Eric Stein, who grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, believes his interest in film and television was unintentionally spurred by his mom’s decision to make their household TV-less. While he feels that some may find that a bit strange, he doesn’t think it’s as odd as growing up lactose intolerant in the Dairy State.
He began his career while attending the University of Arizona, squeezing classes between jobs as a college marketing rep for Columbia Pictures, a weekend news producer/anchor for PBS affiliate KUAT-AM/FM, and as a production crew member for KUAT-TV. He acknowledges some benefits of having a degree, but feels the value of his may have been diminished by the fact that Geraldo graduated from the University of Arizona as well.
After graduating Phi Kappa Phi with High Distinction, he began working as a copywriter for an ad agency in Tucson, where he created radio, television, and print ads for a number of businesses.
With a host of award-winning ads under his belt, he moved to Los Angeles and began writing for Star Street, a European children’s television series. Shortly thereafter, he was a supervising producer on Defenders of Dynatron City, an animated children’s special that was the highest rated show for its time slot on the Fox Children’s Network.
With co-author Michael S. Bandy, he wrote the children’s book White Water and the award-winning script of the same name, which also garnered him a Cosby Screenwriting Fellowship. They also penned the scripts Man of the Cloth, The Messiah from Madison, and Lemonade, a Gordon Parks Award finalist. Eric Stein wrote the book Everything I Know About Life I Learned From Trash Talk TV. His award-wining song, “Long Distance Lover,” made the top 40 on MP3’s adult contemporary chart.
He has also worked as an executive with Lucasfilm and MGM, where he negotiated licenses for properties including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pink Panther. At the Greek Theatre, he created and executed promotions for more than eighty shows in one of the Greek’s highest grossing seasons.
Eric Stein’s professional affiliations include the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Authors Guild, the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
He is also on the dive team at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, where he swims with more than five species of sharks almost every weekend. Asked if he’s afraid he’ll get bitten, he said, “It’s not the sharks I swim with that worry me; it’s the ones I have to work with.”