Vivid

Irony is a funny thing. I don’t know if someone forwarded them my blog, or if it was just random chance, but apparently Backstage West posted our casting notice anyway. Ha…?

I spent Thursday night with LL. We had Thai food, snarked our way around Amoeba and went to see Ruby Sparks, which was not as good as Little Miss Sunshine, but still pretty terrific. At the end of the night, we made out like teenagers, which was pretty awesome.

Friday, we had our second production meeting for Cowboys & Engines. This is where things actually begin to happen. Your first meeting is just to rally the troops, and convince people your serious. The second meeting and onward is where things actually begin to happen. The casting process is proving to be very interesting. We’ve been approached by the agents and managers for quite a few people of the “oh, that’s that guy from that thing” character actor camp, and one or two whose names you might not know, but I guarantee you know the character they played.

We might end up with some “names” in this thing after all. Ha.

It also appears I might be going to Moscow (Russia, not Idaho) for two weeks to shoot art. I’ll clarify when I know if it’s happening. And when I actually understand exactly what the hell it is we’re doing.

In unrelated news, it appears I will be directing one or two movies for Wicked, and two for Vivid before the end of the year, and probably something… interesting… for Hot Video as well.

So, the weekend. On the one hand, I shouldn’t complain because I’ve gotten a lot done. On the other hand, it has turned into a massive, spastic clusterfuck of epic and expensive proportions. Let me explain;

Dude (let’s call him Z) from a particular production company (let’s call it XA) has been struggling to get a new line off the ground. Part of the struggle has been money, and part of the struggle has been fighting through his own incredibly disorganized inability to get his shit together. He’s booked me to shoot for him before, but I knew nothing would come of it.

After a long meeting recently, he booked me to work this weekend. Naturally, at 2/3 my rate, but I took it. It was supposed to be cash, and an easy day. I knew the last part would be bullshit, but I took the gig anyway. I like Z, and wanted to help him out.

On Saturday of last week, I got offered a gig this weekend at my full rate. I called Z to ensure he was actually shooting, and when he promised he was, I turned the gig down. He confirmed again on Wednesday and Friday morning that we were still shooting.

Naturally, at 1 am Saturday, he canceled the day. Sunday followed suit. SO I lost a lot of money this weekend, and won’t be taking dates from Z unless it’s either A: pay-or-play, or B: I bump him if anything else comes along. Which means I won’t be shooting for him. Someday I’ll learn.

For now, I’m heading over to Vega’s house to do terrible things to her and not spend the night.

Tomorrow, I’m shooting camera for Stormy, who has a pickup scene for a Wicked movie. Tuesday & Wednesday, casting begins. And god wept, I believe is the next verse.

Interesting day. Today, I sat in on the first round of auditions for Behind the Green Door, Vivid’s big-budget remake/reboot of the porn classic, directed by adult legend Paul Thomas. After shooting camera for PT, we have a genuine respect for each other that goes deeper than when we were simply directors across the room at the AVN Awards. He’s been getting my input on the script as its developing. We’ve been having a lot of behind-the-scene discussions about casting, and I’m honored he wants to include me in this process.

I’m not going to name any names, but as with any big casting call in porn, we had some great reads, some weird reads, and some really, really bad reads. There was also a lot of press, which just made everyone more nervous and helped not at all. I think the flack from Buzz Media was disappointed that it was just people reading from the script. When he first walked in, he asked, “what does a porn casting entail?”

I told him each person auditioning was going to come in and blow the director. At the end of the day, he’d decide who sucked the best cock for each role. Since we had guys as well as girls auditioning, this process might be a little uncomfortable for the uninitiated. He blinked at me and thought I was utterly serious until I cracked a smile.

We did have a few highlights, however. We had the girl/girl only girl read for the part that does a no-holes-barred interracial gangbang. We had the porn industry perennial who always sounds like a cross between John Wayne & Mr. Ed when he “acts.” We had the little Hispanic girl whose read was actually pretty good if the lead were a first-generation Columbian immigrant. And given that the industry has a very vanilla talent pool at the moment, it was awesome to watch the girl’s faces as Marci, Vivid’s head of production, asked each, “Do you do interracial?” “Anal?” “How about gangbangs?”

For me, being a producer has made auditions as an actor so much easier. Once you’ve been on the other side, you know how often decisions are made based on a million factors other than simply who was the best actor? So much comes into play that is completely and utterly out of the actor’s control that I never feel pressure in auditions anymore. I just go, read, and forget it ever happened.

In other news, I saw The Dark Knight Rises yesterday, and I loved it. I will not be posting my review until next week, to keep the spoilers off the page.

Lastly, I’ve gotten 8 e-mails and DMs asking about the outcome of the Huge, Epic Mistake I presaged for myself back in mid-May. I’m sworn to secrecy about the particulars, so here’s the very generic answer: It was exactly the huge mistake I feared. Basically, against my better judgement, I told someone the exact truth — brutal honesty — about a particular situation. I spilled my guts, let them deep into my head, told them exactly how I felt.

I will never do that again. Not only was the end result the opposite of the outcome I hoped for, telling the truth actually destroyed all possibility of that outcome ever happening at all.

For those who’ve been bugging me, that’s all ya get. I’m sorry there isn’t more detail. I guess you’ll have to wait for my book. In the meantime, remember these words of wisdom from Mark Twain as you go forward in life: “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”

I violated a trust with my last post. Alice is extremely private, and even though that isn’t her name, there are more facts and particulars than I should have included. I can make all kinds of excuses; I was hurt, I was angry, I was confused.

I was a dick.

That seems about right. At any rate, here’s where things stand; we talked. It was really good. I don’t know where things will go from here, but you will likely not hear much about it, except in the vaguest of terms, because I’m not going to violate that trust again. It’s hard to earn, and I’m tired of being a fuck-up.

In other news, Hollywood got me a gig working as Best Boy Electric on a small film in Alabama for three weeks, and I’m flying out Sunday. It’s a crappy day rate, but a lot of them. Politically, it’s a dangerous move for me here. I’m asking Vivid & ABP to move two days of a shoot so I can finish the job I’ve started as DP. I think they will, but il Douché doesn’t take kindly to people asking for things being adjusted to accommodate them. I also had to cancel three days for Paul Fishbein, but he is much more understanding as x3sixty is still in its startup phase.

Either way, I have to take this job. It’s a decent amount of money, and I’m in a decent size hole.

I’m going to try to update more frequently, starting with that work & career blog I promised four months ago. Until then… Alabama… ugh…

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

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