Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Launches Landmark Studio Group with Industry Veteran David Ozer
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE), a growing media company building online video-on-demand ("VOD") networks that provide video content for all screens, today announced the launch of Landmark Studio Group ("Landmark") in partnership with 30-year entertainment industry veteran, David Ozer.
Landmark, which will be headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles, is a fully integrated entertainment company focused on ownership, development, and production of quality entertainment franchises. Ozer will serve as Landmark's chief executive officer. In addition to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Cole Strategic Partners has committed funding to Landmark.
Landmark will develop, produce, distribute and own all of the intellectual property (IP) it creates, building a valuable library. The studio will be independent, having the ability to sell its content to any network or platform, while also developing and producing original content for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment's recently acquired Crackle, a leading ad-supported VOD ("AVOD") network. Landmark will control all worldwide rights and will distribute through Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment's Screen Media division.
Landmark has several television and film projects in development, including:
THE FIX - A scripted drama series that explores the most explosive story of sports corruption in a generation based on the book by Declan Hill. The Fix is written by David Dilley and produced by Calamity Jane's Ellen Pompeo and Laura Holstein.
THE HISTORY OF GANGSTER RAP - A documentary series based on the bestselling book by Soren Baker, who serves as producer along with Jorge Hinojosa and Ice-T, and features Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and many others.
SAFEHAVEN - Directed by Brad Turner (Homeland, 24), Safehaven, a supernatural horror series based on the graphic novel about a female comic book artist whose drawings come alive to haunt her. Safehaven is produced by Turner, Thomas Vitale (Pandora), Jessica Petelle (V-Wars, Hawaii Five-0), James Seale (30 Below), Kevin Duncan and Michael Bay's 451 Media.
Landmark will also be producing various stand-up comedy specials and animated series.
"All of us at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment are thrilled to be in business with David Ozer. He has the ability and talent to turn Landmark into a high-volume content production operation that we anticipate will provide an additional revenue stream for our company while mitigating production risk," said William J. Rouhana Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. "We expect Landmark to provide valuable original content to Crackle and the other six AVOD networks that are part of our Crackle Plus subsidiary, as well as our other Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment divisions."
"It's incredible what Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is creating in the AVOD space, and I'm excited to launch Landmark as an important studio operation for tomorrow's media consumers," said Ozer. "With the support of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, we are poised to become a significant player in the global content marketplace."
"We are thrilled to join forces with Bill and David to launch Landmark, which we anticipate will become a major force in the entertainment industry," said Simon Misselbrook, president of Cole Strategic Partners.
As chief executive officer of the newly formed studio, Ozer will spearhead its content development and production operations. During his time at IDW Entertainment as founding president from 2013-2018, he oversaw the independent mini-studio's overall operations and focused on developing, producing, and distributing content that appeals to a broad global audience. Ozer is credited with the independent mini-studio's expansion, and the success of its two most prominent series, overseeing the development and production of three seasons of Wynonna Earp for Syfy, and two seasons of Dirk Gently for BBC America. He also oversaw the development of Locke & Key and V-Wars for Netflix. Ozer has also held executive level positions at multinational media corporations, including executive vice president of television at Starz Media; senior vice president of domestic television at RHI Entertainment; head of worldwide distribution at Sonar; senior vice president of sales at DIC Entertainment and vice president of sales at Sony Pictures Television.