Damian Collier

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Damian Collier is a British producer, entrepreneur and business consultant for music, film, TV and stage.[1]

Career and success[edit]

Collier has produced both independently (through Damian Collier Entertainment) and has collaborated with major record labels including Sony BMG, EMI, Universal Music, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing and major film and TV studios such as Paramount Pictures, Fox, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation.

He has experience in film, television, music recording, music publishing, licensing, merchandising, theatre, novels and comics. He also holds the position of managing director of the Jeff Wayne Music Group.[2]

He is also the founder and CEO of Viral Spiral, the world's leading management company for owners of YouTube videos (as of 20 January 2012)[3]

Collier previously worked as an international finance lawyer for both Linklaters and Latham & Watkins LLP, at their London, Frankfurt, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles offices. Damian Collier also worked at Goldman Sachs in London.

As a lawyer, he represented clients such as Credit Suisse First Boston, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and many other leading investment banks and major corporations globally.

Collier graduated from University of Reading UK with a First-Class Honours Degree in Law and European Legal Studies, having also studied at the University of Salamanca (Spain) and the University of Trier (Germany).

The War of the Worlds[edit]

Collier has been involved with The War of the Worlds since 1998 including brokering a deal with Paramount Pictures to license the rights to allow the studio to create merchandise and other ancillary products for their 2005 blockbuster War of the Worlds, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg. He is credited as Executive Producer of that movie.

He also agreed a deal with Dark Horse Comics for the graphic novel of The War of the Worlds for worldwide distribution.

The War of the Worlds – Alive on Stage![edit]

Along with composer Jeff Wayne, Collier produces an arena tour of The War of the Worlds – Alive on Stage![4][5] which has played to almost a million people since launch, for which the pair brought the late actor Richard Burton back to life "in sight and sound".[4]

The production stayed true to Wayne's album, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, set in Victorian England[6] and the production garnered critical acclaim with The Times giving the show Four Stars and describing it as "fabulous", The Evening Standard: "Who could ask for more", The Sun: "Simply Epic!", BBC News: "truly impressive" and The Daily Telegraph: "dazzling ... I felt a shiver of excitement".

Promoted by Clear Channel Entertainment, the 2006 tour featured the Moody Blues' Justin Hayward, Russell Watson, Anna-Marie Wayne, Chris Thompson, Alexis James and Tara Blaise, and was such as success that it was later booked worldwide, including a further successful and critically acclaimed tour of Australia, New Zealand and an even larger UK arena tour, in 2007, and a further UK Arena tour in 2007 and 2009 (which included Europe for the first time).

The production is also now booked through to 2013 [3].

Universal Pictures[edit]

For the inaugural Tour, Collier brokered a worldwide deal with Universal Pictures to film and distribute the show which took place at London's famous Wembley Arena.[7]

The production was directed by director David Mallett.[4]

The DVD immediately went Platinum and spent seven weeks at number one in the UK DVD charts.[8]

Tour of Australia & New Zealand 2007[edit]

In September 2007, Collier and Wayne took the production on a major Arena Tour of Australia and New Zealand taking in large Arenas in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, to rave reviews including:

Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September 2007
  • "…miraculous…eye-popping show"
  • "…takes you on a wild ride"
  • "...out of this world"
  • "...a global entertainment phenomenon…"
  • "...even novices to Wayne's catchy pop-rock were tapping their toes throughout the show"[9]
Perth Now, 9 September 2007
  • "When you add one of the best live sound mixes ever heard, including the best surround sound component bar none, you get a mind-melting, multi-media extravaganza and something that is guaranteed to be unlike anything you've ever seen before. Fantastic!"
  • "Breath-taking ... truly thrilling ... amazing production and special effects"
  • "Boasting eye-widening special effects and a more than proficient cast of players, not to mention the cavalcade of superb songs the original album possesses, The War of The Worlds Live is a banquet for the senses."
The West Australian, 9 September 2007
  • "The colours were mesmerising with lasers, advanced lighting, pyrotechnics and digital effects which I cannot recall seeing in a musical in recent memory."
  • "The War of the Worlds the Musical has to be seen to be believed as the past meets the future in this dynamic musical."

The pair cast Shannon Noll, MTV's Best Male Artist 2007 (and 2005 and 2006) in the role played by Phil Lynott on the album, and by Russell Watson in 2006, Parson Nathaniel,[10] and in the role of Beth, the Parson's wife, they cast Rachael Beck, and for the Artilleryman, originally played by David Essex, they cast Michael Falzon, star of the hit stage show We Will Rock You.

Tour of the UK 2007[edit]

In December 2007, they brought the arena tour back to the UK, again selling out,[6] this time playing to around 50% more people, and ending at the 20,000-seat Millennium Dome on 22 December 2007.

7 December tour saw the return of Justin Hayward, Chris Thompson, Alexis James and Anna-Marie Wayne, as well as of course Richard Burton. The UK tour also featured up-and-coming female vocalist Sinéad Quinn and former Asia lead singer John Payne.

Tour of the UK and Europe 2009[edit]

June 2009 saw the third major Tour of The War of The Worlds – Alive on Stage! in three years (this time playing to 130,000 people). After the UK, the production continued into Europe, starting with the O2 Arena Dublin in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the release of the original double album by Sony.

Wayne and Collier cast Jennifer Ellison in the role of Beth, Parson Nathaniel's wife, and Shannon Noll as Parson Nathaniel. Justin Hayward, Alexis James and Chris Thompson reprised their roles.

Tour of the UK and Europe 2010[edit]

November–December 2010 saw the next major UK and European Arena Tour of the show and starred Jason Donovan, Rhydian, and Atomic Kitten's Liz McClarnon with even more Special Effects added.

The War of The Worlds – The New Generation[edit]

On 18 November 2011, it was announced at a Press Conference in London, England that a "New Generation" recording and Tour will be produced by Damian and Jeff, which will be narrated by Liam Neeson.[11][12] The album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation was released in November 2012.

Rights Management – Viral Spiral[edit]

Damian also manages various people and brands, placing them within the industry at the highest level. He also established and runs Viral Spiral [5] the world's leading management company for viral video owners, including one of the most viewed videos of all time on YouTube (Charlie_Bit_My_Finger).[citation needed]

Television[edit]

Fox Sports – The Book of Tennis Chronicles[edit]

Collier also executive produced The Book of Tennis Chronicles (distributed by Fox Sports) which parallels the lives and tribulations of the greatest tennis players, and events, set against the most dramatic and quirky moments in world history, starting in 1877 and up to present time. The series comprised 8 half-hour episodes.

Paradise Lost[edit]

Damian is developing various projects based on Paradise Lost, the Milton epic poem.

Film[edit]

Aside from War of The Worlds, Collier has produced various independent movies, including:

Deadline (Thriller)[edit]

Collier receives Special Thanks for his contributions to "Deadline" starring Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch and which premiered in Berlin in February 2009.

Disappearing in America (Drama)[edit]

Collier co-produced the Irish/US mob feature, Disappearing in America,[13] produced by String and a Can Productions, directed by Erik Rodgers, and starring Mark Pellegrino and Anna-Marie Wayne, which premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2008.

Evilution (Horror)[edit]

He also co-produced a new Horror feature from Island Gateway Films,[14] called "Evilution".

Downloading Nancy (Drama)[edit]

Collier also executive produced the feature film Downloading Nancy, starring Maria Bello and Jason Patric[15] which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

The Car (Supernatural thriller)[edit]

He is also Executive Producer on a psychological supernatural thriller feature film called The Car, written by Sean McConville, the writer/director of "Deadline" starring Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch.[16]

JWM Group[edit]

Collier also holds the position of managing director of the JWM Group of Companies, which since being founded in 1968 has provided over 9,000 soundtracks to the film, TV, radio, advertising and interactive media. [6]

References[edit]