Social Commentary Fuels AMKingdom's ‘Saving Humanity’
LOS ANGELES — With one of the unlikeliest titles ever for a porn feature, AMKingdom’s “Saving Humanity” is shaping up as the potential adult film of the year.
Its 82-page script rockets through four different eras, encompassing time travel, telekinesis, a spaceship, a glowing prehistoric monolith, a knockdown, drag-out catfight, a six-girl orgy and hairy prehistoric women.
Its $300,000 budget allows for more than the usual shooting time for a porn feature. The first days are taking place at Remmet Studios, a gleamingly well-equipped facility in a skuzzy part of Canoga Park, Calif.
Kim Nielsen, AMK owner and the film’s producer, is all about pushing the envelope. His first feature, “Revenge of the Petites,” made waves last year with its emphasis on storytelling and acting and the way it “integrated sex with the storyline.”
He says his company has upped the ante for porn with high production values, creativity, good acting. He wants to prove to the mainstream that artists from adult can create something meaningful.
“Saving Humanity” is that rare animal, a porn movie with a message: “That we’re losing our humanity.” Its story (written by Nielsen, turned into a screenplay by director Harry Sparks) depicts a future in which corporations rule the world, humans are cloned as adults and can be terminated at will. No sex is allowed. People can get off only by autoerotic stimulation provided by the government. Music and movies have been banned because of piracy.
The story moves through four time frames, with a different female lead in each: prehistoric age, 1950s, the present day and the future, 2054. In prehistoric times a monolith bestows powers (a deliberate reference to “2001: A Space Odyssey”). In the 1950s Riley Reid has the gift of telekinesis. Sinn Sage demonstrates her fighting skills in the future.
In AMK films women are always the protagonists, and Nielsen makes sure that all of them have natural breasts “We want to present women as they are, show their eroticism without degrading them.”
Curly-haired, thick-bushed Sativa Verté, so memorable in “Revenge” (and Nielsen’s fiancée), will have a scene with Beryl Aspen, a hairy girl from Oregon whose membership site is the most popular of the seven in AMKingdom’s network. (Neither woman is on set today.)
Most of the other female talent are “Revenge” veterans, including Sage, Reid, Celeste Star, Skin Diamond.
An exception is the 2011 XBIZ Performer of the Year Andy San Dimas, who takes part in the six-girl orgy. “After six years [in the industry] it’s good to work with someone new” — especially with a more elastic schedule. “Usually, I’m on the set for 20 hours, cramming so much dialogue and sex into so little time.” She shrugs. “It’s a question of money.”
Anthony Rosano shows up to play a professor in the ’50s scene, opposite Reid. He emerges from makeup with silver streaks in his hair, looking 20 years older.
Skin Diamond displays her lovely body as she gets into costume for later in the day. She won an XBIZ award (Best Supporting Actress) for “Revenge of the Petites,” so AMKingdom has a warm place in her heart. This is a smaller role — as a rock band singer in 2013 — but she doesn’t mind. “Everyone’s nice. This production is really big.”
Nielsen shows just how big with a tour of the studio’s two soundstages. “We’ve been building sets around the clock.” There’s a cave, a cloning factory, a ’50s-style dining room, a green-screen area where the spaceship will be filled in digitally. He points out a large box bed on which the six-girl orgy was shot, partially with an overhead camera.
Right now on the shooting stage they’re rehearsing a scene set in 2054. Sinn Sage, flanked by San Dimas and Reid, all toting futuristic-looking guns, confront Celeste Star (apparently their nemesis) as Deen, playing President Weinstein, looks on.
Director Sparks oversees everything, yet he’s virtually invisible, a strong yet unobtrusive presence whose wishes are carried out by assistants. His direction seems to be almost subliminal yet he and his crew work with precision and speed. It’s the loud-voiced, first assistant director who tells the girls where to move and what to do.
“All the crew are mainstream guys,” Nielsen says. That includes director of photography Jinish Shah, another XBIZ award-winner for his work on “Revenge of the Petites.” Supervising special effects is Digital Dave, a well-known FX guy who works in both mainstream and X and is on set every day.
Among the observers in the crowded space is Tara Lynn Foxx, the movie’s only blonde, who will have a sex scene later on with Deen. Right now the actor is only doing dialogue. He grew facial hair to play the role, but he’ll be shaving tomorrow. “The beard comes off when I play the young version of me,” he reveals.
The plan calls for Celeste to jump from her chair and challenge Sinn: “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.” This will segue into their big throwdown, which is being staged by a mainstream fight choreographer. “That’s a whole art in itself,” says Nielsen.
There are several mainstream media on the set, all because of Deen, who has become a crossover celeb thanks to his much-publicized work as Lindsay Lohan’s co-star in “The Canyons” and his prominence as an industry spokesman against the condom law.
But Nielsen says he worked with James before “all this stuff happened.” When he signed him for “Revenge of the Petites” he was “just another actor. We liked him because he wasn’t the typical steroided-up porn stud but more the boy-next-door type.” He cast Deen in “Humanity” before he wound up in the media spotlight, and he sees his new fame as “a bonus.”
For his part, Deen says, “What I love about working on AMKingdom features is that everyone involved really wants to create the best product possible. They fill their team with the necessary departments in order to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.”
Nielsen wants to end the movie with a musical number — think “Slumdog Millionaire” or “Hair” or “Step-Up Revolution”— that will also serve as a curtain call and provide a music video for online promotions. He has set aside two extra days in April to shoot it, aside from four additional days earmarked for pickup shots, re-shoots and fill-in scenes with actors (like San Dimas) who weren’t available every day of the original schedule. This is pretty much how the mainstream industry operates; for a porn producer it’s an almost inconceivable luxury.
AMKingdom.com will release an R-rated version several months before the XXX version. He plans a September premiere in Hollywood followed by an international release of the R-rated cut. He works on only one major feature per year. His next one, he says, will be a horror flick.