Tag Archives: Evil Angel

Interview with Scott Taylor: Part One

by Rich Moreland, December 2017

On my recent trip to the sunny wonderland of Southern California I had the distinct privilege of interviewing Scott Taylor, owner of New Sensations/Digital Sin, one of Porn Valley’s top production companies.

Scott has done it all from shooting to directing and offers some valuable business insights into the ever-changing world of adult film.

We sat in his office in Chatsworth and discussed a variety of topics. Here are some highlights.

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From Army Brat to Business Owner

I was an “army brat,” Scott  begins, so moving around (in other words, frequent change) was his version of normal. In his teens he became a drummer and later gave college a go, but education was not his calling.

“I really wanted to pursue music and moved to LA to become a rock star.”

Of course, bursting onto the music scene takes time and the nineteen-year-old recognized the rent had to be paid.

“I don’t have a degree, so I’m taking any job I can. I play in a band, work in a warehouse, do whatever, until I stumbled onto adult video,” Scott continues.

He caught on with a distributor and spent a couple of years learning the business before his entrepreneurial instincts sensed bigger opportunities.

How did all this lead to becoming a respected company owner?

While still involved in the music industry (he cut a record), Scott wanted to start his own distribution company because adult film was becoming his future. Before long the next logical step was to produce his own content.

“I decide I wanted to go into making movies and I’m going to shoot with two cameras,” he says.

It was the 1990s and gonzo shooting, a POV style popularized by Evil Angel’s John Stagliano, dominated the market. Scott hitched his wagon to that train and turned out the award-winning Dirty Debutantes.

“I do all the interviews. I learned how to edit. I’m learning photography,” he mentions with a go-to pride.

Scott had a company in place: Video Virgins/New Sensations with Video Virgins being the pro-am package, he explains. At this point, the enterprise represented “a change between pro-am and a more gonzo related product,” he says, adding that Jewel De’Nyle was “our first contract girl.”

With New Sensations underway and more opportunity on the horizon, Scott and his business partner Joone initiate a new venture, Digital Playground (DP).

“We’re doing CD ROMs at the time and the business became moderately successful. I created a series called ‘Virtual Sex With.’ We shot Jenna Jameson as our first girl. It was interactive,” he explains, and relied on “new technology’ that involved switching  “between cameras.”

The result? More innovation.

“By the time I left Digital Playground the CD-ROM industry had been replaced by DVD. Digital Playground was a leader in the emerging DVD marketplace,” Scott adds.

Scott’s eye for talent was vital to his early success. He brought on Peter North and Nic Andrews, whom he recognizes as “an excellent filmmaker.” Working with the best behind the camera became a Scott Taylor trademark and, at that time, determined the future of New Sensations because it underscored “the difference between pro-am and becoming a gonzo/feature film company,” he proudly states.

Though I had several questions prepared for the interview, I let Scott Taylor’s passion for what he does take over and the outline of an adult film company’s evolution took shape.

Gonzo v. Feature

Scott and DP ultimately parted ways.

“I had controlling interest (in the company) when I left, but elected to take a buyout and start over. This was one of the best decisions of my career.”

The move allowed him to invest in a new enterprise, Digital Sin, to go along with the existing New Sensations. His maneuvering yielded a single entity he defines this way:

“Digital Sin is a DVD company releasing a New Sensations product.”

This transition allowed Scott to experiment with interactive video.

I inquire if the interactive idea is like today’s virtual reality.

“It is as best you could do at the time,” he says. The action is prerecorded obviously, but the control is left up to the viewer. In other words, Scott adds, “it’s POV, the intent is to make you think you’re in the scenario.”

He goes on to say that the shortcoming of interactive video reflects what virtual reality also currently lacks, the “touch and feel” that personalizes the viewing experience. Over time, Scott asserts, achieving this has been difficult and there is no guarantee for the future.

“Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t,” he comments.

At this point in New Sensation/Digital Sin’s development, Scott makes a market decision that defines what we see today.

“I decide that Digital Sin is going to become its own company. It’s going to produce its own series of movies and release them through New Sensations/Digital Sin.”

The result shaped his future because he determines that “Digital Sin will be gonzo driven, New Sensations more feature oriented.”

Bear in mind, however, that the business model is flexible. The company will stay fresh because sales will determine the direction of the collective product.

Either label will become more of what the other label is creating depending on what the customer wants, Scott explains. Originally Digital sin was more feature oriented and “rested on New Sensations’ shoulders.” Then it began “outselling New Sensations” and that sparked the necessary adjustments.

It’s All About Talent

To ensure a strong path, Scott brings in the best film making talent he can find because that ensures success.

“It’s important to me that the integrity of the company is maintained,” he says.

Incidentally, a high-quality product means one more thing to Scott.

“I’m very loyal. I attach myself to certain people even if they move on.”

He emphasizes the “excellent working relationship” he’s nurtured with “everyone who has passed through here” and stresses that friendships have remained in place.

“It’s been fantastic working with all these creative people” and when they go on to enhance their careers elsewhere, there’s no animosity on anyone’s part.

Lee Roy Myers

Like a proud parent, Scott Taylor runs through a list of porn talent that is recognizable across the industry landscape. Among them are Jonni Darkko, who started as a cameraman, Greg Lansky and Mike Adriano, whom Scott met at a European trade show.

“Mike is more the performer where Greg is more the director,” Scott interjects, offering them up as any porn company’s dream team.

Throw in Nacho Vidal, Jeff Mullen (aka Will Ryder), Lee Roy Myers, and Axel Braun, all award-winners with impeccable credentials, and you get a sense of Scott’s ability to find innovative talent.

That leads me to Jacky St. James and Eddie Powell.

Scott is eager to talk about both and that takes us to Part Two of this interview.

*          *          *

Some of the awards on display in Scott’s office

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The 2017 AEE Extravaganza: Part One

by Rich Moreland, February 2017

I just returned from my annual trip to Las Vegas for the adult industry trade show. As usual my photographer and I teamed with Steve Nelson, the editor of Adult Industry News, to cover as much as possible in our brief four days.

This post is the first of two parts and represents only a portion of what we recorded.

A note on the hyperlinks. If a company’s online home page displays hardcore photos, I did not include the hyperlink here as it may not be suitable for all readers.

Photos provided by AVN are credited where appropriate.

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58791f73e034c-avnshow

Trade shows are for networking, marketing new products, attending seminars, and in the case of the annual Adult Entertainment Extravaganza, oops, I mean Expo, canvassing porn talent.

This year’s show was one the best I’ve attended. Here are few highlights.

On the production side of the business, I had another opportunity to interview the always busy John Stagliano of Evil Angel. He gave me some thoughts on the incoming administration in Washington DC (my part of the country, by the way). Later in the week, John participated in a seminar on the same topic.

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As the week was winding down, I renewed acquaintances with Moose of Girlfriends Films. Though they no longer have a booth in the show, Girlfriends has upped its game on the distribution side of the business and Moose is in Vegas to refresh his industry contacts.

I’m always interested in emerging companies poised to make a splash with a new idea. One relatively recent player is Royal Empire Productions. I interviewed the owner, Robert Morgan, to get his take on what he calls “realistic porn.”

Upbeat

Negotiating The Joint and the Artist and Muse Halls on opening day was easy, the crowd was a little sparser than I anticipated. By week’s end the fan traffic picked up considerably and the show was bustling with an upbeat tempo.

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The refreshing part of the AEE experience is running into people unexpectedly. Here are a few examples of my week.

A text exchange led to breakfast with seasoned pro, Natasha Nice. We discussed the possibility of her writing a post or two for this blog.

Photo courtesy of AVN

Photo courtesy of AVN

The super fabulous Chanel Preston gave me a few impromptu moments as did the BBW April Flores when I found her chatting with friends near the AVN booth in Artist Hall.

A couple of times I stopped by Bang.com to pass time with the two legends of porn, Casey Calvert and Maddy O’Reilly.

Love these powerhouse girls.

Maddy and Casey Photo courtesy of AVN

Maddy and Casey
Photo courtesy of AVN

And, by the way, I visited with Chris Cane of Foxxx Modeling where I met a new girl who is bound to become a star, Emma Hix. My interview with this sweetie follows in another post.

Oh yes, timing sometimes fails me. I attempted to persuade a hurried Riley Reid to pause for a “hello” but I might as well have tried to hail a bullet train!

New Face of Porn

A new girl is solidifying her place in porn: the webcam honey. This year’s AEE rolled out the welcome mat for these dynamos who float between real hardcore and solo performances via computer, all in direct connection with their fans. MyFreeCams and Chaturbate seduced show goers with face-to-face fun.

Emma Chase Photo courtesy of AVN

Emma Chase
Photo courtesy of AVN

I met Emma Chase, a Chaturbate girl who stopped me for a moment to demonstrate with her computer how our conversation was soaring through cyberspace. Emma lists her talents as simply “entertainer.”  She’s a delight and if Chaturbate is your thing, go to Google and search her out.

Likewise a goth looker named Eliza Bathory, who markets herself as a model, camgirl, and artist, was at her laptop among the horde of Chaturbate girls. Since I’m fascinated by facial piercing (Eliza has a bunch) I promised to return later to get an interview. Unfortunately, she disappeared into the nether regions of the show. Very Dracula-like.

2017-01-18-09-59-36For the oglers, the Chaturbate crowd had the distinction of being the least dressed. Lots of flesh with pasties all around.

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VR

From the marketing side, let’s not forget VR. The Cam4VR booth offered a rousing example of what the whole virtual reality thing is all about; it’s the wave of the future.

Photo courtesy of AVN

Photo courtesy of AVN

I interviewed Ela Darling and among her many talents is a love of VR.

ela4“I am the ‘Queen of VR Porn,'” Ela says, “and the leading voice in the VR industry for the adult industry. I speak at conferences all over the world. People in that space really make room for me. They respect the work that I do, they respect us as an industry and understand that we are an important for the future of VR.”

Direct engagement with the fan is where porn is going in this age of social media, Ela explains.

“We just launched Cam4VR this past year. I’m the world’s first VR camgirl. We’re getting ready to introduce a new camera that’s really cool and a voice-to-voice experience and a private chat network. When you put on that headset, you speak. The performer hears and gets right back [to you].”

Rearrangement

From year to year, the AEE rearranges its spaces to maximize the fan experience. The most obvious this year involved the setup for BDSM enthusiasts.

Photo courtesy of AVN

Photo courtesy of AVN

The bondage carnival known as The Lair relocated from the second level of The Joint to the floor of Artist Hall, a move I’m sure to increase its visibility and fan traffic.

BDSM equipment and a demonstration or two (All models were fully dressed, there was more flesh on a Chaturbate girl!) highlighted its activities.

Lastly, every year I come away with the same thought on the show. Artist and Muse Halls are easier to negotiate than the tight spaces of The Joint. Being a bit claustrophobic, I do appreciate the efforts of AVN to keep movement as smooth as possible!

Stay tuned for part two of this report.

Easy entrance into the show Photo courtesy of AVN

An easy and convenient entrance into the show
Photo courtesy of AVN

 

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Under the Radar: Karlie Montana, Part 2

by Rich Moreland, November 2014

Karlie Montana Photo courtesy of naughtyamerica.com

Karlie Montana
Photo courtesy of naughtyamerica.com

In the porn business, most shooting falls into two general categories: gonzo or all-sex being the first and features with plot, acting, and high levels of production values the second. Some performers think of themselves as “gonzo girls,” but Karlie Montana values not being typecast. What she does prefer is for director’s chair to relax during the sex scenes, giving the green light to the performers get into each other.

Allow the Sex to Flow

“My biggest pet peeve is when the sex is controlled and directed,” she says. Nevertheless, her work ethic reflects a consummate professional and Karlie recognizes that good directing will produces “the best that is porn.”

As for gonzo, the Arizona native has her own definition that closely mirrors the industry standard established years ago by Evil Angel‘s John Stagliano. It means “free-flowing sex that usually allows you to acknowledge that the camera is there,” Karlie states, adding that the POV (point of view) scenes are some of her favorites to shoot. But her affection for the challenges presented by the feature is never far away.

“As a performer I enjoy shooting features because I love acting and dialogue and a rhyme and reason behind the sex.” “Produced role play scenes,” as she describes them, are particularly invigorating for Karlie. If in doubt, take a look at her performance in one of this year’s AVN nominated films, Shades of Scarlet. She is superb in a finely written and directed story by Mike Quasar.

In truth, Karlie considers herself to be “a Jane of all Trades,” an attitude that ensures steady work. “I’ll give you any style scene you want,” she beams.

The " Jane of all Trades" Photo courtesy of juliland.com

The ” Jane of all Trades”
Photo courtesy of juliland.com

A ten-year career is testament to flexibility and an unbridled enthusiasm that splashes across the screen in a Karlie Montana shoot. Take a moment to check the Adult Video News list of nominated scenes for the upcoming 2014 porn awards in Las Vegas. Karlie is honored in two group scenes: Best All Girl Group Sex Scene in Anikka 2 with Anikka Albrite and Dani Daniels, and Best Group Sex Scene in King James with porn heart throb James Deen and superstars Veruca James, Dani Daniels, Maddy O’Reilly and Penny Pax.

Regardless of the porn genre, when the sex starts, Karlie’s professionalism takes over. Her favorite directors “allow the sex to flow,” she says. Simply put, “the people that allow me to enjoy the sex and have real orgasms are the people I love working for.”

Smiling, Karlie applies an exclamation point. “I do love to bounce into the sex!” And she carries her joy to the other side of the camera. As a director, she knows that to get the best out of performers, let them have sex “however they want to.” In short, “give them sexual freedom!”

Easily Bruised

As times have changed, so has commercialized filmed pornography. Today’s adult business has experienced an upswing in fetish filming and Karlie is ready to do her part. She loves shooting scenes with foot fetishes, pantyhose, and rope play.

But what happens when the page is turned to the rougher sex of bondage porn?

“I love bondage! I have shot plenty of it!” Karlie exclaims. No doubt it would be difficult to find a lovelier model to play a submissive role.

Asked about BDSM porn’s giant, Kink.com, the Valley girl admits never having journeyed to San Francisco to lay herself out in their rough dungeon sex. “I’d like to though,” she comments. “Just got to make sure I don’t get marked up (a common concern girls have in shooting at the Armory). I tend to bruise easily.”

Damsel in Distress. Photo courtesy of antonvideo.com

Damsel in Distress.
Photo courtesy of antonvideo.com

Karlie does have another concern were she to go to Kink. “I usually shoot ‘damsel in distress’ or forced orgasms because it’s hard for me to submit to people. I usually just start laughing which I was told is a way to try and keep control.” Quite possibly. A popular Kink performer a few years ago used laughing as a way to taunt her Doms, so it is not unheard of and a way of topping from the bottom.

Should the fan watch Shades of Scarlet, Karlie’s scene with James Deen and Skin Diamond, both Kink veterans, is noteworthy. Any sense of reluctance on Karlie’s part as a submissive is muted and her enjoyment of girl/girl action fills the screen.

Finally, this statuesque model comments that she is particularly fond of reality porn, one of the newer adult subgenres that mimics mainstream TV. Allow performers to mix it up and do anything that comes to mind. Karlie maintained her website for XxxFastPass network where she shot her own content along with porn actor, Voodoo, recognized as one of the highest paid men in the business. “Our style was reality porn” which she defines as “uncut and unscripted.”

We All Live on the Edge

Every performer has advice for a new girl and Karlie’s is spot on. Foremost, she wants a porn hopeful to understand that success and survival hinges on attitude. “You don’t have to do anything just because your agent or the business tells you to,” Karlie says firmly. Most often that revolves around rough sex, gang bangs, anal, bondage, and other hard-edged shooting demands. Caution is always advised because emotional ruin can crush a girl whose psyche is fragile.

“There is a career in girl/girl only, so never feel pressured to progress if you’re not ready,” Karlie insists. Her emphasis is on the word “progress” because building a lasting porn career is like constructing a house. Start with the foundation and move upward and then into the interior.

Karlie’s porn lesson stresses another consideration. “Save your money,” she says, because a career is too often brief and don’t neglect to buy your domain and “auction your clothes.” Everything produces an income.

Finally, we chat about controversial issues that swirl around the industry, the first being the condom debate. Karlie is blunt.

“When I was doing boy/girl I hated using condoms. It hurt to have aggressive sex for long amounts of time,” especially when some of the guys are so large. Her objections address the downside of protective barriers on a porn set, latex abrasion. For some girls, repeated penetrations, particularly if the shoot is both anal and vaginal, take a toll on the body.

The look of a confident porn veteran. Photo courtesy of twistys.com

A determined porn veteran who know her own mind.
Photo courtesy of twistys.com

Karlie pauses a moment to re-frame her thoughts into a political comment. “I don’t think it is fair to force me to use a condom when people in regular life aren’t forced to do the same.” She mentions the two-week testing protocol the industry uses and emphasizes that “if I want to take that risk it is my decision as well as my responsibility to stay healthy.”

Testing carries over the next issue, escorting, an industry complication that creates a social stigma among performers.

Karlie stands with Chanel Preston, an industry vet who supports performers opting for paid sex beyond the camera but challenges them to be aware of how their ancillary business affects others. “I do support a girl’s choice to escort because I don’t believe in telling someone how to live,” Karlie declares. But she insists that escorting brings responsibility. A girl should be “smart enough to have her clients screened,” know who her johns are, and insist they use a condom. “Sex will always be a risk,” Karlie admits, and it’s unfair to condemn escorting when “hooking up with civilians is ok.”

“Sex is sex,” she says, “whether money is exchanged or not.”

Of course, the danger is bringing an STD onto the set and into the tested performer pool—the point of those who condemn escorting. It ratchets up everyone’s risk. But Karlie extends the argument further. She is critical of the industry’s concept of safe sex, or as some put it, safer sex. It’s “bogus,” the longtime veteran insists, because it is incomplete. Performers are “only tested for a few things,” she adds, and HPV, for example, is not one of them. Yet performers have a “ridiculous false sense of security.”

In the final analysis, when it comes to sexual behavior, Karlie concedes, “We all live on the edge in one way or another.” Perhaps the public should listen to the wisdom of porn girls more often.

*          *          *          *          *

Karlie Montana is described as an “unsung” performer in the industry. What does the label mean to her?  She answers with a bit of humor. “To me ‘unsung’ means under the radar or unnoticed. And, since I’ve been in the business and a ton of people haven’t heard of me . . . well that’s why.”
Put anonymity aside and discover this luscious and provocative woman. Watch her at work. You’ll fall in love with a dynamic, smart, and talented personality packaged in the most classical and sculpted body in adult film. Guaranteed. . . !

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A Bad Deal

by Rich Moreland, February, 2013

“Cancer is a rollercoaster, but he’s ridden with grace, dignity, and great good humor.”

These are the words of Melissa Palmer, Christian Mann’s support person, passionate companion, and overall good hope. She is gracious beyond belief in answering my recent inquiry about Christian’s health.

I’ve not known Christian Mann very long, having met him just a few months ago. In an earlier blog entry, “Deeper into Their Fantasies,” posted December 22 of last year, I recount my adventure at Evil Angel’s L.A. offices where I interviewed Christian. He set aside an hour of his time, but we went way over. He was more than generous with his thoughts and patience in helping me with what I wanted to know.

Of our conversation, what sticks in my mind is the image of Christian impersonating the late Reuben Sturman, one of the most colorful characters ever in the adult business. One day in 1987, Rueben called Christian into his office for a quick meeting. Using his pen as a cigar to flavor the story, Christian imitates the legend’s unique style. He leans forward and with captivating humor quotes Reuben’s advice on the best way to regard a proposed deal.

“No deal is better than a bad deal,” Christian says, never imagining that a nasty deal is already on his doorstep. Christian explains that Reuben’s advice was invaluable because “a young man’s instinct is to force a deal.” Christian has learned the patience needed to take his time.

Before I leave Evil Angel, we arrange to meet again in Las Vegas during the Adult Entertainment Expo. I have ideas in mind for my next book and I want his input.

Christian and I meet again on the convention floorPhoto Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.

Christian and I meet again on the convention floor
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Fast forward to Wednesday of convention week, Christian invites me to the Evil Angel suite after floor hours to chat. John Stagliano sticks around and joins the conversation. It is, as the TV commercials say, ‘priceless.’

The rewards for the evening are all mine. I get a copy of Voracious and have the pleasure of reviewing it for my blog and Adult Industry News. But most important, my photographer takes a classic shot of Christian, John, and a life size poster of iconic performer Bobbi Starr.

In the blog post about my visit to the Evil Angel suite (“As the Night Settles In,” January 28, 2013) the photo is there. It is also ‘priceless’ and will remain in my personal inventory for a lifetime.

Christian in the suitePhoto Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Christian in the suite
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

But there is an ominous presence in the room that night.

Christian is using a cane and mentions almost apologetically that he has back pain and needs help to ease his getting around. I sense something is wrong and it eats at me for the rest of the week.

Then quicker than a wink at a pretty girl, the announcement knocks the industry for a loop a few days later. Christian is seriously ill.

I am shocked and share the news with Bobbi Starr, who is equally stunned.

So, where are we now?

Having heard nothing for a couple of weeks and doing a good bit of worrying, I contact Melissa. Meeting her on that fateful evening turns into good fortune multiplied in spades. She is upbeat and looking forward to a positive swing of events that further marches Christian to a cure. She also alerts me to Christian’s newly created blog, http://www.christianmann.com/, to keep everyone informed of his progress.

As I sit here a continent away from Los Angeles, I know Christian’s response to this new very personal bad deal is to figure out a way to come out on top. Cancer can be conquered with a positive attitude and the support of friends vital armor in the battle.

Keep Christian in your thoughts or prayers, whatever your preference.

By the way, I’m due to make another trip west within a few months and I fully expect to visit a healthy Christian Mann. After all, he is destined to show Reuben Sturman how to overcome a bad deal.

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With Girlfriends, it’s all Sex-Positive

By Rich Moreland, February 2013

Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Not every pornographer shoots sex for sex’s sake. Dan O’Connell, founder and owner of Girlfriends Films, does more than direct a sex scene just because he’s hired a couple of girls and has a camera. “I think the context of sex is important,” he says, explaining there must be a reason for the girls to explore each other in a Girlfriends production.

His formula works. The company is widely known in the industry for creating film narratives with a purpose. Like many studio owners, Dan emphasizes production values that reflect his personal tastes. In this case, he prefers “a dramatic storyline full of tension and anticipation.” Dan O’Connell is much like Evil Angel’s John Stagliano, though their movies differ in style and subject matter. Each man puts his passion on film. He knows what he likes and he has cultivated an audience who enjoys his offerings.

Girlfriends Films advertises its product as lesbian oriented though the company recently hired Vivid veteran Michael Bisco to develop boy/girl shoots.

Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Right now, Dan hopes to complete at least one a month. His objective has always been to produce films for women, but he realizes that male viewers can also find space under the Girlfriends’ umbrella.

Seduction is a key word at Girlfriends Films. As mentioned above, Dan O’Connell wants to move past just shooting sex. He amusingly puts it this way, Girlfriends avoids the “’I like you, oh, I like you, too. Let’s go have sex,’” theme.

However, seduction translates into a different approach when it comes to filming. Dan is always on scene, but he minimizes his crew for the sake of the performers he hires. He wants everyone to be at ease, otherwise seduction isn’t going to happen, or if it does, it will lose any claim to authenticity.

“I don’t have any more people in the room than we have cameras,” Dan says. For him, three is the limit. Speaking of the crew, its Dan and two girls who happen to be gay.

Why? It’s a simple consideration when working in an industry that demands a performer’s most intimate moments. “Some of the girls we shoot are relatively inexperienced in the business and we don’t want to make them nervous with a bunch of guys looking around,” Dan explains. When girls get aroused they must keep in mind that the cameras have monitors. Important, Dan insists, because “If you are not looking in the camera monitor, you are not making a good movie.” All very professional, keeping everyone on task and producing content that elevates a business’s reputation.

Legacy and Integrity

When I asked for his mission statement, Dan beams. “To provide orgasms, to make people happy!”

“Our industry is all about providing happiness and contentment and sexual satisfaction,” Dan says, “we are not here to rape and pillage.”

Dan O'ConnellPhoto Courtesy of 3 hattergrindhouse

Dan O’Connell
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Then he adds something I’ve rarely heard in the industry, a sense of legacy.

“When pornography is finally a legitimate business,” Dan says, “I want people to look back and say GirlFriends Films was one of those companies that was sex-positive.” When I mention that the label sex-positive makes his company feminist oriented, he responds with a smile then puts a slightly different spin on what he means by the term.

Dan urges the adult business to strive for a sex-positive goal because “as an industry we should be respected, not vilified the way we often are.” It’s about integrity, something Girlfriends Films has solidified as part of its brand.

Girlfriends has a “clean reputation,” Dan believes, and in the porn world such an accolade does not come without effort. One might suspect that as owner he collects sexual perks for himself. Not so, Dan does not hang out with the girls who film for him. That’s important, he points out, because “you will gain their respect and they’ll want to work with you” if they are treated like the professionals they are.  And there’s another benefit, the performers who shoot for Dan bring other models to his attention.

“I always am very respectful of the girls,” Dan says and explains that porn performers are top notch in his view. He describes them as “physically strong, mentally strong, very resourceful,” plus they are intelligent and educated. “At least the ones we use,” he notes.

I would agree. The Girlfriends booth at the Hard Rock Hotel is always busy with girls signing and talking with fans. Dan’s popularity among the talent is obvious. Other studios may have two or three performers available at any one time but Girlfriends has twice that number. Also, a company person is always around to schedule interviews for journalists or other interested parties. I secured my interview with Dana DeArmond through a simple hassle free request, something that is not always the case with other studios. In short, it’s about access and Dan knows how to make that work for him.

When I got to know Dan O’Connell better (we talked again the next day) I felt comfortable using Girlfriends as a place for brief timeouts from my hectic floor schedule. Anyone who plans to go to Vegas for the Adult Entertainment Expo should stop by Girlfriends. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. I can assure any visitor that he or she will always feel invited.

Over the years, the adult business has changed for Dan. He used to be more into shooting a scene than writing one, but no more. “I get more excited writing scripts,” he says. Dan likes developing new ideas and testing out innovative story possibilities. As a writer, I can fully understand his view. Dan prefers storytelling to the task of getting just the right shot on set. Filming is hard work and has its rewards, but it doesn’t compare with inventing content, especially considering that Girlfriends shoots as many as thirty scenes a month. For Dan O’Connell the business is twenty-four seven.

In our conversations Dan reveals a philosophical side. He has definitive views on society’s attitude toward sex and porn. “The sex industry should be enormous,” he says, considering that everyone is concerned about sex in some way. Seems logical to me, sex is about our humanness. However, when it comes to the adult convention—the yearly occasion that sex takes center stage—Dan points out that reality paints a different picture.

Unfortunately, today’s market downturn crams the annual gathering into the confining spaces of the Hard Rock. I suggest that the hotel’s venues get crowded on fan days and Dan nods, mentioning that Girlfriends’ booth is deliberately located in the back of the ballroom where space is more available. In fact, he has added another booth just to make room for the company’s fans. Dan doesn’t want them to get “stacked up” while waiting to meet their favorite stars.

As I hinted above, it was a real help to me as I used the Girlfriends space to meet up with people, so my thanks to Dan.

Dan O’Connell makes a final point as we wrap up our talk. “People look at us (the porn industry) based on what they perceive to be the worse content.” Elaborating further, he believes that the vilest material that “disrespects women and causes pain” is it what the public believes the industry to be. Perception without a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of what it means to be in pornography is a problem the business has never been able to shake. But Dan insists that scenario can be changed.

I could not agree more and Dan O’Connell contributes mightily to that effort. He’s one of the good guys and his company is well respected in the universe of filmed pornography. With Girlfriends, it’s all very professional and sex-positive.

 

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Borrowing a Little from Bach

by Rich Moreland, February 2013

A final word about the making of this film: the movie is a collaborative project, as I have mentioned previously. Performers Lea Lexis and Brooklyn Lee contributed to the script with Lexis doing the make-up and acting as co-producer for the scenes shot in Budapest. Here is a look at the last episode, “Es ist Vollbracht!”

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The alliance of Father Zoltan and Adriana is in place in the final episode. Their first task is to dispense with the Amira issue. In a scene that is reminiscent of the final chapter in Pauline Reage’s the Story of O, Amira enters a room wearing a mask, the kind found at costume balls. Zoltan is in the background chanting in German.

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“Es ist vollbracht” is heard. The phrase comes from Bach’s St. John Passion and references Christ’s final dying words on the cross. “It is accomplished, what comfort for all suffering souls.” Will Amira return to the living and finally see the sun?

IMG_9563Ritual highlights the scene. Before the ceremony begins, a male blood slave is presented for Adriana’s inspection. Zoltan’s chanting continues as Adriana removes Amira’s mask. Her fangs come out to let the viewer know this is a vampire inspired rite. The act is an unveiling, recalling the Jewish practice of recognizing death. Amira will now grow old and die as a human when the ceremony is completed.

Adriana rips off Amira’s talisman, a circle of green stone she wears around her neck. The type of stone is not clear, but it is emerald-like which carries a water reference. The water motif appears throughout the film as would be expected. It is the symbol of life and rebirth. Shortly the holy water of the church and will play a role in this scene. Incidentally, a talisman is invested with power by its creator. To remove it ends its ability to protect the wearer.

Amira is impassive and in a trance-like state. Manuel supports her from behind as she bends over on top of a platform, her face against the cloth cover, her buttocks raised.

Waiting

Waiting

Adriana’s fangs tell us that we will see the passing of a vampire’s existence in a rite conducted by a vampire.

A satanic guttural voice over is heard. Manuel puts a glass tube shaped like a dildo into Amira’s anus through which holy water will be poured.

Preparation

Steeling the Will to Endure the Pain

With each new application of the water, Amira screams and howls in agony. Like a rite of passage, the water flows into the canal of immortality as it exists in the vampire world. Amira’s site of much sexual satisfaction is now purified of its vampire longing and lust.

Zoltan drives his red crucifix into Amira’s rectum to seal the deal. It is done. Adriana turns to the priest and gives him a kiss.

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The scene shifts to a countryside inn. Morning is breaking and Manuel and Amira are together.

The Lovers

The Lovers

The sex scene in this version is much tamer than others in the film for now we see a love story. At one point Manuel takes Amir to the huge window that looks eastward, bathing her in sunlight. As a reminder that the past is just that, or so the viewer is led to believe, Amira slides down below the window sill with the back of her head against the wall. In a replay of her encounter with Zoltan in front of the Victory Column, she orally satisfies her lover.

The golden angel on the column is replaced with the rising sun.

The Princess sees the Sun

The Princess sees the Sun

The sex continues and is a reminder of the gentler kind found in couples’ porn. Amira has equality with Manuel. Her body is not used for the pleasure of vampires, but enjoys its own pleasuring. The room continually brightens as the sun streams in. All is well, right?

Not quite, because there is a shocker to come before this film is finished. How did Amira became a vampire? What of the conspiracy? Where does Vlad fit into the story’s larger reality now that Adriana has freed Amira? Will the vampires pursue the lovers in an act of revenge? You will have to see for yourself.

To borrow a little from Bach, I’ve accomplished my task. The rest is up to you.

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Before departing from this tale, a brief salutation to the women who make this adult film a real treat. Evil Angel relied on European talent for the most part and the overseas pool of performers is well stocked. By the way, I’ve heard from some girls in the biz that the glam shots are sometimes the toughest to do.

Kudos to this group.

Ivana Sugar, Lea Lexis, Sandra Romain, Brooklyn Lee, and the Buddha

Ivana Sugar, Lea Lexis, Sandra Romain, Brooklyn Lee, and the Buddha

In the recent Adut Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, the film was represented by Brooklyn and Lea.

Getting Ready for the Awards CeremonyPhoto courtesy of AVN

Getting Ready for the Awards Ceremony
Photo courtesy of AVN

 

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A Bell Tolls

by Rich Moreland, February 2013

This episode is about the attempted seduction of Manuel into the clan. Amira demonstrates an inner resolve that has not been seen up to this point. John Stagliano’s script and visualization of the sex in this segment of Voracious is superb and that is saying much considering the scenes that have come before it. This episode is titled “Who Is This Guy?”

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Adriana meets Manuel in the train station to take him ostensibly to see Amira.

Manuel Meets Adriana Again

Manuel Meets Adriana Again

When they arrive at the warehouse where the vampires are camped out, the ever-present Dracu rides up on his motorcycle and stares at Manuel.

“Who is this guy?” he growls, directing his comment to Adriana.

Dracu Wants to Know Who Manuel Is

Dracu Wants to Know Who Manuel Is

“I told you we needed more men,” she answers sweetly and without a hint of deference in her voice. “Let’s go,” she says to Manuel, walking briskly away from a curious Dracu.

Dracu is annoyed and somewhat suspicious about Adriana’s motives. The viewer now realizes she is typical of the female vampires in the clan. They pull no punches when they voice their demands and have little time for Dracu’s bullying. Once again, John Stagliano shows that women are a powerful force in an Evil Angel film.

From here the scene takes on a host of images and meanings. Manuel enters the room where the action of this episode takes place where Amira is waiting in a black bikini styled for BDSM lovers. Fleeting moments of past sexual encounters flash on the screen.

The Vampires Prepare to Move Manuel

The Vampires Prepare to Move in on Manuel

Manuel is surrounded by female vampires: the Vampire Mistress, Ivana Sugar’s newly anointed vampire, Adriana, and Amira who exists in a sort of vampire purgatory. It’s a replay of his first encounter in the L.A. house.

This time there will be more profound implications that move past an introduction into the vampire world.

A Test for Amira

The seduction begins with the grainy black and white quality reminiscent of the stag films of yesteryear. Once more the music is rhythmical with a dreamlike tonality. The scene is shrouded in darkness similar to the night in the park that first introduced Father Zoltan. Having served as an emissary and suspiciously active as a conspirator, Adriana withdraws. Amira is again cut out of the action. While the vampires lustfully gaze at Manuel, Amria’s face is blanketed with apprehension and uncertainty.

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Through the flashbacks, John Stagliano will bring together the previous episodes allowing the viewer to peek into the minds of the characters.

Sometimes in modern pornography, the sex becomes tediously repetitive. Not so in this Evil Angel epic. Stagliano offers enough freshness with each filmed sequence to keep his audience entertained.

Intermingling Before an Ancient Philosophy

Intermingling

The remainder of this episode is a test for Amira who watches Manuel’s seduction.

She enters, exits, and reenters the room but does not participate in the three-way scene. At one point she glides in and sits on the couch where the action is taking place. With hesitancy she reaches out to touch Manuel’s foot. He is unaware of her presence, but she is very cognizant of the potential loss she confronts.

Amira Reaches Out

Amira Reaches Out

Her movements in and out of the scene are instantaneous, a reminder that the undead occupy an ethereal existence beyond humans.

Whenever Amira is present, a series of flashbacks pop up. Her plea to Vlad to see the sun super cedes all the others in its intensity. Manuel’s sweat soaked face as he is orally stimulated in real time is superimposed over a cum filled Amria’s as she grovels before Vlad. Later images of Amira and Manuel, faces nuzzling, appear on screen. The flashbacks are visually filmy and fragile, memories alive with feeling but questionable in their authenticity. Vampire seduction takes place in an unreal world, doesn’t it?

That will shape the dramatic ending to this episode.

The sex acted out here brings to bear a philosophical conundrum. John Stagliano has a way of reinforcing his script with visual comments that give the viewer a deeper understanding of his message. He selects images, like the Victory Column, the steel ladder in front of the coffins, and the priest’s red crucifix, to persuade the audience to watch the film in a more profound way. In this case, a new image is on tap: the face of a magnificent ebony Buddha, a passive monitor positioned behind the couch where the sex takes place. In this episode, faces express the story.

Voracious reinforces that porn often crosses over into art.

The Bhudda Watches

The Buddha Watches

An ancient philosophy, Buddhism teaches that desire causes suffering and when desire is conquered, enlightenment is achieved. The vampires suffer because of their blood lust and the unrelenting and never ending pursuit to satisfy it. Doomed to an existence of frustration and an insatiable carnality that consumes them, the vampires will never be freed of physical need. Their existence is in a reverse reality where any hope of paradise will elude them forever; their immortality is dark, haunting, and hungry.

As Buddha believed, to be is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth with torment and anguish to be endured before the cycle comes again. It is cleansing process that leads down the path of enlightenment. Vampires are indeed reborn, but into a black, heinous eternity that floats between the joys and vagaries of humanity and paradise. They can finally die, by sunlight or a stake through heart in traditional tales, or Vlad’s wrath in this story. But rebirth to eventual perfection is not in the cards, an undisturbed peace is their only hope.

So John Stagliano presents the viewer with a paradoxical and insoluble problem that cannot be solved. He lets us know that a vampire’s fate is condemnation in the Christian doctrine and a failure to achieve perfection in Buddha’s teaching. But angels do prevail . . . sometimes . . . as Voracious wants us to consider.

After Manuel is sated and exhausted, the Vampire Mistress moves in for the kill. The fangs come out and soon he will not see the sun. Now Amira’s test steps to the forefront.

Manuel Is Under the Bite

Manuel Is Under the Bite

Manuel’s seduction is hard-hitting and the scene closes with a powerful image. The Vampire Mistress is visually captured with the Buddha behind her, lording over the most dramatic and artistic scene in the film. Proof positive that John Stagliano is a filmmaker first who has chosen pornography as his artistic venue.

Bhudda Challenges the Vampire Mistress

Buddha Challenges the Vampire Mistress

As we know, sex is accompanied by sound and in this case it brings closure to an emotional episode. A bell, like those found in village churches, tolls in the background, but for whom?

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