Illinois manufacturer produces ‘Aliveness’ docuseries


Tuthill Corp’s
‘The Search
for Aliveness’
is a guided
exploration of
“what people do
to feel alive.”

After four generations of producing pumps, vacuums, and other machines in the Chicagoland area, Tuthill Corporation has embarked on a filmmaking journey.

The Tuthill Corporation — a manufacturing company located in Burr Ridge, Illinois — is producing a documentary series called The Search for Aliveness. Jay Tuthill, the company’s owner, assigned three of his employees with the task of finding aliveness through film.

Aside from the first episode, which introduces the series and the concept of aliveness, each episode interviews a subject on her or his own perception of aliveness.

The second features an interview with Jim Peterik, the musician who co-wrote the famous pop anthem from Rocky III, “Eye of the Tiger.” Other subjects range from wellness experts to everyday people who have found aliveness in the face of adversity.



As the “Sherpa of Purpose,” host Chad Gabriel guides filmmakers and viewers through an opportunity “to explore what people do to feel alive.”

Regarding “aliveness,” Gabriel emphasizes, “We are also not claiming to be experts. We are very much students of it…We’re trying to craft a recipe for aliveness that’s based on real people doing real things to feel alive.”

Erica Magda works as its director of photography, aka “Awareness Activator,” and Vito Pellicano creates, directs, and edits it as the official team “Explorer.”

"Aliveness: host Chad Gabriel interviews Jay Tuthill
“Aliveness: host Chad Gabriel interviews Jay Tuthill

In a way, The Search for Aliveness began in 2004 when the Tuthill Corporation became what it calls a conscious company. Jay Tuthill comments, “This really began as a very personal search for what really mattered to me, and the single word that I focused on at the time was authenticity.”

When Jay Tuthill took over the role of owner from his father in 1992, he says, “I tried to run the company a lot like he did. It turns out he and I are very different characters.” This left Tuthill “feeling pretty down.” In response, he consulted an executive coach who would drastically alter the course of his life.

Before long, other executive leaders at Tuthill Corporation received help from life coaches as well, and it became clear to Jay Tuthill that everyone within the company should also benefit.

Chad Gabriel
Chad Gabriel

Tuthill recalls thinking, “Wait a minute, if authenticity is so damn powerful, why don’t we set out on a course that will build authenticity within Tuthill (Corporation)?”

Retreats, access to life coaches, educational resources, and other benefits soon became staples of the company.

Fast-forward fifteen years, and the Tuthill Corporation is hoping to share the enlightenment through its Wake the World department and The Search for Aliveness documentary series.

Director Pellicano says that the Wake the World department was “asked to come up with projects that help us share the knowledge that we learned in our four walls about aliveness and helping people live a life fulfilled within our walls, to the outside.”

Based off of Pellicano’s own experience directing and editing A Dirty Canteen — a 30-minute documentary about an artist collective made up of military veterans — Pellicano felt that a docuseries was the best way to communicate aliveness to the world. The rest of the team agreed and they embarked on an international adventure intent on interviewing a diverse range of subjects.

Vito Pellicano
Vito Pellicano

While Pellicano states that there have been numerous technical challenges along the way, he exclaims, “I am just blessed to work for a company that allows me to chase my passion and dreams.”

So far, the episodes have been well received and are currently streaming with tens of thousands of views on Facebook. At first look, a manufacturing company producing a documentary series appears unconventional.

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However, as an organization with a strong company culture, it is in many ways a natural step in the Tuthill Corporation’s branding process. As the lines between marketing videos and traditional cinema become blurred, viewers can expect more organizations to jump into larger-scale film productions.

For more information and The Search for Aliveness episodes, click here.

Contact Joey Filer at or follow him on Twitter @FilerJoey.