A Brief Chat with Republic Productions Executive Producer Brian Hwang
Get to know Republic Productions Executive Producer and AICP Southwest President Brian Hwang
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about how you got started in the industry?
My oldest sister was working at McCann NY while I was in college. She was able to get me an internship in the Account Management department during the summer between my junior and senior year. I really enjoyed the fast-pace, creativity and fun that the advertising workplace offered. I kept in touch with the HR folks from there and in the spring of the following year I interviewed for a position and had a job offer before graduation. I started as an Assistant Account Executive, and while I enjoyed learning about all the various disciplines within advertising, I really gravitated towards production. I made the jump to an Assistant Producer in the Broadcast department and never looked back.
How did a classical New Yorker like you end up down in Dallas?
Classic love story. Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy follows girl to where she grew up. But in all seriousness, moving to the Dallas market was a great opportunity. While advertising in Dallas might not be on the exact same scale as New York or L.A., the amount of companies here or moving into the area is staggering… Toyota, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Frito-Lay, JCPenney, the list goes on and on. And with the speed in which certain productions need to happen, being in their backyard certainly helps.
What brought you to Republic?
I met with the partners back in 2018. Chris, Carrie and Keith had a strong interest in launching a live action division in order to provide turnkey services to their current and prospective client base. From our discussions, it was clear that we had a similar vision on the type of production company we wanted to create here in Dallas. They also made it clear that it was an opportunity for me to build something from the ground floor, and help shape it from the jump, so that was really attractive to me. We’re in our fourth year now, and have a stellar group of directors on roster. Really excited and proud about what we’ve done up to this point. I feel like we’ve very much established ourselves as a strong production option in town, and are looking to continue the growth trend for next year and beyond.
Tell us a little bit about what you do on a daily basis as an EP.
As an Executive Producer, I’m responsible for the oversight of all the operations of the live action division. Each day presents a different set of challenges and perhaps that’s one of the things I like most about what I do. Whether it’s breaking down a script to start budgeting, working through challenges of a complex production, or meeting with clients to strengthen relationships, no two days are the same.
Explain to us a little bit about AICP and what your responsibilities are as President of the Southwest Chapter.
AICP stands for Association of Independent Commercial Producers. We’re a trade organization that represents the best interests of independent companies that specialize in production and post-production for TV and digital commercials. The organization sets the benchmark for best practices and protocols in advertising production. As the President of the Southwest chapter, I serve as the main liaison and representative for our regional member companies to the AICP National Board of Directors. I filter information down to our members, while also voicing any issues occurring in our region that affects commercial production on a national level.
At a local level, I spearhead several events and programs throughout the year to help strengthen our advertising community in this region. The highlight of the events is the AICP Awards Show that screens in 6 cities throughout the country, and Dallas is one of the stops. It’s always an incredible evening getting the industry together to celebrate great work and have some fun outside the office. In fact, our event is coming up in early November. We’re hosting it at the Perot Museum and it’ll be the first time having the event since the pandemic – should be a great turnout!
It sounds like a lot to take on. I imagine having those responsibilities during the pandemic had to be extremely challenging.
As with many industries during the pandemic, things were changing so rapidly. Fortunately, AICP became an invaluable resource to its members by providing up-to-date information for safety and other protocols pertaining to COVID-19. AICP National held weekly zoom meetings covering a variety of topics that really helped its members navigate the impacts the pandemic had on our businesses.
When you’re not living and breathing production, how else do you fill your time?
I’m pretty easy to find.. I’m either watching one of my 2 sons play sports, in the kitchen working on my Michelin star, or on the golf course working on my swing.