Former WME Agent John Fogelman Launches Development and Consulting Firm
Filmmaker J.J. Abrams joins FactoryMade Ventures as a principal investor.
John Fogelman, former William Morris Endeavor board member, is launching a new development and consulting firm FactoryMade Ventures with his former client J.J. Abrams, who is serving as principal investor.
The hybrid entertainment and media business firm plans to partner with talent and companies to develop and deliver content across multiple platforms worldwide. Initial plans for new ventures include original short-form programming, interactive viewing and gaming experiences, and projects for digital and mobile platforms as well as cable and network television both domestically and in emerging markets.
FactoryMade has already secured alliances with Telefonica, Hasbro, RTL Group and Intel. Abrams as well as Michael Bay, Robert Rodriguez, Thom Beers and Whoopi Goldberg have already begun developing projects with the newly formed company.
“We recognize the characteristics of the constantly changing media landscape that continue to shift our view of entertainment,” Fogelman, who will serve as CEO of FactoryMade Ventures, said. “We welcome the industry’s most imaginative and inventive minds to strategize new ventures with us and build them into fully fledged media businesses.”
Abrams, director of Star Trek and this summer's Super 8, as well as creator/co-creator of television series such as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe, added, “I’ve been lucky enough to work with the same representatives since I began in this business. John Fogelman joined our team in 2006, and I was immediately struck by his ability to identify creative opportunities and his determination and skill to actually realize them. “I felt strongly about continuing to work with John, and this was a chance to support his latest ambitious enterprise, just as he has supported me over the years.”
Abrams’ producing partner, Bryan Burk, will play an active role in the new company, which is located adjacent to Abrams' Bad Robot’s headquarters in Santa Monica, Ca. David Lonner of Oasis Media Group will continue as Abrams’ manager.
Focusing on Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market, FactoryMade will work with Spain’s Telefonica SA, the third largest telecommunications provider in the world. Together, they will develop content-driven businesses with Telefonica’s subsidiaries Media Networks Latin America SAC and Terra Networks SA.
FactoryMade will continue its longstanding relationship with client Hasbro that began at WMA between Fogelman and president and CEO of Hasbro Brian Goldner. The relationship contributed to the production of a number of films including the Transformers movies, GI Joe and the upcoming Battleship, as well as the launch of The HUB television network as a joint-venture with Discovery Communications. Hasbro will also continue to be represented by WME.
“Hasbro is continuing to create immersive entertainment globally for our incredible portfolio of brands,” Goldner said. “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.”
The former Strategic Planning & Business Development unit at WME, dubbed the “skunkworks” unit where talent brainstormed ideas and corporate clients explored garage-style media ideas, will join FactoryMade Ventures. The team will continue to be spearheaded by former WME department head Cristina Patwa as the president of FactoryMade. Patwa will be joined by former WME colleagues Aden Ikram (Comcast business development and Qualcomm strategy) as the head of business development, Dawn Holliday-Mack (Paramount Pictures and the Nielsen Company) and Douglas Gardner (PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Entertainment, Media and Communications Advisory Services). Troy Zien (WME talent) will separately aid Fogelman in personal producing efforts in film and television.
Fogelman recently left WME where, for more 18 years, he was an agent to such talent as Abrams, Bay, Goldberg, Kevin Spacey, Eric Bana and Courteney Cox. He was the former worldwide head of the motion picture department at WMA and was one of the principal architects of the merger between WMA and Endeavor.