“JOURNEY TO ITALY” turns 20. Yes, we were in production these very days 20 years ago!
“In 1997, Men of Odyssey made me an offer I could not refuse — helming a movie in my own country. The end result, Journey to Italy was nothing short of a disaster, despite its lofty budget. But it taught me a lot. I think of it as my hardcore boot camp.” (YNOT interview).
“We rented two Betacam SP cameras in Milan and converted the PAL originals into NTSC dubs here in Los Angeles. Imagine the dozens of bulky Betacam SP tapes and the hundreds of film rolls going through customs. Imagine the costs of renting video equipment in Milan, converting the tapes into a different system and of developing film.” (XBiz interview)
“His ‘Journey’, however, was the first gay porn to take a shot at non-linear editing”, continues XBiz. “It was cut on a gigantic Avid Media Composer — using the same post-production house and same editor (both expensive) Kazan had used for a mainstream feature a year earlier”.
Below the press kit Men of Odyssey sent out (to look like Derek Cameron’s own photobook… nice touch) and the Derek Cameron interview in Italian monthly “ADAM” (“Piu’ bello di cosi’ “)
Our first Italian production. Filmed these very days of May… 19 years ago for Men of Odyssey. 19 years… so many things have changed since: porn (as a genre), the internet, piracy. Here’s the DVD cover, with gorgeous Derek Cameron, and newcomer Davide Solari. Feeling nostalgic
We don’t know where Derek is these days –nor what he’s up to. But we wish him all the best on his b-day and remember him as one of the most beautiful (and skilled) power-bottom ever. See more of legendary Derek at LucasKazan
15th anniversary set: DEREK CAMERON on LucasKazan. Celebrating 15 years of award winning videos, we couldn’t help but toast to our first all-American star. In fact, our very first superstar (here draped with the Italian flag). With his magnetic eyes, his unmatched beauty and a voracious appetite for all things sexual, Derek went on to win more gay Porn Awards than any other performer. Bottoms up!
It’s our 15th b-day. Part 1 of a tell-all docu is live today at LucasKazan, with a look at the beginnings: “Journey to Italy”, “The Summoner” and, of course… those wondrous boys (Derek Cameron, Jake Andrews, Davide Solari, Gianni, Michele, Bruno…)
“This beautifully photographed and edited movie is the first gay porn film to be shot in Italy”, writes the ADAM GAY VIDEO GUIDE. “The scenery is almost as gorgeous as the men. Ivan is one of the handsomest guys we’ve ever seen (…) Derek’s scenes sizzle –he just comes on fire with a dick in his mouth or ass…” From a technical stand point, “Journey” was also the first gay porn flick to be edited non-linearly on an Avid Media Composer (back when porn movies were cut linearly on a Betacam deck): 15 years later, sophisticated editing and color-correction softwares are within everyone’s reach –on everyone’s lap top. Ah, technology!
Upon wrapping production, Derek and I visited with George Duroy in Bratislava. Derek had long been a BelAmi fan and I was happy to introduce him to the boys. Sexy Ion Dovidov took Derek out to the clubs and director/producer George Duroy gave him a taste of Czech hospitality, showing him around Prague. Fast forward to Journey‘s release: the great expectations led to extra-ordinary visibility, especially in Italy: magazine covers, posters, full-page ads, TV and radio interviews… I didn’t waste any time and began a second round of casting calls for Journey 2. I flew Derek back to Italy for the first gay porn star appearance on stage in an Italian club and at the Misex, Milan’s yearly trade show. News of Derek and the upcoming castings were everywhere –from the main papers (LaRepubblica) to the gay press. With the glamor and the excitement I haven’t seen since. Pictured here, super star Derek Cameron in his “Journey” days.
Busted! Yes, the tie Derek wears in this promo pic for Journey to Italy is the same Jim Bentley (of Falcon fame) wore in “Matinee Idol” (with Ken Ryker). My tie, in fact. I’d long had a crush on Jim and when I landed the Production Manager gig on Matinee Idol, that tie was my not-so-subtle way to tell him. Same goes with Derek, when I cast him in “Journey”: he remains, to this very day, one of the most beautiful faces in porn (if not the most skilled at deep-throating). Don’t you think?
What went wrong?, you ask. Thom Barron fired –with no replacement. Tuscany flooded for 10 days in a row (and I mean flooded: thunderstorms, hale, you name it). All outdoor locations lost (carefully scouted in the months prior). The truck down on the freeway. Derek on the verge of a nervous breakdown and the rest of the cast/crew not far behind… More? How about newcomer Dario cumming into his condom? Or my mobile lost in the fields? “Journey” wasn’t meant to be, not in Catholic Italy. And yet we got to the finishing line (…to be continued. Pictured here Derek Cameron)
We began filming in May ’97, flew Derek Cameron from LA (our American star) and mixed a few European pros with the many Italian newcomers: Erik Kovak (on loan from BelAmi), Wolff (from Germany) and Thom Barron (the Men of Odyssey executive producer didn’t like him and sent him back home. Big mistake: Thom went on to become the Thom Barron everyone knows and one of Europe’s all time fave). Well, everything went wrong that could go wrong. Talk about a baptism by fire… (to be continued. Pictured here newcomer Davide Solari)