Billy Glide got introduced to the porn industry in the same way as many performers before him and many more since — he met a woman who worked in the business. He was bartending at the time, young, single and had the equipment to do the job, so what the hell?
Life as a porn star was good. "But after a few years, you realize there's probably something more [to life] than just fucking and partying," Glide tells XBiz.
The natural progression was directing and producing, but as anyone who's made the transition will tell you, it's easier said than done. Starting a porn company requires business acumen, a ton of money and people you can trust.
Enter Oliver Bone, Glide's friend since 3rd grade.
"[Oliver] was the first person I thought of when I decided to start my own production company," Glide says. "Oliver was always an entrepreneur. Even in high school, he had half a dozen kids working for him cleaning windows."
Besides having a sharp business mind, Bone shared Glide's enthusiasm for plain old stupid fun, dating back to the egg fights they would get into with rival elementary schools as kids to snowboarding or water skiing as adults — and he figured other porn fans might also share their enthusiasm for it, and "Billy Glide's XXX Adventures" was born.
"Oliver always said that people would pay to watch the crazy shit we do," Glide says. "Wouldn't it be entertaining to combine 'The Real World' and 'Jackass' and replace all of the characters with hot porn stars? That's the formula for our shoots; we shack everyone up together and let the cameras roll. Our biggest problem is editing the trip down to a standard-length DVD."
Making It Work
It was a novel idea; the trouble was the expense of flying a whole cast and crew at locations like Catalina Island.
"The biggest challenge is getting through your first year and the learning curve associated with the production end," Glide says. "I don't think people realize the amount of work that goes into post- and pre-production, marketing and the daily operations."
But the goal from the beginning was to put out discs that capture all the behind-the-scenes drama and antics — the total porn lifestyle — and you can't do that in a one-day shoot at a hotel, so Glide and Bone decided to find a way to foot the bills.
Bone, who has experience in mainstream financing, set up the corporation and funded the first features, as well as the design and development of BillyGlideXXX.com.
It also helped that Glide had already formed key industry relationships.
"I've been fortunate to have previous relationships with many of our business partners such as Mike Kovaks from Leisure Time, our publicist Harry Weiss and all of our crew on the production end, ranging from talent to editors," he says. "If you surround yourself with talented people who know how to get the job done, and they want to see you succeed, you're bound to be successful."
At the core of that group, of course, are Bone and Glide, who handles casting, publicity and production while Bone focuses on day-to-day operations.
"We agreed from the beginning to split the responsibilities according to what each of us does best," Glide explains.
With their first DVDs on store shelves, Glide and Bone are focusing heavily on ramping up the Internet side of the business. Since they typically film about 20 hours of footage for every DVD, their BillyGlide XXX.com site is the perfect venue to show fans what they can't see on the DVDs as well as maximize revenue from content they create.
Thanks to the unique nature of its adventure reality porn, Billy Glide Productions also has attracted the attention of cable pay-per-view, including Playboy's Spice Network — another place where extra footage has come in handy, specifically to help edit movies that can pass muster with X and XX ratings.
Glide says his company boils down to the simple fact that most guys have fantasized about being porn stars, and his company gives them a glimpse of what it's like to live out the fantasy.
"Not a day goes by without someone asking me what it's like to be an adult performer," he says. "We want to show what the lifestyle is like, what [the performers'] real personalities are... to show the viewers the stuff that typically happens when the cameras are not rolling.
"The bottom line is great sex," he adds, "with a genuine look into the lifestyles of performers and a behind-the-scenes look at the actual production."
The formula seems to be working so far, but Glide knows the idea never would have taken flight if not for the help of his lifelong friend, Bone.
"He really is like a brother to me," Glide says, "so I know he'll give me his honest opinion. He might be wrong, but at least I know where he stands."