Penthouse Studios to Release First 3D Movie in February

LOS ANGELES — Penthouse Studios will roll out its first 3D release in late February with the debut of “Real Porn Stars of Chatsworth” starring 2011 Penthouse Pet of the Year Nikki Benz.

The company said the high-definition Blu-ray 3D movie represents the latest in 3D technological advancements and also officially signals the company’s aggressive move into 3D content both on DVD and online. Viewers will be able to experience the full 3D effects with a 3D HDTV, Blu-ray player and 3D glasses. The day-and-date release of “Real Porn Stars of Chatsworth” will also include the standard-def disc in the same package, and will be distributed by Penthouse’s new exclusive distributor, Exile Distribution.

Kelly Holland, president of Penthouse Studios, said she and her team have been researching 3D technology for the past two years, meeting with major players in Silicon Valley and talking to various technology providers about all aspects of the 3D experience.

She revealed that Penthouse switched to shooting all its content in 3D in August, and has already completed 10 full 3D movies and 95 internet scenes for And in March, the company is preparing for another milestone — the launch of the first Penthouse 3D cable channel in Europe.

“It’s very cool that Penthouse is stepping up to the plate and really taking advantage of the new technology. It’s groundbreaking,” Holland said Thursday during a media conference in which she announced the company’s 3D initiatives. She emphasized that 3D is not the future, rather “3D is now.”

Paul Formanek of SPF Transfer, the company that authors the Penthouse 3D discs, said the new technology “gives you the impression you can raise your hand up and you’re in the picture.”

“It’s almost like a bizarre out-of-body experience,” Formanek said.

“This is not your father’s 3D,” said Howard Levine, who launched Exile Distribution earlier this month and signed Penthouse as one of its first clients. “It’s really technically advanced. This is what they’re using in theatres and in the new DVDs like ‘Resident Evil After Life.’”

Levine said the Penthouse 3D movies will have a “competitive price,” and will be packaged in clear cases to differentiate them from regular Blu-ray movies.

Both Levine and Holland said today’s porn viewer is more savvy and intelligent than ever with what they want to watch and how.

“They’re granular with what they look at,” Holland said. “They know exactly what they want. We’ve had to adopt this sensibility.”

With that, Holland noted there are numerous intricacies with shooting 3D; every shot is different and it’s important to not compromise the heat of a scene.

“We don’t want to let technology get in the way of the experience. You still have to shoot a XXX or softcore movie and give viewers the traditional user experience they’ve come to know. Movies cannot be dictated by technology,” she said. “We make conscious choices about how 3D to make it.”

Levine and Holland go back almost 20 years, so their latest collaboration was a natural. She said she is already working with the veteran sales pro on changing the look and feel of the Penthouse box covers, among other things.

“In the next 30 days you’re going to see a newer, crisper, cleaner look to the box covers with more detailed photos on the back showing who’s doing what to who with more hardcore pictures,” Holland said.

Penthouse, which already has a strong European presence, won 2010 Venus awards for Company of the Year and HD Channel of the Year in October in Berlin.

Marc Bell, CEO of FriendFinder Networks and Penthouse, said the strategic move into 3D represents a “global” branding initiative that underscores the company’s desire to embrace the most advanced technologies available.

“We’re very confident about this,” Bell said. “We’re committed to it and we’re excited about it.”

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