LOS ANGELES — Friends and colleagues of the late gay porn producer John Bruno paid tribute to him this week.
Bruno, a writer, producer and director John Bruno, died Jan. 14 at his home in Flushing, Mich. He was 45. Bruno was born in Flint, Mich., on April 14, 1967. He was a graduate of Flushing High School and Michigan State University.
Upon graduating from college, John made a short film, "Murder 101." The thriller took first place in the Michigan State Film Festival. His second short, "Sink or Swim," was an audience favorite and screened at many festivals across the country. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry.
Bruno began his career in motion picture advertising working at such studios as TriStar, Gramercy, Orion and IMAX, where he was a marketing vice president. He worked on campaigns for "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Ulee’s Gold" and "Dead Man Walking," starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn on which he was nominated for best trailer. He won a Key Art Award for producing the trailer for "The Usual Suspects" and was also nominated for his work on the trailer for "Bent."
In addition to his work in mainstream John founded Massive Studio, an adult entertainment studio in 2003. He cast Rob Romoni and Chris Steele in his first few Massive films and began a friendship and working relations with both that would last nearly a decade. Bruno became friends with many he worked with in the adult industry.
“When John directed me in his Massive Studio movies I thought he was one of the most creative director’s I had worked with as a model," said director Chris Steele. "We became friends in the business and I worked side by side with John on many projects for multiple studios for nearly 10 years. I will miss his friendship, his never ending visionary drive and his sense of humor."
Rob Romoni said, “John Bruno was a great friend, great director and incredible spirit. His creativity has produced superstars and instant classics in the gay adult industry. Bruno’s gentle yet savoir-fair persona is what will make him a legend and I am grateful to have known him.”
Bruno’s long time cameraman, Brad Austin, remarked, “Working with John was always a pleasure. He was an incredible talent and close friend.”
Superstar performer Landon Conrad echoed their sentiments. “John holds a special place in my heart," Conrad said. "When I started working in the industry, he was one of the first directors I had the pleasure to work with. His sweet and caring demeanor always made me feel so comfortable and at ease while I was on-set. I’m forever grateful to have been able to work with him and share those experiences. John will be incredibly missed by everybody whose lives he touched.”
Others remembered Bruno fondly.
“I’m sorry to hear about his passing it was always a pleasure working with John on every studio project, He was a talented director and he will be missed," said industry photographer Anthony Duran.
“I think we will all love him and miss him forever. I grieve for his family and friends. John had amazing friends who loved him. We will all miss him forever," remarked author AJ Llewellyn.
Performer John Magnum: “It’s not my place to tell you who John Bruno was or wasn’t. But I will have to say this, I’ve worked with a lot of people in this industry and I’ve forgotten nearly every single one of them. But I will never forget John Bruno.”
Director Chi Chi LaRue: “Rest in peace John Bruno. Our world is a less happy without you in it.”
Video editor Tony Biscotti also recalled his experiences with Bruno. “It was a privilege to work with John Bruno over the years. His extraordinary vision and creativity challenged me in such a way that I became a better video editor each time I worked on his projects. I will greatly miss his friendship,” he said.
Industry photographer and longtime friend, Greg Lenzman, aka Mocha, said, “I loved working with John (“Lady Bear”) Bruno. He was a very creative director and talented photographer/graphic designer as well. His wry and sometimes self-deprecating humor made him fun to be around during and after productions. He will be sorely missed.”