Bernstein was born and raised in Chicago. He went to college at the University of Wisconsin, and was a journalist with PBS and later ABC. He wrote the 1970´s cult classic Thank God It´s Friday, starring Debra Winger and Jeff Goldblum.

He then went on to write and co-produce Francis Ford Coppola´s legendary Vegas romance One From the Heart. Bernstein made his directing debut with Windy City, from his screen-play, which starred John Shea and Kate Capshaw. He wrote and directed Cross My Heart, starring Martin Short and Annette O´Toole for producer Lawrence Kasdan.

Bernstein also wrote and produced the Emmy Award-winning Earth Day Special for Warner Bros. and ABC.

Beacon recently produced End of Days, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and is in production on Thirteen Days, starring Kevin Costner and Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage.