We continue our Filmmaker Fridays series by introducing filmmaker Brent Hodge. Brent Hodge has directed many films including the documentary “A Brony Tale”, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival last year. Since filming “A Brony Tale,” Brent has been working on exciting projects including the upcoming summer release of “I Am Chris Farley.”
1) When did you decide to begin your career as a filmmaker?
I started right after University, originally got into acting and booked a few roles in Canada. I realized quickly on set that I was just watching the film guys and the directors and knew I should probably move into that as soon as possible.
2) A Brony Tale explores the cultural phenomena of men who like My Little Pony. What made you want get involved in documenting this “brony” phenomenon?
I got pretty lucky with A Brony Tale. It was all Ashleigh Ball who is the subject of the documentary. She is a voice actress in Vancouver and had just booked the voices of AppleJack and Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony. She told me she was getting emails from guys who like My Little Pony. I couldn’t believe it, we had to film this.
3) How were you able to find the subjects featured in A Brony Tale?
It started with us emailing back the bronies who contacted Ashleigh and then it just snowballed. One brony would tell us about another, and another… and I would just show up and film them. Before I knew it, we had a whole film.
4) In the film, you travel with Ashleigh Ball, the voice actress of My Little Pony, to BronyCon; which took place in New York at the time. Where there any challenges you faced filming at the convention center and/or New York in general?
I was more excited then anything getting to film in New York. At the time the only thing that was hard was that a lot of news outlets and media were doing really negative pieces on the bronies. It made it hard to gain trust when you are saying you are doing a documentary. It didn’t take long though, the bronies knew our intentions to just show what we saw with their sub culture.
5) You are originally from Canada. Besides Canada, what are your favorite destination places to film and/or travel to?
I’ve been really lucky with traveling and filmmaking. Capetown, Rio De Janeiro, Melbourne, and Austin, Texas are definitely on my favorite destinations to film.
6) You have travelled all around the world filming different types of stories. Besides A Brony Tale, what is and/or are your proudest project (s) you have created?
I think I almost get just as happy about the story of making the projects/films as I do the films themselves. A Brony Tale was me with a small camera traveling around on a bunch of overnight trains around all sorts of weird places in the US. Others that I loved doing include some of the early stuff we did with CBC in Canada which worked with bands and musicians. Backstage, in the van traveling, at rehearsals… it was a lot of fun and Im really proud of some of the films we have done under the circumstances.
7) Any exciting things happening in the future?
Right now we are finishing up the Chris Farley documentary called “I Am Chris Farley” which is really exciting. I’m such a fan of his work and just honored to be directing the film. I can’t wait for the world to see this film.
Watch “A Brony Tale”,