Famous for playing in bands like Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Navarro also is the author of “Don’t Do This at Home” (co-authored with Neil Strauss) and a reality TV personality on shows like “Rock Star: Supernova.” This was his first foray into adult entertainment as he takes on the role of filmmaker.
Titled “Dave Navarro: Broken,” the feature-length movie has an all-star cast of adult performers, including Sasha Grey, Jenna Haze, Victoria Sin, Audrey Bitoni, Kayla Page, Lisa Daniels, Tommy Gunn, Marco Banderas, Mark Davis and Spyder Jonez.
Navarro's directorial debut is part of Teravision's new "Celebrity Series" line that will feature a different celebrity director for each installment.
Teravision, which is owned by adult star Tera Patrick and her rocker husband Evan Seinfeld, will release “Dave Navarro: Broken” on Sept 27.
“I got into this because I have a lot of friends in the business,” Navarro said in an on-set interview. “One aspect to bring up — you know, I’ve been around the music business for years and years and I watched it spiral into absolute bullshit and nothingness and become the same old, safe regurgitated things that the corporate world is trying to shove down the public’s throat.”
“But in terms of edge and the taboo factor, it doesn’t seem to exist anymore [in music] — and to me, this seems like the only art form out there that’s exciting, shocking and taboo, yet there’s a huge market for it,” he said.
Navarro was initially approached by Teravision executive producer Sancho. A fan of Jane’s Addiction, Sancho thought Navarro would be willing and able to direct an adult film.
“I’d always thought that I’d like to see an adult movie that looks like a Jane’s Addiction album,” Sancho told XBIZ. “Something with a lot of images and that was real organic-sounding — or looking, I should say — something that’s deep, where you don’t have to have your art spoon-fed to you.”
“I got Dave’s phone number from a mutual friend and I shot Dave a text one day saying, ‘Hey, this Sancho over at Teravision — want to direct a movie for us?’ And he hit me back immediately saying, ‘Absolutely,’” Sancho said.
Navarro said he and Sancho worked together on every aspect of the movie. When the film was wrapped, Sancho said there was seven scenes shot over two days. Axel Braun was in charge of editing and communicated with Navarro on using some avant-garde techniques and treatments.
The film was described by Teravision as “a young woman torn apart by the duality of control and powerlessness in her life.”
Navarro chose themes of empowerment for women to figure prominently in the narrative, as well as elements of emotional connection. However, he stopped short of overdoing the film’s concept and avoided being too “grandiose.”
“First and foremost I want it to be entertaining at home to people that want to experiment sexually. That’s what the goal is; so, I want to present hot scenes that people can get off watching — ultimately, that’s what this genre is,” Navarro said. “I just wanted to present some things in a different light — I want it to be somewhat entertaining on a comically level. I want it to be sensual. I want there to be moments for everybody.”
Several of the adult industry’s top cameramen, most of them directors in their own right, were tapped to work with the production, including Braun, Ethan Kane, Jimmy D., Chris Hall and Phil Guy.
Another key element of the film was the performance of female lead Sasha Grey.
Described by Navarro as a “common thread” throughout the movie, Grey helped Navarro push the boundaries of his first filmmaking experience with the intensity of her acting performance.
“I was really, really impressed with her straight-up acting abilities and that she was able to allow herself to go to a very vulnerable, emotional place. It was awe-inspiring,” Navarro said. “I think in any creative field, it’s good to give an artist the opportunity to go where they’ve never gone before.”
“We went there in the moment and it was beyond what Sancho or I expected or anticipated. I could see her in mainstream films, actually,” he said.
After filming, Grey said also that she was impressed with Navarro’s enthusiasm for the project.
“He definitely took a chance of direction that most people in his position wouldn't be brave enough to do their first time out,” Grey told XBIZ. “It was different to work with him because it was like a kid who has never been in a candy shop trying to make up his mind.”
Venturing into the adult industry, Navarro said with the experiences he’s had in life, it didn’t feel like that much of a stretch for him. In terms of repercussions or mainstream reaction, his outlook was a mixture of realistic concern and creative confidence. He felt audiences were ready to see something new, edgy and artistic from him.
“As far as what people think — there’s always been a skewed opinion of me anyway. People have accused me of being a sell out for doing certain things and the fact of the matter is, if I didn’t do something I wanted to do because of what people think, that would make me a sellout,” Navarro said. “I do what I want to do because I want to do it. I’m not going to shy away from something like this because of what public opinion might be. That’s the bottom line.”
Company namesake Tera Patrick couldn't be more pleased — and impressed — with Navarro's groundbreaking foray into adult moviemaking.
"Dave is an extremely talented artist with tremendous vision which he has always communicated through his music," Patrick said. "I truly believe that with the Teravision team, Dave is breaking down barriers and exploring a new medium — erotic cinema. With our society so hung up about sex, yet so comfortable with violence, I think Dave's involvement in this project is a breath of fresh air and real stand for freedom of speech. Make love, not war!
"The music to the movie is incredible and I truly feel the bar has been set very high for those who will attempt to follow our lead. Dave and Sancho have created a movie that stands alone, and in many ways literally defines originality. Sasha's performance will take you up and down through many emotions, but always [is] so hot. I think a scene with Sasha is definitely in the cards. And as for Dave working with Teravision, why not? He is hot as hell, and what woman wouldn't want him working under her?"
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