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Funny Boner

Funny Boner

October 6, 2011
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" I don’t think you will see any increase in the number of parody movies in gay porn. Studios will continue to produce and sell their products using the tried-and-true formulas they know work for them with very little risk. "

If he wasn’t so busy, Jet Set Men director Chris Steele would send Anthony Weiner a muffin basket. How else to thank the disgraced former Congressman, whose sexting scandal and dirty photos rocked the headlines and gave the studio head the perfect present: a porn parody wrapped in a hard package with a big bulging bow? The studio leaked this summer (pun intended) that “Anthony’s Weener” was already in production for a Fall arrival, continuing Jet Set’s long-standing devotion to porn parodies.

“If you’re going to do a parody, you pretty much have to choose a topic that everyone knows or is familiar with; otherwise your idea might not come to fruition,” Steele says. “When I’m writing the script, I know when it clicks. I can’t say how or why, but I can just tell by the script if it’s something that I definitely want to produce or not. Things do take time, and a good script is key in doing a good parody. I pitched the concept of ‘To Fuck a Predator’ during the interview when I applied to Jet Set Men in 2006, and I’m only just now releasing it.”

That riff on the popular ‘Dateline NBC’ series debuts this summer, with Rob Romoni (also the studio’s director of casting and marketing) as “JSMBC reporter Chris Jensen”—who informs the predators that their only way out of the house is to get man fucked. “It was sheer luck that Chris Hansen popped back up in the news right around the time we’re gearing up to release ‘To Fuck a Predator,’” Steele says. “The TV show is so much a part of pop culture that it’s still a relevant parody, but having him bring it to the forefront through his own scandal is great for the timing.”

And just months earlier, Jet Set unleashed ‘TSA Strip Down’ (which tackles headlines from the airports) and the sequel to last year’s smash hit ‘Jersey Score,’ which got national attention by being covered on both TMZ and CNN on the same night after its release (“It definitely dominates the parodies we have done in terms of popularity,” Steele says). The sequel features exclusive Billy Heights as Mike “The Stimulation,” with newcomer Jimmy Clay as “Nookie.” Last year also saw the studio score big with “Getting Levi’s Johnson,” which recently racked up hardware (for best screenplay, art direction and comedy) at the Grabby Awards.

“I never set out to make Jet Set Men the ‘go-to’ studio for gay porn parodies, and we certainly have not cranked out gay parody after gay parody,” Steele says. “It’s just that when we have done a parody, we have taken our time and done them well. We put out movies like ‘5 Easy Ways to Fuck a Straight Guy’ that you could call a parody … at a time in the business when it seemed that every other studio was cranking out dark-themed movies. We wanted to release an alternative choice on the market by producing a movie that had a fun, light-hearted theme that didn’t include forced, dark sex.”

Jet Set has also cornered the market on “reality show confessional” films (themselves a sort of parody) and also finds equal success with its other titles that focus on jocks and “straight” men straying — giving it a rare balance that no other top studio can claim. Maybe it’s just in the studio’s DNA — in addition to past hits like ‘American Porn Star,’ ‘Hung Country for Young Men’ and ‘The F Word’ (which tackled the Isaiah Washington “faggot” scandal on the set of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’), it produced one of the industry’s greatest efforts ever (parody or otherwise) with 2003’s ‘The Hole’ from Wash West — in which viewing a videotape turned people gay in seven days, a far better fate than the “death” option in the Hollywood horror hit (Steele notes he actually wrote a parody about a VHS tape that turned tops into bottoms after seeing ‘The Ring;’ he pitched the idea to Chi Chi LaRue, but it never materialized).

Steele also directed ‘Ass Cruisin’,’ a film few knew paid homage to one of his esteemed counterparts on the other side of the industry. “No one knows this — I never stated it, promoted it or told anyone about it — but the entire movie is a parody of Jules Jordan’s style. It is a parody in the sense not that it makes fun of Jules Jordan’s style, but that I filmed the entire movie using his style. It’s a very successful movie and was nominated for Best Picture, so Jules knows his stuff.”

Steele is no stranger to parodies from his days in front of the camera, either. He took on the Joe Rogan persona for ‘Rear Factor’ from All Worlds and director CoCo LaChine (creator of ‘Desperate Husbands,’ ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Fucking with the Stars’), and also won an award for Best Sex Scene with Michael Soldier for their improvised scene in Raging Stallion’s ‘Cops Gone Bad’ (developed around the idea of parodying the TV show ‘Cops’). The model-turned-director noted that one of the reasons he came to Jet Set after leaving Falcon in 2006 was that the studio took more risks and thought outside of the porn box.

“When I was Senior Director of Production and Editing at Falcon, I pitched several parody ideas — including a big-budget parody of ‘The Matrix’ — but they were all shot down because I was told by the higher-ups at the time, ‘Falcon doesn’t do parodies.’ Of course, one of the top movies from Falcon ever is a parody of ‘Thelma & Louise’ by John Rutherford called ‘Flashpoint.’ I still have a great script for ‘The Matrix’ parody, but the time has passed for that one to be relevant,” Steele notes, acknowledging that the gay side hasn’t exploited parodies as much as the straight side.

“Some gay studios are so specific in their formula that they even break down the sex scenes into time-specific edits … parody movies require much more planning and have so much more dialogue that you can’t pigeonhole the production into a formula. I don’t think you will see any increase in the number of parody movies in gay porn. Studios will continue to produce and sell their products using the tried-and-true formulas they know work for them with very little risk.”

He also notes that it’s harder to pull off parodies when you don’t have large roles for both genders, something he has tried to combat by casting women in prominent non-sex roles (including Lisa Ann as “Serra Paylin” in “Getting Levi’s Johnson”). Scripting also opens a big can of worms. “It is already a big challenge to film ‘comedy’ in a world of cliché and bad actors in a genre that has to break and stay on one fuck scene till it’s done before continuing with the storyline. Then you have to pull it all off without a team of comedy writers and with guys who don’t have any experience with acting or comedic timing. You put it on paper and go over it with everyone who will listen, take their suggestions and do the best you can with guys who don’t want to learn or deliver dialogue because they’re used to filming a fuck scene in 90 or 180 minutes on a sofa with zero memorized dialogue,” Steele says. “Casting is as key as scripting because if your guys don’t want to take the extra time necessary to make a good movie with a lot of dialogue and situations, then it can really have a negative effect on the end product. You need a good script and an enthusiastic cast and crew to make a good parody.”

That doesn’t stop Steele — himself a fan of straight porn hits “Porn Wars” and “Not the Bradys XXX” (“which seems to be the movie that started the whole parody craze on the straight side to begin with”) — from trying.

“I do have another parody concept that I’d like to do later this year, but I don’t want to say anything in case we end up scrapping the idea,” he says. “Every other day on Twitter, someone suggests a new parody. I’m always all ears and open to every suggestion. After all, fans are the audience.”


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