bob said this: “Somewhere in the Caribbean Sea a female adult sea turtle leaves the ocean and crawls up onto the sandy knolls of a beach on a full moon. She digs down with her big flippers as far as she can, lays 100-110 eggs and leaves.

On the next full moon the tiny turtle has to crack the shell and claw its way to the surface, then crawl past the feeding birds of all types towards the light of the full moon which gets the young turtle to the water. (Isn’t nature miraculous!)

If they get to the water, they have to swim as fast and hard and deep as possible past feeding fish of all types. If they do get to the depths of the ocean and become an adult, there is only one sea turtle that gets its picture on the cover of National Geographic.

We are that turtle!

The Major Motion picture industry is full of big money, big names and big relationships”.

As I heard this definition I sat looking out of the backyard window of Paul Saltzman’s home. The view is of Lake Ontario as he backs onto the water. I reflected on how far my sister and I have come on this path; This journey to share our mother’s message with the world.

In our lives there are few times when we have to make a big decision that can involve fear or love, as I believe that is what all decisions boil down to.

The decisions we make in these moments are life affirming.

For me, this is one of those moments, and I will choose love over fear. Especially now, when I know how many times I have already chosen love over fear to get here. I think about how many choices I have already made from that lonely night in September 2011 at 1:30 am when I wrote on my mother’s Facebook page, “There will be a book written about your life that will become a movie one day”, to today, as we move closer to starting shooting our movie.

Imagine a son at 49 years old who wants to write and publish a book about his mother that will become a movie with no knowledge or contacts in either industry. All I can say is that this dream is coming to fruition and I choose the major motion picture route. I look at this journey as though I got onto a steam locomotive train eight years ago that has travelled over many terrains and landscapes and now as we head into the final strides of this project I will be yelling for “More Coal!” all the way in.

John F Kennedy once said this when asked about running for President of the USA, “If not us, Who? And if not now, When?”

This movie market decision for our team is our ‘Who’ and our ‘When’!


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Tom.



Unsubscribe at anytime.

Thank You, you have been subscribed.