The deal kicks off with Liberate's first production, "Rogered!" The label was co-founded this year by commercial director Ross Winters and performer Kurt Rogers, best known for his work with U.K.-based pro/am sites MenAtPlay.com and UKNakedMen.com.
"They saw South Africa, with its beautiful locations, great weather and amazing men as the perfect place to shoot high-end, high-quality XXX gay films," said Michael LaBarbera, PacSun's director of production and marketing.
"We are single-handedly creating the porn industry in South Africa," Winters said. "The faces are fresh, the locations are different and for our upcoming films we will be showing more of that."
"We intend to offer different kinds of guys. Our first film had more of a muscle-hunk look, and our next film has younger guys, more twinky. In the long term we aim to cater to pretty much all tastes, from bears to twinks."
Winters stressed a Liberate Studios point of pride is the utilization of "proper filmmaking techniques, even down to the catering department. Our goals are to put South Africa on the porn map."
The decision to found Liberate came from a growing desire for creative innovation. "I was bored out of my mind doing commercials and friends of mine kept suggesting this as a joke," Winters told XBIZ. "I had started a successful post-production and production company and was personally wanting something really different."
He and his partners were not deterred by the current economic malaise. "I do think a recession is a perfect time to start a business, as I think if the business can survive a recession and make money, when things change, and they always change, then strong fundamentals will be in place."
He believes a porn company has two options during a recession. "You go even cheaper and totally commoditize your product, which is a strategy that will work for some. Or you do what you really know and are passionate about. In our case it’s high-end production values."
As a working mainstream filmmaker, Winters "found himself cringing" at many recent straight and gay adult films. "I find so much porn is created to be instantly disposable. But there is a market out there for porn connoisseurs that no one really seems to be talking to. I like to think of those guys as our customers."
During a recent shoot, Liberate utilized the new, high-end Red One digital camera for B-roll. "I'm not sure if that's been used by any other gay studio. And while it might not mean much to anyone other than a filmmaker, it's just a nice detail for us," he said. "I think we are on the right path but we are still new and there is so much to learn. That's part of the fun and the freedom, I think."
"Rogered!" is centered on "a weekend of total debauchery under the African sun" and toplines Rogers with Nic James and Jed Wilcox. It is scheduled to street in July. For sales inquiries visit the official PacSun wholesale website or call (800) 333-8149.