Alexander DeVoe: Devoted to Porn
You know porn is in your blood when you’re given cameras and equipment to shoot a TV show, but wind up shooting sex instead.
Mainstream filmmaking may have been Alexander DeVoe’s first passion, but after a stint shooting a local Hawaiian, cable-access, political show, the director happily traded pundits for porn.
But the director/producer and owner of Black Angel Entertainment and Alexander DeVoe Productions does owe his start in adult to his stay in paradise while living on Oahu in 1996. That was when he was introduced to porn stars Kimberly Kupps and the late Anna Malle with whom he tried his hand at performing.
“I bought a Sony VX1000 and would shoot local talent on the beaches. I had a photographer friend who introduced me to porn stars who would come to the island to do feature dance engagements. I didn’t do so well performing the first time. It was 12 noon on a beach in Waikiki and crowded. Let’s say I had some wood problems. But Hank and Anna [Malle] referred me and my ex to Hollywood adult talent agent Reb from Pretty Girl and we hopped on a plane to L.A. That was the summer of 1999 and it’s been one crazy ride ever since. Hollywood was ready,” DeVoe says.
Indeed it was. At this year’s XBIZ Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium, DeVoe’s talent in front of and behind the camera paid off as “Black Ass Master 4” took home the prize for Ethnic Release of the Year.
Despite the adult industry’s fascination with DeVoe’s early “look” and potential as a performer, he says he was never really that interested in being a star. His aspirations were aimed at being an artist.
DeVoe recalls, “Directing was never a transition. I started off directing first and then performing. When I came to L.A. agents wanted to shoot me because I had a certain look. I remember turning down a lot of work that was offered to me back then and some directors thought I was crazy for doing that. I was always motivated and fascinated by the creative aspects of adult. Whenever I did do a scene I would focus on what was going on behind the camera. To me, being in front of the camera seemed limiting. I had bigger goals.” But DeVoe’s transition from talent to director wasn’t easy. He says that although he brought along his camera to the set each time he worked, no one ever gave him an opportunity to shoot.
But things changed on the set of a “Sugarwalls” shoot in 2001. DeVoe said he got his chance when the director was tired and asked him if he could handle a scene. “I jumped at the chance. The scene I shot was pretty good and he asked me to shoot more. That led to other jobs until eventually I landed at West Coast Productions, when they were in the infancy stage of growth,” he recalls.
That fateful moment turned things around for DeVoe. He says the encouragement he received from shooting a good scene spurred him to pitch a concept about a traveling series featuring new talent, both female and male. That pitch opened more doors and based on the success of the traveling titles he shot in Memphis and Atlanta, other projects and challenges then came his way.
“Ultimately, I became a contract director for West Coast in 2002 and shot ‘Black Booty Cam.’ I then shot for all of the top series like ‘Booty Talk, ’Chasing the Big Ones,’ ‘Something About Jack,’ ‘Mandingo,’ ‘Pink Pussycats,’ and more. Eventually I developed my signature lines, ‘Black Ass Candy,’ ‘She Got Ass,’ ‘Juicy Wet Asses,’ ‘Black and Nasty,’ ‘Sistas on the Wildside’ and many more,” he says.
His West Coast success spawned Alexander DeVoe Productions/Black Angel Entertainment in 2002 where he produced titles for West Coast through 2006. If that wasn’t enough, DeVoe found himself also shooting a few movies for Smash Pictures under the “2Freaky 4U” series.
Independence called in 2006 when DeVoe signed on with the Jules Jordan distribution juggernaut. Today, his studio’s portfolio includes some well-known title series including “Wet Juicy Asses,” “Black Ass Addiction,” “Black Ass Masters,” “Deep in Latin Cheeks” and “Orgasmic Oralists” that demonstrate his creative and artistic range.
Although a bulk of DeVoe’s work focuses on ethnic themes, the director is quick to point out that his inspiration stems from making great films and appreciating the work of mainstream filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorcese
And of course porn pioneers like Evil Angel’s John Stagliano, without whom DeVoe says there “wouldn’t be a me.”
DeVoe is passionate more about the creative process than any one type of film simply to grab market share. When asked about being cast as an ethnic director, DeVoe maintains that these types of labels and barriers in adult should be eliminated.
“I think it’s time for adult to dissolve labeling of our content into categories like ethnic, interracial, etc. This is very divisive, in my opinion. The perception has been that ethnic productions are inferior, therefore less valuable than other product. Personally I just want to be known as a director who shoots great product regardless of what the content is or what nationality the performers are in the movie,” he says.
DeVoe believes however that he’s helped to define the standards in the socalled ethnic market and says he hopes that others will strive to keep their production values high.
Like all master directors, choosing talent is a key to good filmmaking. And he takes the business seriously. DeVoe says he likes to meet potential talent before casting and has them fill out a two-page detailed questionnaire that asks personal questions like when they lost their virginity, favorite foods, color, special sexual skills and talents, etc. “I want to know what motivates people to want to do porn and if they were sexually adventurous beforehand. To me, having a healthy sexual attitude is far more important than wanting to do movies for monetary gain. I choose female performers for my movies who are sexual freaks at heart. If they’re not sexual beings then I am not interested in shooting them,” he says.
The personal interview process also includes a series of photos to see “if a girl exhibits that she likes being in front of the camera and appears visibly excited.” It’s only after the director is confident in all of the criteria that he’ll book a candidate for his movies.
“People who understand that what we do is make product for people to masturbate and therefore allow themselves to be sexually open. That’s what I look for in a DeVoe movie,” he says.
But getting talent to perform to his liking when the cameras start to roll is another thing altogether. DeVoe’s technique involves creating situations where the performers “let themselves go” and are totally immersed both emotionally and sexually.
DeVoe says, “My goal is to make every scene I shoot worthy of award consideration. I just tell my talent to enjoy each other. I try never to be corny or stereotypical when it comes to making movies. In my world, once the sex starts the camera doesn’t exist. I’m a fly on the wall, privileged enough to get a sneak peek at some volcanically hot action.”
And it’s that action that’s helped thrust his films to the forefront of adult.
His “special ingredient” for success is that he understands himself and why he makes porn, emphasizing that it’s the consumer who is the most important element in the adult film equation.
“I make movies for people to enjoy and I produce for the broadest audience possible. Without the consumers I do not exist. If the consumer doesn’t demand it then I don’t produce it. That means I never produce from an egocentric point of view. I give the people what they want. I understand that there are a myriad of tastes, fetishes and kinks when it comes to what people want to see. I listen to input, comments and suggestions, whether it is positive or negative. Being in tune with the end user keeps me current and I value the input immensely,” he says.
But DeVoe’s end all is not simply making movies although his immediate plans call for the introduction of new titles for 2011. He says he also wants to establish a network of Internet sites and pursue mainstream Hollywood projects.
Other future plans include expanding the DeVoe brand into novelties and clothing. He feels his movies are special because they contain “a little bit of the DeVoe personality in them” — enough, he believes to be the cornerstone of more ambitious enterprises.
“People have always said I was different so my movies are a reflection of that. I always give credit to my main inspiration John Stagliano. I wonder if one day people will say they were inspired by DeVoe?”