Corruption

I’m getting too old for this shit. We just finished shooting two movies for Vivid following the standard two-movies-in-three-days model that they make their normal bread-and-butter features under, and I’m wiped. We actually did fairly well, time-wise; it isn’t unusual on this kind of production to have three sixteen hour days back-to-back. We only had one, and that was plenty.

K & I spent today wandering around like mental patients who’ve just had their meds increased. We were absolutely useless. Apart from having a long phone conversation with Bo Kenney about next year’s production slate, and paying the handful of overdue bills we’ve got the sheckels to cover, the most I’ve been able to muster was enough energy to sit through about a half-dozen episodes of Family Guy.

I seem to get called by Vivid two or three times a year to shoot, and normally, it’s pretty painless. The resulting movies are generally nothing Earth-shattering, but as good as we can make them given the considerable restraints we’re working under. This last pair of movies was rough, though. I had to replace one performer — who had scenes on all three days — at the last minute due to a urinary tract infection (which worked out for the best because we got to meet the relatively new Regan Reese, who is delightful). I also had three contract girls to deal with, and believe me, justone is a handful. As it happened, I only had to juggle two since one of the three had her grandfather die on the first day of shooting.

Now, I’m not completely heartless. Okay, maybe I am, but if the girl’s 91-year-old grandfatheractually died, my heart goes out to her. Still, I’m a cynic, and it must be said that I wondered. When Kylie told Ginger Lynn the story, she summed it up by saying, “Oh my god… do you know how many times my grandfather died when I was in porn?”

My second contract girl was Kayden Kross, who is so new to the business she arrived with the tag stitched onto her butt that threatened federal prosecution if removed. Not only were we shooting Kayden’s first Vivid movie, we shot her first scene ever. Naturally, she was nervous, unsure, and self-conscious. We all did our best to make the experience as painless as possible, and I think she escaped with no emotional scars. She’s a sweet, good-natured girl who wants very much to succeed at this, and once she learns to relax about how her ass looks when shot from a certain angle (Kayden’s gorgeous), she’ll be just fine. We did go to great pains to warn her that we were all going to call her on her shit when she becomes a snotty diva, though. Which she, naturally, swore she would never do.

Which brings us to contract girl number three. Who shall remain nameless. Because Vivid might wish to hire me again someday, and since their checks are minty-fresh and go through the bank like crap through a goose, I would like to take that job when offered. Let’s just say that girl number three was… stress-inducing… If I leave you with the example that she arrived six hours late on the first day because she was getting a colonic, you’ll understand.

In other news, we got seventeen AVN nominations for Corruption! I suppose I should have started off with this, but, y’know, I’m a bitter fuck, and I just don’t know what to do with good news. Oh, did I mention… seventeen? Sure, yeah, Manhunters got 24, but I’m told Manhunters really sucks ass anyway. Actually, I’m told nothing of the sort, but I just couldn’t leave this topic without saying something nasty about somebody. I suppose I could insult Luke Ford some more, and take apart all the utterly erroneous shit he printed about Corruption being returned in droves by retailers because of the fisting (to date, not a single disc has been returned; some retailers have asked if they could  return it to exchange it for the regular XXX, no-fist edition, but none actually have), but writing about Luke is kind of like picking on the kid from high school who had Down’s syndrome, one leg shorter than the other, and his butt crack hanging out of his pants; sure, it’s fun, but it gets old after a while.

Oh, and speaking of Corruption… seventeen. I’ll post the full list in a few days, when I’m feeling more boastful. If I’m going to get all big-headed and arrogant, I wanna enjoy it. On that note, we’ve begun posting some of the rave reviews for the movie in the Corruption MySpace blog. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that not all our reviews have been raves. Most have, but we’ve gotten three notable exceptions. Gram Ponante, who’s a close friend (which just goes to prove either his honesty or my complete lack of interest — or ability — in influencing reviews) hated the movie. I think he’s just jealous of my fabulous age makeup.

Roger T. Pipe from Rog Reviews gave us a quixotic review; he gave the overall movie a “B” on his grade scale, but the review reads like a “D.” He even says in the body of the review that he likes the movie more than it sounds like he does. Still, at the end of the review, he calls it a frontrunner for the movie of the year. Hrm.

Lastly, Den at CAVR absolutely loathes everything about the movie. But after several very pleasant e-mail exchanges, I think his objections are more sociological and political than anything else. I think it’s great that a porn movie can engender that kind of visceral response.

Apart from those three (who are obviously just misguided), everyone else has been shamelessly enthusiastic. You’ll be able to read their unedited enthusiasm on the Corruption blog over the next few weeks.

The last thing I want to discuss is kind of breathtaking. I found out about it Thursday night; the rest of the porn world found out Friday. Bo Kenney, the head of SexZ Pictures, has issued a standing offer to pay all legal fees for Paul Cambria (who is the heavyweight first amendment attorney in the adult biz) to defend any retailer or distributor who finds themselves at the business end of an obscenity prosecution for selling Corruption. I cannot overstate what a profoundly important thing this is for an adult company owner to do.

For those of you in the real world, Corruption has been causing some controversy in the adult community because we broke a lot of unwritten rules — conventions, really — with the script, the tone, and the sex. People have focused a lot on the fact that we have fisting in the movie, but it’s the overall mood of the show, I think, that’s setting people off. It feels very real, and very disturbing, and we worked really hard to achieve that. And it makes the status quo porn producers very uncomfortable for a lot of reasons too boring to get into here.

This kind of thing is very rarely an issue because the major companies never approach a movie as a work of art. To them, porn is always commerce first. Bo is the first company head I have ever met who was more interested in making the movie the way it should be made than in making a safe bet. In standing behind this movie in this manner, Bo has raised the bar of what can and should be expected from an adult producer, both in terms of content, and supporting the product. I think people will look back on this as a paradigm shift in the adult industry, and I’d be willing to bet that Paul Cambria — who feels that Corruption is essentially impossible to prosecute for obscenity — will be getting some very angry calls from his more status quo clients. I’m really honored that Bo is proud enough of this movie that he’s willing to put his wallet on the line to defend it if necessary.

So, in closing, let me just say that a sixteen-hour-day is too fuckin’ long, I’m really grateful to Bo, and contract girls kinda suck.

Oh, and seventeen

Last night was the Corruption premiere party, and I have to say, as much as I was dreading it, we had a great time. It was terrific. Jeff Mullen and his team did an admirable job of turning out a sizable cross-section of the porn industry and press, chose a great venue, and made the whole thing feel like a real event. A lot of people who probably couldn’t pick me out of a lineup on a regular evening made a point of telling me how great they thought the movie was, and even though I know the vast majority of them haven’t seen the movie (nor are they ever likely to), I thought the gesture was kind.

A lot of girls I find extremely attractive flirted with me (Adrianna Nicole, Tricia Devereaux, our friend Jenn O Cide, to name three), and despite being pathologically incapable of taking a compliment, I tried to be gracious. Often I failed, but points for effort, right? As our date, Kylie & I took the delicious and delightful Trina Michaels, who looked stunning in her short black dress, endured merciless black patent leather boots in the cause of sexiness, and, best of all, wore no panties.

Overall, the entire evening was a great success. There was only one turd floating in the punchbowl. A cancerous, bleeding hemorrhoid named Luke Ford.

Those of you living in the real world, i.e. not intimate with the tiny little community of porn, will have never heard of Luke. He fancies himself the “Matt Drudge of Porn,” but Luke is far, far less; he is a pale, dim reflection of Drudge who is himself a pale, dim reflection of a genuine journalist. Where Drudge is, at the very least, inflammatory, sensationalistic and shameless, Luke Ford is, at best, unsrcupulous, and more often, simply lazy and ineffectual. He is a pathetic, anemic analog to a gossip columnist whose grist is provided through no effort of his own, and whose mill consists solely of cutting and pasting “controversial” e-mails from anonymous “sources” or malcontents with an axe to grind, but only after judicious editing to ensure the content is as libelous and destructive as possible.

I had asked that Luke not be invited to the party. Not because I loathe him; I do, but that’s immaterial. An adult party is neutral ground, and even though there were several people there that I dislike — and even more who dislike me — we all had the good manners to simply pretend we didn’t see each other. I didn’t begrudge their presence, and apparently, they didn’t begrudge SexZ Picture’s prexy Bo Kenney’s free booze. This is how it’s done.

But I object to Luke. I object to his abject lack of talent; his bland, uninteresting prose, his artless photography, his patently absurd — and now abandoned — claims to some form of journalistic integrity. I object to his arrogant and ridiculous posturing as the sole occupant of some moral high-ground. I object to his constant whining and public wallowing in manufactured self-pity to engender the false support of others. But most of all I object to his self-appointment as arbiter of the ethical constraints under which he feels the adult industry should be forced to exist. I object to the laughable charade of this self-hating Jew who externalizes his self-loathing as scorn, derision and disapproval of the entire adult industry, all the while making his living from it.

In a universe of irony, Luke Ford stands alone as a paragon of the ridiculous. Here, for our amusement, is a boy in a man’s body whose aimless and dysfunctional adolescence led him to convert to Judaism, a religion whose more conservative, orthodox tenets he attempts to follow with comical, fastidious resolve. And all the while Luke endeavors in the furtherance of his service to God, he sits in judgement over all of us filthy pornographers in his bet din of one, a failed Rabbi of little learning and no wisdom, a son of the commandments who won’t print “fuck” or “God” in the text on his website which subsists on the money from — and co-exists with — banner ads for Rodney Moore’s MILF line, three different porn rental and VOD sites, and the “Booble” search engine. This while he laments that the tiny differences between the various evangelical Christian groups doing outreach to porn stars (gee, that couldn’t be a stunt to get media attention, could it?) have become insurmountable rifts.

That’s comedy. It’s obvious that Luke’s search for meaning hasn’t enlightened the dark corners of his muddled mind that led him to the synagogue in the first place. His orthodox stricture is his version of the Borgias buying Papal indulgences to excuse their own heinous deeds. He hates and disapproves of porn but scrapes along running a porn site, taking porn money, feeding off porn scraps, hanging with porn people, and hosting a forum for the scum he despises to take cheap, largely illiterate potshots at each other. Clearly this man needs a large refund from his psychiatrist because therapy ain’t helping, and neither is the church. My own suggstion would be an enormous overdose of Lithium followed by self-immolation, but I suppose that’s uncharitable. And were it not for my history with Luke, I imagine I could find it in my heart to simply pity him, like most porn folks do.

But I can’t. Many people, particularly performers, don’t remember Luke Ford from his heyday. Once upon a time, Luke fancied himself a David set to slay the Goliaths of the industry. Towards that end, and fueled largely by the encouragement of another gossip columnist (who played the endlessly naive Ford like Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello) that this crusade would lead to popularity, fame, fortune and the felling of a giant — namely AVN — Luke embarked on a smear campaign that lasted the better part of a year. During the course of this amateurish internet Bataan death march, Luke printed anything he, or anyone else, could think of about myself and a number of my friends in a concerted effort to “wreck our lives.”

The final effect of all this, was, of course, nothing of consequence. AVN is just fine, my life went on without a blip, my friends who were also attacked have the lives they’ve built for themselves rather than the lives Luke hoped to impose, and porn seems largely to have forgotten the event. For Luke and his co-conspirators, things didn’t go quite so well; Luke was forced to sell his own website and flee the industry for a time, one of his cronies lost his job as the company supporting him collapsed underneath him when Goliath turned His gaze upon them, and the last time I saw the third yobbo, he was running Gadget’s Go-Coaster in Disneyland Toon Town, where he tried to shake my hand.

Which I didn’t. Because some things I simply don’t — nor will I ever — forget, or forgive. I seem to have fallen into a tacit detente with the aspiring cellist who played Luke so well those years ago. We simply ignore each other when we meet, he is civil when he posts press releases about my projects, and I avoid mention of him out of the same courtesy. He had the good manners not to come to the party, knowing he wasn’t welcome.

But not Luke. No, of course, not Luke. Like irritable bowel syndrome, he is both unwelcome and an ever-present danger. It’s unfortunate that, contrary to my request, Jeff invited Luke anyway, apparently admonishing him to make himself scarce when I arrived. Naturally, Luke couldn’t keep this in confidence, nor could he avoid taking a few shots across my bow. And, of course, a friend e-mailed to tell me “Luke is going after you again.”

Sigh. Must we?

“He writes a good blog, as far as porn blogs go,” says Luke of me. Damned by faint praise indeed, particularly coming from a writer whose own feeble prose and incessant wheedling have all the entertainment value of a Ron Popeil info-mercial. He goes on to write, in his well-researched, detail oriented style (the hopeless retard can’t even spell my fucking name the same way twice in consecutive sentences), that I threatened to “make a big scene and leave” if he showed. What I actually said was that I would bodily remove him if he showed. And I would have so hatedhaving to do that.

“He has a huge temper and uses it to get what he wants in life.” Yep, that’s me. Raving maniac. I can’t understand why the same people have worked with me over and over again for years.

“I didn’t realize I had unfinished business with Bryn.” I suppose this might be Luke’s idea of sarcasm. There’s so little style to his writing, it’s hard to tell. If it isn’t, it’s a sign of a man who lives in a fully delusional reality. Tell me, Luke… in what way have you paid penance for your laughable, but entirely vindictive attempts to destroy my life and career?

It should be easy for me to dismiss Luke’s existence. His presence, such as it is in the modern porn landscape, is entirely ancillary and ineffectual. He is no better at gleaning the facts of what he prints now than he was a decade ago, and the vast majority of the blather on his site is either apocryphal, or patently untrue. He is, in every way, his own worst enemy; years ago, when he came after me, he posted lengthy inventories of my foibles, failings, crimes and weaknesses. I have a surplus of these to be sure, and my life and my misanthropy should have made for good hunting. The problem was everything he posted was either completely manufactured, or so far from the actual truth as to be weightless. Even when enacting a cause of great concern, he can’t be bothered to check his facts, do his homework, or — god forbid — actually investigate.

That being said, Luke is dangerous. Given the opportunity, he will absolve himself of his amoral complicity with our business in the most destructive way possible. I imagine he fantasizes about the day when his “friends in the Department of Justice” of which he has none, will eventually call him to testify against one of the gullible untouchables who have foolishly taken this viper to their bosom, and into their confidence. And given the chance, rest assured, he would. Luke Ford is notyour friend. He is not your ally. He is not the “harmless crank” most pornographers view him as. He is an impotent wolf in the fold waiting for his chance to rend a neck, tear at a “friend’s” flesh, in order to feel virile… important… powerful.

If porn were a Warsaw ghetto in 1939, Luke would be the kind of Jew who conspired with the Nazis to buy himself a few months away from the camps. Oh, that one may smile and smile and be a villain.

I don’t think much of Luke. In fact, under normal circumstances, I don’t think of him at all. But he is not forgotten. He is not forgiven. And he is not — now, nor ever — welcome.

Tempted as I am, given the headline of this entry, to make some obscure “Put on the glasses!” reference, I’m just not going to.

Unless I just did… hmmm…

Regardless, Corruption is, as they say, finished. At least, this version of it. That doesn’t mean you’ll never find me bitching about it again. In fact, I can almost guarantee you will since we still have the soft version (parts 1 & 2), the R-Rated cut, and, I kid you not, Bo Kenney from SexZ Pictures wants to release a four disc director’s cut in January that’s going to have an expanded version with some extended cuts of a few sex scenes (including the one fisting scene we cut out), an HD WMV disc of the movie, and a pile of extras the likes of which you normally only find on Ridley Scott movies.

Obviously, I’m not the only one who chose to forget we were “just” making a porn movie.

For the record, I’m genuinely proud of this show. It’s a real shame that most people will never see the movie parts of the movie (though I guess with the R-Rated cut looming, that’s not true), because it really works as a film. Having been in this business now since before people were evenhaving sex, I can’t really think of a stronger end product. I’m not saying we made the Greatest Porn Movie Ever, but I will say we must have come close.

As long as you don’t mind a really dark, unhappy, distrubing narrative, that is. But that’s just my idea of a fun time. We just might have made the darkest porn movie ever.

For those who care about statistics, the final running time is 4 hours, 5 minutes. There are 13 sex scenes, most of them extremely hardcore, including lots of anal, ATM, cum-swapping, bondage, slapping, choking, spitting, dp, double-vag, double-anal, fisting, double fisting, anal fisting, and Hillary Scott eating the cum straight from her own ass.

As I said, a warm, happy romp through fluffy land.

I apologize if I’ve been difficult to get in touch with. This show took five weeks to prep, 11 days to shoot, and nearly 500 man-hours for three of us to edit while Kylie kept us alive by cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, and forcing me to spend an hour one afternoon with my cock up her ass. Except for that last part, it’s been a little rough. I’m takin’ a few days off.

So I’ll be getting in touch with those of you who’ve tried to reach me over the last few weeks, and slowly pulling my head out of the sand. I’ll also be doing a lot of PR for this show, so expect to see whorish bulletins from me, and from the Corruption page, and any other rooftop I can find to shout from.

I’m sure my next blog will actually be snarky and bitter and entertaining once again. But right now, I just don’t have the energy.

Okay, while I don’t really have the time to be posting this, I’m feeling the need to explain a few things. First and foremost, let’s get this straight — editing is a disease.

I bring it up not because I’m on the verge of a physical and emotional breakdown from having barely been away from my desk for over two weeks, much less my house (okay, maybe that’s part of why I’m bringing it up), but because three people have approached me in the last week to declare their interest in cutting porn.

No offense, but you’re psychotic. Fucking bonkers. One of them makes his living cutting short films and music videos, the second edits commercials and promo, and the third just thinks it would be “fun.”

Well, pal, if your idea of fun is sitting in the same chair until your ass goes numb, gaining weight like a webmaster with a DQ fixation because you work 18-hour days and can’t go to the gym ever, dealing with continuous headaches that vary from splitting to incapacitating from staring at monitors and wearing headphones for that 18 hours, feeling like general warmed-over shit, getting paid way less than minimum wage once you break down the hours and endlessly having conversations with friends who should fucking wellknow better that end with “What are you up to? Really? Still editing?”, then pack your fucking bag and get ready to start training.

The fact is, there are two kinds of editors in porn: the good ones and the happy ones.

The very few members of the first group are miserable fucks like me who agonize over footage that was shot under the worst kind of low-budget battlefield conditions, creating solutions to problems no one even knew existed until the poor bastard who’s cutting the thing starts trying to fix it. Even under the best of conditions, it is a job that consists of, as my friend Todd puts it, “making chicken soup from chicken shit.”

Cutting sex isn’t fun, especially if you’re a porn fan, and it certainly isn’t hot. Editing is where you get to fixate on everything that went wrong; all the messy anals; all the upchuck; all the yeast; all the floppy cocks; all the asses that can’t perform that day because they’re torn; all the idiots who can’t light or shoot camera.

The happy editors are just a bunch of hacks who don’t care. The worst part is, neither does anyone else. Porn is the only industry I’ve ever worked in where being really good at something can be considered a detriment. I’m an excellent editor, and Todd is outstanding. That means we care. And it means we’re slow.

I spent ten hours today finishing two minutes and thirty-three seconds of dialogue that comes near the end of Corruption. I’m really happy with the sequence, and were this a mainstream movie, I’d feel certain that people would watch it, and be entertained. They wouldn’t notice how it’s put together, but that’s what editing aspires to. It’s an invisible art.

However, being porn, I’m well aware that I spent my day crafting an excellent sequence no one is going to watch. Without trying to sound arrogant, we’ve managed to create a really remarkable movie with rockin’ sex scenes… and I don’t mean remarkable for porn, I mean fucking remarkable, period. But those movie chunks of the movie are just the Route 66 stretches of road between the Interstate of the chapter stops.

As the director, I could accept that. As the editor, who has now spent over 350 hours cutting this film, I’m finding it a little hard to swallow.

So, no, you do not want to start editing porn, anymore than you want an anal fissure or genital herpes. Trust me on this.

Fun… what a jackass…

The problem with editing something your really care about, that you’re really busting your ass to make an excellent product, something that rises above the clutter of everyday porn, is that it’s such a fantastic opportunity to obsess.

I just finished cutting a scene that is, to me, the crux of Corruption. It’s the kind of purely movie moment (i.e. mainstream movie moment) that you just don’t see very often in adult. It’s three minutes long, and I’ve been cutting it now for nearly three days. That’s what I mean by obsess.

Unfortunately, the movie as a whole — along with BTS, commentary tracks, additional trailers, everything — has to be done by the end of the month, so I’m going to have to speed things up a bit. More cutting, less obsession.

Of course, pressure like that just leads me to find ways to distract myself from cutting. Last night presented a dandy distraction. A good friend from the real world (no, not the stupid fucking show, idiot, the real real world) came over around 9. We played catch-up, talked for a few hours, and then, in a display that would have made many of her real world friends’ heads asplode, I tied her up, paddled her butt, locked her in the cage and fucked her ass hard.

Never thought of editing once.

In an unrelated distraction, I was talking to Kylie this morning (she’s in Sturgis at the bike rally, or she would have been involved in the cage match last night). She told me she visited the real town of Deadwood, and discovered that many of the characters on the show (we’re big fans… been watching the DVDs) are based on real people. I had assumed many of the leads were manufactured, and at one point, even joked about how they seemed to have been named to describe their characters. Seth Bullock is, well, stubborn like a bull… Al Swearingen has a filthy mouth… Charlie Utter never stops talking.

Nope. Wrong. Real people. I stand corrected.

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