Gay Porn Preview: Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita
There’s no denying the prestige and power of Michael Lucas. The talented multi-hyphenate (director-producer-star) has a grandiosity of vision that is hard to match and a public persona that is equal parts charming and aloof, clever and controversial. But never, ever, EVER boring.
Lucas’ major release last year, Dangerous Liaisons, walked away with four GayVN awards, including Best Picture. His latest opus, Michal Lucas’ La Dolce Vita (starring Michael, Spencer Quest and Chad Hunt) is scheduled to begin shooting later this spring. Desperate to get the skinny on the difference between Fellini and fellation, so we checked in with the Talented Mr. Lucas. You’re following up the success of Dangerous Liaisons with a porn remake of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Both are highly stylized productions, but the similarities stop there. What about a film signals to you its adaptability as a porn?
Well, first I love the movie La Dolce Vita. I love most of Felliniâ€™s films, but this one has a great storyline and a compelling concept. Dangerous Liaisons was about betrayal and seduction, so that was easy. La Dolce Vita is about a lifestyle, and those who want to live it. It comes down to these intriguing characters. Those are the people whose sex lives we’re are most curious about.
To be honest, this is something I am working on right now.
We adapt the basic “idea” of the story. We rework the characters and re-mold the storyline to essentially make it our own. For us, the original film serves as a jumping off point where we gather inspiration and then is it creatively reconstructed as our own…primarily something that leads to gay sex. In essence, it is ours, only the title is the same.
How does Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita fit with Lucas Entertainment’s aesthetic vision?
I like beautiful things: beautiful people, beautiful clothes, setups, locations, and lighting too. I love and appreciate beauty and I am all about details. Maybe itâ€™s a very gay thing, but thatâ€™s who I am. I also love beautiful photography and work with the best stylists. I believe I never go cheesy. Did anything cheesy in terms of wardrobe when you think of Dangerous Liaisons? When you think porn and stereotypes, the word â€œcheesyâ€ comes to mind, so Iâ€™m stepping out of that mold.
You won a Best Picture GayVN Award for Dangerous Liaisons (a tie with Chi Chi LaRue’s Wrong Side of the Tracks). What more do you hope to accomplish with this?
It will be done on a totally different scale.
I am raising the bar of gay porn filmmaking to a higher level. I am developing the story and characters as the reason for sex and not the other way around. We want to create something that is visually stunning that will make you hard. Porn films don’t have to be cheap dramas. People are pretty sophisticated when I watch mainstream films so why not give them the same standards that they are use to?
What would you like to see more of in porn?
I would like all porn films to be non-bareback.
While you pay homage to mainstream directors like Fellini, what porn directors have influenced you?
Honestly, none have influenced me because I never watch much porn. I keep my mind a Tabula Rasa, so to speak. I am not interested in watching other peopleâ€™s porn films because I donâ€™t want to be accused of stealing anyoneâ€™s ideas. I am sure there is a lot of great porn out there but I want to draw my inspiration from everything else that is offered in the world and not be influenced by my professional peers. Take my marketing ideas – itâ€™s amazing that people will shamelessly copy so many of them. I do not want to do the same.
Word-of-mouth is almost non-existent among porn consumers and most people don’t get to the sex until they’ve already rented or purchased the video. What is the most important aspect of getting someone to watch one of your videos? If sex sells everything else, what sells sex?
I think there is a lot of word of mouth. People have told me they never knew who I was and were never interested in watching porn, but others have told them that there was this movie Dangerous Liaisons which you have to see. I have a large audience who have watched my movies but were never interested in porn before. I think the mainstream fashion element plays a big role in that. Good-looking men sell sex. And itâ€™s not only the physical aspect of beauty. Once you go to Spencer Questâ€™s blog and read the manâ€™s writing, you would want to see his movies.
Where do you see the porn industry in 10 years? Where do you see yourself?
I donâ€™t know what will happen with the porn industry. I think itâ€™s too hardcore to ever become mainstream or completely accepted, but I think that some men and women in porn are incorporated in the mainstream more easily than the industry itself. The individualsâ€™ intelligence and ability to speak their mind is a definite factor. As for myself, I just hope that time will be kind to me. I hope to be around and relevant. I hope to be as much interested in what I am doing as I am now. I will be 44 then so I hope to be healthy and fit.
Will there be guest appearances?
Yes of course! Much more than in Dangerous Liaisons, but these are a secret.
Dangerous Liaisons was tauted as having the largest budget in gay porn history. Will the budget be as large for your La Dolce Vita?
Yes. The biggest that we have ever done. It is a larger scale production than Dangerous Liaisons.
There are things I just donâ€™t want to bring up right now. I donâ€™t want to give away too many details. I must tell you, it will be the best cast. We have completed 60 percent of the casting to date. I have a few more casting decisions to make and all I can tell you for sure is that they will be the most beautiful and the most intelligent men in the industry.
Ok, I will give you one name: Spencer Quest. This caliber of man is not only incredibly sexual and incredibly hot, but also has great intelligence and delivers great dialogue. He is the whole package.
We are collaborating with a large group of mainstream people. Not only celebrities who will make cameo appearances, but also great artists from fashion designers to stylists to music composers.
I am just a producer. My main talent is to put a great group of people together. Luckily, I have great friends and possess the knowledge to get people excited about a project. I explain my vision and then get out of the way and let them create.
Who will be your Anita Ekberg?
Whoever will jump in the fountain!