Home > Features > Lex Marks His Spot • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

FEATURE

Lex Marks His Spot

Lex Marks His Spot

December 15, 2010
Text size: 
View in Digital Mag
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
  39.66%
Yes, but in a few years
  36.87%
No
  23.46%
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.

" My challenges are the same as every CEO or owner of any of the other studios. Over the last few years, the primary challenge has been crisis navigation in an economic climate that has finally affected our industry that had always been risk-averse. "

Mercenaries have historically been considered a clever bunch. They performed their services for the highest bidder (with the best resources) and as a result usually gained a personal reputation for being on the winners’ side and shared in the spoils.

The inspiration for Lexington Steele to name his company Mercenary Pictures, Inc. may not have come from the literal description, but the accomplished performer, director and executive nevertheless has known warriorlike success.

And Steele’s dual role as award-winning performer/company owner gives him twice (11-inches?) the branding firepower — a key component of his business philosophy and strategy. He gets his product to market using his name as a draw and sustains the image in the public eye by appearing in other companies’ productions.

The savvy strategy by Steele’s own mercenary approach to the video business has paid off.

Since the founding of Mercenary Pictures, in 2003, the New Jersey native has led the company to becoming one of the leading ethnic and interracial ethnic brands in the adult marketplace with hits such as his “Balls Deep and the “ManHammer” series.

He directed his “Balls Deep” series for Anabolic in 2000 with a distribution deal for the first five titles through Red Light District. By 2004 he was ready to distribute his own titles that included “ManHammer 1.”

Steele also had the luxury of being mentored as a performer and as an executive by some key industry talent including Mr. Marcus, Mark Davis and Vince Vouyer; and as a director by Mike John, Jules Jordan and Vouyer.

Meanwhile, three inspirational mentors have forged his business acumen: James Alexander of West Coast Productions, whom he describes as his “godfather,” Chris Alexander of Anabolic and Gregg Allan of Diabolic.

“They taught me everything I know, whether by watching them work or by direct instruction — especially Greg Allan,” Steele says.

But the transition from performer to executive wasn’t easy. Steele says there are no comparisons — business is tougher.

“As a performer I am required to work over the course of two hours to have sex, or maybe longer if there’s dialogue. Whereas as an executive my responsibilities are confined to the proverbial 9 to 5. There are few moments in my life where I am not being about Mercenary business,” he says.

And although he still performs on a regular basis (he also holds a mainstream SAG card), he’s particularly pleased about contributing to what he describes as films that will impact the history of adult like Hustler’s “Avatar” and Vivid’s “Star Wars” parodies.

And the passion to excel as talent translates to his company business philosophy — constantly keeping the consumer in mind and creating and directing to that end. “My executive philosophy has always been to provide a quality product that maintains value. I’ve always felt that if a consumer spends his dollar, I need to create and deliver product that they feel is money well spent,” he says.

But that’s only part of Steele’s strategy for Mercenary. The economic crunch that hit the DVD business is still ever present and that’s when Steele shows that he has, well, steel balls.

Steele says, “My challenges are the same as every CEO or owner of any of the other studios. Over the last few years, the primary challenge has been crisis navigation in an economic climate that has finally affected our industry that had always been risk-averse. Recognizing the changing environment and being able to maintain one’s brand is only one of the responsibilities that any owner must face on a daily basis.”

And with the industry in flux Steele banks on branding his name and company as the “building blocks’ for Mercenary’s future that includes more online growth and continuing to create a strong ethnic product.

“I do believe there are companies that will successfully maintain DVD distribution but I believe it to be imminent that business growth exists online. The ethnic market has been a major genre for adult movies for quite some time. But it is just that — a genre. Therefore, the state of the ethnic market will follow the state of the industry as a whole. Consumers comprising the ethnic market are in the same economic crisis as everyone else,” Steele notes.

So how does the executive/performer plan to confront the challenges? Like many other studios Steele will diversify. He says he will continue to exploit the media he’s created over the last seven years, as well as maximize his other business ventures that include online sales, herbal supplements and adult novelties.

And his future also includes mainstream projects he plans to solicit including the production of a late-night TV format, adult talk show called “The Lexington Steele Show” that he expects to air on a major premium or cable network in 2011.

Despite his success and dogged determination to prosper in a tough business in the most difficult times for adult, Steele still feels humbled to have had the opportunity to be a performer and a business owner.

He says, “In short, it has been a charmed experience and a ride that has been an impossible story — yet it’s all true.”


LEGAL PERSPECTIVES

Porn ‘Public Health Crisis’ Is False, Dangerous

We are witnessing the early stages of a moral panic, the likes of which we have not seen since the Reagan Administration. As I write this, there are 27 states in the process of passing mandatory porn... More »

The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

XBIZ.net Paysite Meetup

May 04 - May 04
Prague, Czech Republic

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!