In an industry full of characters, Ivan is one of the most colorful. The Russian-born artist is a legit, five-tool player — he can write, produce, shoot, direct and edit — making him a valuable asset in porn circles.
Meanwhile, the self styled World’s Most Dangerous Director has also shown a flair for promoting himself, often pairing one of his custom-made tshirts or jerseys with a bright pair of high-top sneakers. It’s also not uncommon to see him sporting a video screen around his neck that plays porn trailers while he’s on the red carpet.
I love making a difference in people’s lives. I know it’s weird saying that while directing porn.
Ivan’s funky wardrobe is now just as much of a trademark as the way he shoots.
But underneath the flashy exterior, Ivan is serious about his calling, and he’s got the reel to prove it. Nowadays he averages 80-hour work weeks as he juggles roles as director of production for the Puba web network with his duties for Tom Byron Pictures, Twistys and others.
In this exclusive interview, he discusses his horror-film background, his education, his love for sports and his master plan.
What were you doing before you got into porn?
I was working in film and video. I did a lot of key and dolly grip work. I also co-directed and was a cinematographer on almost 20 mainstream, independent projects. The week I got offered a job in porn, I was offered a job on ‘The Bachelor.’ I turned that down and the rest is porn history. Well, at least in my eyes.
What was your familiarity with porn before you got into the business?
I knew very little about the porn industry. I watched some porn but wasn’t a daily or even a weekly watcher. I was busy working and making my own movies at the time. Once I did get into porn I was shocked by the rough or I guess ‘energetic’ type of porn being shot. I decided to shoot the ‘energetic’ porn with a twist ... making the girls look pretty and making sure they enjoyed that type of ‘energy.’
How did you get your start in adult?
I was working on a TV show called ‘The X Show.’ It was FX Network’s version of ‘The Man Show.’ But ours was a daily program. One weekend I attended a local wrestling show, it was XPW and the event was their first Deathmatch Tournament. I went with my brother (Ricky D.) and we were shocked yet excited to watch this fiasco of blood, barbwire, glass and torn flesh. We became fans, and then I introduced one of the hosts to this excitedly crazy XPW. This led to Lizzy Borden being a regular on the show. Quickly my computer genius little brother became their (XPW & Extreme Associates) web guy. He eventually introduced my work to Rob Black and Kevin K. Rob owned XPW and Extreme Associates. …They liked my reel and asked me to shoot some ringside footage for future events.
That led them to asking me to do behind-thescenes for their new company Evolution Erotica. I began shooting and editing some really fun BTS, to a point that reviewers were mentioning my name in the reviews. Back then I was known as Ivan E. Rection. Some of these reviewers who are still around give me credit as Ivan E.
How did you learn about photography/videography?
I actually wanted to be a cartoonist, and even applied to Hanna Barbera. Remember them? While in my first college I studied all aspects of art and fell in love with my video camera. I then attended a local junior college where I spent two years studying film history and theory. Eventually I attended Brooks Institute of Photography where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Cinematography and Motion Picture. I wound up being the 51st winner of the President’s Award in the school’s 50 years in existence.
How would you describe your style?
My style in shooting is really about the girls. To me it’s all about the girl. How you shoot her, how you treat her, how you approach each set with a different girl every time. I often will joke or talk to the girl before the shoot and get a feel for her character or how her day is going. Then I can manage the set accordingly. I love shooting hot teases with the girls. To me it’s about making the viewer so horny for the girl before the sex scene that he can’t wait to see her get reamed.
I also believe that my style can fluctuate depending on the scenario. This is where I feel I bring to the table more then any director out there. I can shoot gonzo, great music-videostyle teases, features, pretty much anything. I shoot, I write, I edit and I believe at the top level. I am extremely proud of my reel and the vastness of what it represents.
What does an average work day consist of?
My typical day is pretty crazy. I get up at 6 a.m. without an alarm clock. I sleep at my office three to four times a week ... so if I’m at the office a quick shower and by 7 a.m. I am either editing or prepping for the day’s shoot. I receive approximately 40 to 50 texts per day regarding shooting, editing, paperwork, you name it. I work seven days a week taking only serious time off on Sunday afternoons for family dinners. Other than that I shoot, edit, book and nap in between. I shoot and edit for 11 porn star sites, plus I shoot for Tom Byron Pictures, Twistys and a few other clients. In an average month I book, shoot and edit an equivalent of eight five-scene movies. Editing wise I edit around 60-80 scenes a month. That doesn’t leave much time for a social life or keeping healthy. Two issues I would love to resolve.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I love making a difference in people’s lives. I know it’s weird saying that while directing porn. But many girls consider me a big brother. They share their lives with me and trust in my opinion as well as friendship.
What are your hobbies?
I am a huge football fanatic. Yes, fanatic! I watch Pop Warner, high school, college, Canadian football, Arena, NFL ... shit a few years back I watched women’s semi-pro league during the off-season. MMA is big in my life. I became a fan in 1993 when it was called ‘no-holds-barred’ or ‘shoot fighting.’ UFC #1 made me an addict. I also love watching movies, particularly horror. My background is in horror, so that is my first love. I watch a lot of movies for fun and research. I mimic my porn trailers to mainstream ones on occasion. I also love being a full-time Captain Save-A-Ho as my coworkers think.
What is a project you are currently working on?
Right now I have my hands full with many projects. Besides working on all the girl site shoots and edits, I am working on a very special movie for Tom Byron Pictures. Besides directing and editing I am finally the producer on these projects. So with that said, I get to create and develop new and exciting series. Right now I am in the editing process on ‘This is Why I’m Hot.’ This I believe will show of my skills once again in the tease/gonzostyle format. I shot creative interviews with some fun teases, using some new lighting and video toys. The editing process is taking weeks because of the highend look I am going for. … Recently I have also been approached to be the first porn director on a skateboard by Pornstar Skateboards. And I am feverishly working to be the first porn director on a T.I.T.S. shirt.
How do you manage your time between shooting for PUBA, directing for Tom Byron Pictures, editing and other endeavors?
I am horrible at time management, so my hours are all over the place. I do love working through the night. No texts, no calls and no visitors. Creatively I’m at my best at 2 or 3 a.m. because of no distractions. My schedule is seven days a week with 12- to 16-hour days. I have many todo lists on my computer, Postit notes and dry erase board.
What in your professional career are you most proud of?
There are a few projects in my mainstream career I am immensely proud of — our indie horror short about the Y2K scare is my pride and joy. We screened the movie all over the world, won numerous awards and were covered by all horror magazines at the time. We even had John Landis (Animal House, Blue Brothers, American Werewolf in London, Coming to America) give us great feedback on the film. Our ‘Roadside Killer’ horror comedy series is my current baby of choice. Adult-wise, I try to outdo each project with the new one. But my proudest moment was ‘Texas’ Asshole Massacre’ for many reasons. It opened up the door to opportunities with big companies; it won and was critically acclaimed plus it was like a honeymoon project of sorts with me and my ex and lead of the movie, Kami Andrews. Other projects include ‘Sweet Cheeks #11’ for Anabolic which got me on MTV and garnered many nominations. These days I am as proud of my latest project as much as any other. ‘This is Why I’m Hot’ for Tom Byron Pictures will solidify what I am about, what I can do and why in my heart I believe I can stand next to anyone from skill to dedication to my creative drive.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to make Puba a household name in and out of the industry.