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JUNOT DÍAZ
Junot Díaz almost gave up on his debut novel several times. It ended up winning writing's highest honor
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M.ANIFEST
Ghana native incorporates his colorful culture into Twin Cities hip-hop
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BIRD CLUB
Taking inspiration from Air Jordans, this comapny was founded to compliment the popular footwear with a t-shirt line
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The Big Hiccup
Turning ideas into images
In the Long Island City office of Robert Simone, 26-year-old co-founder and executive producer of Hiccup Media, a Boston terrier acts as a doorman, pick-up football games are played in the office, and every Thursday is poker night.

Founded in 2006, the multimedia melting-pot blends professionalism with a casual Friday atmosphere to break up the monotony of a traditional office environment. Simone sat down with Elevator recently to talk about the company and their work.

E: What kind of media company is HICCUP?

RS: We are a company of young individuals who are either from the creative industry or the advertising industry. Michael Cruz, my partner, used to edit T.V. shows and commercials. Another partner, Ramon [Veras], used to publish a magazine before. Three of us started together and formed a company that essentially had the goal of taking a client's idea and making it visual. We have produced everything from animated television shows to a simple website, to a T.V. commercial or episodes of T.V. shows.

E: Why is it better to be on your own as an independent entity?

RS: There is freedom associated with that. I am not restricted to just producing, for instance. I also get the opportunity to write and to conceptualize for different concepts. I also have a much more pivotal role in producing the product that a client is going to see. Where as, working for an agency before I was subject to a lot of different opinions. It ended up watering down a lot of the work that I produced. There are freedom, adventure, and certainly, pride aspects to [being on your own].

E: Who are your clients?

RS: We have a diverse clientele. These days, we are working for New York Advertising agencies, BBDO Worldwide. We are also doing graphics and website for an upstart television show. We edited a film trailer for Element Films. We are now editing some fashion shows for Linz Claim Bark. We also worked on some Proctor and Gamble brands through their agency, Grey NY. The brands were Pantene, Pringles, CoverGirl and Clairol.

E: What is "Soy Mono?"

RS: It's a piece of original content that our creative director, Ramon, actually conceptualized himself. He created a universal character, a story line and a complete show concept. It's all animated. It's a show about a couple of high school kids who live on Arizona-Mexico border. It's completely animated in Flash.

E: What is you greatest achievement so far?

RS: Being able to survive for two years in an upstart business with no financial backing is an achievement. Also, we were able to speak up for what we thought creatively was the best decision on several occasions and not turn away the client. And that's difficult.
 
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