"In essence, those companies have ceased to exist," Gold Star Modeling owner Joel Lawrence told XBIZ. "They are branches of Gold Star Modeling now, with all the functions and services that the L.A. branch provides, including housing and transportation for the talent. They are both already functioning. We are bringing, roughly, two girls a week to each of the two offices, so six to eight girls a month right now."
Lawrence called the merger a win-win for the talent.
"They can work in Florida or New York, and then come to L.A.," he said. "It's a win-win for local producers too, because they can deal with a bigger company, with more agents and more services as well as more talent coming through their state on a more consistent basis — and more high-end talent as well. It's also a win for producers in Los Angeles, because the local offices can agent out makeup artists, locations, equipment and technicians in Florida or New York. They will now be able to easily go and shoot in those other regions.
"It's a win-win-win for everyone. The agents in the branches now have more talent that is coming in from L.A., and their local talent has more places to go. It wins for the agents, it wins for the talent and it wins for the producers."
Lawrence said that the merger could encourage more production outside of Los Angeles.
"It's hard for producers to spring up in New York if they don’t have a steady stream of talent," he said. "It will develop those regions to further them as a source of production."
Alternative Modeling's Eli Thomas told XBIZ that the merger has been in discussion for a while.
"It's been in conversation for the better part of three weeks," Thomas said. "It's a very exciting move for all of us. I've been working on building a national organization, with an office in L.A., so this is the best of both worlds for me.
"Joel and I are very excited about the merger between Alternative Modeling and Gold Star Modeling. Each one of the geographies — L.A. and Florida — get our undivided attention, so it is a benefit for everybody. My talent working under Joel in L.A., and his talent working for me in the South Florida market I know so well."
Florida-based production companies include Bang Bros., Reality Kings and Score Group, plus other producers.
"There are about 30 companies that shoot regularly in South Florida," Thomas said. "A third of them shoot every day. A third of them shoot two or three days a week, and the other third shoot, like, once a week."
Blue Max Models' Joe Max told XBIZ he is happy with the merger.
"I'm excited, thrilled," Max said. "I think it's going to be great. Joel is bringing 120 girls, his knowledge of the industry and his connections as far as L.A. is concerned. As a nationwide agency we have a lot more to offer producers and talent.
"In the last two years production in New York has gotten bigger and bigger, and a lot of producers are flying in from L.A. they want to shoot in New York and get something a little different."
Representatives of the newly-merged Gold Star Modeling will be at the company's booth at Exxxotica New York this weekend, including Lawrence and Max, and performers Jaelyn Fox, Asa Akira, Rhyse and Rhylee Richards, Felony, Jacky Joy, Tina Tink, Sasha Hollander, Nikita and Summer Holiday.