A protégé of Hollywood super-producer Michael Bay, director Jonathan Liebesman got his start directing small films before moving into special effects heavy blockbusters like the 2014 reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Born in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 15, 1976, Liebesman learned how to be a filmmaker at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance. After graduating in 1996, Liebesman traveled to New York, where his cousin was attending New York University, which inspired Liebesman to attend the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Liebesman made a student film adaptation of the Roald Dahl short story "Genesis and Catastrophe" (2000), which won several film awards and landed him an agent. Liebesman then directed his first theatrical feature, "Darkness Falls" (2003), when he was still in his twenties. Liebesman next directed "Rings" (2005), a spinoff on the horror film "The Ring" (2002), which became a bonus DVD feature bridging the story gap between the first and second "Ring" films. "Transformers" director Michael Bay brought Liebesman onboard to helm "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" (2006). (At one point, Leibesman was up to direct the reboot of the "Friday the 13th" series as well, another Bay produced horror film.) "The Killing Room" (2009) came next, followed by the sci-fi epic "Battle Los Angeles" (2011), starring Aaron Eckhart. Following "Battle Los Angeles," Liebesman tackled the sequel to "Clash of the Titans" (2010), "Wrath of the Titans"(2012), before signing on to direct the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" remake. There were changes made to the "Turtles" storyline, which caused the ire of fans on the internet (including voice actor Robbie Rist, who had portrayed Michelangelo in the 1990 film), and while the movie didn't receive critical raves, audiences came back in droves, making the film a big summer hit in a fairly lackluster blockbuster season.