OP ED: “To Be OR Not to Be An Exclusive” By David Forest

Posted July 26, 2014 2:32 AM by with 4 comments

David Forest, one of gay porn’s longest running (and most notorious) manager and “agent to the stars” started in the industry when he became friends with and started managing the career of Leo Ford in 1981. Since then, he’s negotiated contracts and managed the careers from some of the most iconic names in the industry. He’s also seen it undergo radical changes — from VHS to DVD to Internet, and all the while he’s always had very a strong point of view about how things should be.

In the following exclusive guest entry, Mr. Forest he discusses the pros and cons of signing an exclusive contracts while recounting some of the biggest contracts he’s negotiated over the past 30 years. It should be required reading for any porn stars out there considering signing an exclusive contract …

gay porn agent David Forest

Ken Ryker
(former Falcon Exclusive)

To Be or Not To Be An Exclusive (with a studio or Internet company)? If the old mainstream saying, “The artist reigns supreme” is also the way that the adult biz should work … why does it seem that exclusives lose control to the studios and producers? Making your star an exclusive is sometimes just an easy way for a manager or agent to earn a signing bonus and not have to worry about finding bookings for the star. It also puts the studio in control of the artist’s career. Pay off the agent/manager so he’s happy and won’t interfere with the artists’ career.

How many mainstream actors/actresses are exclusives with a certain studio? That set-up was tried years ago but failed. When a star loses control of a career, the studio becomes in charge and thinks only about what’s right for them. And, the adult studios have been known to sign a star as an exclusive, use/abuse their services as they see fit … then, when they think there’s nothing more to get from the star … they drop him or tell him he’s free to seek work elsewhere. If there are remaining scenes/movies due on the contract … it’s the old, “sue us” response.

gay porn agent David Forest

Caesar
(former Catalina Exclusive)

Most exclusive deals don’t take into account the stars’ possible increase in popularity, demand and acting ability. The deals are based on X number of scenes/movies for X number of dollars each … sometimes with a specific end date for the deal (not always). One major studio used to tie up their exclusives by promising them a bonus payment (equal to their scene rate) if they completed all the scenes on the contract …. But … there would be a date they had to wait until before the bonus would be awarded.

 

A famous internet company would pay big money for a star to do a scene for them …. But required an exclusive period AFTER the scene was shot before they could shoot for another producer. If the star sold … they’d resign him for another exclusive period. If not, they just kissed him and wished him well.

gay porn agent David Forest

Eric Hanson
(former Falcon Exclusive)

 

Many of the older exclusive deals were worded in such a way that the star had to hold himself exclusive for the studio … but … the studio had no legal responsibility to hire the star. Tie up the stars’ career with no guaranteed income or roles.

These days, the stars that sign exclusive deals get less than fabulous money for way too many scenes/movies. Their careers have very little shelf life left when the contract is over. That’s why you see stars that move to other studios/internet companies with a name change to try and make them seem like “new meat.” Same guy, same dick, new name. Studios are famous for asking stars to appear in movies that aren’t exactly perfect for them … but … it helps the studio out for sales.

gay porn agent David Forest

Christian Fox
(former Falcon Exclusive)

 

The old, “lifetime exclusive” deal always gave me a chuckle. The deal was for the “lifetime” that the star was in good graces with the studio. When the relationship soured … so did the lifetime.

 

Most of the gay adult world’s famous, biggest selling stars did not have exclusive deals to launch their careers. Studios were also known for “swapping” exclusives. If one had the perfect vehicle but the star was signed somewhere else … they simply offered the studio holding the contract a future role for another of their stars. Most of those deals are still waiting to be honored.

gay porn agent David Forest

Billy Brandt
(former Falcon & Pacific Sun Exclusive)

 

Many stars have had multiple exclusive deals over the course of their careers. They hang their hats wherever they’re wanted … thinking that they’ll make more money and have more work as an exclusive. Their hats usually end up becoming very dusty … sometimes the studio they end up at closes, gets sold or changes personnel that they never even meet.

 

Occasionally a star has had multiple exclusive deals going at the same time. And, some studios tell stars to feel free to get work from other places, even though they’re supposedly under contract to one firm. Takes the pressure off the exclusive studio when the star’s career is getting tired.

 

To be fair, I didn’t mention any specific names above. But, in conclusion, I want to briefly comment about an exclusive deal (that I designed, obviously). But, first, I had to have the star’s Falcon exclusive deal terminated. Since Billy wouldn’t bottom (at that time) … and since Falcon just had nothing more for him to do as a top … John Rutherford, the gentleman that he is, gave Billy a release. That contract had an escalating scene price … I think it was up to $3000 when the contract was terminated.

 

gay porn star jeff palmer

Jeff Palmer
(former Falcon Exclusive)

Coming off the $15,000 deal I had just made for Jeff Palmer to star in the very successful, “Palmer’s Lust” (my great friend Thor Stephan did an amazing job directing) with Motti at Pacific Sun Entertainment (Jeff’s Falcon exclusive deal ended and they didn’t want to resign him) … my relationship with Pacific Sun was sizzling.

 

Motti saw that he could do a movie with a $75,000 budget and make money. So … I told him I wanted $25,000 for BILLY BRANDT to do three (3) Pacific Sun movies (total for the 3). But, he had to pay Billy $500 per week for 1 year (actually, 50 weeks) …. And finish production on all 3 movies in that year.

 

Jason Adonis (former Jet Set, Falcon, Athletic Model Guild & Raging Stallion Exclusive)

Jason Adonis (former Jet Set, Falcon, Athletic Model Guild & Raging Stallion Exclusive)

My commission would be paid by Billy out of his weekly salary ($75). I knew that if Billy could look forward to $425 net every week for a year … we’d get the 3 movies made. AND … we did. Not easily (LOL) … but we got them all done. Phil St. John, Thor Stephan and Michael Zen (famous editor/director of mainly straight films) were the 3 directors.

 

Billy’s Pacific Sun exclusive deal was a shining example of a great deal for everyone. Billy’s 3 Pacific Sun movies were hits. Motti’s sale of Pacific Sun was surely helped by the success of those films (and the Jeff Palmer movie, a Caesar/Chris Steele film and a Billy Herrington title that I set up).

 

David Forest, FUNintheFOREST (official site)

(All of the Stars Pictured Above Were Represented By David Forest At Various Times of their Careers)

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4 responses to OP ED: “To Be OR Not to Be An Exclusive” By David Forest

  1. luke July 27th, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    What? You guys found an article from 1998 and now just posting it. Nice trip down memory lane but it really is silly today. There are no porn stars. Just guys that want to do porn that don’t have the look, cock or body. The article features gay performers from the 90’s. Why is this being posted in 2014?
    Is there no gay porn news?

    Reply

  2. Mark F. July 28th, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    There are lots of handsome guys doing movies, but the days of the big stars are over. And spending $75,000 for a movie? LOL, $10,000 is a big budget these days.

    Reply

    • Jack Shamama July 29th, 2014 at 1:45 AM

      It’s crazy, right?

      When I started working at Falcon (a few weeks before “Heaven To Hell” was released, which wasn’t *THAT* long ago in the grand scheme of things) the marketing budget for their annual “two-parter” was more than $75k.

      Reply

  3. interview transsexual gay porn star stonie brittany coxxx | Gay Porn Blog: Gay News, Tubes, Stars and Videos August 2nd, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    […] second part of my Exclusives story was not planned. But, after receiving a phone call from my buddy and former client, STONIE aka […]

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