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Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)

 


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Interview with Animation Creator Brian Neil Hoff at AFM 2016

 

AFM is not only a place where international sales agents sell their titles to buyers from all over the world, but it’s a mecca for independent producers to find their producing partners and financing for their films. Writer and producer Brian Neil Hoff did just that while at this AFM to find partners on his animation project called ‘Secret Agent 00K9’, action adventure about a spy dog detective who travels the animal world solving crimes and mysteries. I interviewed Brian during the market to see if he’d had a successful experience. Here is what he had to say:

 

Can you tell us something about the animation story you are working on?

BRIAN: Secret Agent 00K9 is a 3D animated action adventure comedy about a spy dog detective who embarks on exciting adventures and missions solving crimes and mysteries in a wild animal-human fantasy world. 00K9 uses the latest in spy gadgets including, sports cars, jet boats, scuba gear, motorcycles in this action thrill ride!

How long have you been working on this idea and how did you come up with it?

BRIAN: In 2004 I looked out my kitchen window and saw my dog Cosmo spying on the neighbor house and I thought to myself his real name must actually be "Secret Agent 00K9." Over the years I developed the characters with veteran concept artist Alfie Vann to create the 2D characters and completed a book series. Currently I’m developing the 3D character models and recently produced a 3D teaser trailer showing 00K9 in action. It was exciting to finally be at AFM to present the project as a TV series or feature film and establish a production path to the international markets.

People say animation is the big sweet spot for success. Is that why you chose to make an animation or is it your favorite genre?

BRIAN: I have always loved animation and the evolution of the process from building a 2D character to transforming them into 3D. The characters and emotions come to life which has always been exciting to me. A new world is created and has endless opportunities to create solid IP with a broad global appeal in international markets. It's a genre that has become more accessible to producers.

Why did you come to AFM?

BRIAN: To introduce myself to other industry and creative professionals from around the world who share a similar passion for the craft of animation, connect with sales agents and buyers, and build friendships and potential future partners.

Have you done AFM before?

BRIAN: This my first time attending AFM and hope to return as an exhibitor in the future.

Do you think as an independent writer/creator it was useful to attend the AFM and why?

BRIAN: I found it be a very interesting networking with many producers, writers, and creative professionals from around the world with unique film projects at various stages of development. AFM attracts some of the most interesting filmmakers with projects that captivate you. If you’re a creative type you will feel right at home here where dreaming is encouraged.

In such a competitive marketplace where pitching a new story is so difficult, how can you make yourself be noticed in the crowd?

BRIAN: I think it’s good to have a solid idea and simple and effective way to share it with busy industry professionals who see lots of material. You have to catch their eye. Each person I meet with to pitch my concept, I give them my business card and custom kids toy watch with my character on the face as an appreciation for allowing me to meet with them. I thought it would be a fun gift and maybe they would remember me from that moment.

Did you accomplish what you had hoped to accomplish at AFM?

BRIAN: I found AFM to be an important step in my work. I got my first film job on an HBO movie in 1994 and have learned a great deal through the years of success and failures. It's a complex industry that even seasoned producers learn something new as well as market trends. It's an important event if you're new and willing to put in the time or reconnect with people you have worked with over the years. The reward of seeing your film completed makes the years you spent building it worth the time and dedication. It's a market for interesting indie films from producers from around the world with new and exciting ideas as we move into the new entertainment future with ever changing platforms of delivery to a worldwide audience.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned at AFM?

BRIAN: Make sure you have a great partner who you can work who also has the stamina to endure years of work and remain focused on the goal and possess a similar drive to succeed. Finding someone you can really trust and has your back.

What are your next steps towards seeing 00K9 realized?

BRIAN: The film project was well received at this year’s AFM and it was fun to see the reaction I received when I introduce the character. I think the IP has international appeal in a global market that we’re now packaging the film with international known talent and direction. I’m working on my wish list of stars I would love to play 00K9!

Interview by Vanessa McMahon

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