CHATSWORTH, Calif. — “Let’s see Steven Spielberg shoot ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in a day!” crows director Will Ryder, the king of comedy porn parodies.
Ryder is shooting a spoof, with songs, of the beloved MGM classic. A three-years-in-the-making dream project, he’s doing it independently for his X-Play production company. To finally make it happen he’s had to saddle himself with a killing schedule: just one long day — really long. Shooting begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and is scheduled to end at 4:30 a.m. Friday.
There will be snacks and meals and bathroom breaks — they’re working at the well-equipped Hustler Studio in Chatsworth — but for Ryder and his cast and crew it will be non-stop work for at least 21 hours.
Around noon energy rules. Everything’s moving at top speed — too early for fatigue. “This is insane!” says Ryder. Then, revved up and running: “It’s gonna be fun!”
Ryder and X-Play partner Scott David held a huge audition a few months previous that drew just about every talent in the industry. But Brandy Aniston, playing mean Miss Gulch who turns into the Wicked Witch of the West, wasn’t part of it. A last-minute replacement when the first actress bailed, she still had to try out, winning over three competitors.
Without makeup and dressed in a black old-lady dress buttoned to the neck, she looks like anything but a porn star. Miss Gulch, as in the original, opens the movie riding on her bike, and also as in the original, the Kansas scenes are in black and white.
For her sex scene with the Tin Man (Dick Chibbles), Brandy will be painted “head to toe green. I die from him coming on me — the whole melting part. They’re keeping it close to the original.”
Glamorous Anikka Albrite plays Glinda the Good Witch. She’s in the makeup chair getting prepped. Stella Marie, a “little person,” will stand in for the legion of Munchkins. She’s tiny but sturdy looking and amply tattooed. Her sex partner will be Eric John.
James Bartholet, playing the Cowardly Lion, boasts, “I’ve got the best musical number.” But alas, no sex scene. It was vetoed on the ground that a lion fucking a girl might be interpreted as “bestiality.” (Dorothy’s dog Toto has also been dropped.)
He says they made his part “a question mark: Is the Lion gay?” He gets to do a “Charles Nelson Reilly” number, a patter song, “I Wonder What Is Happening (Am I Turning Gay?)”
“It’s the big comic relief, a scene-stealer.” Bartholet walks around giddily, practicing his song, announcing to no one in particular: “Good thing I’m secure with my sexuality.”
Nina Hartley, looking elegant in an old-fashioned granny dress, plays Aunt Em. She’ll be 29 years in the business this Spring, still performing, but limiting it to “two to five scenes a month.” Here her sex is limited to blowing porn returnee Kurt Lockwood.
Director Ryder and his swift, efficient crew are working on the Kansas set. Aunt Em’s house is about to be hit by a tornado driven by several large, industrial-strength fans. Behind them is a blue-screen background, on which details will be filled in during post-production.
The rambling soundstage includes a kind of throne-room set, with crystal ball and hourglass props and, of course, a flower-bedecked Yellow Brick Road — here called the Yellow Prick Road. That’s where Dorothy will have sex with a character called The Pimp (Seth Gamble). This is definitely not your grandma’s Wizard.
Maddy O’Reilly, minimally made up, in pigtails and a demure but ultra-short pinafore, is the picture of innocence as 18 year-old Dorothy. She has already performed a masturbation scene and now it’s time to work on her first song, “What’s Wrong with Me?”
She mouths the words to a piano track sung by a male voice, that of co-composer (with Rock Hardson) Jeff Mullen. She’ll dub in her own voice at a later date. An orchestral background with “sweeping strings” will be added.
“This is where you’re melancholy,” Ryder tells her, watching her on the monitor. “Look at the sunset to your left. Stay there, let the wind blow. Beautiful.”
The song ends wistfully: “Unless I chase my rainbow…”
“Hold that note. Just close the door. Hold that note as long you can! Beautiful! Smile. Yes!”
Even without the sweeping strings it’s a touching moment.
A few days later Ryder revealed to XBIZ that the final count was “27 consecutive hours… Once we started it was like we couldn’t stop and we became addicts, and the cast and crew knew they were part of something magical and pressed on despite their physical limitations… This might be the most remarkable production in modern-day porn history.”
Fans of porn musicals will get to make their own judgment calls when the movie’s released later this year.