Executive Seat: Hustler’s Rosenfeld Is a Creative Force
Like a rock star, porn pros know that just asking for Drew will get them to Drew Rosenfeld, the creative director at one of adult’s top companies and a key member of the iconic company’s entire video and film production operation. But being a major player at the top of the adult game didn’t happen overnight for Rosenfeld. The executive cut his teeth like many others in adult by starting at small with a big dream.
“In 1998 I worked as a marketing rep for Panavision Hollywood. I started working part time in adult as a producer, making my own movies. I then started a small production company with a friend called New Century Cinema where we produced a few movies and that turned into a few more,” Rosenfeld says.
After five or six films, the aspiring mogul said he then I jumped in full swing taking warehouse space, buying editing equipment and building a studio in which to shoot. In 2000 Rosenfeld began offering “Satsuma Studios” space to other companies.
“The studio fast became the spot to shoot features. Hustler, Vivid, Wicked and all of the other big studios became clients of mine. I continued making my own movies, selling them for DVD, broadcast and other ancillary markets. Between the studio operations and producing my own products, I received a quick education and learned about whom were the industry players. And they all knew me,” Rosenfeld explains.
By 2003 the studio was closed and Rosenfeld moved his editing facility to another location. He continued producing his own movies as well as a few for select companies and also began editing projects for several other companies.
But the watershed moment came in 2005 when he got a call from LFP. That began his career with the adult giant, and it has lasted for the past six years.
As creative director of Hustler Video, Rosenfeld has weathered the good times and bad in the movie game. Although Hustler has been a leader in the field due to its wide name appeal and innovative productions, including the most recent blockbuster “This Ain’t Avatar 3D XXX,” the company had to be quick on its feet to stay on top.
Rosenfeld is responsible for overseeing the creative process, including video production, editing, artwork, and overall quality control for the company that also includes budgeting and scheduling.
So, watching the bottom line is as important to him as watching the films.
“There’s a lot of talk of how DVD’s are dead, and free porn is killing our business. I think that if you are running a smaller company and your main business model is DVD sales then you should be concerned. We’ve seen as much as a 30 percent decline in DVD business,” Rosenfeld cautions.
But he maintains that Hustler’s diversity and braintrust of “smart, talented people, especially those at the top” that make the right decisions makes his duties that much easier.
“I’m producing content for several divisions within the company. For example, Hustler TV is the leader in adult broadcasting and we have one of the largest membership sites on the web. With a brand new toy division (Hustler Toys) and a successful apparel line, I see a very bright future in adult entertainment,” he says.
His confidence is also buoyed by what he calls Hustler’s stance of leading rather than following. He points to the company’s early adoption of shooting content in HD despite the higher expense and a limited delivery path.
Rosenfeld says that the same methods are currently being applied to 3D. “We’re not exactly shooting everything in 3D however, we are approaching 3D on a much bigger level than the competition. Our parody ‘This Ain’t Avatar XXX 3D’ is a tremendous success. We did our homework, educated ourselves on the technology and delivered a breakthrough movie in adult entertainment,” he says.
In fact, Hustler was first to jump into the parody craze, according to Rosenfeld who points out early titles like “The DaVinci Load” and “Kill Jill” that he says were big successes.
Another smart move engineered by Rosenfeld and his team was creating a registered trademark for “This Ain’t” that opened the door to producing an ambitious line of parodies every month including “This Ain’t Star Trek XXX,” “This Ain’t Happy Days XXX” and “This Ain’t Glee XXX” among others.
Hustler’s LFP Distribution also partnered with director and producer Will Ryder’s X-Play company under Rosenfeld’s watch, and released the critically acclaimed, “Not The Brady’s XXX.”
“Let’s not forget our political parodies like “Who’s Nailin’ Palin” which was a huge success,” he points out.
Although he’s quick to give credit to his team at Hustler for a number of the division’s innovations, industry professionals know his talents play a huge role in the company’s success.
But he maintains that his vision for the industry is “really Larry Flynt’s vision” and says he meets with Flynt and Hustler President Michael Klein several times a month.
‘We discuss new projects, trends, sales and overall quality.”
Despite the recent challenges of the industry and the pressure of one of the most high profile and pressure jobs in adult, Rosenfeld is optimistic about 2011. The veteran film executive said Hustler Video has a number of projects in the works including more big 3D films.
“We are now in pre-production doing casting etc., for the upcoming Axel Braun-directed “This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX 3D,” Rosenfeld says.
He feels the new title will be another big success for the company. And like the catch phrase of the “Ghostbusters” franchise, when Hustler brainstorms a new film idea they ask, “Who Ya Gonna Call?”… And the answer’s undoubtedly Drew Rosenfeld.