Below is the unedited version of an interview C-47 Houston
Entertainment Magazine conducted with Marketing Dynamics Andy
Valadez. Mr. Valadez was our April 2011 Feature Headline Interview
and our Cover for that month. We had to edit for length in the
original Hardcopy and e-Copy versions published in April of 2011, as
space was limited. But we felt that a lot of what Mr. Valadez had to
say is information that is insightful as well as helpful to film and
television makers thinking seriously about the industry.
By John Lozano
© 2011 All Pictures by PDL Studio's Heather Leigh
Jackson and Sanjay Patel
Reviewed by and special thanks to: Jane L.
How to get your project from the a camera to the silver
screen is a daunting task. And, trying to fund a project is even
more of a challenge. But, you can start with a business and
Marketing plan, a public relations personnel and of course money.
C-47 Houston is pleased to present Mr. Andy Valadez
of Marketing Dynamics. Mr. Valadez is an Industry “Marketing
Producer” - a combination of producer and marketing expert who
deals with moving a concept from an idea to a viable and marketable
product. He is constantly on the go and he is comfortable thinking
“outside” the box when it comes to utilizing the current
technology that is needed to succeed in today’s competitive
market. We are happy to introduce and present:
Mr. Andy Valadez
Q: Thank you Andy for taking some time to sit down and
chat with us. Where are you from?
A: I was born in
Bryan, Texas on June 7, 1965. As
a child I lived across the street from Texas A&M University with
my cousins who loved the Aggies, the bonfires, the games, and just
having fun on campus.
In 1977, my family moved to Austin. I really enjoyed the small
city feel of that town (even now I visit there about every 6 months
with film-related work). When
I was 15 years old, in 1981, I met my future wife, Tina. I later joined the United
States Marine Corps in 1988, and was stationed in New Orleans, where
I also attended Tulane University.
When I got out of the Corps in 1991, I made my
way back to Aggieland, where I graduated with a Marketing Degree
from Texas A&M in 1993 (a dream come true). My first corporate job
brought my wife and me to Houston that same year, and I have been a
fan of our city ever since. I
started my company Marketing Dynamics in 1999, with the goal of
focusing on strategic marketing.
My wife is a CPA in oil and gas. We now have two beautiful
actress and entrepreneur-minded girls, Kayla (10) and Kenna (7).
Q: You are in a field that involves the
TV/film industry, how did you get into this field?
A: As a strategic marketer, I have written and
produced radio and television commercials, produced radio and video
for the web, worked with media personalities, web developers,
content writers, photographers, sales professionals, CEOs, retail
In early 2007, friends of mine in Austin, Texas,
introduced me to film. They
had commissioned a screenwriter to produce their first film and
asked me to help. So,
we added “feature films” to our development capabilities over
the last few years.
Our diverse interests are now focused on
technology, broadcast, film, music, publishing, motor sports, and
start-ups. Film has
presented many challenges, but it is just like any other business to
me, with the script/movie as the product. My film focus primarily lies
in marketability. The
burning question is, “Who will go see it?” Our goal is to realistically answer that question for all
involved and build a team to support it and make it happen.
There are many tangible and intangible rewards
that come with film and many obstacles that build character. I have learned that “trust”
is critical when dealing with any business relationship, but it is
even more important in the film industry. It really is a tight
community and small world -- the “real world of make believe.” The screenwriter’s job is
to write the “fantasy,” it is our job to make it real.
My company primarily focuses on feature films for
national distribution (a very tough niche). We have accumulated a
portfolio of films with budgets ranging from $2M to $30M; and total
budgets equaling $300M. Much of my job is to work directly
with our team to acquire funding opportunities. We are always searching for
ways to self-fund our movies, attract investment capital, develop
distribution interests, and enlist the interest of A-list talent,
(i.e. directors, acting, music, writing, producing, etc.).
As marketers, we effectively make our films stand
out in the crowd. We
are confident they will be truly marketable, unique, and bankable,
and therefore, we know people will go see them. But, so does everyone else in the business. We generate and secure
serious attention around our writers, directors, actors, musicians,
and team. Talented
marketing makes a huge difference in the success of a film and there
are many case studies that prove this out. The greatest film can
flop at the box office if not marketed properly. Likewise, a bad film
marketed well, can be very successful.
Q: What kind of education does it
require to do what you do? OR are you self taught?
marketing has changed. But,
in reality marketing has not changed, because marketing always
adapts to new conditions. For
a while now many have championed social media as the “new
social media is really public relations mixed with a bit of
marketing research and sales. Technology
has certainly enabled marketers to reach their audience faster and
with positive effect.
Many on our team are formally trained in
marketing; however, specialists are needed to tactically execute the
Personally, I love to read books on marketing,
experiment with new ideas and resources, learn from others, watch
and listen to commercials, review what other marketers are doing and
create my own processes, etc. I
do have a Marketing degree from Texas A&M University and an
applied business certificate from Tulane University with an emphasis
on teams and business strategy.
I continue to stay in touch with my marketing
professor at Texas A&M, and I am involved online through my blog
at www.TheMarketingVortex.com, and via social
media sharing ideas and resources we are discovering in our sectors
of interest. For example, my
company is involved with The Entrepreneur Broadcasting Company. We are launching The
Entrepreneur Channel, which is designed to help entrepreneurs learn
more about the start-up process (on the order of the Discovery
Channel and the Military Channel).
It will be an integrated and converged media channel that is
specifically for, and about, the entrepreneur (the marketer). These will be the heroes of
the new economy – those raising capital, creating jobs, and
opportunities for others.
I believe that a novice can learn a lot about
marketing through self-education.
By reading a book a month, living and breathing marketing,
one could attain more knowledge than the majority of self-proclaimed
marketers. Still, these
days a successful marketer must be as sharp as a producer in the
film world. Strategy is
one thing, selling it and making the cash register ring is another. The marketer is more like an entrepreneur and business
developer. They are a
Our company tries to put its money where its
mouth is, in this regard. I am personally vested in many of our ventures and try to
present proposals to our clients that we would do ourselves, that
require minimal capital to start their ongoing campaigns using “gambling
money” (new found money through our developed marketing
In my opinion, marketing intellectual capital is
very valuable. I have found that marketing, like beauty, is in the “eye of
the beholder.” We are
careful to select those clients who can appreciate what we have to
offer them. Most people
“think” they are marketers.
Just like in the film world, everyone wants to be a critic or
a director when it comes to what they think a film is about. But, we aren’t lawyers,
accountants or mechanics, for that matter. The reason we don’t
practice those disciplines is because we aren’t good at them. But, we are really great at
Q: What is a “marketing producer”?
A: Marketing Producer is a new title I created for
the film industry and business community. In the film world the
producer is like a marketer, however most producers are not
classically trained in marketing.
The film producer is responsible for many facets of a
production including raising capital, securing distribution
interests, rallying a team around the production, and ensuring the
film gets seen.\
In the business world the marketer is not a
producer, per se. However,
there are similarities as the successful marketer must produce,
meaning they must not only come up with the marketing plan, but also
a selling strategy, the venues, the appeal of the brand, and more.
As marketing producers, my company has helped
many of our clients from the very early stages of a project (the
idea) to distribution. We
have helped many clients accelerate their interests. In addition, we enjoy
producer status with many of our productions, to include an
ownership stake in the venture.
We’ve helped structure business models, and we’ve
assisted our writers, fellow producers, agencies, actors, supporting
investors, directors and their crews to see the opportunities
associated with our productions.
Q: What is your target market?
A: In regards to film, we are targeting movie
goers, those who love the theatre, those who view movies online, and
buyers of DVDs and music. However,
in the early stages we may target a team who also wants to reach
these audiences. I
really love to discover talent before they become too famous, or
talent that isn’t famous yet, but should be. These are the people we want
on our team, people we want to grow with – and vice versa. We avoid ego-driven,
“me-oriented” takers – it really does take a team.
Many of our projects range from $2M to $30M,
which is still in the independent film territory. Our body of work is focused
primarily on family, inspirational, redemptive, challenging social
themes, international appeal, Americana – films and stories that
help people discover.
As a result of this focus, we have attracted
veteran A-list producers, those close to distribution, and those
talented professionals who are represented by top agencies in
Hollywood and Texas.
Finally, we believe in affinity marketing, which
is targeting influential population groups. For example, we are working
on a film entitled Windcatcher:
The Story of the Birdwoman, by Jane L. Fitzpatrick. This epic film is being
produced by my company and Ed Elbert, a former Fox Studio executive
and producer of Anna and the
is based on the true story of Sacagawea and will be budgeted in the
range of $20M to $25M.
Our producer believes our funding source should come
from tribal communities and we are mobilizing resources, and our
contact base, to develop a truly remarkable offering that will be
beneficial to Native Americans corporately. This project has
been an exciting journey and it continues to be as we compare it to Dances With Wolves which
generated over $400M at the box office. “Windcatcher” is a story
that is overdue and it is building a momentum that will naturally
overflow beyond the film in the form of tribal music, artwork,
concerts, documentaries, and future stories that also deserve to be
told. This film will
perpetuate a true celebration of our country’s Native American
Jane and I have marveled at the dynamic energy
around this film and the incredible people we have enjoyed meeting
on the journey. Although
this story is about Sacagawea with the backdrop of the Lewis &
Clark expedition, our target audience will be people who yearn for a
look back into our heritage as Americans and those who want to
celebrate the spirit of a woman who changed their destiny. Sacagawea was a dreamer and
In short, a marketing producer is a film
professional who not only produces but markets their films to the
next level -- a smart bomb approach to strategy, focused like a
Q: Who would benefit most from
A: We are interested in helping those who really
want to be helped. We
ask our clients to commit to a 30 minute introductory call, then, we
ask them to research what we do.
If they like what they see we will schedule a meeting to
review their needs and how we can help them. Each client is unique –
their motives, dreams and aspirations are also unique and deserve
the careful review by trained marketers.
I like clients who have the drive to do something
big, but are willing to start small and grow. Marketing needs to be a
priority and we must have access to the CEO or decision-maker in the
process. There are many
instances where the marketing department is doing one thing and the
CEO or leadership team is doing something else.
There must be open communication, as a business
relationship is difficult when communication is non-existent. Just like a marriage,
discussing what is happening in a business is crucial to adapting
goals and knowing where to adjust.
I’ve adopted a saying I use from time to time, “Have you
hugged your marketer today!”
Most strategic marketers I know are very passionate about
what they do. They
thrive off the energy of their clients, the marketplace, and the
brand’s success. The
old adage is true, “Success breeds success.” If your campaigns are boring
-- maybe it’s your marketing.
Is it time for a shake-up?
Q: How can they benefit from your services?
A: We believe our
clients benefit from their relationship with us because we are
committed and professional marketers.
Clients receive real recommendations they can use, and we
make sure they understand all that we can do for them. Our methods are versatile,
depending on the need, as we share ideas and resources they can
implement or hire us to implement.
Either way, it is their choice and they feel more confident
about what to do. We
can help them connect with their audience, whether one influential
person or millions.
Here is a great example showing the value of
marketing: Sergio Zyman (former marketer for Coca-Cola) once
marketed Nestcafe to the Japanese. He noticed that hot coffee sales dropped in the summer and
picked up in the winter. Sergio
jumped on a plane to Japan to study the buying habits of the people. He discovered they typically
don’t drink hot drinks in the summer which prompted him to
introduce “iced coffee” into the marketplace. For the cost of ice, he
changed the world. This
leverage point didn’t change the cost of advertising one bit, just
the advertising message – “Buy iced coffee.” The Japanese did, as did the
rest of the world. Ever
had an iced coffee? If
so, thank Sergio Zyman.
The value of the strategy, or a new idea, is
truly in the mind of the decision-maker. A client can pay our company
for advice but never use it; or they can be like the clients we
love, and use what they learn to change the destiny of their company
and the employees who work there.
Marketing is that valuable.
Q: What area of the industry do
you feel has the most growth potential?
A: 4G technology. I
love that people can watch movies anywhere (yes, I watch videos on
my iPhone). I
personally love the theatrical experience of the films I go see with
my team, my family, or by myself.
I love that when I go see a film it is “Market Research.” I am always up for a
screening! It’s best when no one is in the theatre except my team and
I attended the Machette premiere in Austin
with one of my clients in September, 2010 (we were the guest of the
co-writer). When I got
back to Houston, I went again with my marketing assistant and a
movie director friend. We had a couple of beers afterwards to talk
about the opportunities we saw in this film and our own interests.
I have friends who are into GPS, Smartphone
development, and on-line distribution. The filmmaker is getting
very wise when it comes to monetization of their work. Distribution to theatres is
getting harder and harder and requires more money to get seen. One veteran producer told me
he allocates $1M for print and advertising to 100 theatres, as a
rule of thumb. So, you
can see that distributors have to invest in excess of $30M in many
cases to attract an audience. I
think we will soon see a lot less spent on print and more allocated
to digital media, strategic partnership, co-promotions, reliance on
more product support (not necessarily product placement), unique
media coverage, contests, and more.
To me a film is much more than a theatre
experience. Stars will
be more accessible, the audience will be a part of the story (have
you seen Never Say Never,
starring Justin Bieber and his fans?), and I believe many marketers
will target power communicators to be a part of their production
team – “the socialrati” and “the technorati”. Do you know who some of
these people are?
Regarding GPS and online broadcast, one of my
clients and business partners/friends is now placing his GPS
equipment in major brands of vehicles to help car owners reduce
theft and enable them to control their property from afar. The service will also
include the ability to download movies and concerts directly to the
vehicle for a fee.
I see many film producers doing a limited release
of their films online for their early adopter fans, keeping a
majority of the funds from that release to be plowed back into
securing better and better distribution deals for their works.
I also see film companies being developed that
focus on population groups. For
example, we are working on one about the Asian community. It happens to be an American
success story we believe will have International appeal; we aren’t
just relying on the American buying public for our productions. Can your film be translated? Would ethnic groups purchase
it on DVD, or go see it if offered in a foreign language?
Q: In your professional opinion, where do you
see the film industry five years from now?
A: I really don’t know where the film industry is
going in the next five years. I
am often quoted, “I’m just trying to get through the day today!” My hope is that Texas
filmmakers and our state will acquire more visibility. Many producers seem to be
worried about “incentives,” but to me I am more interested in
“the network” and the support of our films. I think Texas has the best
of all worlds when it comes to film production including resources,
networks, business climate, and creative relevance. There are some
really bad stories out there, but I have come across some excellent
writers in our own back yard.
For example, one filmmaker is making a feature film
with many country stars. Our research shows that Texas has the highest gross sales of
country music in the country. We
believe he needs to make his movie here, tapping into our network of
country music listeners, business networks, and more. With the rise of
digital filmmaking, I see the market getting tougher. I think marketing is the element that will make a difference
in films being produced and seen.
But, filmmakers must to become better marketers and business
people. It will require
them to be “Marketing Producers.”
Q: What can the industry as a
whole do to bring about an even more vibrant industry?
I like the
idea of joint venturing. If
people have a financial stake in the success of the film, they are
more likely to see success. It
has to be “our film.” So, I am a big fan of structuring a
property so that everyone wins.
The budget is the budget, but the joint venture is something
that lives on. We
usually want to reserve shares for cast and crew, producers,
investors, etc. It
doesn’t happen that way all of the time, but when people know
there is opportunity their contacts become more available to support
I would like to see more venture funds being
developed. Many of them
will require a complete checklist of “must haves” before they
fund, but that will force the filmmaker to think about those things
before they make their film.
There are many issues filmmakers want to bring
attention to, and it all doesn’t have to be commercial, but it
does have to connect with those who have resources to help the
cause. There is a
market for every film and reaching the target is the filmmaker’s
challenge -- not the movie goers.
Q: Do you think Houston has the resources to
make that happen?
A: Houston is an
incredible city of business people, artists, technologists,
connections, etc. I am
getting to know more of the filmmakers here and I think we are
learning fast. People
have shared with me that in the past our film community was
fragmented, but, now there seems to be a “coming together”
momentum building. However,
we have to avoid the “group-think”; for example, many have
clamored around horror “because it sells.” I like horror, but I don’t
want to make a horror movie. I’d
rather do something different.
If the crowd is doing something, that is usually my signal to
go another direction. That
should be a valuable trait of any filmmaker. Don’t get typecast and
never be predictable.
I love Houston.
I have family members who have gone to Hollywood to make
their mark, and they are doing very well. I have two young daughters
who have gotten involved in acting and have done a couple of
projects here and in Dallas. We
have many opportunities for them to go to LA, but we have decided to
cultivate here. When
the right projects come along, we will support them. Until, then we are building
a brand and a franchise for their interests as long as they have the
interest and that takes time, planning, training, and long-term
For now, I just want my girls to be kids and
enjoy the opportunities that come along when the time is right. Hollywood will come knocking
when they are known. We
hold the same principles for our team. We will get visibility for
them here in Houston -- we don’t have to go to Hollywood.
I have clients who are developing projects from
Houston. One of our
projects, by a known writer, is in Austin, but he is talking
directly to studios and others we are coordinating from here. I am also aware of some
really incredible film initiatives that will put Texas on the map. I think Houston deserves to
be in the mix and our filmmaker community can do that by focusing on
big movies and rallying investors, business people, and funding
companies to support their projects.
My company is currently creating a venture fund
and contacting those companies that fund movies. We are developing film
companies for the sole purpose of attracting capital for a genre of
films we believe will have market reach and entrenchment.
For example, one of my business friends is focused
on building a Veterans Museum here in Houston that will be in excess
of $300M to develop. We
are creating a film company to share stories in tandem with the
museum historian. One
of our films in development will be a $30M production entitled The Rose Garden, www.RoseGardenTheMovie.com. We met with the Texas Film
Commission last year and the museum architect to discuss our plans
and believe this film company will be beneficial to the state’s
film community at large. We also founded a company Bun Burners
Entertainment, LLC, spotlighting motorsports and the racing or
riding community – our first production Jodie Goes to Sturgis: A Survivor’s Ride (www.JodieGoesToSturgisTheMovie.com).
Q: As a Marketing Producer, are you given
credit in the “Credits”.
I am usually
personally involved with the films we represent, and typically like
to earn a position unless it is a film I originate. I have gone from Associate
Producer to Producer/Executive Producer in many instances. We are about helping a film
when others aren’t aware of it or the project has stagnated for
some reason. We try to
get a project moving forward and that usually requires actionable
marketing advice. Most
of the producers we work with have appreciated our assistance and
recognize my company’s efforts.
For example, for two years I worked on a recent
project involving my daughter.
I had done everything from grip, photography, driver, extra,
sound, website, to script coaching.
I am very fortunate to be able to work “on location”
(have laptop will travel). I
have to say, I wasn’t doing this for my interests but for my
daughter’s. We helped
bring in the first investors that made his film possible. The director was so
appreciative of my help he offered me a share of the distribution in
the property. I hadn’t
requested it, but he wanted to recognize my steadfast support. So, I really hope his film
I do have an IMDB account. But, right now I am working
my way up. A priority
for my company is to maintain a caring attitude should things really
go in the right direction -- we return every call and treat people
with the respect they deserve.
Many doors have opened up for our interests and we are happy
the people we work with do return our calls, too. I think the
Marines taught me a lot about leadership, trust, loyalty,
dedication, resolve, and a mission-focus.
Q: You have been in the industry
for sometime as a marketing producer, what is the number one problem you see that can be
easily resolved with a marketing producer or the use of a marketing
A: Marketing is really critical for any business. A film is like a start-up. In the beginning, finances
may not be available. Marketing
can begin to communicate “value” in the very early stages. We once got a project moving
from a $10 investment. My
client had the non-revocable rights to a bio-picture. The estimated budget was
$20M. I suggested we
buy the domain, post a free Wordpress 3-pager, then, send the link
to her potential investor and supporters. As soon as the site was up,
the project became real. My
client managed to secure the interest of her investor, who required
some due-diligence which lead to a top agency and major film
production company that had worked on over 50 films. This piqued the interest of
a top movie director who had previously worked on a successful
biopic featuring a musician. Opinion
leadership plays a critical process in any early-stage venture. The art of telling “the
story of the story” is what marketers do.
Q: What kind of projects have you
been involved with as a marketing producer?
A: We are developing a portfolio of films. I started with School of Redemption ($2M
budget, still in development); worked on In Search of the American Dream,
by Director Baldemar Rodriguez (shopping for distribution now); Broken April ($3M budget),
written and directed by Robby Henson, starring Kris Kristofferson,
Jewel, and Gretchen Wilson (to be shot in the fall after Jewel has
her baby); The 12th
Man (working title - $12M budget); Windcatcher: The Story of the
Birdwoman ($20M budget), by Jane L. Fitzpatrick, being produced
by Ed Elbert; Haley’s Angel
and El Cascabel (The
Rattlesnake) movie shorts by Dallas Director, Israel Marquez; Jodie Goes to Sturgis: A Survivor’s
Ride, a documentary directed by JC Locas; Sword of Eden (live action,
$25M budget), by Patrick Scott (Creator of Archangels); Thy Will Be Done (taking to
studio), written by Alvaro Rodriguez (co-writer of Machete) and Jeff Stolhand; The Rose Garden ($30M
budget), to be written by Dan Roberts, and more. For a detailed slate
profile e-mail: Info@TeamMarketingDynamics.com (subject to NDA
Q: If there is one project you would like to
tackle what kind of project would it be?
A: That’s a good question. The film business is one of
the toughest businesses I have ever experienced. I’ve invested four years of my life to it and we are still
tackling it now. It
really is a miracle that a film ever gets made. But, diligence, consistency,
and hard work do have a pay-off.
I feel very fortunate to have accumulated a great body of
work, great contacts in the industry, and the interest and support
of veterans in the film community.
There are a few disappointments here and there, but the
journey is part of the story. I
love seeing a film in production and knowing that I helped make that
happen! Whether I get
credit or not is okay with me, but the film business hasn’t let me
down yet and my family and I have really enjoyed being a part. We walk by faith and not by
Q: How do you measure the success of a project
that you are working on as a marketing producer you compare one
project with another that you have worked on?
A: I measure success
one event at a time. For
me, production begins the day we start talking about making a film. It’s a marathon. I
personally want to see box office successes -- films that we produce
making in excess of $100M or more at the box office (I don’t care
about the awards so much, but we’ll take them.).
So, we still have a ways to go! Until then, I take the daily
victories as they come. This
magazine cover, for example, is one of many successes I have seen
over the years. I asked
Hector Luna, Publisher, to place some special people on the cover
with me, because I couldn’t do it without them. People like James R. Boy (my
investor), Jessica Hoover (Marketing Producer/my assistant), Patrick
Scott (my creative friend), Brian Allen (venture maker), Stephanie
Robinson (publisher), Nina Garza (actress and sales), Carole Baker
(friend), Michele Fraga (door opener), Jeff Stolhand (producer),
Robby Henson (director/writer), Kirby Lammers (business friend),
Jane L. Fitzpatrick (screenwriter), and Sheila Harrison (business
friend). These people and more have helped open doors for our
interests and it takes a team to succeed! We are locking arms and
moving forward together.
Q: Where do you see yourself in
A: I see myself behind the scenes and in the “eye of
the quiet of the storm.” I
really enjoy being behind the scenes.
I would rather my clients or one of my team members enjoys
the spotlight; however, I have been in the marketing world for some
time and can step in where needed.
I enjoy spending time with my wife and two beautiful young
girls. We really want
to be free to work on the things that inspire us as a family.
I want our
team to continue to create and develop great things. We are only just beginning -- who knows what the future holds!
I really like the idea of being a venture
capitalist, investing in people and realizing the rewards that come
from that investment. It
has been our goal to invest our marketing intellectual capital in
those we love and care about, to build assets that attract capital,
and to leverage that capital to do even more. “To whom much is given,
much is required.”
Q: As a marketing producer, what
advice can you pass along those who aspire to be in your chosen
field that could have benefited you when you started off?
typically, promise a lot of things. My
advice is to make few promises, but deliver more than the client
I usually trust everyone until given a reason not
to. I don’t like
being lied to, cheated, or forgotten. I return every call and expect people to do the same. Patience is a virtue, but so
is persistence. In my
business I have to forgive a lot of people and if I am lucky, I will
also be forgiven (we all make mistakes). People may doubt you, but
that is okay -- Success is the best revenge!
bigger! In film
anything is possible, you will be surprised by who you will meet and
who will get interested in your work.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Andy is the owner of Marketing Dynamics a strategic
marketing firm working with emerging entrepreneurs and
growth-oriented companies, movie makers, musicians, Radio and
Television shows, bloggers, technologists and a variety of other
fields and cross-over businesses with gross annual sales under $50M.
You can learn more about Marketing Producer Andy Valadez and
Marketing Dynamics at their website at:
You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter. Also
visit their blog page at:
2011PDL Studios, Heather Leigh Jackson, Sanjay Patel www.PDLStudios.net
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