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Industrial Media starts This Machine

American Idol producer Industrial Media has invested in new production company This Machine, set up by documentary, non-fiction and scripted film and television director and producer RJ Cutler.

RJ Cutler (Photo: David Shankbone)

Industrial Media has expanded its independent production group with its ownership interest in This Machine, which will focus on developing and producing non-scripted and scripted film and TV.

It becomes the fifth prodco in Industrial Media’s roster of unscripted content producers, alongside The Intellectual Property Corporation, Sharp Entertainment, B17 Entertainment and 19 Entertainment.

Alongside Cutler, Elise Pearlstein will join This Machine as executive VP of documentaries, having previously served as senior VP, documentary film at Participant.

Devon Hammonds, Industrial Media’s senior VP of development and current programming, east coast, will now serve in a dual role as executive VP of non-fiction TV for This Machine, focusing on returning series development for the new company.

Trevor Smith, Cutler’s longtime producing partner, will serve as producer for the company’s original content.

Meanwhile, 14-time Emmy nominee Jane Cha Cutler has signed a first-look deal with This Machine. Cha Cutler and Industrial Media CEO Eli Holzman first worked together on the Bravo series Project Runway.

Cutler is known for critically and commercially successful documentary films including The War Room, A Perfect Candidate, The September Issue, The World According to Dick Cheney, Thin and Listen to Me Marlon.

He also created the programmes American High, Freshman Diaries and 30 Days, while his scripted work includes conceiving and directing Nashville, directing the feature film If I Stay starring Chloë Grace Moretz and creating, writing, directing and producing the podcast The Oval Office Tapes.

Cutler’s upcoming projects include the feature documentary Belushi, which he directed and produced and which will debut on Showtime in November. He is also the producer and director of the documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry for Apple TV+. Cutler’s documentary series Dear… is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

Cutler is represented by Lighthouse Management & Media, CAA and Jeanne Newman at HJTH.

Cutler said: “The opportunity to build a team to expand the work that Trevor and I have been doing for years is a dream come true and we are thrilled to have this new platform to tell high-quality stories about the times in which we live.”


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