XXX :: mr. Pam’s formula for success
A positive attitude
EDGE: What came next?
mr. Pam: "Wet Palms" was next, the first big movie I was lead camera on. It was a nine-part gay porn soap opera, a big-budget collaboration between Jet Set and NakedSword. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was terrified. But as John Rutherford would say, "Fake it till you make it." So I did!
EDGE: Very wise. Okay, so here’s the big question. You’re a woman in the gay male porn industry. Being accepted must have been quite a challenge.
mr. Pam: I’ve had challenges all of my life. In grad school the instructors would always focus on the guys. If there was a woman in the class, she would sit in the chair so the guys could practice their lighting and shooting. The girls would just be the objects.
I always thought, "I am never going to sit in that chair. I am going to be the one with the camera in my hands." When I shot with Queer News Magazine, I would take my camera to press conferences. I had this huge betacam. And the guys, who were all just trying to shove each other out of the way, were looking at me like, "What are you doing here?"
EDGE: You have a very positive attitude.
mr. Pam: Thank you! Some industry people feel a woman does not belong in gay male porn. And on some of the blogs people will write, "The movie is great, but I still don’t think a woman should be on the set." I am a really sensitive person, I just have to have thick skin, and take it for what it is. And sometimes they have a point, and something that I did really did suck, so I just have to be better next time.
At Naked Sword
EDGE: Any problems with the models?
mr. Pam: I have come on the set and models will say, "Oh: a girl?" and I’ll say, "Yeah, I’m the director." They used to think I was the makeup artist. That happened a lot at the beginning. So I didn’t want to do makeup. And I had a situation in another country, and I won’t say who or what, but the model was just not cooperating. He was dirty, and he couldn’t get hard, and that night he wrote an e-mail saying, ’That was just the worst experience, how can I get hard when there is a woman on the set?’ And I thought, Oh give me a fucking break. My vagina was not the problem with you not getting hard. You have 10,000 other hang-ups.
EDGE: So you have to put a good face on it to stay professional.
mr. Pam: Carlo Masi, who was exclusive with Colt the first time I shot him, came on the set and said "I don’t know if I can shoot in front of a girl! I’m so gay, I was a Caesarian -- I have never even been through a vagina!" But I started telling some nasty stories, so soon enough he was hugging and kissing me and calling me his lesbian mother.
EDGE: Tell me about your new position as director of production at NakedSword.
mr. Pam: NakedSword is the HBO of gay porn. They have thousands of movies, plus their own original content. It’s overwhelming how much porn they provide to people. I’ll be doing one premiere scene on NakedSword per week, plus DVD distribution. We wrapped the first DVD release last night, "Boyfriends," documentary-style porn where we interview guys about issues that come up in their relationships. They comment on it, and then they have the sex that reflects what the issue is.
The first one is "Love," the beginning of the relationship. It’s very beautiful. That got released online two weeks ago. Then we go to "Cheating," "Fight Sex," "Makeup Sex" -- one of the guys is addicted to porn and the other one is having a problem. It was really fun shooting the opening interviews.
DVD market dead?
EDGE: It sounds almost therapeutic.
mr. Pam: Yeah! Next week we’re starting our first big dialogue movie. We’re tentatively calling it "The Stalker," about a guy who moves to San Francisco for this big modeling contract, and has this psychotic ex-fuck buddy who is stalking him. It comes to a head at the end.
EDGE: Does it get violent?
mr. Pam: (Laughing) Hopefully!
EDGE: Some people feel the DVD market is dead, and it’s all streaming content now. How do you feel about that?
mr. Pam: I agree the numbers are sadly dwindling. Definitely things are going more digital, but I don’t think it is happening as fast as people thought it would. This was a big fear two years ago: "DVDs are dead!" But NakedSword has been doing streaming for over 10 years now, and they’re starting to produce DVDs, which shows that there’s still a big market for them. Bel Ami’s "Twins" video just sold over 10,000 copies.
There’s still demand. I have lived in both New York and San Francisco, which are very high-tech cities, but in the fly-over zones there’s lots of people without fast Web connections. And I love doing DVDs, it’s just so nice to produce an actual movie where you craft the box cover and the design. It’s something you can hold in your hand. It’s like old Hollywood. And Falcon, NakedSword and Raging Stallion are now working with AEBN, and they’re increasing both their DVDs and their online content.
EDGE: Other than Rafael Alencar, name your favorites.
mr. Pam: Jessie Colter is great, and Adam Killian is wonderful. Adam is also a cameraman, so he’s so fun to shoot. He’ll bury his face in someone’s ass, and he’ll say, "Okay, go wide," and I’ll say, "I’m wide," and then he’ll do this crazy transition where he picks the model up and swings him around, and he’ll make sure their ass is in the light.
Arpad Miklos was on my first shoot, "Buckle Roos," and he barely spoke English at the time, which was really cute. Over the years, his English has gotten much better. He’s totally reliable, he’s always hard, and he does a great job. He’s funny: Sometimes when we’re doing the penetration shots, and I’m over his shoulder just focusing on his dick, and he knows the camera is not on his face, he’ll make funny faces at me.
EDGE: Give me a wish list of those you’d like to shoot.
mr. Pam: There’s just so many new guys out there, it’s exciting.
EDGE: How do you feel about bareback movies?
mr. Pam: Part of my job is political in eroticizing safe sex. The bareback market is exploding right now, but in all the movies I shoot, the models wear condoms. I am involved in the dyke-porn sex positive community here in San Francisco, and they are really into safe sex.
EDGE: Is the financial crisis hurting the industry right now?
mr.Pam: Oh, yeah, but people still have their needs. What’s affected porn is that it is a billion-dollar industry, but a billion people are doing it now. The price of equipment has gone down, and it is available to everybody. Besides, there’s so much free porn, with people ripping DVDs, and the torrent sites and the tube sites, and I think that is what is really affecting the porn industry. So pornographers, instead of trying to beat them, are trying to join them, producing small little clips for the tube sites, to give people a taste of what we have, saying "If you want to see more like this, come to NakedSword.com." That hopefully gets people hooked on the person they’re seeing, or the style, and then they’ll come to the main site and pay.
EDGE: So it’s still all about content.
mr. Pam: It’s about original content and being creative with the marketing. It affects everybody, like the producers, who don’t have as much money to spend on the movies. And model rates are going down, and I know they’re feeling ripped off. But they can still get paid $500 for the day.
Mistaken for Chi Chi Larue
EDGE: What do you like to do in your spare time?
mr. Pam: I have a great house in the Castro now, and Saturdays are PJ days where I can hang out and relax. I love it when I’m on a plane, and no one can text you or e-mail you or bother you. I love dressing up in drag and going to industry events, a girl dressing like a guy dressing like a girl, like "Victor/Victoria." A couple of times people have mistaken me for Chi Chi Larue.
EDGE: What advice do you have for anybody who might be just starting out in the business today?
mr. Pam: Have fun with it. And the key thing in gay porn right now is collaborating.