Lost creator JJ Abrams, RTL Group, Spain’s Telefonica and Hasbro are all attached to a new US-based hybrid entertainment and business development firm.
Former William Morris Endeavour board member John Fogelman announced FactoryMade Ventures today, with Abrams attached as principal investor.
The firm will focus on partnerships with leading creative talent and companies to develop content across multiple platforms. Deals are already in place with Luxembourg-based RTL, telecoms group Telefonica, toy firm Hasbro and Intel.
FactoryMade’s initial plans include developing original short-form content, interactive viewing and gaming experiences, programmes for US free-to-air and cable broadcasters and international channels in emerging markets such as Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
The firm revealed that established talent including Hollywood directors Michael Bay and Robert Rodriguez; Ice Road Truckers creator Thom Beers; and Whoopi Goldberg have all begun working on projects.
“We recognize the characteristics of the constantly changing media landscape that continue to shift our view of entertainment,” said Fogelman, who will take up the CEO role.
“We welcome the industry’s most imaginative and inventive minds to strategise new ventures with us and build them into fully fledged media businesses.”
Abrams has come onboard as a result of the relationship he struck up with Fogelman when the latter was his agent at WME. Abrams’ production partner Bryan Burk is also attached.
FactoryMade has cited the Latin American and US Hispanic markets as priorities, with the Telefonica deal seeing the pair develop content-driven businesses through the latter’s Media Networks Latin America and Terra Networks subsidiaries.
The Hasbro partnership will see the pair produce films, with the toy firm continuing to be represented by Fogelman’s former employer.
“John Fogelman and his team have been a tremendous asset for us in the media and entertainment space and we look forward to many more opportunities with FactoryMade to build not only new experiences for our brands, but to work on creating new brands as well,” said Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner.
There’s no word yet on the shape of the RTL deal. The European broadcaster has been seeking global expansion and recently branched out into India through a joint venture with Reliance Broadcast Networks.
Fogelman – a veteran agent who counted Goldberg, Bay, Kevin Spacey and Courteney Cox among his clients – recently left WME after 18 years.