Be careful,” begins the tagline of recent blue movie “Finding Father” from Icon Male and director Chi Chi LaRue, “you just might find what you’re searching for.” The tempting promise of that tagline is at the core of Icon Male’s appeal, as exemplified by recent titles from house director Nica Noelle: among them “The Therapist” (“When the unconscious takes control…”), “Coming Out” (“He could tell his best friend anything, except who he really was…”); “Age of Innocence” (“When coming of age means falling in love…”); “My Hot Uncle” (“Who needs a daddy when your uncle is this hot?”); and “Daddy Issues” (“A lost boy, a lonely man, a dangerous lust…”).
LaRue’s debut for Icon Male signals a shift in creative direction for the three-year-old all-male label established by Mile High Media. The studio had been “a fan of Chi Chi LaRue, both as a person and as a porn director for some time,” said Dusty Marie, director of Mile High Media’s marketing and public relations. “When the opportunity presented itself we were very open to having him work with us for ‘Finding Father.’” She notes the acclaimed directrix “enjoys the taboo elements we are known for and he is a very talented director, so the quality of the content and the performances were stellar. We’re seeing a very positive fan response to his debut release with us. In fact, Chi Chi is in production now for his second film with us and we’re expecting great things.”
As Icon Male introduces new directors into the mix, Marie notes the label will continue to “push boundaries as to the types of stories” they explore onscreen.
Marie cites those taboo elements as the key ingredients that set Icon Male apart from the wide menu available in all-male adult, among them the forbidden dynamics of older and younger men pursuing their sexual interests together, “faux-cest” relations and closeted and/or married men pursuing their true desires. Typically, these taboo topics are interwoven with a deep romantic longing.
From the start, Icon Male “developed the ideals of real characters placed in compelling and taboo storylines, focusing on passion and real sex,” notes Marie. “That’s what we strive to do in every film.”
Filmmaker Nica Noelle — an XBIZ Awards nominee for Gay Director of the Year, and one of a sparse handful of female helmers in all-male adult — primarily shoots on the East Coast, allowing for “beautiful natural settings, such as (autumn foliage), lush forests and epic snow scenes that are unique to our studio and adds to the realism of the films. We want to present the best quality porn, so attention to beautiful locations and genuine chemistry between performers is at the forefront.”
Marie cites a handful of titles as favorites that exemplify the Icon Male aesthetic: 2015’s “Baby Boy” starring Icon Male repertory players Nick Capra, Adam Russo and Rodney Steele with Kory Houston, Ian Levine, Brad Kalvo and JD Phoenix, was a 2016 recipient of fan-favorite hardware from the Grabby Awards; 2015’s “His Sister’s Lover” features a powerhouse cast that includes Duncan Black, Tommy Defendi, Brendan Patrick and Wolf Hudson, while the 2017 sequel has Brandon Wilde anchoring a cast that includes Calvin Banks, Billie Ramos and Roman Todd, and both volumes feature “standout acting and sex,” Marie notes; and “Brandon Wilde’s First Gang Bang,” another Grabby Awards winner, features Wilde — an XBIZ Awards nominee for Gay Performer of the Year — taking on Vadim Black, Jack Hunter, Logan Moore, Billy Santoro and Jaxton Wheeler for the group sex as billed in the title, but interspersed with personal interviews and insight from the men.
Other standout titles include the “Prisoner of War” films (“the whole series is stellar, from concept to performances,” says Marie) and the “Football Hero” series (“fans love this one, as do we”). Marie also cites 2014’s “Forgive Me, Father, Vol. 1” as an ideal debut release (Icon Male regular Brendan Patrick was a Grabby Awards nominee for Best Actor for the second volume in the series). “It was a strong showing for what our studio wanted to represent in the gay market,” she says.
As Icon Male introduces new directors into the mix, Marie notes the label will continue to “push boundaries as to the types of stories” they explore onscreen. In addition to seeking out new talent to pair opposite well-known studs, Marie says the label is “doing more ethnically diverse casting; that is something we are focused on.”
Ultimately, the creative direction of Icon Male will remain “fan-driven, in a lot of ways. We listen to our audience and what they like and are viewing,” Marie notes. “We also give our directors the freedom to come up with exciting concepts to keep our studio evolving.”
Visit the studio online at IconMale.com.