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Greg Mottola

Greg Mottola

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Also Known As: Gregory J. Mottola Died:
Born: July 11, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Dix Hills, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A protege of Steven Soderbergh and Nancy Tenenbaum, Greg Mottola made his directorial debut with "The Daytrippers" at the Slamdance Film Festival in 1996, which then went on to win mild critical applause and earn him a place in the latest new wave of independent filmmakers. Raised on Long Island, New York, Mottola studied art at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he also made some student films and worked for one week as a production assistant on "Day of the Dead" (1985), a George Romero horror flick. He attended Columbia University for graduate school in film. While there, he made a short film entitled "Swingin' in the Painters's Room" (1989), which focused on New Yorkers, narcissism, infidelity and a portrait of Frank Sinatra all in 11 minutes and in one continuous shot as an homage to Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil." An agent sent the film to Steven "sex, lies and videotape" Soderbergh, who met with Mottola. Soderbergh liked a script Mottola had written called "Lush Life," and recommended him to the Sundance Film Festival lab. Mottola studied there in 1992, but "Lush Life" was considered too expensive to be made indie. Instead, Nancy Tenenbaum, who had produced "sex, lies and videotape"...

A protege of Steven Soderbergh and Nancy Tenenbaum, Greg Mottola made his directorial debut with "The Daytrippers" at the Slamdance Film Festival in 1996, which then went on to win mild critical applause and earn him a place in the latest new wave of independent filmmakers. Raised on Long Island, New York, Mottola studied art at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he also made some student films and worked for one week as a production assistant on "Day of the Dead" (1985), a George Romero horror flick. He attended Columbia University for graduate school in film. While there, he made a short film entitled "Swingin' in the Painters's Room" (1989), which focused on New Yorkers, narcissism, infidelity and a portrait of Frank Sinatra all in 11 minutes and in one continuous shot as an homage to Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil." An agent sent the film to Steven "sex, lies and videotape" Soderbergh, who met with Mottola. Soderbergh liked a script Mottola had written called "Lush Life," and recommended him to the Sundance Film Festival lab. Mottola studied there in 1992, but "Lush Life" was considered too expensive to be made indie. Instead, Nancy Tenenbaum, who had produced "sex, lies and videotape" and whom Soderbergh had connected to Mottola, suggested the young filmmaker writer something which could be done on a smaller scale. Over a several year period, Mottola wrote drafts of "The Daytrippers," which focuses on a young wife in Long Island who believes her husband is cheating on her. Enlisting her family for support, they pile into a car and head for Manhattan to get the goods on the husband. Ultimately rejected by Sundance, "The Daytrippers" was produced for $60,000 on 16 millimeter, and a camera was even stolen during production. Starring Anne Meara, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, and Stanley Tucci -- indie favorites all -- it premiered at the Slamdance Festival in 1996, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, and was distributed by Columbia/TriStar that year. (Mottola claims to have rejected an offer by a Hollywood producer to do the film through the studio system in favor of going indie.) The film was not as embraced at the box office and by critics as other indies of the year such as "Swingers," and "Welcome to the Dollhouse," but it beat out the latter for the Grand Prix award at the Deauville Film Festival, and certainly was enough to launch Mottola's career. Mottola also appeared in a small role in the 1992 independent feature "Vermont Is Forever."

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  Paul (2011)
4.
5.
  Superbad (2007)
6.
  Daytrippers, The (1996) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Hollywood Ending (2002) Assistant Director
2.
 Celebrity (1998) Director
3.
4.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
First film made with the arts organization Pittsburgh Filmmakers, "Man Being Chased in the Woods by a Psycho Thriller"
1996:
Made his directorial debut with "The Daytrippers"; produced by Nancy Tenenbaum and Steven Soderbergh
1985:
Worked as a production assistant on "Day of the Dead"
2001:
Directed episodes of the FOX series, "Undeclared"; created by Judd Apatow
2009:
Directed the coming of age comedy-drama, "Adventureland"; also wrote screenplay; earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Screenplay
2003:
Helmed episodes of the FOX series, "Arrested Development"
1992:
Appeared in a small role in the independent feature "Vermont Is Forever"
2005:
Directed Lisa Kudrow in several episodes of "The Comeback" (HBO)
2007:
Helmed the comedy "Superbad"; re-teamed with producer Judd Apatow and actor Seth Rogen from "Undeclared"
1989:
Made the short, "Swingin' in the Painter's Room"; sent film to Steven Soderbergh and Nancy Tenenbaum; later aired on PBS' "American Playhouse"
1992:
Penned the feature-length screenplay, "Lush Life," but it was considered too expensive to be made indie
:
Raised in New York
2011:
Directed "Paul," a sci-fi comedy starring an Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; Pegg and Frost also co-wrote the film
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Half Hollow Hills High School East: Dix Hills, New York -
Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -
Columbia University: New York, New York - 1991

Notes

"There are aspects of my family in ['The Daytrippers'], or at least emotions from the kind of world I grew up in, where almost all of my friends had similar backgrounds. All of our mothers didn't have careers beyond being mothers and housewives, and so there was this proliferation of empty-nest syndromes when we all left for college." --Greg Mottola to the now defunct Web site "Cinemania Online", March 1997.

"Going to graduate school is a great way to prolong your childhood and still convince your parents that you're seriously preparing yourself for life." --Mottola in Newsday, March 13, 1997.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Mottola. Worked at LILCO.
mother:
Marge Mottola.
brother:
Tom Mottola. Older.

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