About Robert Teitel
Robert Teitel is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Majoring in Film and Marketing, he graduated from Columbia College in 1990. During his college career, he formed a production company by the name of Menagerie Films with director George Tillman. He then produced Paula, a 30 minute short which won several awards, including the Student Academy Award. At the same time, Robert produced several music videos under the Menagerie umbrella. In 1994, he raised $150,000 and produced Scenes for the Soul, a feature film that was shot in Chicago, using local talent and resources. Scenes for the Soul was sold to Jackson-McHenry at Savoy Pictures for $1 million.
Robert followed up Scenes with the well-received feature Soul Food for Fox 2000 at 20th Century Fox. Soul Food is a film directed by George Tillman, Jr., featuring an assembled cast of Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox, Brandon Hammond, Nia Long, Mekhi Phifer, Irma P. Hall, Michael Beach, and Jeffrey Sams. The film was executive produced by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and released in September of 1997. On a sparse budget of $7.5 million, Soul Food managed to astound the film community by surpassing all expectations and pulling in $43 million. The soundtrack shipped double platinum and when the film went on sale in video, it was in the top 10.
Upon the release of the film, the partners signed a first look production deal with Fox 2000 for their production company, State Street Pictures, which enables them to develop projects for Robert to produce and for George to produce and direct. State Street’s other credits include The hit drama, “Men of Honor,” which grossed $50 million domestically and over $100 million worldwide. The film is an epic story inspired by the life of Carl Brashear, a man who came from humble beginnings in Kentucky to battle the obstacles of racism, lack of education, and the loss of his leg in his dream of becoming the United States Navy’s first African-American master deep-sea diver. The film stars Oscar winning actors Cuba Godding Jr. and Robert De Niro with an ensemble cast that includes Charlize Theron. They followed the success of that film with the wildly successful comedies, “Barbershop” and “Barbershop 2.”
Recently released on DVD is State Street’s “Roll Bounce” released by Fox Searchlight. “Roll Bounce” is a comedy that follows a crew of roller skaters in the late 1970s and how the leader of crew must help his family deal with the loss of their mother. The film stars, Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Kelita Smith, Jurnee Smollett, Meagan Goode, Khleo Thomas, Mike Epps, Charlie Murphy, Nick Cannon., and Wayne Brady.
“Barbershop: the Series” just finished airing on Showtime. This show follows the crew made popular by the first two Barbershop films.
The independently-funded high school comedy, “College” is in preproduction now, scheduled to begin filming in November 2006. They recently wrapped production on the pilot for an edgy, teen variety show, “The Brandon Jackson Show” with Noggin.
State Street Pictures has several feature film projects in development: In development Fox 2000 is the comedy “Champions,” an urban comedy in the vein of “Parenthood” and an intense Gulf War-based thriller, the INTERROGATOR. Fox’s Searchlight division they have sold a maternal revenge thriller, “Stephon’s Corner.” At HBO, they are developing “Soul of a Nation,” an animated exploration of black music in America.
In the TV world, they are developing “Forty Deuce,” Based on the popular LA burlesque club and, “Professional Tailgaters” based on a magazine article about sports fans obsessed with the national phenomenon of tailgating.