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Good Machine was an independent film production, film distribution, and foreign sales company started in the early 1990s by its co-founders and producers, Ted Hope and James Schamus. David Linde joined as a partner in the late 90s and to also start the international sales company. They sold the company to Universal Pictures in 2001; in 2002 it was acquired by Vivendi SA, which merged it with USA Films to create Focus Features. Hope, along with the heads of production development and business affairs (Anthony Bregman, Anne Carey, and Diana Victor) then went on to form the independent production company This is that corporation.
In 2001, the Museum of Modern Art celebrated a ten-year anniversary of Good Machine's work, commemorating their support of international and domestic filmmakers.
Good Machine was involved in production and/or distribution of a number of films, including Lee's The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil; Hal Hartley projects such as Flirt (1995), Edward Burns's The Brothers McMullen and Todd Solondz's Happiness.
Launched in 1991 from a small loft space in lower Manhattan by writer—producer Columbia professor James Schamus and his partner, Ted Hope, Good Machine produced many important independent films over the years, among them Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995) and The Wedding Banquet (Ang Lee, 1993). The company survived by doing line producing for hire and keeping overhead costs low. Many films were commercially successful thanks to centrist marketing strategies. The creation of a foreign sales company also gave Schamus and Hope greater control of Good Machine’s products, increased financing sources, and provided information about what people in the marketplace wanted.
In 2002, Good Machine was acquired by Universal Pictures. Ted Hope chose to part with the company to form the This is that corporation with Good Machine Director of Development Anne Carey, Director of Production Anthony Bregman, and Director of Business Affairs Diana Victor. Under the "This is that" banner they have produced films like Adventureland, The Savages, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
James Schamus remained with Universal, whose new small-picture arm became Focus Features.