Jerry Douglas: The Gay Porn Blog Interview, Pt. 2
If you don’t know the work of Jerry Douglas — or his immense contribution to the creative direction of gay adult film — you don’t really know gay porn at all. He, along with a Joe Gage, is perhaps THE most cited influence on porn directors today — his belief in the importance of story — and the motivation it gives to sex scenes — is critical. In part two of his Gay Porn Blog Interview, we look at the people who have motivated and inspired him.
For part one of the GPB Inteview, click here.
— MikeGPB: You’ve known a lot of major directors. How are they different? How has each of their styles influenced you?
JD: I have not worked with a great many major directors. I am friends with most of the major directors working today, but, for example, I have never been on most of their sets. (I was on Chi Chi LaRueâ€™s set once â€“ sheâ€™s been on mine once) I have worked recently â€“ on Buckleroos â€“ with John Rutherford, and we got along better than either of us thought we would. (Putting two control freaks together is a risky thing.) But we got along fine, and both freely admit that each of us learned a lot from the other. I couldnâ€™t begin to tell you which adult film directors have influenced my work, although Iâ€™m sure many have. I can tell you some of the directors whose work I admire â€“ Steve Scott, Joe Gage, Kristen Born, George Duroy, Chi Chi, Rutherford. Still, I like to think that over the years I have developed a style that is very much my own.
GPB: What Hollywood directors and screenwriters are most adept at incorporating sex into plot lines?
JD: Before the relaxation of the [Hayes] Code, when sex was still kept very subliminal, no one made sex simmer more than Hitchcock. Just look at the telephone scene between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Nortorious. Or look at the sexual tension between Farley Granger and John Dall in Rope.
GPB: What’s your favorite non-porn sex scene?
JD: Thatâ€™s easy â€“ the airport scene in Latter Days when the Mormon and the Fast Lane Waiter confront their true impulses in the falling snow. I have seen it any number of times, and I still marvel at the honest emotion and electricity it generates. It gets me every time.
GPB: What’s your favorite porn sex scene?
JD: I spent twenty years at MANSHOTS Magazine as a reviewer watching every porn film made, and I couldnâ€™t begin to list less than a hundred faves. As for my own work, Iâ€™m awfully proud of the final scene in Beyond Perfect.
GPB: What was your first script?
JD: Back Row in 1972. Iâ€™d done several Off-Broadway shows that involved nudity, so it was a logical progression. Someone approached me and, after talking with my friend Casey Donovan (whom Iâ€™d directed onstage) we decided to do it.
How does your newest film, Beyond Perfect, compare with past works?
JD: Beyond Perfect is the most autobiographical film Iâ€™ve ever made, with the possible exception of Dream Team. Itâ€™s the story of two lovers who are getting restless in their three-year-old relationship. When one catches the other cheating on him, they head for a couple counselor to see if he can salvage their relationship. To me, the interesting thing is that each remembers their relationship very differently, and as a result, many scenes are played twice, once from oneâ€™s point of view, then from the otherâ€™s. Itâ€™s sort of an x-rated Rashomon. Most of my earlier films dealt with getting to that moment when one is ready to enter into a relationship. Beyond Perfect and Buckleroos both begin with a relationship already in progress. I myself have been in a very happy, very fulfilling relationship for 26 years, and I guess maybe Iâ€™m beginning to try to share with others the reasons I think it has worked.
GPB: Of your movies are you proudest?
JD: One works just as hard â€“ harder â€“ on the film films that donâ€™t turn out as you wanted as the ones that do. Most people think Flesh and Blood is my best film. Iâ€™m the last person to ask. Iâ€™m very proud of it — particularly the performance Kurt Young gave me and the ingenious editing of the scene where the twins finally have sex. Dream Team is a favorite, because it hits very close to home, and the original script was as fully realized as any film I had done up to that time. Buckleroos was a joy because Iâ€™d been away from the industry for so long and because it was, overall, the best cast and crew I ever worked with. But â€“ the newest baby is always the prettiest â€“ and Iâ€™m awfully pleased with Beyond Perfect, especially the final scene between Brad Patton and Jason Kingsley, which I personally think is the hottest scene Iâ€™ve ever managed to get.