LOS ANGELES — Axel Braun’s son, Rikki Braun, has followed in his family’s footsteps.
The 24-year-old has become the adult filmmaking industry’s first third-generation director with the new Wicked Pictures release “Exposed,” starring Asa Akira.
Born and raised in Italy, Rikki Braun spent the past five years in Los Angeles, where he earned a fine arts degree in filmmaking from the New York Film Academy.
During the time, Rikki Braun became interested in the adult industry and started working with his dad, the legendary director, first as a PA, then as videographer, assistant director and video editor.
“He’s a very talented kid,” Axel Braun said. “He’s smart, creative, and as obsessed with detail as I am, and he definitely knows what he wants. I spent the two days of production for ‘Exposed’ on set with him, and I am very proud of the way he handled it.
“He was fully in control, he got the performances he needed out of the actors, and the footage looks amazing. Of course we wrapped at 5 a.m. on Day 2, but he wouldn’t be my son if he didn’t have a 20-hour day on his first movie.”
Rikki’s grandfather, Lasse Braun, who passed away in February 2015, was a legendary porn pioneer who started producing, directing and distributing pornographic movies in Europe in 1961.
Axel Braun, who also entered the business at the age of 24 in 1990, went on to become the most-awarded porn director in history.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure, and two pairs of very big shoes to fill,” Rikki Braun said. “At the same time, I am well aware that most people don’t get the opportunity to direct a feature for the biggest company in the business as their first movie, so of course I am super thankful to Steve Orenstein, my dad, and everybody at Wicked Pictures for allowing me to do that.
“Having Asa as the lead was simply a dream come true, and although I’ve known her for years and always loved her work, she absolutely exceeded my expectations and turned in a magnificent performance.”
“Exposed,” written by Axel Braun, is the story of Tanya (Akira), a photojournalist who will stop at nothing to get the perfect shot. Her specialty is breaking into movie set dressing rooms and snapping pictures of stars getting undressed, but when she goes too far she ends up uncovering more than she intended.
“I loved the script,” Akira said, “so I immediately knew I wanted to do it.”
“I’d been on a few sets where Rikki was helping his father, and it was obvious right away that he had a vast understanding and passion for film,” she said. “I had a feeling it would only be a matter of time before his directorial debut in the family business.
“I was so happy to find out I was chosen as the lead. Honestly, though, I would be jealous if he had gone with someone else. Like his father, Rikki is devilishly charming, and also like his father, the shoot lasted no less than 20 hours. It was worth it though, and I would have stayed another 20 to get some of the amazing shots he captured. I can’t wait to see the final product.”
“Exposed” also stars Katrina Jade, Abella Danger, Jessa Rhodes and Valentina Nappi, along with Seth Gamble, Jessy Jones, Tommy Gunn, Small Hands and Isiah Maxwell in the male leads. The movie is slated for release in March.