opinion

Falcon Studios Group Puts Class Into Compilations

Dan Cameron

When acclaimed adult industry screenwriter and producer Jack Shamama gets nostalgic about memorable periods in gay porn, the late 1990s at Falcon come quickly to mind.

“Falcon put out these movies, these guys were so hot, and you knew nothing about them. You could really project that they were these sex machines, these gods, and you never really wanted to think about these being ‘normal’ people,” he says. “The likes of Eric Hanson and Mike Branson top the list.”

The more you can give a DVD customer exactly what he is looking for, the more likely they are to buy the collection.

It’s no wonder then that when the studio launched its Anthology series in February of 2006, Hanson was the inaugural stud to receive the “greatest hits” treatment. Eight scenes from his studio work were compiled into “The Best of Eric Hanson”, and his popular contemporaries quickly followed: Jeremy Penn, Tom Chase, Branson and Chase Hunter ... part of a group marking one of the most iconic sets of exclusives in the industry’s era.

Now entering its 10th year of production, the line is as strong as ever, with more than 100 volumes — featuring a mix of legends from every era of Falcon’s (and thus gay porn’s) history. From early stalwarts like Al Parker, Leo Ford and Lee Ryder to current-day superstars like Landon Conrad, Adam Killian and Andrew Jakk — and everyone in between — the collection is a virtual smorgasbord of Grade-A meat.

“It gives fans the ability to have a single disc or collection of their favorite actors. That is the real value,” notes Falcon Studios Group President Chris Ward. “It’s also a way for new consumers to buy a complete collection of any given actor’s works. It’s a great way for fans to access some of the great stars of the golden age — especially talking Falcon here — without having to buy hundreds of DVDs.”

Want a history of gay porn? Just take a look through the series. The likes of Gus Mattox, Travis Wade, Josh Weston, Spike, Erik Rhodes and Zak Spears are all here, bringing with them a “who’s who” of A-list directors, from current hit makers like Tony Dimarco, Steve Cruz and Bruno Bond to hall of famers like Steven Scarborough, Chi Chi LaRue, Matt Sterling, Bruce Cam, John Rutherford and Ward himself.

With the launch of the Falcon Studios Group A-Team last September, Toby J. Morris, VP marketing, says that the Anthologies will be on temporary hiatus as they consider ways to package scenes of their elite models (and other popular models not necessarily on the A-Team) from recent years.

“We’re working on deciding which of these elite models on the A-Team should come first, and holding off a little until we have enough great scenes in our library to put together an amazing product. We typically build these based on models who have been or are exclusives, and have amassed a number of scenes with us that warrant a ‘best of’ selection,” Morris says.

“One of the reasons that we created the A-Team is because we know that this is still first and foremost a model-based business. That being said, our fans and customers have their favorite models and types of guys, so we’ve based all of our collections on catering to the tastes of the fans. If fans are diehard Ryan Rose devotees, we want to have a product for them, and the Best of/Anthology line is a way to give them all the best Ryan Rose scenes. Similarly, if a customer is into hairy guys, we have the “Hairy Boyz” collections [currently at Vol. 42]; for fans of men of color, we have “Men Noir” [two volumes]; guys who like big dicks, we have the “Humongous Cocks” [30 volumes] or “My Big Fucking Dick” [27 volumes] lines. The more you can give a DVD customer exactly what he is looking for, the more likely they are to buy the collection.”

Ward adds that those other collection lines are very successful, and now include scenes from all three companies.

“Masterstrokes is theme based — I built it based on the idea that I wanted to have one collection of DVDs that represented all the best work I did as a director. Masterstrokes, by definition, is a collection of all of my favorite scenes. It’s divided into themes such as ‘Great Pairings’, ‘Three Ways’, ‘Orgies’, etc.,” he says (the line is currently up to Vol. 13 and also includes hits from Dimarco and Cruz). “The anniversary collections do very, very well, much better than the Anthologies. This is partly because they are multiple DVDs and offer a good value—for example, the ‘Raging Stallion 15th Anniversary Pack’ was 15 movies.”

The Anthologies are only DVD releases; Ward notes they sell well, but did better in the past when the DVD market was more vigorous. But that hasn’t stopped them, and Ward gave no thought to discontinuing the series when his Raging Stallion and Falcon became part of the same family in late 2010.

“Falcon is unique in that it had the greatest stars in the industry for nearly 45 years. There are hundreds of superstars from these many years who once were household names among gay porn fans. Because we have so many top guys, there is almost an unlimited number of Anthologies we can create,” Ward says, noting that the brand and packaging has stayed the same since the start. “We always try to select the best scenes for an Anthology of any given actor. It’s meant to represent their best work.”

Paddy O’Brian was the most recent stud to receive the treatment, the 104th in the series. As usual, the volume collected eight scenes and over two hours of material — including a previously unreleased scene to sweeten the deal (with Ty Roderick), available for the first time ever on DVD.

“That was not really part of a regular movie,” Morris says. “We had released it on our membership site, but not onto DVD so we thought that it would be a great bonus to fans of this very popular model if we added it to his ‘Best of’. Plus, it was a really hot scene.”

O’Brian already has enough studio material to warrant a second volume (“With Paddy’s popularity and the number of scenes he shot with us, it’s most definitely a possibility that he will make the list again after we rethink the ‘Best of’ concept and begin putting them out again,” Morris says), and he wouldn’t be the first: the likes of Roman Heart, Matthew Rush and Colby Taylor have received three tributes apiece.

The series was so successful it promoted Raging Stallion to begin its own Anthology Series two years ago with “The Tommy Defendi Anthology”, its most recent entry highlighting Ivan Andros late last year. The series currently has 15 volumes, featuring the likes of Logan McCree, Francois Sagat and current director Steve Cruz.

Hot House — which joined the Raging Stallion and Falcon family last year — has featured collections as well (not under an Anthology label), with 18 models receiving the treatment. Alex Collack, Kyle King, Ross Hurston and Jimmy Durano are just a few who have made their mark at the studio, while the likes of Arpad Miklos, Rafael Alencar and Matt Cole have been highlighted in more than one series.

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