MICHAEL BROCKHOFF is a non-fiction producer with hundreds of hours of programming to his credit. He has a unique talent for solving creative and logistical challenges while pushing the quality of the content and production values beyond the expected parameters. Michael has been instrumental in expanding the programming slate of many production companies and creating shows for networks like TLC and National Geographic Wild.
Photos by Kevin Kane
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Why did you decide to make the documentary "Bronies: The Extremely
Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony"?
When I found out about this group of fans called Bronies, I was fascinated. I wanted to know why adults, and adult men in particular are fans of a show made for little girls. I knew the general public would also be fascinated and thought a documentary could offer them insight to the phenomena.
Why was the title changed from "Brony Con: The Documentary"?
As our crowdfunding campaign became successful, we expanded the scope from just the East coast BronyCon convention to Brony conventions and Bronies around the world. The title "Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony" is more inclusive and indicative of what the viewer will see in the documentary.
How did Tara Strong, Lauren Faust and John de Lancie become involved
with the project?
John de Lancie was my entry into the Brony world. I've known John for years. He was telling me about voicing the character Discord and how he found out about the Bronies. I suggested that we create the documentary and everything started from there. John was able to bring Tara Strong and Lauren Faust on board which was great since John and I were just being introduced to the fandom and Tara and Lauren had then involved all along.
Why do you think the show "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"
appeals to adults?
There are a number of reasons adults love the show. They seem to appreciate the modern animation style and fully developed characters. One thing we discussed in the documentary is the fact that the messages you find in the show about friendship and how to be a good friend is something anyone of any age can appreciate and use.
How did making your other documentaries prepare you to make this one?
My background is in non-fiction television which can be a different than feature-length documentary film making. I was able to bring skills to the project that helped us make the film faster than most independent documentaries without compromising quality.
Why use Kickstarter to fund the documentary?
Rather than asking a third party financier or network to take a chance on an unknown subject, we thought Bronies themselves would like the idea of the documentary. The support was overwhelming and a great luxury that not all filmmakers have.
What do you say to people who criticize the "My Little Pony" fandom
and/or the documentary itself?
For those who criticize the fandom, I would ask them to first watch the documentary. The film will give you an understanding of why the fandom exists and what it's about. I would argue that society needs the messages of the show and it's a great thing that it's being embraced by a the fans. For those that criticize the documentary, I would ask them to keep in mind that a film can not be all things to all people. We set out to explain the phenomena of adult men who like My Little Pony and that is something we did in an entertaining and respectful way.
Do you have a favorite pony?
I tend to like Pinkie Pie the most. Of the main six ponies, she is the silly fun one and she makes me laugh every time I see a clip of her.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
For those who want to see the film, head over to bronydoc.com were we have a number of options from digital download to Blu-Ray and DVD discs.
[caption id="attachment_3290" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Photo Credit: BronyCon: The Documentary via Kickstarter[/caption]
Thanks for doing the interview Michael. I'm very new to the fandom. I've only seen a few episodes. I think the show fun for all ages. I'm going to watch the documentary ASAP. I think Rainbow Dash is my favorite pony.