January 27, 2007

Back From Sin City

No, I wasn’t lying about NOT having gone to Vegas for the show. I didn’t and, from what I’ve heard, I didn’t miss shit. (”Jackshit,” as the late Jim Holliday was fond of saying.)

But I did go to Vegas this past week which, I guess, was a week or so after the show. I went there for some photo shoots, stayed for four-days and, I gotta say, it was way more fun going to Vegas without the show going on then going there during the show.

For starters, my accomodations consisted of a bedroom, a bathroom, and the run of the house in a 7,000 (+) sq. ft. home in a very private, gated, community with residents that include people with last names like Maloof, Wynn, Agassi, and Brunei… as in the Sultan of Brunei.

I ain’t saying the place I crashed at was anything as luxurious and high-end as the Sultan’s pad–make that the Sultan’s gated compound within the larger gated compound where I stayed–but my digs were pretty freakin’ nice nonetheless.

I’ll tell you something else, when you’re with people who live in Vegas–who live really well in Vegas–you eat at places you never heard of and go to places you’ve never been to before. Yeah, I’ve dined at “The Prime” at the Bellagio and at other upscale restaurants in Vegas but, trust me, as really fine as those joints are, there are places off the strip and hidden away that some people know about that serve food and provide service and ambience even more memorable.

Anyway, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so I’m not going to say much more. The hot babe in the photo is Devin. She’s not really a Blackjack dealer and I shot a whole bunch of different sets of Devin– with and without clothes, of course. BTW, you might be hearing about (and seeing more of) Devin in the near future… and I ain’t just talking about soft-core stills.

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January 17, 2007

AEE: More Views From Afar

The AEE show is history. No, I don’t mean the AEE show is done, for good, but it’s over for this year. I should mention, however, that a source (who speaks regularly with people of considerable juice in this industry) tells me more than a few believe there won’t be an AEE in two years or so, leastwise, there won’t be an AEE show that resembles the AEE show we’ve all come to love and hate.

Regarding the Stu Wall incident, the overwhelming response I’m hearing is, “It was long overdue.” And it wasn’t overdue because of shit like accusations regarding pricing. BTW, here’s my take on the pricing thing: If people are going to start physically fighting over $4 and $5 pricing, there’s gonna be a rumble in Porn Valley. A big rumble! If anyone thinks dumping product into the marketplace at cut-rate prices are isolated practices of a very few companies I’ve got some dry, river-bed, property in Death Valley for sale I’d like to speak to you about.

I’m told the awards show was, as usual, highly forgetable. In this year’s ititeration, the venue was Mandalay Bay’s big, gymnasium-like, auditorium. From what I’ve been told, the masses, i.e., the masses of fans, didn’t exactly show up and pack the place full. I’m told about half the seats in the stands were empty. Congratz to Eli/Bryn, Bo, and everyone else associated with the flick, Corruption, for its wins. In fact, congratz to all the winners. Your trophies won’t put an extra dime in your pockets but you get some decent bragging rights, at least amongst your peers in the biz.

Speaking of Bo Kenney, Bo’s observations, as reported recently on AdultFYI, regarding the current state of health of the DVD and cable sides of the business represents the first-time a major distributor/producer has come out and spoken so candidly about its truly lackluster performance and glum outlook for the future. If you know Bo, you know that, for better or for worse, he’s an outspoken guy.

Here’s a bit of what Bo had to say: “What’s happened is that a lot of the producers treated as secondary income things like Internet, iPods and cell phones. So, they never really concentrated on it. Now DVD sales are in a rapid decline because there is so much out there in other mediums. When you talk about the Internet there is just so much you can get for free why would people pay for it? All the money is being sucked out.

“I’ll give you another example. We have a movie called ‘Desperate Housewives’ that played on a cable system. There were 86,000 plays in two months; it generated $1.2 million revenue for the cable company and of that Sex Z pictures got $7,000. The cable operators kept every bit of the money. It is a crime. It is the same way in hotel rooms. They have a monopoly and we don’t have a free market to sell our goods in. Eventually the major players in the adult industry are going to need to sue the cable companies because that is the only way. Mainstream operators would never put up with what we are going through. In cable you want to sell your goods there is only 5 people you could sell to and they all have the same price. It is hitting every company here. As producers we can’t control our content and as a result our revenues are starting to fall apart. It is a tough business right now.”

Couldn’t agree with you more, Bo.

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January 13, 2007

The 2007 AEE Show - A View From Afar

I can’t provide any first-hand info on the show as I opted not to attend this year. Why? A combination of stuff: 1) For the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve always wished I had stayed home after a day or two; 2) the money spent, at least for me, hasn’t (in the last few years) balanced out in terms of ROI; 3) I’m tired of coming home from the show with Vegas-Voice and then getting the flu or some other bullshit a couple of weeks later; and 4) I had some other, personal, stuff to do that was more important than walking around the show-room floor, getting bumped and jostled by a bunch of over-zealous fan-boys and then watching everyone get way too fucked up at night and acting like idiots or worse.

I have gotten a number of phone calls from friends who are attending. Here’s what they’re saying: “It’s kind of low-key,” and “It’s about 50-60% smaller than last year,” and “The hospitality suites are the “new” thing and more than a few companies are going that route rather than putting up a booth on the show floor.” I can’t absolutely vouch for what my friends are saying. Like I said, I’m not there.

I thought I was going to go through some kind of mini-depression over not attending for the first time in well over a decade. That hasn’t happened. Not even a little bit. I can’t even say I’m feeling a bit “wistful” about not being there. If anything and in some ways, it feels empowering to say, “Screw the show!” I ain’t going.

There was a time when going to “the show” was just about the most fun thing anyone in porn could do. That was then and this is now. The show hasn’t been balls-out fun since everyone quit staying or hanging-out at the Rio.

The awards show was never been much fun to attend. It just drones on and on and on. The few times others convinced me to attend, I quickly realized that, no matter how hard it tries, the jizz biz can’t hardly do anything that comes close to actual, mainstream-calibre, entertainment; whether making flicks or putting on awards shows. I avoided it most years, even when I was nominated for shit like “Best Director.” Bestowing awards for stuff like taking it in the ass is not an award-worthy human accomplishment. “A” scenes might make guys’ dicks hard and it might sell more product but it’s not something you hand out a trophy for doing. It’s absurd to think otherwise.

This year’s awards show has changed venues and will include a couple of thousand fans in the audience. Whether that means the show will suddenly be fun and “special” to attend or it will be more of a circus than ever remains to be seen.

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January 2, 2007

The Strength of the Biz

Recently, the New York Times published an article they titled, “The Graying of Porn.” In it, the NYT focused on graying performers like Dave Cummings, De’Bella, and Vicky Vette. Personally, I think they missed the boat with that headline.

“The Graying of Porn,” from where I sit, could have been more interesting if it focused on the geriatric condition of the industry as a whole. That’s not to say the peformers the NYT profiled aren’t interesting people– they are in their own rights. But the media, for the most part, still seems to think the jizz biz is a financially robust industry.

That’s not to say there aren’t companies and people still making serious dough off of porn. There are. But the halcyon days of X=Cash are bygone. With the exception of a few diehard cheerleaders, I think most people in the biz are aware of this and will freely admit it, albeit in privacy.

Wholesale prices have gone steadily into the toilet, at home and abroad… moreso abroad. Peer-to-peer file sharing is a bigger threat than piracy. The newest content delivery systems don’t pay squat back to producers. DVD buyers stretch out payments for longer periods than ever before. Producers are chopping up their content more ways than the meat-packing industry processes a pig and, in so doing, the same content is being dumped into the marketplace over and over with not-so-subtle variations in its presentation.

Welcome to 2007.

The fine and fit babe in the pic at the top is Katarina Kat.

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