Dolce Vitals: Michael Lucas Gay Porn Premiere
Michael Lucas â€“ the man New York magazine recently dubbed â€œThe Lion of Chelseaâ€ â€“ has never shied away from the limelight. Whether heâ€™s pontificating on Lucas Blog or pissing on Spencer Quest, Lucas seems to revel in his status as pornâ€™s most debonair debaucher.
Last night La Dolce Vita â€“ an R-rated version of his just-released three-disc porn reimagining of Fellini film â€“ premiered to a packed crowd of press, porn stars, stars and starfuckers (Erik Rhodes, Savannah Samson, Marc Jacobs, Bruce Villanch, Amanda Lepore, Bradford Shellhammer and others — I’ll let you pair the person with the category). Even the Old Gray Lady â€“ the vaunted New York Times â€“ deigned to show up (What a fag hag!). Looks they finally have found it fit to print Lucasâ€™ ten-inch column. We sat down with the Grand Damn a few days ago to get the skinny on his latest release.You inspire a lot of devotion … and a good deal of criticism. How do you deal with detractors?
I avoid the detractors, and I’d be very upset if I didn’t get any criticism. To me that would mean I am a complete failure. Do you know any person of any importance was not criticized? There are plenty of people that love me and plenty that hate me. I am totally fine with that.
Is there such a thing as bad publicity?
I don’t think that press — unless it’s porn press â€“ work by writing boring articles about people saying â€œHe’s just amazing,â€ okay? It’s about bringing in different opinions from different groups of people. I think that it’s fantastic.
I saw the first [draft of the New York magazine] article which they wrote about me before it was edited and they interviewed lots of people like Alan Cumming and then they edited it and they decided to take all these praises out and I donâ€™t have any problem with that. People aren’t interested to read how much Bruce Villanch or Alan Cummings or Pedro Aldomovar loves me. They interviewed many friends of mine, but readers don’t care about all that because it’s boring. They care about different aspects. And of course they care to see that this person has enemies because that makes him more interesting.
I think that this can be considered bad only by someone who doesnâ€™t read. Because really, they could make fun of me. Itâ€™s easy.
What was the biggest challenge of making La Dolce Vita?
Everything. From getting the right cast which can actually act because this is a real movie. A movie with sex, not sex connected by a story line. Itâ€™s actually a movie. We now have an R-rated version which is one hour long!
We are so good with sex because weâ€™ve filmed it for such a long time that we decided we could finally concentrate on a story line and make it interesting and not cheap and not cheesy and make it beautiful. I was trying to make a beautiful movie, I was not trying to send any kind of message, I was just trying to make a very beautiful film, and I think thatâ€™s what we achieved. A story with beautiful sets, beautiful clothes, beautiful locations, beautiful men. Total harmony. Totally beautiful.
How would you describe your New York aesthetic from that of the California studios?
I use a different formula of shooting — I shoot basically in one take. I shoot for under an hour â€“ it rarely goes over an hour and usually under forty minutes â€“ so what you see is what we got and that gives realism to the picture.
In California â€“ and I know because I was in business since â€˜95 — the formula is shoot it for eight hours until you squeeze the blood out of the stone. And I donâ€™t see a reason for doing it that long because the energy level goes down, people canâ€™t be into each other under the horrific lights, monitors with people around telling them what to do. There can be no energy in the sex level. All the sexuality is gone. It’s about a spontaneous, hot encounter and you can have it only if documenting sex, not if you are staging it, not if you are controlling it.
What is a director/producer’s responsibility to his models?
My responsibility is to make them stars and not lie to them about their chances of making it. I am very generous with my exclusive models. I pay their gym membership, dermatology needs, and haircuts. I want them looking their best at all times. But it’s not all fun and games. I am very tough on them at the same time. I need to see results. In order for them to become porn stars, they need great discipline when it comes to working out, dieting, and having a healthy lifestyle overall.
Youâ€™ve been in been in business for over ten years. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about creating good porn?
The most important lesson is sometimes the hardest one for me. It’s to be patient. Nothing happens overnight. It takes time to establish the brand and win over the fans, colleagues and potential buyers. Patience and hard work are definitely a virtue.
Fleshbot Party Crash: La Dolce Vita Premiere (Fleshbot)
Gay Porn Preview: Lucas’ La Dolce Vita (Gay Porn Blog)
Michael Lucas: The Gay Porn Blog Interview (Gay Porn Blog)
La Dolce Vita Trailer (Gay Porn Blog)
Michael Lucas on NakedSword.com
Buy the La Dolce Vita 3-Disc DVD (LucasEntertainment.com)
Lucas and company answer questions post-interview.
Lucas and designer Marc Jacobs at the premiere.
Wilson Vasquez (sigh!) and Jack Bond put the pope in Greenwich Village.
Lucas and Vivid star Savannah Samson — Lucas’ Anita Ekberg — kick it in a semen-al scene from the movie.