The Scion of Sin City
In fact, since the early '90s — the general time frame around which the well-respected porn production company came into existence — Sin City would regularly put out big-budget, story-driven and uniquely glamorous titles like "Inferno," "Kiss Me Deadly," "Illusion," "Beautiful Lies," "Millennium" and the "Sodom" series, many of these features/series showcasing the company's various contact girls over the years: Shay Sweet, Hannah Harper, Aurora Snow and, most recently, Tory Lane.
But change is, indeed, the only constant in life. And things most definitely changed at Sin City.
Sin City, despite strange industry murmurings of their having gone out of business, merely moved across the street.
And in the process of making its geographical move in the heat of the recession, Sin City also internally restructured its game plan. Now the leaner, meaner company is not only reinvigorated in the video-on-demand realm, but also is putting out plenty of new and provocative titles. One of its newer movies is the erotically charged DCypher gonzo/feature "Naughty Blonde MILF Librarians," loaded with such curvy, well-seasoned vixens as Brooke Haven, Tatum Pierce, Holly Sampson and Heidi Mayne delightfully bursting out all over the small screen.
Also recently released is a long-awaited, all-new installment of its classic "Babewatch" series, a takeoff on TV's popular "Baywatch." Sin City is similarly regularly delivering box sets containing six discs with a total running length of 24 hours aptly titled the "Never Ending" line, wherein fans can get an actual full day's worth of entertainment in niches like anal, DPs, Asians, Latinas, interracial, blondes, brunettes and orgies. In fact, its latest six disc/ 24-hour compilation is "Never Ending Busty Babes."
So, who is responsible for bringing Sin City back into prominence? None other than 25-year-old businessman Jared Sturman.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jared is the son of Sin City's founder David Sturman, who himself is the son of legendary porn pioneer Reuben Sturman. As the company's general manager, Sturman, the new kid on the block with a surfeit of awesomely progressive ideas, is putting Sin City back on the map.
Sporting a stylish crew cut, the tall, wiry, handsome Sturman is a highly personable fellow equipped with a great sense of humor — and he's a sincerely humble businessman, to boot. That is, when you speak with him, he doesn't pat himself on the back, toot his horn or try to take credit for the growing success of the newly revamped Sin City. Rather, he's the first one to promote the idea of team effort. An effort of which the company's national sales manager Drew Dixon is a distinct and key part.
Actually, both Sturman and Dixon share a well-appointed office at Sin City's Chatsworth headquarters, so the team spirit is not just a philosophy but a fully realized practice. At Sin City it's all about the collaborative drive to deliver great product to the consumer, via Internet and DVD.
XBIZ: How long have you been the general manager of Sin City, Jared?
JARED STURMAN: When we moved to this new building, we had to get rid of a lot of overhead, and my father thought it was time for me to "step my game up." (laughs) That was probably January 2009. Before that, I was learning about the position held by our previous GM, and after a couple of months it was decided that we needed to do more with VOD, so I jumped on that project and started talking to all of the involved Internet people. So it was a pretty good start for me.
XBIZ: What were you doing before working full-time at Sin City?
STURMAN: School. I had just graduated in May 2007 with a degree in economics, so I took a few months off to relax, then started working here.
XBIZ: Tell us a little bit about the history of Sin City.
STURMAN: Sure. My dad, David Sturman, started it back in 1989. He had a big distribution company up north under the umbrella of Bay Management and GVA West, and in his mind's eye, he figured since he had about 40 stores, it seemed viable to have a company like Sin City producing adult product with which he could fill his stores.
XBIZ: You were one of the first companies to do parodies back in the day. Now everyone is doing them.
STURMAN: Drew and I were recently talking about that, and we were like, "Where the hell did all of these parodies suddenly come from? This is old school stuff!" (laughs) Funny you should bring that subject up, though. We, in fact, just did an all-new XXX parody of "Dancing with the Stars" called "Dancing with Porn Stars." Pretty simple, right? That's going to be releasing any day now.
XBIZ: Great! Let's talk some of the other titles coming out of Sin City these days.
STURMAN: Sure. Well, "Naughty Blonde MILF Librarians" is a DCypher flick. It's our best seller right now, and it's a hybrid gonzo — basically, a gonzo flavored with some entertaining storyline. Actually, the hybrid gonzo is pretty much what we want to focus on at Sin City right now. DCypher also just filmed "Big Titty Nurses" for us. We have a great series from our cousin gonzo company Mayhem called "Assploitations," and DCypher is working on new installments of that, too. Additionally, we recently released an all-new installment of "Babewatch," which is an Axel Braun flick. Our thought was, everyone seems to like old school stuff, so let's deliver something similar to what we did back in the day.
XBIZ: Why did you decide to get into the family business? It seems like these days, most offspring avoid family businesses like the plague.
STURMAN: It's weird because I do feel that there's something there. I hear about my grandfather and what he did for the industry, and those are huge shoes to fill. But I'm all for it. I want to try my best to fill those shoes. I'm proud of where the company came from. Unfortunately I didn't know my grandfather very well because I was way too young.
XBIZ: Was there much of a learning curve for you as the new general manager of Sin City?
STURMAN: There was. But in this industry you learn really, really quickly. Drew and I have been working side-by-side ever since we moved over to our new location here in January.
XBIZ: What would you say are the company's biggest challenges?
STURMAN: I think our main challenge now is to take our company and match it with what other companies are doing — and then take it beyond that. Of course, making good, solid product has always been paramount to us. We're a company that has decades of experience and we're bringing that with us as we make all of the necessary changes to stay fully vital.
XBIZ: Do you have any major business philosophies?
STURMAN: After being here for two years, I'd say it's communication. And since half of our business is up north in the Bay Area, you have be able to communicate efficiently. It's necessary to get continuity between the two companies, Sin City and Bay Management. But with a camera here in our office, we can be in face-to-face communication with my father in a second. And it's just not internal communication that's important but also communication with our customers, whom I like to think of as our business clients, because you're not just selling to them on a one-time-only basis. They buy and sell, and they make money and we make money.
And you want them to always come back to you.
XBIZ: Sin City has been around for two decades. Would you say that one of the main reasons for your longevity is the company's ability and willingness to reinvent itself?
STURMAN: That's a good question. But I gotta tell you: Content is still king. Over the decades we've shot tons of great female performers and have thousands and thousands of movies; so, multiply that by five (i.e., five scenes per movie) and that's a lot of material to draw from. My philosophy on our movies is that you don't need to spend a ton of money; you just need to get bigger girls like Kagney Lynn Karter, Tori Black and Kristina Rose.
XBIZ: Where would you say we're headed as an industry, Jared?
STURMAN: The Internet and digital distribution. I mean, today we all have instant access to the Internet through simple devices in our pockets. Now you also have TVs that directly connect you to Internet … and who knows what's going to happen with that. Hey, throw a browser on there and you never need to get up from your couch. (laughs)
Right now, I think DVD sales are getting better as the economy is getting better. And I suppose you'll always have your DVD buyers. You'll always have your tangible-item buyer. It's an understandable mindset where a person simply feels better about actually holding and owning a product.
XBIZ: I'm curious, do you still own the domain name SinCity.com?
STURMAN: We do, but we don't use it for adult content anymore. We use SinCityFilms.com for adult content. Actually, do you know who we bought the domain name SinCity.com from? Penn and Teller. (laughs) And they sold it to us for pennies. Since then, we've gotten countless bids for it; a few of them have been in the millions, too.
XBIZ: Do you have any hobbies?
STURMAN: It's funny, ever since I started working here, I haven't really been doing much in that sense. I'll wake up, get my emails from my phone, see what I have to do and if something important pops up, I'll text whomever I need to in order to get it done. Then I'll arrive at the office at around 9:30, drink my coffee and then I'll turn on the TV and take care of my emails. In terms of production, sales and management, Drew and I are pretty much the engine room here. I've only been in this industry for two years and it's great having a guy like Drew around.
Actually, there was some confusion for a while when we moved to this building which is, literally, just across the street from where we were located for 10-15 years. But you know this business, sometimes it's like being in high school. I mean, people were saying that we'd sold our business, that we weren't around anymore. Just rumors. But now the titles are hitting the streets, the buyers are buying 'em, and the customers are bringing it all back.
I guess what I'm tying to say is, we're back in the game!