Movie II (1991) – Behind The Camera

OOZE screenwriter Todd W. Langen also wrote (with Bobby Herbeck) the original TMNT film, and in 1990 he won the Writers Guild of America Award and the Humanities Award for Best Television Episode of the Year. Both of these awards were for his scripting on the then-hit TV show The Wonder Years. Langen began his career as a Hughes Aircraft Aerospace engineer, making him a rocket scientist! In 1986 he decided to try his hand at professional writing and began his very successful Hollywood screen writing profession.

Born in Detroit and raised in Michigan, Todd went west in 1983, after he had earned his Master’s Degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. Almost immediately he got a job working with NASA on the space shuttle in El Segundo, California. He was also part of the Mission Control team for the shuttle program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Although he was enjoying a successful career with NASA, Langen secretly dreamed of writing for TV and film. With this in mind, he began writing scripts in 1983. After receiving 30 rejections, in 1987 Family Ties producer Michael Weithorn hired him to write an episode for the series Pursuit of Happiness, and Todd’s dream was well on its way to coming true. Perseverance paid off! The next year Langen was hired to write 2 episodes for The Wonder Years. After 3 years on that show, Todd decided to strike out on his own once again and he has been writing for various movie projects ever since.

Michael Pressman had directed nearly every type of film by the time he signed on to direct TMNT II. From comedy to drama to musicals, Michael had done it all. When asked to direct OOZE, Pressman accepted the assignment, and found it to be his most challenging picture to work on at the time. Not only did he have to direct the actors in the TMNT costumes, but he had to simultaneously coordinate the actions of the puppeteers to ensure that both came together to bring the character to life in a believable fashion as wells. With all the complexities of directing the four Turtles, Master Splinter, Tokka and Rahzar and the nine puppeteers needed to make the characters live, Michael still managed to finish the project on time and on budget.

The son of well-known stage director David Pressman, Michael was born and raised in Manhattan, which made him well suited to direct the second adventure of the City’s resident mutant Turtles! Michael graduated from New York’s High School of Music and Art and went on to study drama at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles where he majored in acting at the California Institute of the Arts. After college, Pressman met famed B-movie director/producer Roger Corman, who signed Michael to direct his first movie, The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, which, like all Corman’s films, was shot with an incredibly modest budget. From there Michael went on to direct The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Those Lips, Those Eyes (which he also produced) Some Kind of Hero and Doctor Detroit.

Master Splinter

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