First Look Studios chief dies

20-year showbiz vet Wilson was also a founder of DEJ Prods.

First Look Studios topper Dean Wilson died July 20 in Los Angeles of complications from a heart attack. He was 52.

Wilson, a 20-year showbiz vet, was chief operating officer of First Look since 2007, when it was acquired by Nu Image. He was also COO of Millennium Media Services. Before that he was head of new business development for Blockbuster responsible for for its alternative movie distribution strategy.

He joined Blockbuster in 1995 and held a variety of positions, both domestically and internationally, including executive VP and chief content officer, worldwide, where he was responsible for global studio relationships.

Wilson was one of the founders of DEJ Productions, a film acquisition and distribution subsidiary of Blockbuster. The ‘D’ stood for Dean, while the other letters stood for co-founder Ed Stead and former CEO Joe Antioco.

DEJ, founded in 1999, had more than 500 titles in its library at its peak. It was sold to First Look in 2005.

Prior to Blockbuster, Wilson was employed by Trans World Entertainment, a music and video retailer.

Survivors include two daughters.

Donations may be made in his memory to the Orange County chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (

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