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  • The Empire Strikes Back XXX

    There's an interesting article here about how Axel Braun is trying to crowd source a cool half a million dollars to make a sequel to his Star Wars XXX feature (which was supposedly a huge success). It seems that the studios don't want to fund it because they figure it'll just wind up being seen for free via tubes and torrents so he's decided if he can raise the money this way, he'll just release the thing for free.

    "If Braun reaches his target of half a million dollars, he'll be making history. Though porn projects have turned to crowdfunding before, none have ever been quite as ambitious as Empire Strikes Back XXX. The only campaign to even come close received a mediocre reception, raising a mere 3 percent of its $250k goal. But with free porn de rigeur, and most consumers more interested in watching individual scenes than full-on features, it's hard not to wonder whether the age of the big budget porno has passed. Even during porn's most profitable eras, it was rare for filmmakers to devote six figures to a single porn flick. How could it possibly make economic sense to make one today?"

    Here's the page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t...un-parody--6#/

    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  • #2
    You know, most probably won't agree, but this is another shining example of why modern porn sucks, in my opinion.

    First of all, I don't get the continued "success" of Axel Braun. Several of his earlier videos were good, but most of the titles he has done for Wicked are terrible, particularly as he often eschews closeups of the performers to keep the camera focused on the sets in his productions (it's no surprise what he wants to put the most money toward in ESB XXX). If I'm watching hardcore, I don't want to see tables, couches, and other decor in every single shot--at least some of those shots need to linger on the female bodies (stop showing me the guy's face all the time, too) and I particularly need closeups of oral sex and pop shots, which are no longer guaranteed, or appear too infrequently.

    Second, cut the parody bullshit already. The overwhelming majority of them suck, and are just an excuse to pad out (merely) 4-5 sex scenes to ungodly 2-3+ hour run times. This ties into the production design poblem--maybe if you spent more time, money and energy on filming hot sex, instead of ornate costumes and abhorrent CGI (as it happens, the first Star Wars parody was rife with that), then people would actually want to buy your porn features.

    Also, if you're going to do this, do it right. For example, I'm not super-jazzed about forking out cash for a Wicked feature these days. Now, sometimes they do get hot girls, but Steven St. Croix seems unfit for porn these days, and most of the male performers will be jerking off to finish, anyway. Also, Wicked''s condom thing always feels hypocritical to me, and I'd prefer non-condom, anyway (I know, I'm awful) so that throws a wrench in the works.

    Now, having said all of that, I would contribute, but the Blu-ray would have to be replicated, and done well (at least one BD-50, no watermarks) which is highly unlikely to happen, given the paltry 500 count. And that''s the final straw--Braun wants me to pay $500 (plus shipping!) for what is probably a BD-25, and might even have a useless non-sex cut on there, too, complete with Wicked watermark (this is the configuration of Vivid''s Blu-ray of the first film), but will now, in all likelihood, be a POS BD-R disc, one that I could make at home.

    So, all things considered, no thanks, Axel. I'd rather give him $500 towards a pressed Blu-ray of ten new sex scenes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Same here...if it was not a "parody" and they really made a decent old school type porn flick with decent story and well filmed sex scenes then I might think about donating..
      And I would definitely give a donation if they were making a Waterpower 2.. but the chances of either of these two things happening are extremely slim..

      Comment


      • #4
        So, I was morbidly curious about this, and I wanted to check in and see how it is going. Braun's target is $500,000, and with just two weeks remaining, Braun has raised a total of...drumroll...







        $39,018.00

        And here's something I didn't notice before: The IndieGoGo description says: "Help fund the greatest Porn Parody ever made, and it will be FREE to download FOREVER!" And yet, I don't remember seeing that last part before. So basically, this guy is asking for half a million to produce a glorified sex tape, and then he's not even going to make any money on it, either.

        Wow, that is just sad, if you ask me.

        Comment


        • #5
          You could that's glorious ! Art for arts sake! Though I'm sure Braun would take a solid wage out of the 500k. I guess if you know something is going to stolen and downloaded anyway make sure you take your pay up front.
          "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

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          • #6
            I'm sure his directing and producing and editing and whatever fees are included in the budget. Most directors only receive their fees when it's first filmed since virtually no adult company pays residuals to the talent or production staff.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Thomas Wood View Post
              I'm sure his directing and producing and editing and whatever fees are included in the budget. Most directors only receive their fees when it's first filmed since virtually no adult company pays residuals to the talent or production staff.
              If that's true (and it sure sounds as if it is), then it speaks volumes about what a huge mistake it has been for the adult industry to embrace digital distribution. In hindsight, the porn industry should have latched on to physical media--Blu-ray in particular--hard, focusing on producing a variety of content, but bigger individual productions, with larger budgets, and the distributing them slowly, via online distribution of physical media.

              Instead, they all jumped headlong into putting everything online, which will, in my opinion, eventually kill them (unless major changes occur which completely halt online piracy worldwide, something which is about as likely to happen as a nuclear war, really), and this Kickstarter project is a fine example of that. I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of guys who want to see that parody happen (or those, like me, who would buy it and watch it on quality physical media), but who obviously don't want as record of having contributed to a crowdfunding campaign for it. And further, if it does show up online, why pay any money for it anyway, when the exact same thing can be gotten for free? That's what digital distribution is for porn, really, it's not the guy in China selling you 8 crap DVD-R cam recordings of movies from a market stall, it's like finding a bunch of new and sealed DVDs and Blu-rays laying on a deserted street, and watching for hours as no one comes and claims them. Most people are gonna pick those up, and then go home and brag about it to the chumps who just laid down money to buy the exact same thing from a store. At least with quality films on physical media, everyone would have more revenue on the back end, but it seems that the prospect of easy money for a few was too tempting.

              And, as for the idea that online porn "can be hidden from your wife", the average 20-30 year-old woman is probably getting pretty savvy with reviewing credit card bills (it's not the 20th century anymore) and can probably easily figure out what all these charges to online billers mean. And I can tell you, from having indulged several years ago, that online porn adds up quickly, and it's really all money wasted, because you can no longer maintain a collection with inherent physical value. Add in the fact that, the modern industry is getting further and further away from anything like creativity or artistry, and you have what I believe is a perfect storm to allow the internet to destroy your business entirely.

              Really, unless somebody comes in, and starts producing quality porn on DVD and Blu-ray only again (no streaming, no downloading), and has the capital to withstand the initial piracy issues, while also building a loyal base of customers who actually pay for your product, then I think the current industry will be gone in less than a decade.
              Sean G.
              Senior Member
              Last edited by Sean G.; 04-09-2016, 10:03 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would have seriously picked this up, if it had been scheduled for Blu-ray or dvd. I enjoyed the first, even though it was a little weird. As it stands, I have no interest in streaming or downloading it, and certainly no interest in contributing $500 dollars for a Blu-ray. That's just insane.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sean G. View Post
                  If that's true (and it sure sounds as if it is), then it speaks volumes about what a huge mistake it has been for the adult industry to embrace digital distribution. In hindsight,......I think the current industry will be gone in less than a decade.
                  I would disagree completely.
                  Consumers demanded digital distribution, and the companies make a bigger profit through it
                  ( sure there is piracy but it will ultimately harm the porn industry like it has mainstream music and film, negligibly ).
                  There is no shortage of new product every week, and it's increased if anything in the last 10 years,
                  since internet speeds got fast enough to facilitate video downloading. All indicators point to more of the same for the next decade.

                  So I see no damage done to the industry, it's bigger and healthier than ever, the California condom laws poses a bigger threat.
                  https://rosalbaneri.blogspot.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Bernhard View Post
                    I would disagree completely.
                    Consumers demanded digital distribution, and the companies make a bigger profit through it
                    ( sure there is piracy but it will ultimately harm the porn industry like it has mainstream music and film, negligibly ).
                    There is no shortage of new product every week, and it's increased if anything in the last 10 years,
                    since internet speeds got fast enough to facilitate video downloading. All indicators point to more of the same for the next decade.

                    So I see no damage done to the industry, it's bigger and healthier than ever, the California condom laws poses a bigger threat.
                    I would disagree with your disagreement, entirely, in fact. I certainly don't see how the industry is "bigger and healthier than ever", and saying that makes you sound like you have a vested interest in seeing the current iteration succeed. I can tell you that, as a consumer, I don't ever remember "demanding" digital distribution from anyone, but I do remember that Brazzers (and Naughty America, along with BangBros, which was never to my taste) came along, and slowly developed a stranglehold on new content, and since their strategy was to present that content online, consumers made the shift. You can blame "consumers" all you like, but there obviously aren't that many of them left, so that begs the question of why these companies would continue to support such a small group of people.

                    Indeed, you say there's "no shortage of new product", but I can't help but notice that more and more companies are scaling down their output, releasing compilation DVDs or re-releasing old content online left and right. Look at Elegant Angel, for example, they appear to have had some very tough times in the part 5-6 years, and their output has slowed to a crawl, so much so, it looked to me like they would fold for good at one point. The same could be said for Vivid, a company that was once a porn titan, but recently, seems to do nothing except pester celebrities and politicians to shoot porn for them.

                    Look at a site like WoodRocket, which is basically predicated on giving into piracy, by offering its content for free. That's without mentioning the numerous tube porn sites that rank among the most popular web sites visited in the world. And many of those sites are apparently owned by companies, who, in turn, own some of the largest porn membership websites, even as they essentially devalue their own content in the process. Certainly, a privileged few are making money, but I suspect that they'll run out of steam in a few years, because their business model (what's left of it) is built largely upon tube sites, advertising, and then, feeding a small number of paying members new porn scenes every day, and raking in short-term profits. That's why everyone goes crazy when there is an STD scare, because apparently, even shutting down for a week can produce disastrous results. In fact, this article in The Economist is really good at outlining how the adult industry basically shot itself in the foot by going online, and only made things worse by putting more and more content online.

                    Look at this ESB XXX campaign, for example. Less than a decade ago, would you ever have suspected that Axel Braun would need to solicit donations to get a porn parody sequel to The Empire Strikes Back made? Isn't he one of the top directors in the industry? Apparently so. Working for one of the top studios? Wicked: Check. Do his movies regularly win AVN awards and even get covered in the mainstream media on occasion? Sure do. So why does he have to do this, then? And don't tell me it's going to get made if he doesn't get his 500k, because it was supposed to come out over a year ago, and has been delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and meanwhile, Braun has been making other films, so it isn't as if he's been ill or something. Clearly, Wicked didn't want to make it, because they just want one hundred more digital porn scenes from him, all of which will end up online for free within hours of them being uploaded to the membership sites.

                    And hey, since I linked to AdultDVDTalk, it's worth noting that they're being litigated against right now, and could be sued for $2.4 million, which is money they clearly do not have. Go and look on their forum, there are many threads (particularly press releases about movies, and industry goings-on) that have no replies at all. Yes, the threads for the girls are popular, and the general porn section is somewhat popular, but when it comes to things like new videos, sex toys or even adult expos (which themselves are notably, getting smaller, according to those who do go), there is little if any conversation.

                    Take a look at the sheer number of relatively recent performers who have retired and come back, or who are in "semi-retirement", likely because, if they didn't get out before around 2005 or so, they can't really leave. Here's just one example: Brandi Love was supposed to retire, but now she's going to do an additional year as a G/G performer on contract, and I'm not even sure that's she's stopping B/G, either. Don't get me wrong, part of me is happy (guess where? :)), but more importantly, I also want Brandi to be safe and happy. This is a married woman, who obviously had laid out a detailed, long term plan to retire last year, and is now, for whatever reason, reneging on that with herself, and extending her career. And maybe I can lie to myself and say that Brandi just REALLY likes having sex with people on camera, but maybe I also have to figure that she isn't earning enough money to retire on, even though she's consistently been one of the best performers in the porn industry for many years. That's sad.

                    I'm particularly sensitive to this part of the issue, because I've personally experienced this flip-flop in and out from two of my favorite performers, who both find themselves continually pulled back to porn, obviously because they need the money. One was so determined to quit, she was brutally honest about a "gangbang" scene she shot for Kink (which I had seen, only because of this performer, and did not enjoy, even before I knew), in which she claims her boundaries were violated by the males in the scene, despite her making them clear, and that Kink simply edited the scene to remove the parts where she was crying. And after these revelations, this girl chose to come back, again, being honest about needing the money to continue to pay for her education.

                    I like porn, and I like enjoying naked women "enjoying" having sex (even if a handsome sum of money is the driving force) as long as they're content at the end of the day, and eventually, able to move on, should they want to do so. But I also want the porn I watch to be well-shot, and well-lit, and also, worth money, which is accomplished by putting some sort of narrative or story together, or having an all-porn feature with 8-12 shorter scenes that are good for getting off to. But DVDs with 4-5 30 minute acrobatic events, which look perilously close to similar free videos shot by amateurs (who can deliver the warm and fuzzy feeling of consent and even desire, considering that they tend to work with people they know and/or love), aren't worth much, and the small amount of pro-shot content that could broadly be described as "erotic" has its own set of problems. I can't tell you how many times I've been bothered by seeing beautiful women wasted, doing "extreme" scenes, or working for the few porn companies remaining, but shot badly, often from too far away, or badly lit, or with poorly done make-up.

                    So, particularly with porn, controlling the content distribution is key, and I would say, scaling back online distribution, and scaling back the crazy, while putting more time into fewer productions, is basically the only way the porn industry could continue making money in the decades to come. Of course, that's highly unlikely to happen, but if it doesn't, the content providers that put everything online will have only themselves to blame.
                    Sean G.
                    Senior Member
                    Last edited by Sean G.; 04-10-2016, 07:53 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John Bernhard View Post
                      So I see no damage done to the industry, it's bigger and healthier than ever, the California condom laws poses a bigger threat.
                      You certainly have a unique viewpoint, one shared by no one actually in the industry.The porn industry's profits are in a freefall, companies have disappeared wholesale, directors and performers are fleeing expensive LA, quiting in droves due to lack of work and the rate of production has dropped massively. The only one making money are the tubesites and their studios.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Randy G View Post
                        You certainly have a unique viewpoint, one shared by no one actually in the industry.The porn industry's profits are in a freefall, companies have disappeared wholesale, directors and performers are fleeing expensive LA, quiting in droves due to lack of work and the rate of production has dropped massively. The only one making money are the tubesites and their studios.
                        And most of those tubesites are owned by one guy, from memory a tech nerd who got into it because he was studying some kind of computer geekery and saw it as a way to gather data rather than a guy with a history in the porn biz.

                        I came across this interesting thread because we put on Captain Marvel XXX last night to scope out where the high end industry is at and I did a search on here after to see what you guys think of Braun. One thing that sticks out to me about this (failed?) move by Braun back in the day is that there is no way his films cost anything like $500,000. His films don't have a large crew judging by the credits. He's probably forking out around $20-30K in performer fees per film. That would have been a significant payday had it come off.

                        But anyway I'm still interested in the general feeling on the Braun parodies. I tried to engage with CMXXX as what it is. It's not a movie and you shouldn't watch it with that expectation. It's 7 sex scenes where the cast wear pretty decent Marvel costumes with some comedy intros. The comedy intros are strange. There wasn't a single laugh from either of us. Pretty much every joke involves breaking the fourth wall and they get pretty fucking nerdy. I didn't really get many of the gags because I haven't seen Captain Marvel. They riff on the comics a lot as well and I've never read one of those either. How many of the wankers watching this have read the comics? It kind of feels like they're going out of their way to earn geek points, "we're not just making fun of these films, we know our stuff".

                        It just the sex is so boring. Its shot in this in this very disengaged manner where you really do feel like you're watching these people do their job. Essentially no music, just that slap, slap sound and the inevitable gulping noises from the women that I find a bit gross TBH. We mostly fast forwarded them after getting a feel for what we were getting. The actors are uniformly terrble though Seth is generally capable of being funny and Lennon can act when given the opportunity.. She sings the closing credits track which is probably the best part of the movie.

                        The special effects were actually not bad. I mean they're quite ropey but they do what they need to do and they're a big step up on Star Wars XXX from back in the day. Condoms are used in all the scenes which despite being the law is pretty unique. Interesting the condom law has been in effect for about 6 years now, no one adheres to it and so far there has not been one prosecution- maximum 6 months in jail though!

                        I feel out of touch... CMXXX is up for 12 AVN awards although I'm told Braun has the AVN in his pocket so not to put much stock in that. The reviews on the internet are unifomrmly laudatory but there's not many of them and I kind of wonder how many are written by people involved in the production. I see the cast on social media calling this the best film they've ever been involved in and they seem genuinely excited about it. The feel from them is that this film is a mjor deal. I don't know.... It just feels like this should be the baseline and instead it seems it's the pinnacle.
                        "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I see the cast on social media calling this the best film they've ever been involved in and they seem genuinely excited about it
                          That's all part of the process. Everytime a new Braun movie is imminent, that's the usual response. The other is Axel Braun usually stating that something along the lines of this (and that's whatever the new movie is) is the movie he's always wanted to make. The only Braun movies I own are the Fairytale series (Snow white, Sleeping beauty, cinderella, peter Pan), Star wars and The Possession of Mrs Hyde. None are particularly great but at least the Star Wars film, kind of feels like some real love went into it. The fairytale ones got better as they progressed with Cinderella being the best. Mrs Hyde is a noble attempt and I enjoyed it, but its no classic.

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