December 12, 2006

On the Set Report: Enrico Vega’s Sexpload


Can lightning strike twice? New York–based porn star Enrico Vega sure hopes so. A veteran of more than 50 films over the past six years, Vega is producing and directing the second feature for his own Enrico Vega Productions. The first film, The Adventures of Enrico Vega, was nominated for two GAYVN Awards, so the stakes are high as he prepares for the release of Sexpload.

On a rainy Saturday in June on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Vega is getting ready to shoot the final scene for the movie. And he is basically a one-man band. He has created a set with black fabric in a corner of his living room, set up lights and is waiting for his cast. “I decided to use a simple set for this movie so all the focus is on the models,” he explains.

The buzzer rings and model Zach Jayden arrives. Though briefly a Lucas Entertainment exclusive, Jayden has displayed his boyish good looks and stunning bubble butt in only a couple of movies. So, understandably, he seems tentative as he disrobes. “I am always nervous before a scene,” he says. His co-star Berto, who has appeared in a video for Latino Fan Club, shows up wet from the rain and dirty from his job. “I just came from work,” he says, taking off his shirt to reveal an array of tattoos. “I work construction, so I get dirty. Is it okay if I shower first?”

All cleaned up, Berto joins Jayden for a photo shoot. Vega poses the models and starts taking pictures for the box cover. Then, the shoot is ready to begin. The scene has no acting and no plot. The models begin naked and get right to the good stuff. “I want this movie to be all about the sex,” Vega says later. “I want it to be like a straight porn movie, where they just cut right to the hard-core action. I always think about the viewer at home who is watching and jacking off. What will make him happy?”

Hmm, the two sexy models about to have sex might do the trick. Vega positions Berto on a pillow and Jayden squats between his legs, eyeing his huge cock. He doesn’t seem to be nervous anymore as he starts chowing down. Vega turns off the air-conditioning and begins filming the action. With little prompting, the models go through the oral sequence quickly. Vega occasionally calls out an instruction, but for the most part he is quiet and allows the guys to do their thing. After about 20 minutes of deep-throating, Jayden asks for a break. Vega rushes in with towels and water. “Are you guys okay?” he asks. “Can I get you anything?”

After a few minutes, it’s time for penetration. The guys begin with doggie. Jayden moans and grits his teeth. Berto performs like a pro. Soon they get into a rhythm and Vega scurries to capture it. Three positions later, the director calls for pop shots. A sweaty Berto pounds Zach to completion then delivers his own load. Still horned, Jayden jacks himself to a surprise second orgasm. It’s the icing on the cake…so to speak!

Vega puts down his camera and again moves in with towels. “That was great!” he tells them. “It looked so hot!” The models dry off as Vega hits the A/C button. He goes to the kitchen and returns with a tray of homemade sandwiches. Yes, the man does his own catering, too!

The models’ work is done, but Vega still has a way to go. Now that the last scene is complete, Sexpload can be edited and is that much closer to release. “I can produce only about one movie a year,” he says. “I just don’t have the time to do much more than that.” Although the film features many local newcomers—along with popular models Viper and Dimitri Santiago—Vega promises that he will make an appearance. “I am not in a scene,” he says, “but I will be in the DVD extras and some behind-the-scenes footage.”

Now that’s something that will make his fans happy!

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2006)

October 20, 2006

On the Set Report: Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita


Every September, the tents go up in Bryant Park and all eyes are on New York City for Fashion Week, where top designers unveil their latest collections. On a Saturday morning in Chelsea’s Helen Mills Theater, about 200 guests sit expectantly along a runway as dance music pulses and bartenders pour drinks. But they aren’t awaiting a fashion show from Armani or Versace; they are gathered for the filming of the opening sequence of Michael Lucas’ latest epic, La Dolce Vita. The Russian-born director is rushing around, conferring with his assistant, giving orders to his production manager and overseeing a gaggle of photographers (some are actually extras posing as paparazzi) and five cameramen (using a dolly, a Steadicam and three tripods). If it’s up to Lucas, impeccably dressed in a designer suit as usual, there is no chance that any of this amazing spectacle will be missed.

In the audience, local trannie Amanda Lepore chats with Village Voice columnist Michael Musto (both are vets of Lucas’ previous big-budget award winner Dangerous Liaisons). Randy Jones of Village People fame sits across from porn stars Pete Ross, Jason Ridge and Spencer Quest. Lucas calls for quiet and addresses the chic crowd. He explains that they are about to see a pseudo fashion show (complete with clothing from such big-name brands as Prada, Miu Miu and Dolce & Gabbana) of a fictional designer. But first, Lucas thanks new friend Marc Jacobs for the use of his store (where a scene for the movie was filmed earlier in the week, promptly landing Lucas on Page Six of the New York Post, the first of several appearances in the days to come), his hardworking staff and his personal stylist Rod Novoa. Then it’s on with the show!

Drag star Kevin Aviance does a short performance of his dance hit “Strut,” which will be the theme song for the film, then a parade of gorgeous men (some porn stars, some real-life models and one hot local bartender) starts hitting the runway. They are wearing an assortment of hip suits, jeans, blazers, underwear, you name it. Porn star Jack MacCarthy, just back from a tour of Israel with Lucas, looks dapper in a red velvet suit, and Ben Andrews, fresh from his cockfight scandal with Chad Hunt, looks very grown-up in a tie. All the models are very serious, displaying much runway attitude, which they rehearsed until late into the previous night.

After each model walks three times in three different outfits, they all come back onstage and the designer of the so-called collection, Jack Bond (played by newcomer Jack Bond), joins them for a quick bow. The audience applauds wildly on cue, and part one of the shoot is complete. Lucas announces that they will do the whole thing over, just to be sure they have adequate coverage. But first, there’s a brief break.

Backstage, the scene is one of organized confusion. The models mill about in various stages of undress and talk on their cell phones. Phoenix Event Productions, the same team behind the Marc Jacobs and John Bartlett shows earlier in the week, is running things here, so everything goes like clockwork. Racks of clothing are labeled with each model’s name and character name. There are seven hair and makeup people standing by to do retouches as a photographer gathers various groups of models for pictures.

Lucas publicity director Heather Reznor films a faux interview with British hunk Jack Bond. She is playing Heather Weathers, a parody of a breathless reporter worthy of Entertainment Tonight. She flubs her lines but then nails it. Kevin Aviance says that he is a longtime friend of Lucas who couldn’t resist the offer to appear. “We all watch porn, don’t we?” he asks. A bubbly Pete Ross says that he is perfectly content to be sitting in the audience and not up on the runway. “When you’re as short as I am, it’s kinda tough to be thought of as a supermodel,” he says. Ross goes on to explain that he plays the nemesis of Lucas’ character, who is a gossip columnist. “It’s a fun part to play, and we’re having a ball!”

Lunch is served, and then it’s time to do it all again. Everyone takes their places, Aviance sings, the models strut and Bond bows. Lucas thanks the extras again and sends them on their way. But on the set, there is more work to be done. The monthlong, $350,000 shoot is only in its first days, and the crew gets ready to shoot the setup to a sex scene featuring Jack MacCarthy and Ben Andrews that will be filmed several days later at the Lucas Entertainment offices. Both young models are still in their stylish suits as they rehearse and act out their seduction, but it’s not until the following Friday that they get to consummate it.

It’s closing time, and the Lucas offices are abuzz with activity. As MacCarthy and Andrews get into makeup, Lucas creative director, videographer and Vita screenwriter Tony Dimarco sits in front of a monitor with editor Tyler Frank reviewing film from the previous night’s shoot. The footage shows Lucas stumbling out of a sex club and wandering the streets of a predawn Manhattan. “We are trying to update a classic here,” Dimarco says. “I watched the original La Dolce Vita over and over, but we wanted to add elements of New York City and things that are associated with Michael Lucas to it, like fashion.” Dimarco says that’s how he got the idea for the lavish fashion show opener. “I kept thinking, how can we draw viewers in and put them right into this world? So I thought the show would accomplish that.”

But the setting for tonight’s shoot is decidedly less glamorous: a bathroom. The lights have been set up and Dimarco—along with Ray Dragon, who will also be shooting—preps his camera. The models are dressed in their clothes from Saturday’s shoot, and the hair and makeup artists work from photos to get them to look exactly as they did a week before. Lucas gives them a once-over then calls to his crew for towels, lube, condoms and water—always a sure sign that “action” is about to be called.

Lucas directs the models to tear at each other’s designer labels but to leave their clothes on. He tells them to act with an air of urgency (after all, in the movie they are about to hit the runway) and then choreographs the basics of the scene. With a still photographer and a soundman hovering just outside the bathroom door, the models start kissing on a ladder. Dimarco is shooting from above, while Dragon is lying on the floor. Once dicks are out and hard, Lucas calls out directions: “Play with his foreskin.” “Gag on his cock.” “Faster! Harder!”

After about 30 minutes of oral, the models are heating up in the tight space and ask for a break. The crew goes off to eat some pizza and give them some privacy. When they return, it’s on to ass-eating and fucking. With MacCarthy bent over the toilet bowl, Andrews begins topping. MacCarthy’s tie dips into the toilet water and Lucas assures him that it’s okay. At one point, Dragon jumps up and races down the hall. Dead battery! He returns in a couple of minutes and gets back to work. In short order, MacCarthy pops while riding Andrews, who then stands and jacks. A quick cleanup follows and the models dress and act as if they are runway ready. Two hours have passed, and another of the 12 sex scenes for Vita is complete.

Lucas retires to his office, where he works on his blog and looks at footage from a couple of days before that re-creates the famous fountain scene from Fellini’s 1960 original starring Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni. Watching himself take a dunk with porn actress Savanna Samson in the fountain at City Hall Park (again, mentions in Page Six and the New York Daily News), Lucas comments on his acting. “I think I am better in this than usual,” he says. Then he divulges why: “I hired an acting coach. All the top stars have acting coaches. You need someone to run your lines with. Even Meryl Streep has an acting coach!”

The arty images on-screen seem to impress even him. “Nobody has ever done a movie like this,” he says. “Straight or gay. It is a first for this business.” When asked what he hopes to accomplish with Vita, Lucas says, “I want to go further than Dangerous Liaisons. I want to top that, make something bigger and grander. I hope viewers will be as taken in by the story as by the sex. As a gay man, I like beautiful things. It is very challenging to make beautiful and tasteful porn, not cheesy like most movies. And with the hard work of many people, I think we have done it.”

As award season approaches, Lucas admits that he would like to repeat the success of Liaisons: “It’s nice to win, but it’s not why I make movies.” So then why does the often controversial director do it? “To make money. I just hope the judges can separate me from my film. It deserves to be judged on its own merits.”

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2006)

October 11, 2006

New Release: Lebanon

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July 12, 2006

New Release: London

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June 22, 2006

Event: Lucas Virgin Megastore Signing


Michael Lucas is at it again—breaking down doors and taking New York’s gay-porn industry places it has never been. On Wednesday, June 21, 2006, Lucas, president and CEO of Lucas Entertainment, and 10 of his top models invaded Manhattan’s Virgin Megastore for a first-ever in-store signing and Q&A session. At the height of Manhattan’s Gay Pride week festivities, the group drew a crowd of more than 100 eager fans. “We are the first gay adult entertainment company to do something like this in New York,” Lucas said. “It is a breakthrough for the industry.”

The event, hosted by drag queen Hedda Lettuce, featured exclusives such as Chad Hunt (whose 11-year-old son, Aaron, cheered him on from the audience), Wilson Vasquez (pictured above), Ben Andrews, Jack MacCarthy, Tony Ryder, Corey Cade, J., Lorenzo, Jack Bond and Harold Pitt. The screen studs greeted the public and signed recent Lucas releases, including Encounters: The Point of No Return, Auditions Volume 9: Chad Hunt and GAYVN’s 2005 Best Picture winner, Michael Lucas’ Dangerous Liaisons.

Questions ranged from the predictable (How did you get into porn?) to the personal (Have you ever fallen in love with a costar?) to the serious (How has the Internet affected DVD sales?). Lucas chided J. into showing his chiseled abs, and one fan request prompted a few of the models to make out onstage. As usual, the controversial director caused the biggest commotion, initiating a cockfight between Hunt and Andrews over who is packing the most meat. With more than nine inches apiece, these guys have nothing to worry about!

“We are very happy with the turnout,” Lucas said. “I hear that when Tommy Lee was here he had only about 20 people show up! Virgin Megastore is very happy too; they told us that they sold hundreds of Lucas videos over the past few days.”

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2006)

June 20, 2006

Movie Review: Mansize: Jailhouse Cock, Part 1


Director: Csaba Borbely.
Cast: Helmut Müller, Lucio Maverick, Julio Carillo, Kristoff Caine, Alfredo Castaldo, Evan Rochelle, Glenn Santoro, Claudio Antonelli, Kevin Cage, Andreas Harris, Ken Spencer, Antonio Carrigan, Ettore Valentino, Fredy Costa.

Director Csaba Borbely is back with another episode of Mansize. This time, it’s Jailhouse Cock, Part 1, the tale of five horny prisoners who arrive at a penal colony where crooked guards and a corrupt warden make their lives hell—or is it heaven? Based on the amount of hot sex these guys have, it seems to be the latter. Five drawn-out scenes tell the story, as the cast of hung and uncut foreign studs do their thing. The first scene is a fourgy in which Kevin Cage shows off his great pecs and big dick. There’s lots of deep sucking and fucking. There’s also that annoying nonstop moaning and bad fake-orgasm acting. But if you can overlook that and the mind-numbing soundtrack, this scene is a keeper. Next, Antonio Carrigan acts out a typical prisoner/guard scenario on a flight of stairs. If you ask us, supercute Julio Carillo deserves to be in jail because he steals the next scene. This solo jacker has a stunning body and mouthwatering abs. Oh yeah, three other guys also perform a difficult threeway train fuck, but it’s Carillo who made off with our hearts! In the next predictable scene, a guard trades some cigarettes for cock. Finally, one prisoner (or is he actually an undercover cop?) overthrows the horny warden, who has been spying on the fun via cam all along. This story will be continued in the next installment, if anyone understands enough of the heavily accented dialogue to care! Borbely falls into his usual rut of long, tedious scenes featuring perfect but passionless models; picture quality is excellent, though, and the cool prison location adds a nice touch of reality. (Private)

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2006)

March 27, 2006

Porn Star Interview: Johnny Hazzard


Porn star Johnny Hazzard had a good time at this year’s GAYVN Awards. “I couldn’t believe it!” exclaimed the Rascal exclusive and winner of three awards. Speaking a week later from his home in Palm Springs, the 28-year-old Cleveland native seemed to still be letting it all sink in. His rise to the upper echelon of porn hadn’t really taken that long.

It was only three years ago that Hazzard was living in Boston and spending his summers in Provincetown. The way he tells it, one day he woke up and decided, Hey, I could do porn! And it was as simple as that. The tattooed cutie called old pal Doug Jeffries, who put him in touch with director Chi Chi LaRue. She liked his pictures and flew him out to Los Angeles to do a scene in Detention. Since then he has made more than 10 movies, including Bolt and What Men Do, and become one of Rascal’s rising stars.

But last year, Wrong Side of the Tracks 1-2 put Hazzard into a different class of porn stardom. The film, which received 12 GAYVN nominations and won seven awards, was built around Hazzard and his edgy bad boy persona. But Hazzard claims his character is not based on him. “It mirrors an element of my personality,” he says, “but it’s not me.”

Tracks took almost a month to shoot and pushed Hazzard in many new directions. “I worked every day,” he says. “I was always doing something—B-roll, sex scenes, whatever.” And it required him to do more acting than ever before. “That was fun,” he says. “At first I didn’t take it seriously, but I got into it. It was something different and new. I realized that I possess this skill.”

Which explains why his Best Actor trophy means the most to Hazzard. “I really wanted that one,” he says. “I mean, to be named actor of the year—it was just too much. When I won, I felt like, You like me, you really like me!”

Of his award for Best Sex Scene (Duo) with Tyler Riggz, Hazzard says, “It was a fucking amazing scene. We really were in the back of an old van, jammed in there with [videographer] Hue Wilde and his camera. Chi Chi was communicating with us via baby monitor. It took about two hours to shoot. As soon as the scene was done, we were like, ‘That’s it! Best sex scene!’ We just knew!”

His third award was for Best Solo Performance. “I didn’t even really remember the scene,” Hazzard admits. “Solo scenes are usually where you just sit on camera and play with yourself. It’s pretty easy.”

With his awards tucked away on a shelf in his bedroom, Hazzard is pondering his next move. “Chi Chi has been the brainchild behind the movies,” he says, “but we have been throwing a couple ideas around. I think there will be a scene in an upcoming movie where I shave my head.”

In the meantime, Hazzard will be making personal appearances and working on his Web site, which features his blog (where his mom posts too!). He has landed a few writing assignments, including for Frontiers magazine, and in the future hopes to create a clothing line. “Fashion and design are two things I am passionate about,” Hazzard says. “And I even like to sew!”

Next stop, Project Runway?

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2006)

March 24, 2006

March 20, 2006

Movie Review: Fratboy Sam


Director: Uncredited.
Cast: Sam.

There oughta be a law! Gorgeous young Sam, the leading man of Fratboy Sam, is so unbearably cute and his body so unbearably perfect, that…well, there oughta be a law! The latest in this series from Pavlov’s Dog is a solo movie for guys who are not into solo movies. This handsome and alluring twink makes even the most mundane moves (such as throwing off the covers, dropping his drawers and jacking his large cock) into pure art. The excellent picture quality and luxurious sets also help, but it is Sam’s star power that fuels this one through the roof. In three separate setups (bed, shower and couch), this college cutie shows off his smooth hard pecs, his stunningly round butt and his unbelievably sculpted form. Sam also has the whitest teeth and brightest smile you’re likely to see in a dirty business like porn. Although the running time isn’t exactly long (40 minutes), superstar Sam makes every second count. (Pavlov’s Dog)

Reprinted from
GAYVN magazine (2006)

March 10, 2006

Event: Michael Lucas’ Birthday Party


On March 10, 2006, the day after the eighth annual GAYVN Awards, porn impresario Michael Lucas had more to celebrate than his five trophies (including a tie for Best Picture for Dangerous Liaisons). The New York-based producer/director also marked his 34th birthday with a last-minute gathering at a luxurious house in the Hollywood Hills. “I didn’t get to invite everyone I wanted to in the industry,” Lucas lamented. “But next year I will do better.”

As a diverse group of mainstream showbiz folk and A-list porn stars arrived, Lucas greeted his guests in a plush suit by designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua. Hollywood agents mingled with reality stars (Dan Renzi and Norman Korpi from The Real World, Marcellas Reynolds of Big Brother 3), and writers (Ben Patrick Johnson, bearing Tiffany boxes) rubbed elbows with models (Chad Hunt, Bruce Beckham, Derrick Hanson, Enrico Vega). They all enjoyed a lavish catered buffet and open bar. Porn journalists Mickey Skee, J.C. Adams and Fleshbot’s Jonno compared notes on the previous night’s awards, and funny man Bruce Vilanch compared notes with director Gino Colbert on his favorite porn boys. Former West Hollywood mayor John Duran showed up with partner Kurt Young, while guests marveled at the gorgeous home (pop stud Justin Timberlake is a neighbor) of businessman Jack Corwin, a longtime friend of Lucas.

“Great things are coming this year,” Lucas told the partygoers. “My next movie, La Dolce Vita, is going to be bigger than Dangerous Liaisons! My life is my work, and it’s gonna be great.”

Amid all the food, drink and glamour, one thing was missing: birthday cake! “Sorry,” the youthful entrepreneur explained, “no sweets, darling!”

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2006)