Scott Taylor founded New Sensations in 1993 with a two-pronged objective: to be innovative and to improve on existing trends. Twenty years later, he continues to make good on those goals, raising the bar on how features are written, produced and marketed and creating parodies that not only draw media exposure, but serve as must-own companion pieces for fans of the original work.
Taylor took some time to speak to XBIZ about the changes he’s seen in the past 20 years, the Internet, Measure B and what he’s got coming down the pike.
I like to think they are good ideas made into great movies by people I have great respect for. —Scott Taylor, Founder, New Sensations/Digital Sin
New Sensations turns 20 this year. How does it feel to hit such a milestone?
I feel older now. Where did the time go? I am very proud of the company and the people who work here now and those that have contributed along the way. The company was built with great people both in front and behind the scenes. This remains true to this day.
What changes in the last 20 years have been beneficial to New Sensations? Any changes in the business that you lament?
I don’t know what changes there have been other than to adapt to trends and changes within the industry. I have always tried to make what I feel is the best product to represent the company. I try to be innovative and create trends as well as follow them. I like to be one of the first to do something. I am a better leader than a follower. That said, thank you to Will Ryder for bringing back the parody.
How has the porn consumer changed in the last 20 years?
I have become aware that more women are comfortable, at an earlier age, with their sexuality. There is an increase in women buying novelties and an acceptance that it is okay for them to enjoy sex. It is not as much of a secret. This is a reason I wanted to do the Romance Series. I have a vision of each series we do. I want it to appeal to both men and women. Our gonzo products tend to cater to men. This consumer has not changed. Successful gonzo genres go in cycles. Nothing has changed. What has changed is the delivery method. We try and make money in every arena we can. Unfortunately, the biggest change is in piracy of the tube and torrent sites. Hard to sell what people can steal so easily.
Internet: friend or foe?
For quite some time I would say it was friend. Now, it is an endless array of piracy. It has caused irreparable harm to this industry. As it gets worse, people will see less and less product available. Our budgets are high on many projects. We have had to stop making as many due to the Internet piracy. Every company feels it. It is just becoming the new standard and we have to adapt as best as possible again. It’s affected VOD, broadcast, membership sites, DVD sales, etc. Very difficult to fight it. I spend more time trying to work with it. Well, that and I expanded into novelties and lingerie. Can’t download a dildo … yet.
How much of a concern is Measure B to New Sensations? Is it worth fighting against?
Currently, it is an aggravation. It makes things more difficult. Again this is a situation where we need to adapt. We shoot outside of L.A. County. The concern is that this grows to be statewide or even nationwide. It is absolutely worth fighting. It is ridiculous. Who polices if a condom is used in everyday, consensual sex? Simply, because we use a camera the rules are completely different? I wish people would realize how ludicrous this is. I am over being shocked that it passed. I just need to be part of the solution.
You mentioned parodies earlier. Do you worry that the market is oversaturated with spoofs?
Yes, it is oversaturated. A lot of bad product. The novice customer does not know what to choose from and if they don’t like their first one or two, we may lose them. There is still room for success in that field. Axel [Braun] has proven that. Quality and a good concept. We have not produced parodies for a while but we now have “Hunger Games” in pre-production.
The Romance Series, along with parodies, have elevated New Sensations’ profile significantly over the last few years. To what do you attribute the company’s success in those markets?
Quality. I read every script. I wrote two. I watch every movie. We followed Will [Ryder’s] success in the parody market and made our way. If you make good product then it has a longer life. Customers know what to expect from your brand. Over the 20 years our profile included Interactives (“My Plaything”) under our Digital Sin label, features such as “Dark Angels” and a slew of great-selling gonzos.
When the market started to feel the impact of the tube sites and piracy we just shifted focus to parodies. That market started to fade about the time we put out the first Romance movie. We have expanded the Romance Series to include The Couples Series (“Torn,” which is a story I desperately wanted to tell), The Erotic Stories Collection (“The Submission of Emma Marx”) and The Swinger Series (“Shared Wives”). I like to think they are good ideas made into great movies by people I have great respect for. I am trying to lead here and set the bar. So far so good. It’s a team effort. We are all very passionate about what we are trying to do.
The Erotic Stories Series features some edgy storylines. With the success of The Romance Series and parodies, why go dark?
I don’t see it as dark. I co-wrote some features in the past called Erotic Stories. I have a lot of ideas here. I think this series has great potential. The progression of the series is: The Romance Series is the newlywed stage; the Couples Series is the marriage stage — I plan to delve into issues that revolve around the complexities of long-term marriage; the Erotic Stories Collection is more of an example of taking your relationship in a more erotic direction.
Sex is not a bad thing. It can be incredibly fulfilling both physically and mentally. There are things beyond missionary position that people may want to consider. I hope people can look at each of these series and enjoy them. It depends on your taste. We approach movies as a mainstream idea with sex. Sex is mainstream. It just seems watching it isn’t. Maybe reading it is. Look to “Shades of Grey” as an example. That is now mainstream. I have read that type of book for years and it seems like this is a first for so many people. Welcome to the world that was already here.