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Director's Chair: David Lord

Erik Jay
Born in the Inland Empire, David Lord moved with his family to the San Fernando Valley when he was 12. From then until he was 18, it was life in the Valley but quite unlike like “That 70s Show.” There were, well, issues – broken home, divorced parents, teen angst fueled by playing in rock bands. Today, however, Lord’s father and stepmother are great friends with his mother. “They hang out together,” Lord says, “which I find very cool. I’d say it’s an unusual family, sure, but they’re mine and I love ‘em.” That settles that.

When Lord hit 18 he was still playing in a rock band, when every musician had a day gig in telemarketing. In fact, Lord was working in telemarketing, selling adult video, when in 1996 he went to work for Private USA and Odyssey Group Video, Bob Tremont’s operation. He was selling CDs but, as Lord recalls, “DVD was just coming out and I knew it was the future. I sort of convinced Bob to convince Private to let us give it a shot, and that led to ‘Private Pyramid 1’ – about the third DVD out there.”

From there David moved on to Wicked, learning the craft from Brad Armstrong, Nic Andrews, Michael Raven and other leading directors. When he continued his career trek to Evil Angel he got his first opportunity to direct, and knew immediately that he “was hooked.” His first credit was “Vault of Whores,” and in 2005 he dropped everything else and became a fulltime director. XBIZ spoke with the busy Lord in mid-August.

XBIZ: Seems like you’ve done this nonstop your whole adult life. Don’t you ever take time off?

DL: What’s that? While I was at Wicked, when I would take a vacation I would work during that, too. That’s what it took to learn the art and craft. I learned how to work the camera from being on Michael Raven and Jonathan Morgan’s sets, how movies should look from Brad Armstrong, the whole process of making and editing movies from Nic Andrews – it was incredible schooling.

XBIZ: You can do it all. Are you tempted to be a one-man band?

DL: I learned how to be a complete director, which means I can do it all, not that I should. Today I choose not to do some things that aren’t my main passion but I know the whole process and can do everything when I need to. I do lighting, own my own grip truck, have all my gear, own two editing bays – I can take something from concept to completion, solo if I have to.

XBIZ: Knowing so much, are you tempted to interfere with your crew?

DL: No way. I’ve been on the receiving end of micromanagement, and it’s horrible. As a director, as long as you can enroll your crew and cast into your vision and have dependable pros on hand, it works. If I can’t delegate a job to you, then you’re not going to be on my team. A production team is a collective with a common goal. The attitude is, “Let’s do our jobs, we’re professionals.”

XBIZ: A standard question here: What the heck is going on in this business?

DL: There are trends and cycles, over and over, in this business. Porn goes amateur for a while, then it goes bigboob, then features, then parodies – it’s one big circle and cycle, with that ever-changing flavor of the month.

XBIZ: Belladonna told us last year that she welcomed the shakeout since it sent the bottom feeders down the toilet. Your thoughts?

DL: People who make crap product don’t care. They do ‘em as cheap as they can. She is absolutely right and I totally support her in that. A shakeout in the industry doesn’t scare those of us who, like Belladonna, are committed to quality do whatever it takes.

Oh, yeah. I’ve been blessed. After leaving John and Tricia at Evil, where I learned so much, I then learned more about capturing performances from John Stagliano, who has the most incredible eye for what is sexy. And now I’m totally blessed to be at Adam & Eve. They’ve treated me very well, given me a home and they’re all awesome people.

XBIZ: Tell us about your other artistic pursuits.

DL: I have two tattoo shops now, one in Hollywood and one in Reseda, both named Kustom Kulture Tattoo. My love of classic autos and hot rods was the vision for my shop. In the customized auto universe, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Larry Watson, and Bill Carter is one of my clients, and I actually got to wrench on Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Orbitron when it was being restored a couple of years ago.

XBIZ: Any words of wisdom to close with?

DL: In this day and age, with the recession and all, people don’t want to risk their dough. That’s true of CEOs and investors, and it’s true of porn buyers, too. The investment has to be solid to raise the money, and the production has to be first-rate to make the sale. Simple, but not easy.

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