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Daring to be Great

Acme Andersson
Some companies just make it look easy. Daring Media Group entered the market in October 2006, and the Barcelona-based company was purchased almost immediately by European adult retailing giant Beate Uhse.

Rather than toy with releases of varying quality, Daring immediately hit the market with top-shelf material, producing both high-end fetish and feature titles.

Daring’s coming out was at the 2007 Venus show in Berlin. Its first titles were released that same week, and the company made an impression with its lavish booth, based on its historical trilogy “Roma,” a big-budget costume epic directed by Antonio Adamo. Adamo’s credits include dozens of titles for Private, among them the mega-budget “Private Gladiator.”

“It was very important to establish Daring as a producer of high-end product from the beginning, because with so many productions and studios being available in the adult industry, one needs to position and deliver something unique and different in order to stand out,” said Jonás Ramírez, Daring’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Daring also strongly believes there is a demand for such product.”

Ramírez said the company has not been scared off by the cost of such productions, even at a time when DVD sales are on the decline.

“The DVD will eventually disappear, only to be replaced by some other distribution platform,” he said. “It shouldn’t be regarded as a threat but rather as an opportunity to develop and access new markets.

“Experience says that a feature production like ‘Roma’ not only helps to better position the company and increase the brand awareness,” he continued, “but also [shows] that these are products that will keep on selling for a very long time across all different platforms. With this in mind, all productions, when properly marketed and with the right distribution partners, will be able to pay for themselves.”

Directors brought in early to Daring were French glamour photographer Christophe Mourthé and British director Kendo. Christoph Clark and Freddie Morse also recently agreed to shoot for the company.

“The most important thing for me is I am allowed to develop my ideas and style in the way I feel fit,” Kendo said. “I do look at things a little different than most other directors, especially in the U.K. I have to have the backing of Daring, and with that we can achieve great things. Daring gives me total creative freedom and I thank them for it.”

Ramirez acknowledged that the company’s directors have “quite a lot of freedom” when shooting for Daring.

“They are in close contact with Daring’s production manager, Ian Graves, about all the ins and outs of the shootings,” Ramírez said. “But basically the directors are free to develop their ideas.”

To help it gain footing in the American market, Graves announced earlier this year that he was seeking to bring on American directors “to add to our already-impressive list of masters.” Not long after that, the company announced an agreement with director Otto Bauer to shoot two features a month. Bauer’s wife, Audrey Hollander, was included in the deal as a nonexclusive contract performer.

‘Given the fact that the U.S. is one of the most important territories, the company announced it was looking for American directors,” Ramírez said. “Daring initiated talks with Otto during the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, and all parties were very enthusiastic about the possibility of working together. Otto Bauer is a very renowned name within the industry, and there’s no doubt he will be delivering a unique product for the liking of both American and European markets.”

Production companies aren’t just about DVDs anymore, and Daring is no different. Ramirez said the objective is to cover all possible platforms in all possible markets.

“Daring was established in order to create a one-stop shop, delivering unique, high-class content across all available platforms, including Internet, IPTV, VOD, cable, satellite, wireless and mobile devices and DVD,” Ramirez said. “The intention was also to grow from an operation mainly based in Western Europe to a worldwide operation that strategically positions the company and its partners as [a leader] in the adult entertainment industry.”

Ramirez said the company will continue to grow, and that during the past year Daring had worked to establish the brand and open markets. Last month, Daring Media took another step toward their goal by inking an exclusive North American distribution deal with IVD.

“IVD is thrilled to announce this new distribution deal with Daring,” said Pat Fischetti, IVD’s international sales manager. “We’re set to distribute the first two titles, ‘Roma’ and ‘Bondage Thoughts,’ any day now, and we’ve already seen strong interest from store buyers. Daring’s features are incredibly shot, unlike anything adult fans have ever seen.”

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