Damien Lichtenstein – Board Co-Chair
CEO of Equilibrium Entertainment
Born in 1966, Demian Lichtenstein began his career as a child actor in New York City, performing at the distinguished 18th Street Playhouse, Circle in the Square, and Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre.
Lichtenstein graduated in 1984 as the preeminent film and television student of New York City’s High School of Art & Design. A National Honor student, Regent Scholar, recipient of the New York City Media Award for excellence and achievement in cinema, upon his graduation from Carnegie Hall, he was voted the number one High School film student in NYC.
Lichtenstein received the Helena Rubenstein Scholarship to attend New York University. In his sophomore year, he was chosen by then University Chairman, Charles Milne, to be his personal Assistant Teacher and entered the senior level film production program. While in school, Lichtenstein won an MTV Award for Best Independent Music Video, and received the “Best Action Adventure Director” Award at the NYU film festival.
In 1988, Lichtenstein earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film, with a minor in Business from NYU. Upon graduating, he was immediately hired as Manager of Creative Affairs for Columbia Pictures, under the direction of Dawn Steele. He was 21 years old. Upon leaving Columbia, he became Head of Worldwide Production for General Media, then the fourth largest private entertainment company on the globe. During that time, Lichtenstein also became one of the top music video directors in the business; producing and directing videos for Warner Brothers, Sony Music, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Tommy Boy Records, Universal/MCA, and many more. To his credit, Lichtenstein produced and directed over 250 music videos for Grammy Award winning artists including Sting and Eric Clapton, as well as having achieved #1 world videos in the Pop, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rap, and Reggae genres.
During his rise to the top of the music video industry, Lichtenstein founded Lightstone Entertainment where he partnered with Rebel Films, Psuedo Online Entertainment, and Film Inc. in NYC to produce a series of film and television projects. Tommy Mottola, former Chairman, of Sony Music hired Lichtenstein and Lightstone Entertainment as the in-house production company for Sony Music Studios in New York City. It was here that Lichtenstein forged his business partnership with Ric Wake, Head of A&R for Sony Music Worldwide. Wake, a world-renowned music producer, received several Grammy Awards for musical acts Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, as well as the soundtrack for the Academy Award winning motion picture Chicago.
As a founding partner, Lichtenstein served as Executive Producer for Film Bond International and was instrumental in securing financing on numerous feature productions, including the critically acclaimed, O, produced by his partner Anthony Rhulen (Film Engine), and distributed by Miramax and Lions Gate Entertainment. O, based on Shakespeare’s Othello, stars Martin Sheen, Josh Hartnett and Julia Stiles. After Lichtenstein and Rhulen formed Film Bond, Rhulen went on to finance The Butterfly Effect, starring Ashton Kutcher, and Lucky Number Slevin, starring Bruce Willis and Josh Hartnett. Lichtenstein has also written scripts for RKO pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Electric Entertainment, Crusader Entertainment, Constantine Films, and Warner Brothers.
In 1997, Lichtenstein made his feature directorial debut with the film Lowball which he also wrote and produced for the Showtime Network. Lowball received numerous awards on the independent film circuit.
After serving as Chairman of the New York Independent Film Coalition, Lichtenstein arrived in Hollywood where within six months, he raised $60 million dollars for 3000 Miles To Graceland, which he wrote, produced and directed for Warner Brothers. The film’s cast includes Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Christian Slater, Courtney Cox, Ice T, Howie Long, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Pollak, Thomas Haden Church, and David Arquette. Lichtenstein also produced the soundtrack, featuring songs by Elvis Presley, BT, Filter and The Crystal Method. Graceland has gone on to become an international cult hit in constant worldwide rotation on HBO.
Having worked as a producer, director, writer, with hands-on experience developing projects for all of the major studios, Lichtenstein and Wake formed Equilibrium Entertainment, a state-of-the-art independent motion picture and post production company formed to take advantage of the technological breakthroughs in motion picture, music, gaming, internet and television programming.
Currently, Ric Wake is producing the GLOBAL TOUR and Albums for renowned music star, Yanni.
Lichtenstein has completed principal photography on the international Documentary Discover The Gift, featuring the Dali Lama, Jack Canfield (author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”), and Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith, world leader and teacher in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center. Equilibrium Entertainment recently finished delivery of the MGM picture Hit and Run, for director Enda McCallion, and La Linea, starring Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta for director James Cotten.
Lichtenstein credits include producing and directing the independent feature Venus And Vegas, an action comedy starring Donald Faison, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jaime Preston, Molly Simms, Abraham Benrubi, Roselyn Sanches and Joe Rogan. He also produced The Unseen, and was Producer and Director of Photography on Love And Suicide, an inspirational character study shot entirely on location in Havana Cuba.
Lichtenstein has been mentored in 3D filming techniques by James Cameron on Avatar, to date the most expensive film in history and the highest Grossing film of all time. Lichtenstein has also been trained in 3-D techniques by James Mainard and Phil McNally of Dreamworks.
Lichtenstein has over twenty motion picture projects, five television shows, multiple music acts, and a new video gaming division in active development, in addition to running a full service production and post-production company.
Currently, he is preparing to direct BOUNTY and THE GUARDIANS, a $45 million dollar 3D action thriller with his producing partner Greg O’Connor (The Warrior, Pride and Glory, Miracle and Tumbleweed).
For the past 14 years, Lichtenstein has served as senior head coach for the Self-Expression and Leadership Program for Landmark Education, an internationally recognized seminar conglomerate specializing in transformational leadership. Lichtenstein is a member of the Director’s Guild of America, The Writer’s Guild of America and the Screen Actor’s Guild. As a founding member of the Senior Leadership Council of the Director’s Guild of America, along with Steven Spielberg and Taylor Hackford (President of the Directors Guild of America) Mr. Lichtenstein works closely with award-winning directors to protect the rights of filmmakers worldwide by having a direct influence on domestic and global politics in the entertainment world.
Lichtenstein currently serves as the CEO of Equilibrium Entertainment where he overseas all creative affairs, worldwide production and financing with his primary focus on Directing great action/adventure pictures. He maintains residences in both Los Angeles and New York City.