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Sharp Eye

By William Lobdell

Photography by Robert Benson

10.24.17

Marc Ostrick captures the world of the sea with his lens.

LAGUNA BEACH PRODUCER and director Marc Ostrick quotes Jacques Cousteau to explain why he’s drawn to ocean-related projects. “‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.’”

Ostrick elaborates: “Being out in the ocean gives you perspective. It recharges you, inspires you and never ceases to surprise you.” With that passion, it’s no surprise he’s become an apex storyteller on all things aquatic, producing two shows (Shark Vortex and Lair of the Sawfish, which he also directed) for Discovery Channel’s 2017 Shark Week. Next up: a new shark special shot in a wild location due out next summer.

The New York native’s love for the sea began with a childhood move to Miami. “I was always out in the water—swimming, snorkeling, taking boat trips and going to the Keys,” he says. After graduating from New York University’s film school in 1995, Ostrick worked on a variety of projects (including a documentary called Open Hearted, about his third open-heart surgery at age 27). Later, he was hired to work on Laguna Beach-based MacGillivray Freeman Films’ award-winning One World One Ocean campaign, bringing him to O.C. with his wife, Sima, and now 9-year-old daughter, Mitzi, and shifting the tide of his career. (Ostrick’s résumé now includes collaborating with Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien, on Mission 31, a quest to live in an undersea habitat—dubbed Aquarius—for 31 days.)

Not that it’s always been smooth sailing. “Boats are usually noisy, cramped places,” he notes, “and saltwater loves to eat electronics.”

When not working on ocean-related causes, Ostrick volunteers for local nonprofit My Hero, an interactive online archive “celebrating the best of humanity, one story at a time.”

“I got involved,” he says, “because I feel being able to contribute to your community is what citizenship is all about.”