Two-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler has launched the production outfit This Machine with financial backing from Los Angeles-based indie Industrial Media.
Under terms of the deal, This Machine will focus on developing and producing non-scripted projects across film and television, as well as scripted content.
Industrial Media, led by Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman, will have an ownership interest in Cutler’s newly minted venture, which will now become the fifth production studio in Industrial’s roster of unscripted content producers alongside The Intellectual Property Corporation, Sharp Entertainment, B17 Entertainment and 19 Entertainment.
Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning producer Elise Pearlstein will join This Machine as EVP of documentaries, having previously served as SVP of documentary film at Participant Media.
Industrial Media’s Devon Hammonds, SVP of development and current programming, East Coast, will now serve in a dual role as EVP of non-fiction television at This Machine with a focus on returning series development. Cutler’s long-time producing partner Trevor Smith, meanwhile, will serve as producer for the company’s original content.
Elsewhere, 14-time Emmy Award nominee Jane Cha Cutler has secured a first-look deal with This Machine. Cha Cutler and Holzman first worked together on Bravo’s Project Runway, which Holzman created with Cha Cutler.
“R.J. is a gifted filmmaker and a long-time friend,” said Holzman in a statement. “Aaron and I both have long admired his creative range and have envied his eye for compelling stories that reach broad audiences.”
“Our shared creative enthusiasm and commitment to excellence in production makes for an excellent partnership and we greatly look forward to welcoming This Machine into the Industrial Media family,” Saidman added.
Cutler has made a name for himself since breaking onto the documentary scene as a producer with Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker’s feature-length doc The War Room. His additional non-fiction credits include A Perfect Candidate, The September Issue, Thin, Listen to Me Marlon, the Showtime feature documentary Belushi and Apple TV+’s forthcoming film Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. He has additionally been a pioneer in the area of non-fiction television, having created such landmark programs as American High, Freshman Diaries, 30 Days and Apple’s docuseries Dear…. Cutler’s scripted work includes Nashville and the feature film If I Stay.
Cutler is represented by Lighthouse Management & Media, CAA and Jeanne Newman at HJTH.
Photo credit: David Shankbone