Originally published at Hollywood Reporter | March 7, 2022
Former Landmark Studio Group CEO David Ozer has been tapped to head up Strong Studios, a film and TV producer being launched by Ballantyne Strong.
Ozer will oversee the New York-based indie banner as president, with an eye to developing, producing and distributing original movies and TV series. Two series have been greenlit for production later this year through an initial agreement with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment division Screen Media.
They are Flagrant, in which Michael Rapaport stars and executive produces, and Safehaven, a supernatural horror series earlier in development at Landmark Studio Group. Screen Media will distribute both series, with their growing streaming platforms Crackle, Popcornflix and Chicken Soup for the Soul holding first rights to debut the content.
Ballantyne Strong is a holding company whose interests include providing support services to the exhibition industry. In 2019, Ozer launched Landmark Studio Group as a division of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment as that company got deeper into entertainment programming.
Strong Studios will also acquire third party rights to content for global distribution. The new studio launches with an initial distribution agreement with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s Screen Media.
On March 2, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment unveiled a deal to acquire the assets of film studio 1091 Media for $15.6 million to accelerate Chicken Soup’s strategy to launch an indie advertising-backed video-on-demand, or AVOD, streaming service by doubling the size of its content catalogue.
Strong Studios’ initial intellectual property slate includes 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 James Seale, Kevin Duncan and Michael Bay’s 451 Media. Production is set to take place in Canada in mid-2022.
And Flagrant is a dramedy series produced in partnership with Rapaport, who has a lead role. Peter Hoare and Pete Correale are co-writers and showrunners. Production is also set for mid-2022.
Ozer is also bringing other projects from the Landmark Studio Group to be developed by Strong Studios, including Shadows in the Vineyard, starring Judith Light and Noah Wyle; the drama series Heartbeat, co-created by DJ couple Kiss and M.O.S.; and the horror series MidNightMares.