My last video as a production coordinator for legendary Jeff Stryker (1998).
Director John Travis is gone (for the AVN obit, click here). From his early days at Brentwood, Falcon and Huge, to his Catalina blockbusters in the mid ’80s, to the co-founding of Studio2000 in ’92, Travis has helped shape gay porn like few others. He is… he was the golden age of porn. With lofty budgets, large crews and even bigger production values. We stand on the shoulders of giants –even when we forget them (and it happens all too often). I learned my trade from Kristen Bjorn, Gino Colbert, George Duroy. And yes, I was lucky to work for John as a PA on a Jeff Stryker’s production (“JS Big Time”, ’95) and as a Production Manager for VCA’s blockbuster “Stryker’s Underground” (’97).
Much of the online ‘amateur’ wave of the 2000s stemmed as a reaction against what Travis (and Studio2000) stood for: beauty vs reality (or pseudo reality), the ‘studio system’ and its aesthetics (the ‘star system’, the formulaic scripts and the Hollywood-style cinematography/decoupage) vs. no aesthetics at all. And yet, where’s porn today? I remember each and all of Travis’ lush productions, I don’t remember, nor care for the majority of fungible online porn ‘loops’ produced these days –with little money, 0 skills, 0 ambitions and little imagination. Thank you, Jim (John’s real name). For the memories and the beautiful dreams.
“Men romantically connected present an incredible image”, writes a fan on our Facebook page. I agree. Historically though, porn and romance have seldom mixed. While one can find a few rare exceptions as early as back in the 70s (Tom DeSimone’s “The Idol”, for instance), Falcon waited till 1988 for its very first love story with “Touch Me” (FVP 60). After many, many years of casual sex, predatory sex, acrobatic sex –but hardly any intimacy at all (and certainly NO kisses). “Touch Me” paved the way for the many love stories of the 90s and yet, to this very day, ‘raunch’ far outsells (and outnumbers) them. What is it about our fantasies that privilege casual play, abuse and gay-for-pay over a romantic connection? Yesterday it was Jeff Stryker, today it’s online properties like HazeHim or SausageParty or Baitbus… Wondering…