What is a “Turtle Path”?
My youngest sister and I were in a meeting last month with movie executives. The meeting was to discuss the finalized movie screen play based on the book 2nd Line West which is being made into a motion picture.
I continue to be humbled to be in such quality company. We have Paul Saltzman – director/producer, Tom Schlesinger – screen play writer, Bob Wertheimer – line producer (takes screen play and establishes a line by line production budget), our financier Michael, and his wife Laura, and finally my youngest sister Julianne; who wrote the original screenplay being coached by Tom Schlesinger. We discussed many things and one of the topics 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 “Turtle Path” for the first time. Bob used it while we were discussing the major motion picture market.
When asked what is the “Turtle Path” Bob said this: “A female sea turtle leaves the ocean and crawls up onto the grassy knolls of a beach on a full moon. She digs down as far as she can and lays 100-110 eggs and leaves.
We are one of those eggs.
On the next full moon we have to crack the shell and claw our way to the surface, then crawl past the feeding birds towards the light of the full moon which gets us to the water. (Isn’t nature miraculous!)
If we get to the water, we have to swim as fast and hard and deep as possible past the feeding fish. If we do get to the deep and become an adult, there is only one sea turtle that gets its picture on the cover of National Geographic. We have to be that turtle! The Major Motion picture industry is full of big money, big names and big relationships”.
As I heard this definition I sat and reflected on where I have come from on this Dream (getting my book made into a movie). I knew that when we started this journey it was to share my mother’s message with the world.
As we proceeded through the interviewing process with those individuals who spent time in our home I realized profoundly more. I became aware that our mother embraced them all in their “hour of need”. I also became even more aware that my mother is helping guide this ship.
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 decision 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 July 2011 at 1:30 am when I wrote on my mother’s Facebook page, “I will write a book about your life that will be a movie one day”, to today, as we get close to starting shooting our movie.
Imagine a man at 49 years old who wants to write and publish a book that will become a movie with no knowledge or contacts in either industry. All I can say is that my Dream is coming to fruition and I choose the major motion picture route. I look at this journey as though I got onto a locomotive 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’ !