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A feature length documentary about the unofficial fan convention for aficionados of the show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”
2,621 backers pledged $322,022 to help bring this project to life.

Documentary Update & Release Information

Posted by Michael Brockhoff (Creator)

Many of you have been asking for a while now about the release plans for the documentary. After much discussion and consideration here is what we have in mind.

Later this year, the feature length film "BronyCon: The Documentary" will be released. As promised, we’ve captured some amazing stories of individual journeys that converge at the convention and can’t wait for you to see them. The film will introduce you to the people we followed and will also be a celebration of BronyCon itself. On a larger social level, there will be insight into who the fans are and what is driving the phenomenon.

As bonus features, we are hoping to shoot and include two self-contained mini-documentaries on Germany’s GalaCon and the UK’s BUCK convention. Those plans are being made now.

When is this going to happen? Most likely, the release will be in early November. Yes, we originally promised September, but that was when we thought it was going to be two cameras covering two convention days only. Now we are in the process of logging and editing over 100 hours of raw compelling footage shot all over the world. Don’t consider it delayed; think of it as an early holiday gift. If there is any way to deliver earlier, we will.

Now for some of the technical details.

The digital download will be released as an MP4 file. The video will be in HD. We don’t know yet if the download will be 720p or 1080p since that has to be decided when the program is complete. We have to conduct a series of quality tests to determine the best balance of resolution, bit rate and resulting file size. After all, we don't want you to have to buy and fill a new hard drive just to hold the film. The MP4 will include English subtitles that can be turned on or off. The file will be DRM free. We are making plans to include the GalaCon and BUCK mini-documentaries in this file, but it will not include the extended bonus interviews.

Everyone that paid for a physical disc will receive a retail package with a Blu-ray disc. The Blu-ray will have 1080p High Definition video. It will be region free so it plays anywhere in the world and will include English subtitles that can be turned on or off.

Although there have been requests for the release of a standard DVD, we are not going to be able to provide one. Many of our orders are from places outside the United States so if we were to provide a standard DVD we would have to create two versions (NTSC and PAL), which would be cost prohibitive. You don't have that problem with Blu-ray because the player converts the video.

As far as the bonus disc of extended interviews with Tara Strong, Lauren Faust and John de Lancie, a separate Blu-ray disc will be shipped either alongside or inside the retail package. Sorry, but this material will only be distributed as a Blu-ray disc. It is cost prohibitive to release this material via digital download (yes it does cost a lot to send a huge file to a thousand people) and/or as a standard DVD for the reasons previously mentioned.

The digital download and Blu-ray discs are still available and will continue to be available for purchase via our website at

So what about release to the public and to those with a limited budget?

After "BronyCon: The Documentary" is complete and released to the backers, we will prepare a separate feature length program called "Bronies" for release in 2013. It will consist of a combination of the material from “BronyCon: The Documentary,” the self-contained mini-documentaries we plan on creating on Germany’s GalaCon and the UK’s BUCK convention, some added interviews and more social commentary. This is the version that we will submit to film festivals. Should everything work out, it will also be available as a video rental on sites like Amazon and iTunes, can be purchased at retailers and hopefully we’ll make a deal to release it via Netflix, broadcast television, etc.

By the way, T-shirt design is underway now. I plan to show you what we have in mind next week.

And to leave you, here’s a fun little video. Thousands of people entering the BronyCon hall.

Thank you for your support.

Michael Brockhoff

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    1. Toni Nummenpää on

      @stephane theriault Some of us don't have access to netflix nor itunes, us europeans are more or less rejected, besides trust me it will end up on youtube anyway once its released

    2. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Stephane Theriault
      Thank you for your ideas. At the time of release, we will have some ideas of how supporters of the film can help it become the mainstream success we all would like to see.

    3. Stephane T. on

      When I donated for the realisation of that documentary, I was dreaming: the dream to see it on mainstream media, like a few theaters, Netflix and even television. I had a hope where various people will not only be aware of what is a brony, but also be more understood and accepted as a positive fandom. It was that dream I had in mind when I decided to give a good amount, despite having little money available at that time. I don't think I am far away from the truth thinking many bronies share that dream. That's why it's so important the movie file should not be available freely on YouTube and torrents. The media would not be interested to invest in a production already available freely.

      The idea of adding a warning note to each available download is excellent, but not everyone will remember it over time or even notice it. Some others might even have a copy of that movie from someone else and would not know about it. So, I got this idea: why not working together to make the mainstream diffusion a reality? Each one of us can contribute. The brony community is very creative in so many ways, be in video, art, music and more. Why not using our talents to make sure this documentary will be on mainstream media? By creating a group, something like a "Manestream Team" for example, with the purpose of sharing ways and ideas of creating various kinds of messages everywhere, as a way encourage others for not distributing the documentary on the internet. We already worked together for financing that project. We worked together to make BroNYcon a huge success. We can work together again to give that documentary the visibility it deserves.

      As John Lennon once said "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

    4. Graeme Mathieu on

      @Michael Brockhoff
      If it's any consolation, I for one don't agree with Jon Molnar and understand that the professional distribution of this documentary would be hindered by it being easily accessible to the public. If this were to win awards at a film festival it would give it recognition. Then deals with Netflix and such would increase its viewership. I think having this debut on youtube would make people see it as unprofessional and would not take the documentary as seriously as having it aired on television or distributed by known companies like Netflix. I believe the supporters who will be receiving the documentary and have the know-how to distribute it won't out of respect for these goals.
      @Jon Molnar
      Come on. This can be spread on youtube at any moment of time and have the same effect; correction, even greater effect if people have heard about it being on TV or Netflix. It's not like people are just waiting with baited breath for us to upload it to youtube. I think people can wait to do that after this has had it's official debuts on TV and etc. Just like with other things. We've no need to abuse our ability to reduce the professional quality of this documentary. We should be supporting the best, most respectable product we can. After all, we paid professions for that very reason, right? (Not even as much as they would normally get too, might I add. So thank you guys.)

    5. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      A kind Brony computer programmer has created a program that generates the codes and will email them out once the program is ready.

    6. JDEzekude on

      I suppose that the digital download codes are still being created, huh. Speaking of which, how and where will they be inputted? I remember reading anything about using promotional codes in PayPal. I assume that it's used elsewhere.

    7. Fragga - Judicator of the Obsidian Order on

      i'm really disappointed by some people here. thinking 30$ gives them the right to do everything they want with it. you should be ashamed

    8. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Jon Molnar
      Please do not put words in my mouth. The release is not governed by the drive to make money. There can be multiple goals and there are. The first is to get the film seen by the most number of people. We very much disagree on the best way to do that, but the fact is the people involved in this film are professionals and know the production and distribution business well.

      Sorry for disclosing your donation, I have no way of editing the comments.

    9. Jon Molnar on

      Let me start by saying thank you for being honest about the fact that your release plan is governed by the drive to make money, which is totally understandable. It's just not what you said, before. You said it was because "[a] bigger standard public release will ultimately bring mainstream press and positive attention we feel most of the Brony community would like to result from this project," which did nothing to explain the avoidance of, say, a YouTube release. I appreciate the clarification.
      1. I never said I, personally, would share the video. I certainly would not, but I've been a part of this community long enough to know that it IS going to happen.
      2. I do believe it is a violation of Kickstarter's terms of service to disclose the contributions of individual backers without their consent. Beyond that, it's simply impolite. I'd appreciate it if you removed that, please.
      3. I was implying it will end up on YouTube. Because it will, not because I'm going to put it there, which I most certainly would never. If you think my parents or grandparents are going to buy a documentary about bronies off a store shelf,... hah. No. Netflix? Sure, if they even saw it in that mess. YouTube? YouBetcha. At least, in a universe in which they'd even want to see it. =)
      4. I don't feel entited to anything not outlined in the Universal Declaraiton of Human Rights, and I have no interest in a refund.
      Again, I understand completely that you guys want to make money off this thing. That's great! I wish you much success to that end, and look forward to seeing the finished product. Sorry if this exchange put you in a sour mood. I didn't mean to upset anyone.

    10. Missing avatar

      Tristan Willy on

      @Graeme Mathieu
      Here's what I mean: if the file size for a 1080 download is too large for a direct download due to distribution cost, then it would make sense to use the cheaper P2P distribution model. If piracy fears prevent P2P distribution, and hence prevent 1080 distribution, then the quality of the project is compromised due to fear.

      I'm not convinced other conerns, like the final file size, are valid. For example, why not offer both 720 and 1080 downloads? It'll satisfy users who cannot spare tens of gigs of disk space and satisfy users who want the better resolution. This is exactly what other available-online films do, such as TimeScapes (

      This is mostly thought exercise, but if I were to distribute the film as cheaply as possible and try to prevent non-backers from accessing it, I would use BitTorrent with encrypted movie file(s). Backers could download this file and decrypt it with a key provided in an backers-only email. This is akin to Valve Steam's game preloading (content is there, but the key is only released on release day) or to the Wikileaks "insurance file" (everyone can download the archive, but no one knows what is in it until Wikileaks releases the key [which hasn't happened yet]).

    11. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      No problem, we are all passionate about this project. We can agree to disagree on the best method to get the material watched by the most number of people.

    12. Jon Molnar on

      On re-reading what I wrote, it comes off a bit confrontational. I'm sorry about that. I swear I didn't mean it to. I just get passionate about things, ya know? =)

    13. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Jon Molnar
      First, you need to understand that there are people who are working on this project who want the money to go into the best possible production and are being paid in whole or in part based on potential profits from a wide release. Like myself for instance. I've been working nonstop for months on this project and have not taken a dime. Your insisting that you gave $30 so you are entitled to steal the material and distribute it yourself is a slap in the face to those people. Second, a wide release means exactly that. Your mother, father and grandmother are not going to find a torrent on the Internet and download it. They are going to see it on Netflix or find it on a store shelf and buy it. As I previously described, that is not going to happen if you and others like you decide to seal the video and distribute it for free on your own.

      If you don’t understand and you feel your are entitled to more than one download and still insist you will steal the material and distribute it yourself I would like to personally offer you a refund out of my own pocket.

    14. Jon Molnar on


      Sharing is not stealing. Also, see above.

    15. Jon Molnar on

      You can call your distribution service whatever you like, by the way. It's just another form of DRM, and I believe we were assured there would be no DRM.

      It's possible you guys missed something while making this documentary, but let me make something clear... and while I can't possibly speak for all of us, I know this is a point of broad consensus.

      We want this thing to spread like wildfire. We don't care about who gets to see it first. That's an outmoded concept. We didn't pay to see it. We paid to enable it. I guarantee at least one of the 2,000+ people who backed this project is going to share it with the world one way or another. Sharing things we love with anyone who will listen is... kind of a big part of what bronyism is all about.

      I'm not sure what "wider release" you had in mind, but I'm pretty sure "everyone with an Internet connection" is a superset of it.

    16. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Jon Molnar
      I would suggest you go back and read my post on the point of wider distribution. I very much disagree with your argument that people will steal it anyway so make it easy for them. Using that logic you might as well leave the keys in your car and door to your house unlocked all the time.

    17. Jon Molnar on

      I don't see how this talk of bandwidth being expensive holds up. One-time downloads? Why? Please tell me you people have heard of BitTorrent. It's going to end up on pirate trackers anyway. That's just the nature of the universe. You might as well distribute the film that way. It'll save everyone involved a lot of pointless frustration.

    18. Missing avatar

      Aaron Cuevas on

      @Michael Brockhoff
      Yeah, I read that. But unless it's automatic (which would be unsecure, as anyone could reset their code again and again) it could still mean you being bombarded with hundreds of requests. The internet is way less reliable than most people think. ;)
      Also, please allow a resetted code to resume the download. It would be painful if a 10G download failed at 99% and we had to start over from the beginning :P

    19. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Aaron Cuevas
      As indicated in a previous post we will be able to reset the download code in a matter of seconds.

    20. Missing avatar

      Aaron Cuevas on

      @Michael Brockhoff
      There's a big potential problem with a "download only once" policy: What if a download was interrupted? Be it by power outage, internet disconnection or any one of the thousand ways a download can fail midway. If it can be downloaded only once, that means that a interrupted download can't be resumed. You could be bombarded with people who has just had a connection error.
      Please have that in mind when designing the download system.

    21. Graeme Mathieu on

      @Tristan Willy
      I don't get what you mean by pirating fears affecting the quality of the project. I remember reading the reason having to do with keeping the file size down so it wasn't going to take up all the space on some people's computers. So, umm yeah. I don't think I'm mistaken but too busy to look for it and double check. Though I personally would prefer the download to be 1080p I wouldn't be all too disappointed with 720p if the reasons for it were good.

    22. Missing avatar

      Tristan Willy on

      @Michael Brockhoff
      I just want to add an additional voice behind the bittorrent distribution model. A 720p download would be *very* disapointing. Should that happen, the first thing I'm doing is buying a blueray drive just to rip the disk.

      I'd rather have people pirate than to have priating fears affect the quality of this project. I'm sure the 961 backers who opted for just the download would agree.

    23. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      I understand. Obviously it will be set up where if there was a problem they can email and we will reset the download code. And yes, a kind Brony already wrote the code for us that will email out a unique tracker / download code.

    24. Missing avatar

      SpecLad on

      @Michael Brockhoff

      Only if you assume everyone downloads twice. 8=]

      Well, I'm done arguing. Do what you think is right. 8=]

    25. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      One download may seem restrictive, but think of it this way. Let's say the final program is a 20 gig file. (I'm not saying it will be 20 gig but we are talking about 2+ hours of HD material) delivery on a proper content delivery network that can handle sending that much data to multiple users across the world costs about 18 cents per gig. So 20 x .18 = $3.60 x 2500 people = $9,000. Two downloads per person = $18,000. Adds up right?

    26. Missing avatar

      SpecLad on

      Once seems to be needlessly restrictive to me. What if I accidentally lose my copy?

      But no, I don't think there's a way you could do that with torrents. What you could do, though, is assign each user a unique identifier and include that in the tracker URI. Then, you'll be able to prohibit multiple people from downloading with the same ID.

    27. Missing avatar

      Dann on

      @Christopher @Michael
      Anything released on the internet is not secure. Even how you are currently doing it, it is not secure. And there will very likely be unauthorized copies floating around. That's just how things are and it's not going away because we continue to rely on older business models. Including stuff like tshirts, extra footage with the bluray, hats, signatures: that sort of thing is what inspires people to go for the purchase. It helps when costs are kept reasonably low too.

      I understand if you don't go the torrent route for the reasons you supplied, but the more energy you spend on forcing a 1 person : 1 copy ratio of your content, the more likely things will fall apart.
      I want people to pay for this great film as well. (Some people prefer to watch something before they decide to buy it, that's a market that you may not be able to permeate as quickly this way.)
      I have no reason to complain though, it looks like things are working out for everyone and I do wish you success in getting the Bronies film into the mainstream public.
      I, too, am OK with waiting the extra time for a high quality release. Thanks for letting us know.

    28. PinkiePieAddict on

      Take as long as you need. I would rather you take a longer time then for the quality to suffer.

    29. Missing avatar

      C Trueman on

      If you compressed the files into a ZIP archive, you could password protect it and the actual size of the file to be downloaded would be smaller because of the compression. Then you could e-mail all the backers with the password.

      That said, there's no reason why somebody couldn't give out the password along with the torrent link so it's not that secure. Then again, there's nothing stopping anybody from creating a torrent after downloading the video legitimately either. I hope that doesn't happen, but there's never a completely fool proof way to distribute these sorts of things and using Peer-2-Peer downloads would take a lot of stress off of whatever server you distribute it from. You're looking at over 2,000 people trying to download several Gigabytes of HD footage within a very short period of time, so P2P would be ideal if not for the security risk...

      Sorry for the long post.

    30. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      Once it's a torrent it becomes super easy and tempting to distribute to those who didn't pay. It's one thing to have to upload a huge massive file if you want to share it, which very few would be motivated to do. It's another to only have to email a little torrent file. Maybe I'm unaware (which could be the case) of a way for it to be a torrent and still protected so that it can only be unlocked once by each person entitled to unlock it.

    31. Missing avatar

      SpecLad on

      @Michael Brockhoff

      Sure, I agree with all that. What I'm asking is: what does that have to do with BitTorrent? It's just a file distribution protocol - a very efficient one at that.

    32. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Matt Keeley
      Thank you for the insight, very helpful.

    33. Matt Keeley on

      For whatever it's worth (I'm happy with the Blu-Ray disc, and am super looking forward to it), most region free releases are NTSC only. For whatever reason, non-hacked US DVD players can't play a region-free PAL (I've tried), BUT most/all PAL DVD players can play and convert NTSC on the fly.

      So, if you change your mind about DVD, just do a Region 0 NTSC, and you'll be good.

      (...I get way too many foreign DVDs... such is the curse of the film nerd.)

    34. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      The point is its DRM free so the individuals who backed the film (i.e. paid for it) can put it on their computer, their iPod, their iPad, burn a DVD, etc.. The catch is that in giving them a DRM free file we also have to trust that they will NOT to redistribute it to those who didn't pay for it therefore devaluing the content and ruining the chance that it will get an even better, wider public release.

    35. Missing avatar

      SpecLad on

      @Michael Brockhoff

      I don't follow your reasoning. If it's a DRM-free file, then it can be reuploaded and shared regardless of whether is distributed by HTTP, FTP, BitTorrent or mail order.

    36. Graeme Mathieu on

      I see :/. Well if they don't find it then whatever you decide to do I'm fine with. Sorry I messed up, so much excitement at bronycon that I didn't pay enough attention to where I put the print, eh.

    37. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      Yikes, let me check with the BronyCon staff to see if it turned up. The prints really are not inexpensive. They were done for us by Nash Editions. You can check them out here:

    38. Graeme Mathieu on

      @Michael Brockhoff
      One other thing, I don't want to be a pain but... I accidentally left my print unattended inside the manilla folder while I was at bronycon and it vanished :/. I haven't heard any news of it showing up, and if you can't that's fine, but do you think i could still receive it when you send me the t-shirt? It was just the regular print without signatures. I don't usually keep poster things but I wanted it as a memento :/.

    39. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Graeme Mathieu
      Good idea. Was going to send something like that out with the digital download codes.

    40. Graeme Mathieu on

      @Michael Brockhoff
      You might want to make that part of a little announcement, like "Please do not distribute this via torrents, it will be released later and would hinder the effectiveness of the public release. So for those who will not receive the early premier, please be patient." After all this is the internet and us internet people love torrents and aren't very patient xD. I think the backers of this project would be mature enough to listen to a request like that. Especially since we want to see this really have an impact and someone might be thinking of spreading it via torrent but hasn't considered the possible damage it would cause. No one wants to make that mistake.

    41. Chris Messer on

      Awesome to hear, cant wait to see you guys at BUCK!

    42. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @Mads Kristensen & @Fragga
      Releasing the final product via a torrent is exactly what we don't want to do. It's not fair to those who supported the project and paid for the content and that thinking is exactly what makes us nervous to release a DRM free file in the first place. Yes, we could password protect the file, but it just makes it too tempting for people to easily steal.

      This type of release requires trust that the people who get the file will not turn around and upload it.

      Why not release it on Youtube and make it available for free you ask. First, again, it’s not fair to the backers who deserve to see it first. Second, if the program is released that way, it will ruin any chance of an even bigger public release by a major distributor. They won’t want to invest the time and money in something that people can already get for free. A bigger standard public release will ultimately bring mainstream press and positive attention we feel most of the Brony community would like to result from this project.

      @David Funnell
      There is than meets the eye when it comes to the cost of a worldwide release with a standard DVD option. We would have to create three completely different masters for replication (Blu-ray, NTSC DVD, PAL DVD). Each version has to be designed (disc content, menus and packaging) and tested. Having three masters would bring the number of individual units replicated down which brings the cost per unit up. Then every person would have to let us know what version they want shipped. We are already having problems getting everyone to let us know what on-screen credit they want and what their shipping address is, so that would be an huge added nightmare. We would have to hire somebody to sort out who is shipped what version and I’m sure there would be returns to deal with since some people outside the US will want a US version instead of a PAL version, etc. With a Blu-ray disc, its one size fits all. The player does the work of converting the video and making it playable in any country. We have made a decision to put the money "on the screen" (into creating the best content) rather than accommodating the few people who are inconvenienced by a Blu-ray only release.

      I would suggest that if you really want a standard DVD, just take your DRM free digital download and make your own. It would be a good backup to the digital file anyway and there are a number of free programs out there that will help you do that. If you want to contact me privately, please feel free to use the message function next to my name at the top of the page.

      @Andrew Buckle
      Still figuring that out. Depends on our replicator and we are still getting bids.

    43. Gavin Lambert - Tormented Dreamer on

      You wouldn't need to release two different DVDs. Pretty much every TV and DVD player on the planet can play NTSC. (Or at least such is my limited experience.) Not that it bothers me either way. :)

    44. Missing avatar

      SpecLad on

      @Fragga: so what? You said it yourself that it will be on the Internet sooner or later, what difference does it make if it's easy or not?

      On the other hand, BT is likely to be faster and induce less server load than traditional downloads, so it's a win for both donators and producers.

    45. Missing avatar

      Andrew Buckle on

      If the Bonus Content disc can't be packaged inside the documentary's Blu-Ray case for shipment (if it was replicated later or something, and not be available for packaging at the right time), are you going to keep the 2nd disc in mind and use a 2-disc Blu-Ray case for the documentary itself, so there'll be a convenient place to store the bonus content disc?

    46. Fragga - Judicator of the Obsidian Order on

      yes great with a torrent avaible you could just skip this step and put it on youtube right away. i know it will be on the net really soon but a torrent? really? that makes it just too easy....

    47. Mads Kristensen on

      Would it be possible for you to use bittorrent to bring down the cost of digital distribution? I'm sure that a lot of us would be willing to seed those files for weeks ;-) That way we could get the bonus features as a digital download as well.

    48. Missing avatar

      David Funnell on

      @Michael Brockhoff - is there a way to contact you privately, be that twitter DM's, or email, or whatever? I'm a little intrigued by your comment that digital downloads would be cost-prohibitive and wanted to discuss a possible solution outside of this forum.

    49. Missing avatar

      David Funnell on

      Totally appreciate the response, Michael. Love that you guys are interacting with the fan base like this.
      And I appreciate the reason you're choosing Blu-Ray - yeah, I get it. And yeah, getting a Blu-Ray player isn't exactly a hardship for me. Just trying to look out for other folks for whom it might be.

      I apologize if I'm being too inquisitive by asking this but when you mentioned NTSC and PAL DVD's being cost-prohibitive, what kind of numbers are you talking there?

    50. Michael Brockhoff 2-time creator on

      @David Funnell
      I appreciate tight funds and all. Just might want to consider Blu-ray is the way to go at this point for everything, it's great for us because it plays worldwide and the cost has come way down. In the US players are now as low as $49.99.