XXX News Crew Brought to you by ...
KEITH WEBB CHATS WITH KEITH WITCHKA EXCLUSIVELY ON JRL
Post Date: 12-17-07 12:00 a.m. PDT
Keith: JRL Fanz, Please give it up to our special guest today. From the producers of such mega hits as Fear, Barnstorm, and the Multi Award Winning Feature Fallen Angel V "Horse". Yes, the one and only Keith Webb of Titan Media. Welcome to JRL.
Keith thank you for joining us.
Keith Webb: Thanks, glad to be here.
Keith: Let me first off ask you about your latest release is entitled Fear . Former No.1 on the JRL Weekly Top 10 Bondage and Fetish Chart. A lot of Pain to go into that feature!!!. How did you and the creative team at Titan come up with Fear?
Keith Webb: FEAR was developed as part of our Titanmen/Folsom co-branded line of films. Released under the “Exclusive Leather/Fetish Films of the Folsom Street Fair” banner we needed to give the leather/fetish world something that would knock them on their asses. Something they had never seen before….high-end produced fetish brought out into the light of day.
Most leather/fetish films are shot in a dungeon or sets made to look dark and foreboding.
We wanted to bring fetish into the daylight and show people that hot, hardcore fetish could be done in a new way. The overall concept for the film and the realization of it go to Brian Mills the director. The performers themselves were also a huge part of the success of the film.We hire performers that are into fetish and are doing what they really enjoy doing. No one in FEAR is acting, they are doing what they really like to do. Most of the time we just
had to get out of their way, let them perform and try and keep up with the action.
Keith: You have been in the Gay Adult Film Industry for decades. Multi Award Winner!, I can't count how many times you have had No.1 hits in America on the JRL Weekly Top 100. In a business that thrives on new products every week. How do you maintain the status of being a major player in the business today?
Keith Webb: By sticking to our core principal of “never put shit in a pretty box” and having the best team in the industry. There are way too many studios that will make a pretty boxcover and then put a piece of shit film into the box. We vowed to never do that. In fact we have thrown out entire scenes and not used them because they did not hold up to our standards. Customers know and can trust that if it has the TitanMen brand on it the film inside will be the best quality and the hottest sex.
We learned our lesson on this issue recently with the first several TitanMen Fresh films directed by Marcel Bruckmann and produced by Man’s Art studio. Our gut instincts said that the films were just not up to our quality level, even after we spent time in Germany trying to teach them how to make better quality films.
We went ahead and released the first 3 films they had produced under the TitanMen Fresh brand in the USA.After disappointing sales and reviews we realized we had made a mistake releasing those films under our brand. We quickly realized we had indeed put “shit in a pretty box” and terminated our contract with Mr. Bruckmann and Man’s Art studio. In fact we were so ashamed of those first 3 titles we pulled them permanently from our line and destroyed the remaining pieces we had in inventory.
Keith: You have been a strong advocate on Safe-Sex in the Gay Adult Film Industry. In fact Titan Media just donated $25,000 to Folsom Street Events and established the TitanMen/Folsom Fund. What drove you, founder Bruce Cam and Brian Mills to start this organization?
Keith Webb: We have always felt it is our obligation to give back to the community that has made us so successful. We have also always felt, and indeed founded our company on the belief, that is it our obligation to eroticize safer sex in all our films. The greatest gift we have ever given to the community has been our portrayal of safer sex practices in all our films. Thank-fully we are now in a position that we can back up our words and actions with
cold hard cash.
We have seen a growing sense of apathy both within thegay community and the gay industry towards HIV/AIDS prevention. We need to ask ourselves why in every other country HIV/AIDS is on the decline, while in the USA and Europe it is increasing? Why are the two most socially and economically advanced populations experiencing increases in new HIV infections, with gay men showing some of the largest increases!
We simply cannot and will not sit back and watch as more and more gay men become infected with HIV. We as a community have let each other down by not helping to keep each other safe and protected. By forming this new fund we are able to bring more attention to the cause of HIV/AIDs awareness and prevention, and can actually put money back into the community for these projects. We did it because it is the right thing to do.
Keith: Tell us about the Men of Titan coming to retail in 2008. What do you have in store for gay consumers in the New Year?
Keith Webb: We have a lot of exciting new projects coming up for 2008! The two most important to retailers and consumers will be HD-DVD and the expansion of the TitanMen Fresh line. As you may have heard Titan Media has invested almost $500,000 in the highest broadcast quality HD cameras, production equipment and editing suites. We are filming all new TitanMen films in full Hollywood quality 1080i wide screen high definition. Many other studios have been shooting on lower quality HDV; mistakenly thinking they were shooting in “High Def”. When it comes time to actually release those films on true HD-DVD or Bluray DVD disks, they are going to be very, very shocked to see what they get.
There is a lot of hype going around about “shot on HD” which means nothing unless the film is actually released on High Def DVD disk. The proof will come when films start getting released on HD-DVD disc come 1st or 2nd quarter of 2008. I guarantee you TitanMen HD-DVD will blow everyone else out of the water!
We have always been the leader when it comes to production quality and technology, and High Def will be no different. TitanMen will be the leaders in High Definition DVD technology.The other big push is the expansion of our TitanMen Fresh line. In fact Bruce Cam is currently braving the winter cold meeting and working with our Prague production team and director, Richie Oldmann. The TitanMen Fresh line has been growing steadily over the past year and half and we are at the point to expand to 9-12 features per year, up from 6 films per year.
There is a growing market for high quality younger “jocks” type films. While most of the films coming out of Europe these days tend to be low quality bareback films, we are once again bucking the trend to produce high quality condom only films. We are finding that the consumers for this niche in the market don’t necessarily want bareback films, they just want good films!
Keith: Now Keith! I did want to touch on this subject a bit. You have stated that Titan Media will never use their models in bareback features. Can you give us an insight on this decision and why?
Keith Webb: It’s really very simple….Titan Media was founded on the principal of eroticizing safer sex practices. We have vowed that we will never shoot or produce films that portray unprotected anal sex. It is our obligation to our community to eroticize only safer sexual practices. Whether we all want to admit it or not, porn affects and helps shape the sexual practices of gay men. We care too much about our community and about the health and safety of gay men all over the world then to promote or eroticize high risk behaviors.
I am HIV+ and have progressed to the point of having a clinical diagnosis of AIDS. This is often shocking to people who see me as physically; I look just fine. AIDS is no longer the scary disease where you see people walking down the street emaciated and covered with Kaposi’s lesions. Because of advances in anti-retroviral drugs the “face” of AIDS has changed. This is a double edge sword as AIDS is no longer a scary disease to a lot of younger gay men who have not seen their friends drop dead in front of their eyes.
HIV/AIDS is still a very deadly and debilitating disease and a very, very expensive one at that! The cost of my meds to keep me alive would cost me over $36,000 a year out of pocket if I did not have health insurance. Add to the cost the lowered life expectancy; the various illnesses and medical problems over the years and you soon realize HIV/AIDS is a life changing and long-term disease.So, if what we do can help to keep even just one person out there from getting HIV, then it’s all worth it to us! Believe it or not we do care about our community and what happens to other gay men.
Keith: What is your opinion on studios that are releasing condom features and who are totally against barebacking but, will release gay xxx features that are "PRE-CONDOM". Could you explain to us, in your opinion, just what the difference is between a bareback feature and a Pre-Condom feature?
Keith Webb : First off let me clear up some misinformation about my stance regarding bareback films. First and foremost I believe in the first amendment and freedom of speech. I believe that people have the right to make and watch whatever films they want too. Whether I agree with their choices or not, they have every right to make the films they
choose to make.
On the other hand I also have the right to stand up and say what I think it right and wrong. When I believe that commercial bareback films are endangering the lives of models, are being filmed unethically, or are setting a dangerous precedent that affects the community then I am going to stand up and say so. Freedom of speech is a two way street.
Now, onto your first question…the difference between “pre-condom” and contemporary “bareback” films. Without splitting hairs, the majority of pre-condom films did not knowingly endanger the long-term health of the performers and they did not purposely eroticize high-risk behavior or internal cumshots. While on the other hand, the majority of contemporary “bareback” films knowingly risk the long-term health of the performers and are premised on the eroticization of high risk behavior and the internal cumshot.
For the most part contemporary “bareback” has been built on a core erotic principle of risk. The core erotic premise is that risk is sexy and risk is hot! The producers and directors of these films have taken the highest risk acts known for HIV transmission, unprotected anal sex and the internal cumshot, and made it the core erotic theme of their film. Yeah, I know most of them will try and play that down, but when you market the fact that someone is taking 40 loads up their ass or brag on the boxcover about how many “internal cumshots” there are in the film…you are exploiting the risk and danger in the films.
Let’s be brutally honest here: How many of the European twink bareback films utilize trusted third party AIM standard HIV testing? How many USA bareback producers require valid AIM standard HIV testing? For the most part they just ask the performer and trust whatever he says in regards to his last HIV test.When you are paying someone to perform dangerous sex acts and are going to commercially exploit that act, then you become both morally and ethically responsible for the health of the performers. It becomes your obligation to protect that person, even from themselves. Just because someone will perform a dangerous sex act for money does not mean you should allow them to risk their life.
Keith: In my investigation, I've heard studios state, "well, this was before we knew what AIDS was". As you know Keith, HIV and AIDS have been around since the mid-70's. So how can producers state that there is a difference between "bareback features" and "Pre-Condom" features?
Keith Webb: You have got to be kidding me? That is one of the silliest statements I have ever heard! That is bareback producers speaking to try and justify their films. Their argument goes: “The pre-condoms films were dangerous too, so why are you picking on us? That is the most fucking ridiculous thing I have ever heard! They are trying to justify the known risk in their films by calling out pre-condom films! Sounds desperate to me!
Keith: Recently, there was a gay xxx performer who is currently seeking legal action against a British studio where he believes he contracted HIV while shooting a British gay xxx film?
Do you see litigation coming from performers in these types of situations?
Keith Webb: This is just the tip of the iceberg! Just wait until the first big gay HIV outbreak happens and all hell is going to break lose! The producers are going to lose everything they have and could possibly end up having criminal charges filed as well.
When you pay someone to “perform” for you in a commercial adult film, you then become morally and ethically responsible for what happens to them on your set. Yes, there is known risk on the performer’s part going in, but that does not absolve the producer from their role and share of the responsibility.From a personal and more human perspective, how would you feel knowing someone got HIV on your set? To me, that would be devastating!
Keith: Also in my investigation, I have had doctors who work with HIV and AIDS patients state that they do provide treatment for both hetero and gay porn performers and that clinics that are designed to clear models for shooting are giving false results in order for the performers to work. Have you heard of this as well?
Keith Webb: I have heard rumors of false negative tests being bought and sold in Eastern Europe, but I have not heard anything like that in the USA.
Keith: AVN.com, recently did a multiple answer pole on barebacking. The overwhelming result was "If the models don't care, why should I". What are your feelings on that because this is the core audience of gay xxx entertainment voting.
Keith Webb: What that says is that people don’t give a shit about the health or well-being of gay adult performers. “Let them risk their lives for my pleasure and entertainment.” It says that to most consumers gay performers are just pieces of meat that are not worthy of respect. That is a sad, sad commentary on our community and how adult performers are perceived.
The sad truth is that there would be no bareback unless there was a market and consumer for it. I honestly do not think that most consumers think, or even care, about the performers they see on the screen. This is a gay community problem even more so then a gay adult industry problem. Bareback is reflective of the sense of apathy and lack of social good will within the gay community. No one seems to care about each other anymore. There seems to be this bitter sense of “each man for himself”, and that if you get HIV it’s your own fault. To me, that is the saddest and most tragic message coming from the bareback debate. Where have we gone as a community that we do not care enough about each other to even try and help others from getting HIV?
Keith: Where do you see our industry going in 2008?
Keith Webb: The continuing trend will be the transition to digital distribution and the decline of DVD. While I do think DVD still has another 3-5 years, you will continue to see retail and wholesale prices drop to try and move units. The upside for hard product will be the rise of HD-DVD as the gay consumers are early adopter of new technology. The HD-DVD market will still be small as an overall percentage of the total market for the next several years, but there will be opportunity for high-end producers to benefit from it. You have to give consumers a reason to pay $50-$60 for a DVD, and jaw dropping “reach out and touch it” true high definition will be that reason!
Keith: Two fresh titles are coming out of the Titan Stable...”Command Post” and “Summer Encounters” on TitanMen Fresh. Tell us about these two priceless gems.
Keith Webb: “Command Post” is a Brain Mills directed TitanMen military themed film starring 3 of our top exclusives: Damien Crosse, Dean Flynn and Dirk Jager. Rounding out the cast are Victor Banda, Darius Falke, Tober Brandt and Steve Cruz. The finest cast of man flesh around, how can you beat that!?
“Summer Encounters” is from our TitanMen Fresh line and exemplifies what the Fresh brand stands for. Beautiful Euro jocks with smooth rock-hard bodies, combined with a balls-to-the-wall sucking and fucking that captures the innocence of youth. The perfect summer film to heat up your cold frozen bones! Our Czech director, Richie Oldmann is doing an excellent job!
Keith: Tell us, will we see any fresh faces in 2008 through Titan Media, MSR, Pjur, Manplay or Titan Men Fresh?
Keith Webb: As you know we are renowned for our exclusive models. I hear over and over again from both the industry and the customers that the TitanMen exclusives the best looking men in the entire world. We literally go to all corners of the earth to find the hottest and freshest men for our fans. So, you can count of some new fresh faces, asses and cocks for 2008!
Keith: Keith, thank you so much for doing this interview with us here on JRL. I hope to receive an autograph copy of both “Fear” and the upcoming “Command Post.” When will “Command Post” and “Summer Encounters” hit retail stores?
Keith Webb: I’ll make sure you get your special copy of “Command Post”  which drops to wholesale on December 18th and “Summer Encounters” drops on January 8th, 2008.
Keith: Any shout outs to the Titan Media fans?
Keith Webb: As always, we want our customers and fans to know how much we appreciate them. We know that without them we would be nothing, and we promise to continue working hard to give them what they want! I also ask that consumers of all gay porn think about the porn they purchase. You vote with your dollars and you ultimately decide what gets made. Make your choice not only with your crotch, but also with your heart. Think about others in the community and the message you want the world to see about us and how we treat each other. If we don’t care about each other, then no one else will either.
Keith: There you go JRL fans, as always, JRL brings it to you "Fair and Balanced" first. I'll be returning to JRL after the Christmas and New Year's Holiday Season and I can't wait to come back but until then, have a happy and save Holiday Season and make sure to keep us locked in for the latest Info and Entertainment on the Gay Adult Film Industry right here on JRL.