Online video network Machinima is about to get some new programming from one of the most prominent names in science-fiction and fantasy: director Ridley Scott. Deadline Hollywood reports that the filmmaker's commercial production company — RSA — will be teaming up with the site to produce a series of 12 science-fiction themed short films. Scott will not direct the shorts himself, but will instead hand off helming duties to RSA's stable of directors, a collection of up-and-coming filmmakers and established names like District 9's Neil Blomkamp and Skyfall director Sam Mendes.

The partnership will serve as an incubator for original content, with both Machinima and RSA set to reap the rewards. RSA filmmakers will be able to experiment with new ideas and story concepts in a more cost-efficient, shorter format, with guaranteed distribution, while Machinima will be able to tout original content featuring Scott's involvement. Should any of the ideas catch fire, further exploitation of the shorts — either turning them into features films, or using the properties in ancillary markets — will be produced by RSA and Machinima in tandem.

Machinima's reach has been expanding at an impressive rate, with the site currently touting 2.6 billion views a month — in March of 2012, that number was pegged at 1.52 billion — and Google itself investing in the company last year. "With new media transforming the way audiences connect with films and filmmakers, Machinima is a great partner for us as we embark on this new model of delivering original content to fans," Scott said in a statement. "It's a tremendous opportunity for pushing the creative boundaries for both our filmmakers and the audience."