Sunday, May 31, 2009

PART 6: NEW DIRECTIONS

I have been told by certain sourpusses (who will remain nameless) that there is no market for plot-driven bareback porn. Ha! I disagree. I think the market is ripe for story-based sex movies. Just ask Sean Storm.

In 2004 Storm, collaborating with Helix Studios, co-produced "Storm Drain," the bareback genre’s first true plot-driven video. And it was very successful. So much so that Storm created his own production company and began filming "The Storm Chronicles" – a multi-part story that follows Storm’s self-inspired character on a lampoon of his life and livelihood as a porn star caught between his love for sex, his love interest, his career, his fans, a stalker, and his long-lost twin brother (on a mission of sexy revenge). The story is set during the onslaught of a hurricane. His character is genuine, funny, and sympathetic. The sex for the most part is hot. And the series is both charming and successful.

As well, take a look at what some of the non-bareback studios are doing as of late. These are videos I consider my "YSW" list (YSW stands for "You Should Watch"):

DANGEROUS LIAISONS > Lucas Film
Michael Lucas released "Dangerous Liaisons" in 2005 and it won all sorts of accolades (including best picture) at the GayVN awards – as well it should have. "Dangerous Liaisons" is a very well done movie with plenty of sex, drama, intrigue, and more.

FUCK FICTION > Cazzo Films
Not as polished as "Dangerous Liaisons" mostly because of the dialogue between German actors being delivered in stilted English. However "Fuck Fiction" won Best Overall Film in the 2007 European Gay Porn Awards and is well worth watching for inspiration.

SEX HIKER > Black Scorpion
Black Scorpion is a relatively new production company who released a film last year called "Sex Hiker" and it won the GayVN award in 2009 for Best Group Scene. And it’s no wonder. The scene was very well shot. Overall the film has an Indie film look to it thanks to the wonderful camera work by Mr. Pam. I recommend this one for the overall look of the film in addition to the use of a rather simple but effective premise.

TO THE LAST MAN > Raging Stallion
The hands-down winner in this year’s GayVN Awards was Raging Stallion’s "To The Last Man" – a 2-part plot-driven movie that captured awards for Best Picture of the Year, Best Editor, Best Art Direction, Best Oral Scene, Best Three-way, Best Music, Best Screenplay, Best Videography, Best DVD Special Edition, and Best DVD Special Features.

To The Last Man takes the sex movie to new levels. It is a violent portrayal of life in the West, complete with brutality, a hanging, rape, a drowning, and a revenge-fueled killing spree. The sex is of the caliber Raging Stallion is noted for. And the acting is better than in many indie gay films that have played the film festival circuit. But while the violence and bloodshed contained in this picture seems unnecessarily over the top, the fact still remains that this is about as close to a Hollywood movie as any gay porn film has ever come.

I cite these examples because I feel they show a trend that is developing in gay porn. And I believe today’s gay audience is far more sophisticated than many porn producers are giving them credit for. These films are the equivalent of fine cuisine compared to the junk food our genre has been churning out ad nauseum. There is no reason some of us in the industry couldn’t start making porn of this caliber. I do not believe we are any less talented, or that the kind of talent that is necessary to create such films is unavailable to us. Certainly these examples demonstrate that there are men out there who can act AND fuck. Perhaps we are not fully utilizing talent that is already in our midst.

Hollywood has provided numerous great genres we can tap into if we so desire: mystery, suspense, drama, action, romance, period, capers, film noir, crime, espionage, western, horror, sci-fi, even camp. We can borrow and adapt stories we love or we can tell new ones that are of our own creation. We do not need huge budgets to work with. What we do need however is a commitment to creating a better product overall. Once we commit to that the rest will fall into place.

I am not saying that all producers of bareback porn must follow my recommendations. Certainly some among us are comfortable doing what they are doing and have no drive or passion for change. And there will probably always be a market for junk porn just as there may always be a market for the brand of pure dreck featured on Xtube. However we do need a few bold souls to get out of the junk porn rut and start producing something that will inspire and challenge the rest of the pack as well as entertain the portion of our audience that is craving something more sophisticated and personally involving. We need to break the mold again. We need to come up with videos that blow the porn-watching public out of the water and make the folks who organize awards programs such as the GayVN Awards take note that we are not the underlings they want us to believe we are.

No goal is too high to set for ourselves if we really want to achieve it. I firmly believe we can do this. We can change the direction of bareback porn for the better, and make it a more viable, marketable, and entertaining medium. I want to know who among you is willing to give it a try!

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