In 1971 Benjamin and director Taylor Hackford formed New Visions, Inc. Throughout most of the '70s they produced documentaries, docu-dramas and a great number of music concert shows. In the late 1970s, their short film Teenage Father won an Oscar in that category. Films produced under the New Visions banner included Against All Odds, White Nights, La Bamba and Everybody's All-American. Outside of New Visions, Benjamin was actively involved in the production of the highly acclaimed Testament, which garnered an Oscar nomination for Jane Alexander. Benjamin has served as the executive producer on La Bamba, Everybody's All-American, Rooftops, Sweet Talker, Queen's Logic, Defenseless, The Long Walk Home and Mortal Thoughts, as well as the American Playhouse production of Billy Galvin.
In 1988, Benjamin and Hackford formed New Visions Pictures, a joint venture between New Visions Entertainment and Cineplex Odeon. Benjamin served as President and Chief Operating Officer of New Visions Pictures from 1988 through 1991, during which time the venture produced six films. As a principal in New Visions Music Group along with Hackford and Joel Sill, Benjamin has been involved in a number of soundtrack albums, several of which have achieved gold or platinum status. New Visions Music Group has also been responsible for nine number one singles.
In 1991, he began his partnership with Alise Benjamin in Benjamin Productions. Together, they produced films for both network television and cable, including Betrayal of Trust for NBC, The Abduction for Lifetime Television and Sodbusters for Showtime. The company also produced Corduroy, an animated series for Viacom Productions and the USA Network, which became a Saturday morning series on CBS; and Safe House, starring Patrick Stewart and Kimberly Williams for Showtime.
In 2000 Benjamin was involved in the formation of Crusader Entertainment (now Bristol Bay Productions), a film and motion picture company financed by Phillip Anschutz and Howard Baldwin, and served as Executive Vice President of the Company from its formation until July, 2001, when he became a consultant/Independent Producer to Crusader with specific responsibilities on a number of Crusader's projects. It was while he was an executive at Crusader that the Ray Charles story was put into development.
In addition, Benjamin is the Managing Partner of Capstone Entertainment, which is in the business of producing specialized non-theatrical projects. Those projects include a reunion of the 1960s Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packers (which aired on ESPN Classics in January, 2002) and a series of comedy roasts with Shaquille O'Neal, shot at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas (which air on iNDemand as Pay-Per-View Specials). Capstone also promoted and produced a Ray Charles holiday/Gospel concert in December, 2002. The DVD of that concert, which Benjamin directed, has been distributed by Ventura Distribution and will be released as a CD for Christmas, 2004.
Benjamin also serves as one of the executive producers of the Ray Charles Tribute Concert, which is scheduled to take place on October 8, 2004, at Los Angeles' Staples Center, to be broadcast as a CBS television special.
Stuart Benjamin Facts