At the production company founded by Emmy-winning documentarian R.J. Cutler (Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry), she’ll work alongside senior execs Trevor Smith and Elise Pearlstein, overseeing and growing Cutler’s slate of music-driven projects.
This Machine (an Industrial Media Company) launched in October of last year. In the time since, it has put together a diverse slate of projects, including Big Vape and an Untitled Martha Stewart Documentary for Netflix, and Murf the Surf for Epix.
Yen’s hiring at This Machine comes on the heels of her collaborations with Cutler on a number of documentary films and series, including 30 Days and Sundance Award winner The September Issue, among others.
“We could not be more excited to welcome Margaret to This Machine,” said Cutler. “She’s a brilliant producer and a great executive, and her taste, vast experience and unique expertise are the perfect match for our sensibilities and objectives. This Machine is champing at the bit to grow our work and relationships within the music industry and Margaret is just the person to help us do so.”
“I’m so thrilled to be building a music documentary space at This Machine with RJ, Elise and Trevor,” added Yen. “This is an amazing team of people who inspire trust, build legacy stories and produce fascinating verité. I can’t think of better collaborators to deliver documentaries that celebrate the transformative power of music.”
Yen is a Grammy award-winning music supervisor with decades of experience working across independent and studio feature films and documentaries. Prior to joining This Machine, she oversaw music for Netflix original films including Extraction, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Midnight Sky, The Prom, Moxie, Yes Day, The White Tiger and Kate. She also worked on the music for the upcoming Lin-Manuel Miranda musical tick, tick…Boom!, Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, Matilda: The Musical and Judd Apatow’s The Bubble.
Yen started her career as an independent music supervisor at Inaudible Productions. There, she built a full service music supervision, music clearance, catalog representation, estate management, and film/TV production company, alongside partner Peter Afterman, which managed the James Brown estate as well as the Rolling Stones catalog, from the band’s 1971 album Sticky Fingers through to the present.
Music projects produced and supervised at Inaudible include It Might Get Loud, directed by Davis Guggenheim, Alex Gibney’s Peabody Award winner Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, and Get On Up: The Story of James Brown, starring Chadwick Boseman, which was nominated for a 2015 Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack. Other docs Yen supervised include Brett Morgen’s Rolling Stones pic Crossfire Hurricane, Morgan Neville’s Keith Richards: Under The Influence and Daft Punk’s Electroma.
In 2018 Yen co-produced the Joan Jett documentary Bad Reputation directed by Kevin Kerslake, which garnered two Critic’s Choice’ nominations and one win.
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