In 2007, after spending nearly a decade writing and producing documentaries for cable TV, and writing and editing for a handful of newspapers, magazines and Websites, Brett O’Bourke had had enough. He called his good friend Gaspar González, who had been engaged in similar pursuits, and said, “Hey, man, I have this crazy idea …” González cut him off immediately. “I’m in,” he said.
O’Bourke and González came up with a simple concept: Assemble all-star creatives and give them the tools to do stellar work on their own terms. Blend commerce with creativity. Tell great stories.
The results are in. They include an Emmy Award®-winning documentary, a Bulldog Award® for advertising and a roster of international clients and media outlets eager to showcase their work.
Brett O’Bourke has produced and directed documentary programming for ESPN, PBS, A&E, The History Channel and Discovery, been a writer and editor at the Miami Herald, and helped launch a clutch of glossy magazines and websites. His work has resulted in an Emmy, a Golden Bulldog and a growing collection of Hawaiian shirts. He’s the founder and executive creative director of Common Machine.
Gaspar González has made documentaries on Muhammad Ali, presidential politics, art and Cuban culture, written for Village Voice Media, Newsday and Grantland, and edited his share of magazines. His work has won an Emmy, been honored by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and gotten raves from Bob Dylan. (True.) He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale.
Jorge Rubiera has written and directed more than a dozen short films and music videos and is currently completing his first feature film, Meniscus, as well as a documentary on Russian composer Alexander Knaifel. An accomplished musician and songwriter, Rubiera is also the co-owner and creative director of the online clothing store Vintage Mavens. He's all jacked-up on Bustelo.
Christina Burchard is the editor of the feature-length documentaries The Great Directors (2009) and Unraveled (2011), the Emmy-winning Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile (2011), and a host of other films, music videos and television programs. Her work has screened at the Cannes and Venice film festivals and been called “cool and elegant” by the New York Times. Exotic animals seem to like her.
Michael Landsberg has shot episodic television for GRB Entertainment and Original Productions, directed the award-wining documentary Fatboy: The Movie, and served as director of photography on the sci-fi thriller Mentryville, starring Danny Glover. He has also shot for Univision and Univision/ABC joint venture Fusion. He mistakenly believes himself to be an heir to the Reddi-whip fortune.
Jorge Graupera is an accomplished musician whose music has been featured in primetime American TV shows as well as various MTV series. Putting aside the many hats he's worn during his life as a composer, performer, graphic designer and photographer, he is currently pursuing his passion for film, freelancing as an editor and cinematographer.
Blake comes to Common Machine after a previous career in real estate with Mitch & Murray. He is passionate about sales, acronyms and lines which are dotted. Blake is excited about the switch to the entertainment industry and insists that while he has things to learn, nevertheless, he will always be closing.
Jack Torrance is an aspiring novelist whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. A new addition to Common Machine, Torrance is responsible for upkeep of the premises and physical plant. He enjoys spending time alone with his wife and precocious five year-old son. Torrance is a firm believer in a good work/life balance.