Simon, Stephen 1946–
Simon, Stephen 1946–
PERSONAL: Born June 30, 1946, in Los Angeles, CA; son of S. Sylvan Simon (a film producer/writer/director) and Harriett Berk Deutsch; children: Michelle Hengstler, Tabitha Cruz, Cari Deutsch, Heather. Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1970; Loyola Law School, L.A., 1974.
ADDRESSES: Office—Metafilmics, 4250 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Film producer and executive. Attorney practicing in Los Angeles, CA, 1974–76; Rastar Productions, Burbank, CA, president, 1976–79; film producer, 1979—; Dino de Laurentiis Productions, Beverly Hills, CA, president, 1990–93; Metafilmics, Los Angeles, cofounder, 1995—; Spiritual Cinema Circle, co-founder, 2004–. Film production supervisor for production companies. Producer of films, including (as Stephen Deutsch): Somewhere in Time, Universal, 1980, All the Right Moves, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1983, (with Mort Engelberg) Russkies, New Century/Vista, 1987, (with Robert W. Cort and Ted Field) Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Orion, 1989, She's Out of Control, Columbia, 1989, (with others) Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Orion, 1991, (with Melinda Jason) Body of Evidence, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1993, Mr. and Mrs. Seventh Grade, 1994, and Dream Thief, 1995; producer of films What Dreams May Come, Poly-Gram Filmed Entertainment, 1998, Strike!, Miramax, 1998, Divine Rapture, 1999, and Quantum Project (short), Sightsound.com, 2000.
MEMBER: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Producers Guild.
The Force Is with You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives, Hampton Roads Publishing (Charlottesville, VA), 2002.
Spiritual Cinema: A Guide to Movies That Inspire, Heal, and Empower Your Life, Hay House (Carlsbad, CA), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and film producer Stephen Simon began his career as an attorney, but soon realized his real calling was in film and cinema. In the 1970s, Simon began working as a film production supervisor on films such as Plaza Suite, Murder by Death, Smokey and the Bandit, and The Goodbye Girl. Under the name Steven Deutsch, he has served as a producer on a number of films, including Russkies, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Body of Evidence, and Somewhere in Time. Simon's interests have more recently turned to finding spirituality in cinema; he is the co-founder of Spiritual Cinema Circle, a DVD club that distributes spiritual movies to its subscribers.
Regarding his interests, Simon told CA: "I have been a film producer for twenty-five years and my most respected films are spiritually oriented: Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come in particular. My only film interest now is with spiritual material…. It is my conviction that there is a whole genre of film called 'spirituality' and it is my commitment to do whatever I can to help create awareness of and financing for it."
In 2002, Simon published The Force Is with You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives. This book explores the genre of spiritual films, with the author discussing more than seventy movies that fit this profile, including It's a Wonderful Life and 2001: A Space Odys-sey. Simon also gives readers an in-depth look at the production of two of his own movies. Critics reacted positively to the book overall; many found Simon's work to be insightful and a welcome addition to literature on the subject. "Through his enthusiastic exploration, Simon not only confirms the legitimacy of Spiritual Cinema as a new category … but also plays on the irony of how the genre has faced lay audiences and critics alike who themselves needed to grow into accepting the films that called the genre to life," wrote Susan Nyikos in a review for Consciousness, Literature, and the Arts.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Entertainment Weekly, April 14, 2000, "Two Film Premiers Pull Hollywood into the High-Tech Age," p. 87.
Florida Times Union, May 4, 2000, "Internet Originals Filmmakers Putting Features Online," p. 2.
Los Angeles Times, October 2, 1998, Claudia Eller, "Partners in New Age Film Fulfill Their 'Dreams,'" p. 4.
Millimeter, September, 1998, Matt Cheplic, "A New Age," p. 31.
Newsweek, May 10, 2004, Elise Soukup, "Make It a Circle Night," p. 10.
Record (Bergen County, NJ), September 28, 1998, Bonnie Churchill, "'Dreams' Revelation," p. 8.
Consciousness, Literature, and the Arts Web site, http://www.aber.ac.uk/ (November 13, 2005), Susan Nyikos, review of The Force Is with You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives.
Healing Headquarters Web site, http://www.healinghq.com/ (September 30, 2005), interview with Stephen Simon.
New Connexion, http://www.newconnexion.net/ (November 13, 2005), interview with Stephen Simon.
Spiritual Cinema Circle Web site, http://www.spiritualcinemacircle.com/ (September 30, 2005), information about Stephen Simon.