A Brony Tale - A documentary about bronies through Ashleigh Ball's eyes - Q&A with Brent Hodge

Photos are taken from the Brony Tale preview 
"A Brony Tale", the latest brony documentary to be released will be premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April in New York. Brent Hodge, from Hodgee Films gave Horse News some information about the film; a documentary on Ashleigh Ball and her experience in the My Little Pony Fan Community. Ashleigh Ball is the voice of Rainbow Dash and Applejack on the show. Find the Q&A with Brent below.

Bold: Horse-News
Responses: Brent Hodge

I'm Brent Hodge, I'm 28, and I'm a Canadian who is living between San Francisco and Vancouver. 
Can't leave the West-coast clearly

Where is your company based/how large is it? 
Based in Vancouver/SF, ran out of Van.. there's a good crew of us now, a family really. Depending on the project we get more and more people on...but the brony movie team is growing, I love it

What is the official name of the film? 
A-BRONY-TALE. I changed it recently... it's a story about Ashleigh Ball with a brony subject.. a brony tale seemed more like the story I wanted to tell

When/where all did filming take place? 
All over North America...I traveled anywhere/everywhere to find bronies. It was alot of fun.

How many people were on the team? 
Mainly just me filming...a few times I had a soundguy/dp but mostly just me and then post production was a slew of different people.

Who funded the project? 
Hodgee Films funded it. Our first feature length documentary

Who are the stars? 
Ashleigh Ball and different bronies

What sets this film apart from the 4 or so other brony documentaries that have been released over the past 3 years? 
There is 4 bronydocs? Wooahh, clearly bronies are a good subject :) Mine is different in the sense that it follows Ashleigh Ball and her journey as a voice actress into this new fanbase. There's some twists in there, I think bronies but also general audience is going to love it.

Have you ever seen Hey Ocean! perform/are they involved in the doc in anyway? 
For sure, they are good friends of mine. Love seeing them live, and yes they are definitely featured in the doc (and their music).

Do you feel that Ashleigh's position as a perceived "outsider" creates a more interesting story? 
Its really a story about Ashleigh's experience in the brony world...so it's through her eyes...I think insiders or outsiders will relate to her (its hard not to, shes such an incredible subject)

Much has happened since the 2012 Bronycon, do you feel as though the content of the product still holds true? 
For sure, the story is timeless here.. welll unless bronies just fizzle away but that doesn't look like its going to anytime soon

How long is the film? 
77minutes.. maybe 78 with credits

Are you a brony yourself? 
No, but I dig it

Who is your favorite pony? 
Rainbow Dash :)

How did you get involved in the project/fandom? 
Through Ashleigh...she was telling me about men who were emailing her about her kids cartoon show...I couldn't believe it, I just said "we have to film this!"

Do you frequent any community websites/participate in any other way? 
For sure, definitely reddit feeds more than anything, I also follow brony groups on Facebook, and I'm friends with bronies as well from filming...I talk to them online as well so see links to different sites and check those out when I can

Rumor has it that certain fandom media play a prominent role in the film; is that true, and if so, who and what role do they play? 
Fandom media? I interviewed Bronies for Good, Everfree Network, Equestria Daily, Bronycon and more.. is that what you mean? Their roles really are there to help build the Ashleigh story...give context and smaller storylines... again, its Ashleigh's story here.

Did you learn anything particularly interesting about the community during production that you didn't already know before filming? 
I thought it was pretty weird at first.. I guess I was shocked that bronies are actually just great. Genuinely kind and warm hearted.. i remember thinking "Okay.. whats the catch?" haha. no catch. just really great people.

How did you get involved in the film industry? 
I started as an actor then realized really quickly that I liked behind the camera more. The second I started filming I was hooked, it just snowballed from there and now I can't stop, I love it way too much. 

Your previous credits include "The Cockumentary"; a film about the world of Mexican Cockfighting, which one would assume is almost the opposite of a documentary about cartoon fans. What are some of the differences in challenges between these types of film? 
Hahah THE COCKUMENTARY!! thats hilarious you found it. That was a film that I got a director credit on but honestly it was me just following the foot steps of my mentor Thomas Buchan who taught me everything I know about filmmaking...we went after the cock fighting filming...really worked to get in that culture and spent alot of time in Mexico. I think the subject was opposite for sure but the idea of understanding is similar...I like quest documentaries. Going after things and finding out what they are about.

Do you have any other upcoming projects? 
I got a few brewing but really just seeing a life for A Brony Tale first.

How would you personally describe Ashleigh's responses to the community? 
I can't really speak for Ashleigh but its all positive with Ashleigh...it's always positive with Ashleigh, she's a special human. It was a pleasure to film this story with her.

Do you anticipate Ashleigh becoming more or less active in the community as a result of this (she has since acquired a Twitter, but rarely uses it by comparison with her fellow staff members)?  
Again, can't speak for ash but this film definitely gives her a voice and I'm sure bronies will be into it.  Also, she got twitter?! I'm going to follow her now. 

Do any other staff members make apperances? 
Like other MLP staff members? ...hmm Andrea and Nicole are at the panel with Ashleigh at the Bronycon...that's it though.

In the preview, Ashleigh mentions having a "pervert alarm" go off when she first learned of the community, do you think her first impression was changed much during filming or since?
For sure it has... I mean, wait.. you will see in the film :)

When will the film be available and where? 
Premiering at Tribeca on April 26th !!! Will have more news soon about next public dates...So excited for the world to see this.

Do you anticipate any sort of a follow-up to the project? 
Yah maybe...if a good story comes out from it. There is alot of stories surrounding bronies, I think its really exciting.

Is there anyone else we can talk to? 
Do you mean about the film? sure, who do you want to talk to? Sound Director John Diemer, Composer Chris Kelly, Graphics Derek Pante..Producer Carolyn Wells...all did a TON of work on this doc and really made it happen, you could chat to them about their experience...They are family. They are my bronies.

Comments (3)

  1. Less autistic than expected.

    John De Lancie is so jelly.

  2. I can dig it.

  3. pretty cool, I hope they don't take the angle the other bronydoc did. I don't want to watch another documentary about sperglords who need the show to function socially