Colossal releases a wide variety of content, including plot-driven adult comedies, gonzos featuring European talent, and new division of gay-themed films shot in Brazil that the company officially debuted at this year's Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.
At the company's North Hollywood offices, President/founder Sheldon Baer and Vice President Michael Glaser spoke about the company's fast rise and where they see it going in the future.
XBIZ: What was your first year in business like?
Sheldon Baer: We did a couple of films, tested the market and saw what direction the industry was going. We evolved into making more movies overseas, which cut our costs. And now we're looking at 2006 to be a profitable year. The first year, of course, was not profitable, but we were building a library.
XBIZ: Colossal makes films that have a bit more humor and character than is typical for the adult market. Are you surprised that fans have responded positively to that element of your movies?
SB: Not really, because we knew what we were doing. The movies aren't the ordinary, run-of-the-mill gonzo type. Of course, the biggest success we've had is a gonzo movie! But [even in our gonzos], we have little vignettes, and a little something going on to entertain people before the action starts.
XBIZ: As the company grows, do you think you'll sign any contract performers?
SB: I don't see where the signing of talent benefits anybody. It just costs a lot more money, and I have a lot of problems with that. We do have talent that we use quite often, which is pretty much the same as contract. If we make a phone call [to a performer], we usually get priority because we use them quite often.
XBIZ: Will you continue to shoot the majority of your films overseas?
Michael Glaser: Yes, it's working out very well. The girls are gorgeous. We shoot in Hungary.
XBIZ: Why Hungary?
SB: You know, there are a lot of companies in this business, and they're saturating the market, which thins out the distribution. Where at one time somebody could sell 4,000 pieces, it might be down to 2,500 pieces now. How do you pick up that slack when your movies are costing you anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000? How do you reduce your costs and still stay alive? You can't do it [shooting] here in the States, you have to do it overseas, because the cost of producing there is substantially lower.
XBIZ: But you do produce some movies here in the U.S.?
SB: Yes. We want to keep our relationships with known talent. Most of the overseas talent is unknown, and even though they are gorgeous girls — and I mean magnificent, beautiful girls — we don't want to have all unknown talent.
XBIZ: Who handles your distribution?
SB: We sell to the larger distributors, we sell to smaller distributors, and we're trying to license overseas companies to distribute our movies. We have a licensee in Australia. We've licensed in parts of Europe, such as Italy, Spain and Bulgaria. So we've licensed those companies for certain movies, and we intend to try to do a worldwide licensing deal with one company that will distribute to all of Europe.
XBIZ: How do you get the word out to fans about a newer company?
SB: We've done some promotional store openings through distributors. We give away T-shirts and jackets. But this is a very thin business. If you're going to send talent on tour, it becomes too costly. We do what we can.