It was almost a cosmic coincidence, one that Adam Killian has to laugh about in retrospect. In early January, he flew to San Francisco to shoot his first scene with COLT Studio — a military-themed duo with Spencer Reed, a longtime friend whose home he visited prior to the shoot.
“On his dresser was the XBIZ Award, and I definitely noticed it because it was the biggest and coolest looking one out of them all,” says Killian. “It’s almost a fetish. I love shiny and sparkly things, and things that bounce light…so I went over and I picked it up. I was like, ‘Wow, this is pretty nice.’ I saw that it was for Performer of the Year and said, ‘It doesn’t get any better than that.’ He said it was his favorite award. And I didn’t really think too much of it at the time.”
This past year, I definitely have worked more than I have ever have in front of the camera, so it was nice to know that all of that was seen and interpreted as really good work. I was happy with that, and I’m looking forward to continuing it. — Adam Killian
You’ll have to forgive Killian, whose jam-packed schedule had him a little out of the loop — he wasn’t aware that the awards were that week. Just days later, he was in New York shooting as a videographer for Lucas Entertainment when a text message caught him by surprise.
“Spencer shot me a text saying, ‘Hey, I heard you won!’ And I didn’t know what he was talking about. And he said, ‘You won that trophy that you picked up on my dresser,” and I was like, ‘What?! What are you talking about?!’ He told me I had won Performer of the Year for XBIZ, and I was like, ‘No way!’ I was totally excited, and pretty much right after he told me, a lot of the people in the office at Lucas had heard the news and they all came in and congratulated me. It was really awesome. That was definitely fate, the fact that that COLT scene happened.”
In addition to being friends, Killian also filmed Reed — who won last year’s top award — for Falcon earlier in both of their careers. Now, the two share another common bond as two of the top performers in the industry.
“It makes me feel proud and honored,” says Killian. “It’s almost a humbling experience to be recognized by the big players in the industry, that they recognize the work you put into it and that they see talent. This past year, I definitely have worked more than I have ever have in front of the camera, so it was nice to know that all of that was seen and interpreted as really good work. I was happy with that, and I’m looking forward to continuing it.”
Killian had his hand (and other body parts) in all of the top gay award winners this year. He starred in a few films for Titan, which netted its fifth consecutive honor for Gay Studio of the Year. Noted Titan Media Vice President Keith Webb: “We are very proud … this award means a lot to us as it is about our overall body of work and the brand. We are very proud to be one of the last remaining major independent gay adult studios. It takes a lot to be vertically integrated and to control, own and manage your entire business operation from production through distribution.”
Chris Ward, president of Raging Stallion and Falcon, netted Director of the Year for the latter studio’s “The Other Side of Aspen VI” (of which Killian was a part of). The resurrection of the industry’s most popular series was well received by fans and critics.
“For many years, I always dreamed of getting a Best Director Award, and now I have been lucky enough to win this award many times. The one for ‘Aspen,’ however, is special. This was the first Falcon movie shot after I became Falcon’s president. I knew I had to come out with a powerful film that let customers know that Falcon was set to not only continue its legacy as the greatest of all porn studios, but to show that we were looking towards the future and planned to keep Falcon and Raging Stallion studios on the top. It was a great experience. It was the first time I got to shoot Roman Hart and Landon Conrad! The best part was when these Falcon actors came up to me after the shoot with kind comments and even went so far as to say that this was the best shoot they had ever been on. That shoot experience, I think, helped to confirm to the Falcon actors and staff that the Raging Stallion merger was a good thing.”
NakedSword won for Gay Web Company of the Year, while stalwart studio Hot House Entertainment nabbed Gay Site of the Year. “We were completely stunned, it was so unexpected,” said Brent Smith, VP/creative director. “For three years, Stephan Sirard and his partners at Gamma pursued Hot House trying to sign us on board with them. Winning the XBIZ award was a terrific way for their team to feel they’d accomplished something great and that Hot House had been worth the wait. We couldn’t have made a better choice.”
Smith had two goals with the redesign of the main site (as well as fetish themed ClubInferno.com): increased visual impact and a fresh, clear design. “By drastically increasing the size of our photos in the tour, I was able to show off our professional studio photography and provide the user with that ‘Wow!’ factor. Big gorgeous photos tell the user that this is premium content from a professional studio. This new size also supports the supersize HD video player, which offers the viewer crystal-clear video streaming. With a contentrich site full of photos, box covers and banners, I really wanted the design of the site to be sparse so the content has an opportunity to speak. I feel too many adult sites are over-designed, which competes with the content and, in the end, overwhelms the user.”
That was just part of Hot House’s exciting year. “2011 ended with a big bang … we scored big with the return of Matt Cole to the gay adult scene in ‘Trunks 6.’ Matt did his first gay adult movie with Hot House in 2006 (‘At Your Service’) and went on to become the hottest gay adult star of the year. He worked for just about a year before retiring, so his fans were thrilled to hear about his comeback. We also ended the year with ‘Sektor 9’ and the return to what Hot House does better than anyone: leather,” says Smith. “Director Christian Owen has also brought a young fresh voice and new ideas to the sets; having worked in front of the cameras for many years, he’s been a great face for Hot House with the talent.”
Gay Movie of the Year went to Lucas Entertainment’s “Assassin” (which featured — guess who? — Killian), an artistic blockbuster that was popular not only for its smoldering sex, but also for its high-quality look.
“I truly believe that we produce the highest quality gay adult entertainment, so it’s always wonderful to be recognized for it. This means that people acknowledge us as making some of the best films in the industry. It’s also a confirmation of how our customers feel,” says Michael Lucas, who codirected and starred in the film (along with — guess who? — Killian).
“We are always aiming to make porn films that feel like mainstream movies. It’s a hot combination. We don’t do pizza delivery guy scenarios, because no one really fantasizes about that. Our inspiration always comes from the mainstream and not from other porn films, and we never copy anyone. Just as Hollywood movies are trying to incorporate as much sex as possible into their films, we are trying to incorporate stories into our sex films to create the hottest product.”