Art from the Tumblr Cheerilee’s Chalkboard http://cheerilee-s-chalkboard.tumblr.com/

To conclude my analysis on the documentary situation, I’d like to sum things up with important questions that should be asked, like why the doc chose the direction they used, what the consequences of these actions are, and who should be held accountable for what has happened. You can find the summary of my thoughts after the break.

The funding of the documentary has been a source of controversy since it began. Crowd sourced funding websites such as Kickstarter have been a volatile topic for more than just the pony fandom. Many see crowd sourced funding as a great way for entrepreneurs to fund projects that normally would never be funded. Others argue that sites like Kickstarter are a haven for beggars and con artists to prey on unsuspecting consumers, with very few ways to hold said fraudsters accountable. Now seems as good of a time as ever to ask the question of which side of the fence our documentarians land on.

Originally, the Kickstarter was created to make a documentary exploring what bronies are. Known then as “Bronycon: The Documentary”, Jon de Lancie pitched it as “a documentation of the fan phenomena known as bronies” in the original Kickstarter video they published (as seen here). According to de Lancie, the documentary would discover “who bronies are, and what makes them so unique”. For all intents and purposes, they succeeded on this goal, and created a documentary that did just that. End of the story, right?

Well, not so much. Let’s look into things further.

First, let’s look at the name of the documentary. The name “Bronycon: The Documentary” would suggest a study of the people who are going to Bronycon, along with the history of Bronycon and the events that lead up to it. However, the documentarians, even in this Kickstarter video, had planned to expand beyond this concept into exploring the entire fandom as a whole. The name change to “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” emphasized this thought process. This makes the initial naming and presentation of the doc confusing and misleading to those who funded it. It is well within these supporters’ rights to be upset with the product that they received if they were just expecting a doc that purely gave them superior coverage of Bronycon, instead of a doc that tries to tell them what defines themselves.

Another thing to look at is why there needed to be a subjective documentary in the first place. Many arguments have been made that this documentary was meant to clear up the misconceptions about bronies, whom people “do not understand, who get picked on”. Many point to the media, claiming that they are responsible for the negative image that bronies supposedly have. Jon de Lancie specifically mentions Fox News in his Bronycon Q&A, and afterwards again in an update on their Kickstarter page (as seen here).

This notion that bronies in media are portrayed primarily negatively is simply untrue. At the time, the only so-called “negative” coverage of bronies in the media was a video from the show Red Eye on Fox Network (as seen here). Howard Stern and Jerry Springer also touched on bronies in their respective shows, though this was after the documentary was funded and filmed. These “negative” articles are completely overshadowed by the massive amounts of neutral coverage by newspapers, magazines, and even CNN. There has never been any indication of a mass media bias towards the hatred of bronies, and why would there be?

So the question remains, why did the documentarians choose this route? Did they themselves believe that bronies were inherently bad? That they needed a media makeover to cover up their supposed flaws? Was all of this just an attempt to play on the fears and insecurities of the fandom for a quick cash grab?

Yet even with all of these questions, are the documentarians truly at fault here? Are they really what we should be focusing on as the center of this controversy, as the true perpetrators of these alleged wrongs?

Absolutely not. Though these questions are valid and should be asked, in truth the documentarians gave everything they said they would give for this documentary, and in some cases exceeded it. They were doing a job. Whatever the consequences of doing so, they completed everything that they said they would. No, there is one group far more accountable than these people…

They are the backers.

Because of them, we as a fandom are all now labeled. For many, this may be the first impression they ever receive of the pony fandom. Every person here will be seen as someone who asks themselves “what would pony do”. Every person here is now subscribed to a “movement” that they may not even support. Every person here is now defined by the actions and stories by the individuals shown in the documentary. This label is cast on them, whether they want it or not. This shows a lack of respect for those individuals who didn’t want to be lumped together and told who they were, especially the ones who did not fund or support this documentary.

What exactly did this accomplish? To show the world how great the fandom is? How special the fandom is? To try and justify, in your minds, that watching a children’s television show makes you some kind of hero?

Bronyism is not a movement. This is an insult to those who truly do struggle to change things in the world. A pony fan will not be paid less in the workplace because of liking a children’s cartoon show. A pony fan will not be prevented from marrying because they enjoy a children’s cartoon show. A pony fan will never see war, or create peace, by liking a children’s cartoon show. Lauren Faust may have pushed feminism by creating a children’s show for girls that isn’t terrible, but fans of the show have no right in sharing that claim. Faust and her colleagues put their livelihoods and their reputations on the line by breaking away from the norm in their industry. Their success is theirs alone, paid for in blood, sweat and tears. Pony fans have paid nothing of the sort. They simply watch television.

Pony fans are not special. There are fandoms for nearly everything that exists on the Internet: Homestuck, furries, Doctor Who. These fandoms also have artists, musicians, newscasters and just plain fans that create and support official and unofficial content of what they are fans of. They have charities and fundraisers. They have their drama and pornography. Some even have conventions, containing many people with stories of good, evil, and everything in between.

A pony fan is simply someone who exists within the My Little Pony fandom. They may watch the show, they may not. They might be good people, or bad people. But liking a children’s television show is not what defines a person as good or bad. Their actions do. To try and tell others that this isn’t the case, to try and construe a group of people too large and diverse to feasibly place under one banner as a single entity? All for the sole purpose of making themselves feel better about doing something they enjoy?

Is this really the community you want to show people?

I hope these editorials will give those of you who backed this documentary, and those who helped work on and create it, something to think about. You cannot erase the past, but you can question yourself and learn these lessons for the future. Try to educate yourself, in knowing when you are being persuaded into wanting something, in knowing what the possible consequences of such projects would entail. Most of all, I hope this installs a bit of humility for everyone who reads this.

My advice though? Next time you have money burning a hole in your wallet and you’re looking for self-gratification, buy an adult toy. They are cheaper, will last you longer, and the public won’t have to see you do it.

93 comments on “Editorial: Bronies the Documentary Part 2: Accountability and Retrospective

  1. Anonymoose says:

    Holy fuck I love you. Ever since I watched that stupid doc I’ve felt the same way. There’s a huge overwhelming sense of self-importance in this fandom that needs to fucking end. Of course it won’t because the few people who are willing to speak up are labeled trolls, aren’t ridiculously popular enough (DHN), or a part of “the scum of the internet” (4chan).

    We need more stuff like this, so at the very least I can think there’s hope in this godawful fandom.

    • Unnecessarily negative people like you are the only part of the fandom I really dislike. You think going around tossing out insults and complaints is makes you an agent of internet justice or something. How absurd.

      Stop acting like a child who isn’t getting his way. And remember, kids, a needlessly exaggerated opinion is undifferentiated from trolling.

    • Anonymoose says:

      Did I strike a nerve or something or are you always this hostile to people who don’t share your views? If you think showing distaste for something is “Unnecessarily negative” I really do feel bad for you.

      Also I appreciate the whole “agent of internet justice” line, the fact that you added that bit in despite me never saying anything even remotely like that helps me not take you seriously.

    • Thanks for not pointing out my horrific typo, can’t believe I did that.

      FYI, my post is no more “hostile” than yours, ya hypocrite.

  2. greybrother says:

    Yeah, sometimes I strongly dislike things too. It’s healthy to vent. Hope you feel better. :)

  3. Xargos says:

    The editorial gives me the distinct impression that you don’t really care for Bronies and think that there is nothing unusual about them. A bit insulting if you ask me.

    • Anonymoose says:

      When did criticism mean you don’t care for something? Aside from the source material (MLP) and their rapid growth their really isn’t too much special about them. Like the topic said there’s fandoms for virtually anything and MLP is no different. That said a doc on Bronies could be quite interesting but this one was done is a such an awful way it’s ridiculous.

    • Scootch says:

      there really isn’t**

      was done in**

    • anno says:

      Just because there are fandoms of everything doesn’t mean they are the same. It’s all about personal experience. I have been in quite a few fandoms. and in my personal experience the pony fandom has been very different, and I might even say, better. but that is just my opinion based on what I ha ve seen here and elsewhere. You may disagree with that, but thats how I see things.

    • Jon the Red says:

      Why would you be insulted if bronies were nothing new? Can’t it just be enough that they exist for you, or is that not special enough? I’m not trying to put words in your mouth; I’m totally serious. If bronies weren’t unusual in the least, would that really be bad?

      To the author of this piece because I’m too lazy to make two separate comments: I’m really glad to see Part 2, because it gave me a whole new perspective on things. Not once did I consider this to be a product of the backers as well as the documentary team itself, and that new paradigm is very enlightening.

    • BronyDash925 says:

      Don’t really care for Bronies? Mate, we can love the show, we can make fan art, and fan films, and fan music and dress up in the most ridiculous costumes, but in the end, all of that stemmed from a show intended for little girls. The Brony documentary was not needed, and I think it DID label Bronies in a negative light. It gives the impression that ALL Bronies dress up in costumes or decorate our cars with ponies, when this isn’t the case. There’s some really creative Bronies out there, making music and fan films, and sketches, and art… but then there’s also some really messed up stuff in the fandom too that I wish wasn’t in it.

    • Jon the Red says:

      “The Brony documentary was not needed, and I think it DID label Bronies in a negative light. It gives the impression that ALL Bronies dress up in costumes or decorate our cars with ponies, when this isn’t the case.”

      Not to mention the number of folks in the documentary whose stories boil down to “bawwww, I had no friends and hated life until I found ponies”. Some of us just like the show because it’s better than most cartoons on nowadays

    • hiddenuser says:

      There isn’t anything unusual about Bronies. They’re just normal fans like in any other fandom. Only that they’re older and they’re mainly guys. What’s so “unusual” about that?

  4. Anon says:

    Thank You

    You put in words exactly what I tried to explain to others for months

    It’s just a shame this probably won’t get much attention from the fandom because reading this might do a lot of people a lot of good.

    Anyway, good job

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m actually more surprised I’m not hearing this lecture from plaster.

    • DerpySquad says:

      Umm, I’m sorry to say but he went insane literally a year ago because of this fandom. Face just totally melted off one night, it was freaky. (joking he got sick of the bs and left)

  6. Random says:

    From someone who just enjoys the show and doesn’t feel they need to parade it around, thank you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The documentary will ultimately prove to be inconsequential in the end. People are already convicted of their views of the fandom and that most likely won’t change. Anyways I’ll just be over here enjoying ponies while people get caught up in trivial crap.

    • DerpySquad says:

      Heh, I am with this guy. In the scheme of pony life this video is very low on things we should be worried about. And please no one say Alicorn Twilight.

    • Jody Morgan says:

      Alicorn Twilight! Ahh! The show’s over! The world’s ending! Floods! Earthquakes! Dorito tacos!

      Oh wait, that was the Mayan calendar, and that’s already past. Never mind.

  8. Anonymous says:

    no truer words have ever been spoken

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can’t say I disagree with you, but presenting information in this manner doesn’t get the point across to who needs to understand it. That being with apparent bias. Allowing bias to carry your points only sinks them into the same hole the doc finds itself in.

  10. Jody Morgan says:

    We as a fandom were already labeled. For many, the first impression they ever received of the pony fandom was someone plastering pony pics where they weren’t wanted. Every person here will be seen as someone who whines “stop bullying me by saying you hate ponies”. Every person here is now subscribed to a “hate Yamino” that they may not even support. Every person here is now defined by the actions and stories by the individuals who watch the show for the “plot”. This label is cast on them, whether they want it or not. This shows a lack of respect for those individuals who didn’t want to be lumped together and told who they were, but that’s life. The documentary is more fuel for the fire, not the spark to start the flame.

    • BronyDash925 says:

      Yes, but this documentary does nothing more than amplify those false notions. For example, I don’t remember his name, but the kid who plastered ponies all over his car, and then, as he described it, “rednecks” attacked him and his car. Those people had no right to touch him or his car… but if you live in a community where people are THAT hostile over things like that, maybe you shouldn’t plaster Princess Celestia or Princess Luna on the back window.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed.
      This fandom was labeled by the masses the second it got big in 2010. This is nothing new.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When the foundation of your personal identity is a cartoon, and you are not employed by the various companies that manufacture said cartoon, there’s something wrong with you.

    It’s just a show, people. You’re not special for liking it. And why anyone would put forth money so someone could make a documentary telling them that they’re a good, special person just because of what they watch on TV… well, there are no words.

    • BronyDash925 says:

      agreed. there’s nothing wrong with making art or fan films or music… heck, that kind of stuff can open doors into bigger and better things in the entertainment industry.. but when you let the television show define you as a person, there is a problem.

  12. Ricochet says:

    Good Article,I agree in almost everything said here.

    For me the doc was just more like a propaganda movie,they didn’t showed how the fandom started,they didn’t showed the early steps of the brony fandom,they made very little research (a vital part of any documentary).

    As I said before It seemed to be a propaganda movie made by bronies….for the bronies themselves,not for people that doesn’t know about the fandom or the show.

    • Anonymous says:

      The doc was financed by bronies and set out to congratulate bronies for being so awesome. It’s like paying someone $5 to give you a hug.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was a backer for the doc. I thought it sounded like a good idea, a documentary looking at the fandom through the lens of those who were attending a convention. That’s what I backed and it’s what I wanted. It’s not entirely what I got, such is the risk of kickstarter and the like, it’s a risk I was aware of (if not appreciative of) and a risk that didn’t pay off as I would have wanted it to.

    But that you would at once damn the documentary for painting us with the same brush, and then do exactly the same for everyone who had faith in the project is frankly upsetting. You didn’t like the message of the doc (or even that it had one), that’s fine, I get that, I agree in many ways, but to lambast those who contributed to the project is to severely misunderstand the nature of what has happened. What I did was express an interest in an idea that evolved beyond what I had invested in without me possibly knowing that that was the case.

    I think the nature and sentiment of the brony fandom by its existence is of interest, admittedly no more than any other subculture, grouping or fandom, and I do not for one second believe that we are fighting for some cause implicitly, and even if we are fighting for a cause, that we are engaged in an equal or even harder struggle than those who fight for gender, sexual or racial equality in our world or any other comparative struggle against an unjust social or political norm. I believed I was investing in a documentary that would show the facts of this fandom, that I enjoy, and provide a bit of entertainment, if that means I now am a scape goat for people who dislike the doc then so be it, I invested in an unproven idea and in the end I guess I must accept that I hang for that decision, ignorance be damned.

    But I will not accept for one moment that my actions were implicitly wrong, I am one of a large number of people to blame for the final outcome if you feel the final outcome requires blame, but I invested not knowing of the final outcome. Given the doc as it was released and the choice to invest having seen it I would have declined. I invested in a little documentary wanting to show a subculture I’m a part of objectively, and in a manor that would make an entertaining watch, if that makes me selfish and evil in your eyes then I guess I will always be selfish and evil to you.

    • Ytook says:

      I failed to provide a name for this comment by mistake, I’m the one who made the above comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      And I’m Obama

    • Anonymous says:

      Obama is 8 years old?

    • Brendan Danieli says:

      Bravo. This is exactly my feelings as well.

      If people want to blame the backers of the documentary, then that’s their choice. I however, will not accept it as all I did was fund an idea that changed after my donation & came to fruition as something people weren’t expecting.

    • Frith says:

      I also helped fund this documentary. As with paying someone to paint a picture for you, I knew that once the filming was underway, all I could do was hope that the final product was OK. I have my digital download, eventually I will receive a DVD copy and I hope they sell enough DVD’s to pay for it. That’s enough for me. Anything above and beyond that is just gravy.

  14. Citrus Rain says:

    I figured De Lancie knows what he’s doing because of being involved with the Trekkies, so I contributed to it.

    I don’t know why this is being painted this as such a bad thing, I seen it as a good thing – something to help avoid the hugely negative label like the one that the furries have on them.

    However, that decision was made well before I had to stop caring that people were posting clop to trending streams. 3 days of that and I just surrendered my rage.

    After reading the comments in part one of this, I don’t think it would have been bad at all to include some of purple tinker’s horrible dramatic rage. She’s like that “one in the family” deal.

    If you don’t like being portrayed as what a fandom’s stereotypes are… Go rouge.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a bad thing because it attempts to generate a sense of apparent self-entitlement that simply does not exist. You watch a television show that happens to be about ponies. Only someone who is incredibly insecure about that fact would contribute to a documentary that was very obviously from the beginning meant to inflate the egos of those same people.
      Also, I find it funny that you would contribute to a documentary that was supposedly supposed to help dispel some of the stigmas surrounding the brony fandom, and at the same time defend the stereotypes that the documentary created and propagated.

    • Citrus Rain says:

      What stereotypes exactly did this create?

    • Anonymous says:

      None. I’m really getting the feeling this article and the positive responses are part of an internet smear campaign, some “operation something something” type deal. I mean noone’s this stupid, it’s just trolls being trolls. Either that, or the people who made the documentary hired someone to give it bad press to generate publicity. If so, clearly they hired the wrong guy.

    • SBF1 says:

      You’re quite possibly the most hilarious person to have commented on this thing simply out of your sheer paranoia. Well done. Five stars.

      Honestly, “internet smear campaign”. Yes, of course! And I’m also actually James Bond!

    • Jon the Red says:

      “Smear campaign”? No, I just think that, at best, this documentary will accomplish nothing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So I’m the only person in the fandom who liked the movie?

  16. Serial says:

    Reading too much into things.

  17. Anonymous says:

    “But liking a children’s television show is not what defines a person as good or bad. Their actions do. To try and tell others that this isn’t the case, to try and construe a group of people too large and diverse to feasibly place under one banner as a single entity? All for the sole purpose of making themselves feel better about doing something they enjoy?”

    … WHAT??? This whole stupid article reads like a PR smear campaign. Someone who has nothing bad to say about anything so they insist the genre itself (one sided documentaries) are some sort of abomination. Documentaries are supposed to be unbiased? ON WHAT PLANET? And if you make a biased documentary, that somehow makes the whole thing seem self serving and selfish? That kind of ignorance doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is all the people AGREEING with the ignorance. Is it a fluff piece? Maybe. Is it one sided? Obviously. Is that worth the degree of bashing I’m reading here? If so, what’s the point of addressing them or the author directly? I might as well argue with someone at McDonald’s about why Wendy’s commercials are so bad.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This was a very interesting article but, ultimately, I don’t think this documentary will change peoples perceptions of the fandom, for better or for worse. The documentary is just so tedious and uninformative and insightful and cinema chairs are just so comfortable that I feel that most non brony audiences will not be able to remain awake through the whole thing.

    But I do think it’s unfair to blame the backers for the documentary. They have no control over the final product, and what they think they are getting may be very different from what they believe they are getting. Haven’t you ever seen an awesome trailer and paid your money only to find that the movie was not what you thought it would be. The only people who have any control over the final product are the people involved in the actual making, and the backers had no way of knowing what the doc would be until it was actually made.

    • DerpySquad says:

      ^ This.

      Backers just handed over money, they had zero to do with the actual filming.

    • Gendid says:

      Well, yes and no. The backers did not have any direct control of the filming itself. However, the film didn’t really deviate from what their Kickstarter page promised. They were pretty clear in their Kickstarter video and description that they were going to try and portray bronies.

      It really comes down to how much you believe in consumer responsibility for products they fund and create. Hopefully, in the future, this will encourage people to put a little more research and thought into what they choose to support. Media outlets can only go so far to protect the people.

    • Present Perfect says:

      “Media outlets can only go so far to protect the people.”

      Yes. God save us from the evils of positivity. I’m sorry, this is just the most ridiculous statement that I think could be made in this context.

    • BronyDash925 says:

      He is right you know… there are alot of backers who are upset with the documentary, they should’ve done more research on it. And he’s right that Media outlet only go so far… you need to do some digging yourself.

  19. This article sounds like a lot of fussing over nothing if you ask me. Nothing new there, I suppose.

    • SBF1 says:

      So was the Documentary, but nobody seems to think that way about it, lol.

    • Well, that’s an obvious untruth. There are plenty of people who think the documentary is no big deal, and I can understand that mentality far better than those who seem to be outright offended by it. For crying out loud, people will whine about anything.

    • SBF1 says:

      Well, which was the untruth? That the Documentary was fussing over nothing, or that nobody seems to think so? Cause aside from me and a few friends of mine on Skype pretty much everyone either seems to be on one side or the other. Just like nearly everything I’ve watched happen in the fandom, there’s barely any neutral ground.

    • Well see, that’s what I mean. Not only do some of your friends have a neutral position on the doc, but several people in this comment section do as well. I suspect there are quite a few people like that you know, who just don’t care one way or the other about it.

      I haven’t seen the documentary myself so I haven’t formed an official critique, but no matter how good or bad it is, I know it’s not likely to affect me much.

    • GF01 says:

      As a “neutral,” I just haven’t been motivated enough to post anything.

      I think that’s what you’ll always see – people who are angry or happy enough to put in the effort to post anything are more likely to be on the extremes of that emotion.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Blaming the backers is pointless… They took a risk by donating money to this, and taking risks is what investing is all about, balancing the risks with rewards.

    This is why I don’t particularly like this site. You guys seem to stir up drama in an effort to get more attention. Nobody backing it knew what they were getting into any more than people who didn’t. The backer who posted above me explained it quite nicely. Just because we took a risk into something we felt would be rather different than what was put out there does not mean this was on our heads.

    I for one thought the doc was OK. Not great, not terrible, just OK. I don’t think this’ll cause much of any ripples, it’s kind of like that Hot in Cleveland episode that everyone thought was going to be our equivalent of the furry CSI episode, but it turned out to be nothing special.

    Also, “movement” has a broad meaning. You don’t have to be intentionally instigating a movement to have one happen… perhaps, though, the word is misplaced. I do not believe this is us intentionally going for something, but the fact that this exists is a symptom of shifting social norms that were going to happen anyway. It’s like “are you ever really standing still while on a moving train?”

  21. PCP2443 says:

    I haven’t watched the whole doc, but I did watch the animated scenes from it they put up on Youtube, they were cute, and I like how John & Tara were a part of it. But over all its just pointless.

    I will say though its not like this is anything new, theres been nerd culture documentaries forever, just yesterday I rented a Documentary about Indie Comic books *I really liked it too*

    I do agree though theres nothing special about Bronies over any other fanbase online, other then were newer then anime fans, furries, whoovians, etc, and maybe thats why, were a young fanbase, we have to make mistakes and embarrass ourselves a bit, then once things die down we can look back & laugh.

    Overall the only thing the Documentary is guilty of IMO is being pointless. Its self gratification, but hey, thats nothing new in fan bases/communities either, its not worth getting super angry or super excited about.

    And I doubt it will affect the fan base much at all either positively or negatively.

  22. DerpySquad says:

    Since this is the last time we will be talking about the BronyDoc, figured I’d toss my three cents into the ring. (And no not because people disliked the article, just because I no longer care about this film at all and we said what we wanted to say, on to new adventures).

    The movie was pretty much ‘meh’, 3/10 will not watch it again.

    It is no better or worse than I had expected, though I felt it might cause some ripples in the fandom (though that seems to be us so it happened anyways, heh) but again, it is what I had expected from it.

    Too long, zero statistics or even discussion about the fandom outside of the song. I know this wasn’t suppose to be a historic documentary but I kind of expected some. If one of the purposes is for this to show to our friends, I’d like people to know there are more than 10 of us, and that this thing is pretty much global (especially with Japan jumping in).

    But like many, I can admit I’ve taken the name of brony. I’m a simple animation fan who happen to wander into this fandom in 2010 and start a website for some reason or other.

    • JESmith says:

      So does that mean you won’t even report further release information and news on the doc, such as the DVD release and whatever special features are on it, or if it actually gets a wider release beyond the digital download/DVDs, and somehow does get TV airings or gets shown at film festivals?

      I’ve learned that they actually did film a segment on the history of Derpy, but it ended up on the cutting room floor. Since that was actual fandom history, I wished they had used it. Don’t know if I’d double dip and get the DVD for whatever else that didn’t make it (They had stuff on the Bronycon fire, and German political Bronies). I know they’ll probably have more footage of BUCK and Galacon since they barely showed anything of either of them in the main doc, as well as longer interviews with Lauren, Tara, and de Lancie. The interview with Lauren went on for several hours, so who knows what parts of it they’ll show. Brockhoff has mentioned that they want to release the stuff that didn’t get put into the doc “sometime, somewhere, somehow” which may mean they could put out a bonus disc or something down the line.

    • Jody Morgan says:

      Sounds like the stuff I would have wanted to see got left out. Well, foo.

    • DerpySquad says:

      I’ll just say it depends on the future, as for never mentioning this film again, meant that more in the opinionated way, news is news and should not be bias on what is and is not reported.

      Brockhoff did mention something about the history of Derpy during his reddit AMA, that of course perks my own personal interest but more in the way of “will they get it right”. Just like I expected them to talk about the history and questioned if they would get that right, thankfully they didn’t even touch the subject. Derpy’s history isn’t that complicated. 10/25/10 random people on /co/ noticed her, a guy named Dr.Foreigner dubbed her Derpy Hooves. Shortly after a short story was written about “Bright Eyes” aka Derpy by Manefag that made her the mail mare.

      We’ll see what the future holds for this film and the community.

  23. David says:

    I have not see the documentary (though I hope to soon); therefore I don’t want to comment on it directly. What I did want to comment on, though, was the assertion that Bronies are no different than any other fans out the, the Trekkies, Browncoats, and what not.

    I strongly disagre.

    There have always been show that were made with boys as an intended audience, that attracted female viewership (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes to mind). But this cross-gender-marketed viewing was strictly one way; boys did NOT watch girls shows when i was rowing up. The closest youd come to that were He-Man fans who would watch She-Ra, but even then it was rare to admit it to your riends, and you certainly didnt buy any of the toys. The fourth-gen of My Little Pony is the only show I’ve seen in my lifetime that was produced for young girls, but has attracted a sizeable male following of all ages. More importantly to outsiders, a sizeable male following that identifies mostly as straight (or with no significant deviation from a general public straight/ gay ratio, I should say). This gender role non-coformancy is what intrigues outsiders about the Brony community, and gives some Bronies a feeling of specialness in their fandom. Given how rare it is that men are allowed to buck their own gender roles in America, I think they are correct in viewing pony fandom as unique, and something worth a closer analysis.

    • DerpySquad says:

      What it boils down to is a difference of opinion on the entire subject of this fandom.

      Some people are just animation fans who love discussion the show and getting creative by making music, art and animations about it. That was at least my original interest in this show, outside of the show itself being very good I was very much interested in the fact people were producing mass amounts of fan art and writing short stories about it. I do agree with John de Lancie that the creative output on this fandom has been amazing, maybe quite insane at times too.

      The redeeming quality is the fact that despite our differences of opinion, most of us can manage to live side by side. That has always been one of the rocks in the foundation, no one cared who or what you were, if you liked ponies, come on in.

      Personally proof that we can live side by side is by the fact these articles didn’t cause a riot. I fully expected a large group of people to get butthurt and basically start screaming bloody murder in these comments. Instead I find people have many tl;dr discussions with each other. That is never a bad thing.

    • Frith says:

      I really appreciate the ‘live and let live’ mindset. I get turned off by groups that go to war against preferences/world views that they don’t share.

  24. MrBoltitude says:

    “Bronyism is not a movement.”
    My question to the writer of this article is, could it be? I think you underestimate the power of art and symbols. Art is essentially communicating ideas and emotions. We have a show promoting kindness and respect to other people. What would happen if we, as individuals under a larger label, fully embraced these ideals? Cute cartoon ponies could make a good symbol for these virtues. It seems silly, but huge world changing movements have, for better or ill, been started by some silly ideas before.
    The themes talked about here are relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J6J5BcHFCs

  25. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t part two of the review.
    This is a separate article that is nothing but a massive rant session.
    Taking ponies and the fandom seriously goes both ways. For those all for, and those against.

    Get a grip, for your own sake.

    • Gendid says:

      It’s just the opinion of a DHN writer. Other people have just as valid, if not more, opinions. Seek them out, listen to them, compare. And then decide for yourself what you’d like to believe. I just hope the article makes people, at the very least, ask themselves some hard questions. Whatever answer you come up with, the asking is what truly matters.

    • Anonymous says:

      >ask themselves some hard questions

      Hard questions over a fan-funded documentary about said fans that like a show about cartoon horses.
      Really.
      You’re giving this thing far too much credit. Chances are no one (at least, anyone still around that is, given where the status of the show goes in that time) will even remember this in three to five years, so why bother. Hell, I didn’t even know that multiple documentaries on Trekkies existed before I did some digging.

    • DerpySquad says:

      I gotta agree on this, we might not remembe this film in 6 months, it is not like anyone talks about the whole Brony Thank You commercial at all. With this film though because they are trying to shop it out to Netflix and film festivals, it’ll linger, but people won’t give a shit.

      As for three to give years later, only fate can tell if this community will outlive the show, or implode into a singularity in the near future.

  26. You’re absolutely right, to a point. One more thing: every person is defined by their own actions. True, these are actions that may not be known, and the actions of an individual will be easily ignored in favor of the brighter, simpler image. That doesn’t change a thing, however; everyone, whether part of this fandom, another, or none at all, is only capable of deciding, and taking responsibility for, their own choice, their own ideals, their own thoughts, and their own public image. It’s what people decide to do from person to person that defines what people think of them – the other stuff is nothing but smoke.

  27. Supertide says:

    Articles like this is why I prefer DHN over EQD.

    I never considered myself a brony, I was never proud of the fact that I watch the show but I wasn’t ashamed of it either. Unfortunately this changed over the years, with the rise of this wretched brony fandom I began to feel embarrassed by the fact that I watch the show because I didn’t want to be considered a brony. Self-entitled bronies ruined everything, they do more harm than good but they are so full of themselves they will never be able to admit this.

    • BronyDash925 says:

      To some extent I agree with you… just not the “wretched brony” part. There’s a multitude of Bronies in this fandom who don’t let the show control their lives (From what I can tell at least). Myself, BlackGryph0n, Living Tombstone, JaxBlade07 (youtube), petirep, etc. You can be a fan filmmaker or artist in the fandom and not be “insane”.

  28. Dogman15 says:

    Are you going to tell Mike and Laurent about this post? I dare you to tweet a link to them. https://twitter.com/mikebrockhoff https://twitter.com/laurent510

    • DerpySquad says:

      Brockhoff follows the twitter feed so I’m sure he read it last night. I’d also guess he probably doesn’t like it because we didn’t like his film, BUT that should be normal for him, he’s done a lot of work. Not everyone will be a fan.

  29. Present Perfect says:

    The only thing I can really think to say is that this reaction is maybe a tad early. This documentary isn’t going to change anyone’s opinion about us, except maybe our own, unless it gets picked up for a theatrical release, and that hasn’t happened yet. When it does, I guarantee most people who see it are going to be bronies. So let’s wait until there’s actually some kind of widespread distribution and viewing going on before we jump to conclusions about what people are going to take away from the documentary.

    • Brian says:

      Distributor here –

      I just wanted to kind of follow-up on ‘widespread distribution’ – while I haven’t cleared it with my client (BronyDoc) yet, I can say a few things about last week’s release.

      The documentary has been downloaded (legally) 10,000+ times, including the Kickstarter backers. However, if you were to compare DRM-Free Digital Download sales to box office alone, our sales place us somewhere in the middle of all documentaries that are tracked on this site:

      http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=documentary.htm

      (I use this site because the totals are the closest analogue to our release pattern – Scrnland sales totals hopefully would mirror opening weekend demand for a film.)

      And I would argue that the mainstream press for the film hasn’t even really begun yet – it’s kinda hard to promote a film effectively while Sundance is going on, and we were just kinda unlucky in that regard because of the slight weekly delay.

      Love it or hate it, I definitely appreciate the support that the film is getting so far – definetely looking forward to your feedback on how we can make Scrnland a better company and distributor of films and series going forward.

      - Brian

    • TheOneGalen says:

      I just want to +1 you for coming here and commenting.

  30. [...] “We love ponies, and we’re going to change the world!” Hold your, um, horses, says Gendid at DerpyHoovesNews: [...]

  31. MrBoltitude says:

    Okay, I thought at first I mostly agreed with this article, but after sleeping on it I’ve come to realize there’s a lot wrong here.

    First of all, there are lots of worthy movements and causes that people aren’t going to truly suffer for. If, for example, I wanted to start a nationwide drive to donate toys to sick kids; I would not get paid less in the workplace for doing so; I would not be prevented from marrying for doing so; I would not see war or peace for doing so. All I would have lost was some of my time and money.

    Secondly, “Did they themselves believe that bronies were inherently bad?” Probably not. Obviously watching the show doesn’t make you a good person, but that cuts both ways. Most bronies are simply people who enjoy watching and discussing an above average cartoon. Many people upon hearing about bronies automatically assume that they’re some kind of sexual deviants, and unfortunately there are people who have been verbally and physically bullied just cause they like a cartoon. I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but I’d imagine most backers and probably most of the film makers wanted to show bronies to the world not as heroes but as relatively normal.

    Thirdly, so much hypocrisy it hurts. You talk about judging people based on individual action, then make gross generalizations about the people who made and funded the movie. Then you make a final plea asking for a way for the community at large to conduct itself, thereby contradicting the point you just made about how you can’t lump a huge group of diverse people under a single banner. I feel this article was written for the same reason the movie was filmed. You saw something that you felt reflected badly on yourself, and you made something to cover up your insecurity.

    Lastly:
    “My advice though? Next time you have money burning a hole in your wallet and you’re looking for self-gratification, buy an adult toy. They are cheaper, will last you longer, and the public won’t have to see you do it.”
    Seriously? After you had just said this article was to encourage people to think and find a sense of humility? That was simply hateful and childish.

    • Gendid says:

      You have some well thought out criticisms there. I’ll try and address them.
      For your first point, the doc doesn’t just portray pony fans as a charitable movement. It portrays them as a political force, even making comparisons to feminists movements. Women’s rights, however, were not gained by sitting around watching television. Nor is the “suffering” of the brony community anywhere near comparable to the persecution women have faced throughout history, and still face in some respects today. I also felt there was a strange anti-homosexual vibe going on throughout the doc. Many times it felt like they were saying “we may like ponies, but at least we’re not gay!” (the “catching the gay” quote is what really sold that impression on me). Comparing bronies to either of these two movements doesn’t sit right with me.

      For your second point, there is no data shown in the doc itself supporting the claim that the public en mass would reject bronies. People like Alex in the doc do exist, and I’m not saying what happened to him wasn’t wrong or didn’t happen. However, I find that, due to the extreme nature of his incident, he’s probably not the best example of an everyday “brony”. One of my mature critiques of the doc is that, other then the opinions of the psychologists, it lacks any form of evidence or proof of what it claims. Until there is data on the table, assumptions like that are simply that, assumptions.

      As for your third point… let me split it up into two points. First, holding the backers accountable. You’re correct in that generalizing that the backers are bad people is wrong. However, this was not the point I was trying to make. It was the act itself, of backing a project such as this, that I found to be wrong. Again, I’d like to point out that the filmmakers were very clear on what they were going to make. I really see no excuse, other then ignorance or apathy, to why people would fund it knowing the consequences it would involve. However, I can see the hipocrasy of stating it in the way that I did.

      And that brings me to your second point, which I honestly can’t disagree with. You’re right, I don’t like the way that me and the people I met are being portrayed in the doc. I don’t like it when something claims to represent me and others I have met to an unsuspecting public, especially when that representation is not accurate or downright misleading. And though I don’t think I’m alone in this opinion, this colors my viewpoint, and can be seen throughout the article. It’s why I made sure to mark these as “editorials”, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to discuss this completely neutrally due to the subject matter. It’s why I highly recommend looking at other editorial pieces on the subject matter itself before coming to a conclusion.

      And for your final point…. I once again agree with you. Though I stand by the statement, it doesn’t fit well with the article’s tone and is more fit for a personal blog. I apologize for this, and will strive to do better to keep such things out in future articles.

      Overall, I believe the editorial met the goals that I had hoped for it. It’s generated a lot of discussion on a topic that was going to be hard to discuss in any respect. It’s also given me a chance to try my hand at an article style I don’t normally do (and which I obviously need some improvement on if I ever want to do one again). Thank you for your well thought out response.

    • MrBoltitude says:

      “It was the act itself, of backing a project such as this, that I found to be wrong. Again, I’d like to point out that the filmmakers were very clear on what they were going to make. I really see no excuse, other then ignorance or apathy, to why people would fund it knowing the consequences it would involve.”

      “First, let’s look at the name of the documentary. The name “Bronycon: The Documentary” would suggest a study of the people who are going to Bronycon, along with the history of Bronycon and the events that lead up to it. However, the documentarians, even in this Kickstarter video, had planned to expand beyond this concept into exploring the entire fandom as a whole. The name change to “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” emphasized this thought process. This makes the initial naming and presentation of the doc confusing and misleading to those who funded it. It is well within these supporters’ rights to be upset with the product that they received if they were just expecting a doc that purely gave them superior coverage of Bronycon, instead of a doc that tries to tell them what defines themselves.”

      Um…

    • Gendid says:

      I think you missed a quote from the article:
      “Yet even with all of these questions, are the documentarians truly at fault here? Are they really what we should be focusing on as the center of this controversy, as the true perpetrators of these alleged wrongs?

      Absolutely not. Though these questions are valid and should be asked, in truth the documentarians gave everything they said they would give for this documentary, and in some cases exceeded it. They were doing a job. Whatever the consequences of doing so, they completed everything that they said they would.”

      The argument that I presented about the name of the doc came about from me asking questions among the donors that I do know why they supported it knowing it would turn out the way it did. This was the most common response that I got from them. But the more I researched into things, the less footing this argument held.

      Again, the documentarians were very clear on what they had planned for the project. They stated their goals in interviews, on their Kickstarter page through updates, and even within the promo video itself. If I had any reason to suspect that the documentarians had been completly untruthful in advertising their Kickstarter, I would have jumped on them.

      The name argument is the only leg the backers are standing on though. And even then, that would assume that they backed the project only on name recognition itself. No looking into the filmmaker’s past projects, no listening to the interviews, no reading the updates on the page itself. No asking themselves why they needed it or what it would accomplish. Heck, not even listening to a less then two minute video on the Kickstarter page itself.

      Getting caught up in the hype is not a good enough excuse. Especially since the project was community funded. None of this would have been possible without their support. Now I’m asking why, and the only answer that is popping up is “we didn’t know it would be like this”. I’m arguing that they could have seen this coming, if they had done their research and thought things through. That didn’t happen, but maybe next time, probably not in this fandom, that this issue comes up? They’ll be ready for it and know what they should do first before blindly throwing their wallets around.

    • MrBoltitude says:

      Again, there’s too much contradictory language in the article, and the things are brought up in a weird order. The points are unclear to me as the reader. Thank you for explaining you views to me and clearing it up a bit, and I hope you take my advice to heart if you continue this in the future.

      However, having watched the kickstarter video, I understand your point even less. It simply said it would examine bronies and why they love and would create a subculture around an children’s cartoon, and it would do it hosted by a talented and charismatic actor. It had people experienced in the entertainment industry attached. On paper that sounds like a pretty good film, I wouldn’t blame anybody for backing it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hey.
    I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover and all that, but Gendy, your main thing was interviewing people who draw pony porn. So I’m glad to see you’ve moved on from smut to spewing shit oh wait you ended it with an adult toy quip.
    Hey Gendiddle, do you own Bad Dragon stock or something?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Holy fuck, this reviewer loves the sound of his own voice.

  34. Ponyko says:

    I went to the Kick-starter webpage when the doc was announced, I read it and thought it was a good idea, then I watched a few interviews with the Lance (one of my favorite TV actors), and realized he was (like a lot of people) taking it way too seriously! So I didn’t back it, suspecting it wasn’t going to be something I wanted to see. When it comes to the fandom I don’t know if I’m a brony or not! I like the show, watch it on the live stream (no HUB in England) I’ve drawn fan art, and created an OC because it was fun to do. I like the characters, they are relatable, and I often ask (in some situations) what would (insert pony relevant to the situation) do here! I think rather than a documentary, they would have done better to have had a lecture tour, used fan content and art in it, that would have been far better.
    P.S.
    Since the documentary has been effectively scrapped, because the staff had a hissy-fit! I refer you to my first point!