Leveraging the tremendous experience garnered through various executive positions he has held with traditional television companies like Sony Pictures Television, DIC Entertainment, Starz and RHI Entertainment over the past 30 years, it’s David Ozer’s passion for the creative process and commitment to collaboration with the authors, writers, directors, artists, actors, producers and other talented members of the creative community that distinguishes him and IDW Entertainment “IDWE” from other studios vying for networks and the audience’s attention.
Launching IDWE as its President in December of 2013, Ozer spearheads the independent mini-studio’s overall operations which are devoted to developing, producing and distributing fresh and engaging content that appeals to a broad cross section of the global audience, especially millennials who may be fans of the nearly 90 comic book and graphic novels published monthly by the company’s sister division, IDW Publishing.
Under Ozer’s leadership, IDWE has successfully delivered two series – Wynonna Earp, which debuted on SYFY in the U.S. and Spike TV in the UK and Australia; and Dirk Gently, based on the best-selling comic novels by Douglas Adams and starring Sam Barnett and Elijah Wood, on BBC America in the U.S. – as both traditional network series and as subscription on-demand content through Netflix. The company has also formed strategic creative partnerships with proven authors such as Joe Hill, creator of the popular comic book series Locke and Key. Hill wrote the pilot for the same named series starring Frances O’Connor, Danny Glover, Nate Corddry, Owen Teague, Jackson Robert Scott and Megan Charpentier; Jonathan Kellerman, creator of the best-selling Alex Delaware detective novel series, who is working with the studio on developing a series based on the novels; and James Murray of truTV’s hit series Impractical Jokers and seasoned sci-fi writer Darren Wearmouth for a thriller series based on the authors’ new novel Awakened. Additionally, IDW Entertainment is collaborating with Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, on developing The Devil, a series based on the real-life misdeeds of British gangster Stephen The Devil French.
Ozer’s passion for the creative process was inspired while working as Executive Vice President of Television at Starz Media, a post he held from 2005 through 2008. “We were set up like an independent studio, developing content and funding our own projects.” It was during this time in his career that he also transitioned from domestic television sales -- he had previously held VP and SVP Sales positions with Sony Pictures Television and DIC Entertainment, to international sales and co-production negotiations. He recalls this period as a turning point in his career, creating an opportunity to learn how all the pieces fit together and how to ensure that multiple partners on a project can each get what they need.
From Starz, Ozer went on to serve as SVP of Domestic Television at RHI Entertainment (2010 to 2012) and then transitioned over to Sonar Entertainment in 2012 to serve as its head of worldwide distribution, before joining IDW to head its Entertainment unit. A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Ozer got his start in the entertainment industry as an account executive with WZOU/Ardman Broadcasting.
At the Banff Media Festival, we met with Netflix and took a ride up Sulphur Mountain on the gondola. That’s where we made the pitch. - Naveen Prasad, EVP and GM, Elevation Pictures?