While I was on vacation in the first part of July, one of my buddies in the industry sent the link, via the Twittersphere, to this interview on the Towleroad blog. Those unfamiliar with this blog will find a whole bunch of cool news items. I’m grateful to both my friend and the author of the Towleroad for sharing this interview with us. For me, George Duroy I will always respect as the amazing artist he is. Through his company, and the models under him, he has produced some of the most breathtakingly beautiful gay erotica ever to see celluloid. Just from a film fan’s perspective, I see him as one of the great master filmmakers, not a far strench if one is given the time to study these films from the perspective of the art that they are. I’ve seen erotica as just another film genre and have treated it as such. I’m sure I’ll be in agreement when I say that not only is the action quite beautiful but the photography is stunning and it puts these films/scenes in a class all their own. What he gives us in his films is that sexuality, all facets, is a part of our beings that should be celebrated with joy, not hidden in shame. Above all, it is just as much a celebration of life as it is of love. Gay or straight, these films reach out to all orientations to remind us that first and foremost, we are sexual beings, that sex is fun and beautiful. What follows are some highlights that I picked out from the interview. I learned a great deal about this man I’ve come to admire and his films I’ve come to love.
Note: George’s responses are in red.
(From Towleroad blog dated, July 8, 2010)
The Porn Game: An Interview with Bel Ami’s George Duroy (excerpts)
Towleroad (T): When did Bel Ami come into existence?
George Duroy (GD): I first used the Bel Ami name back in May 1991, but I started the company only in the fall of 1993 after shooting my first film, Tender Strangers.
T: Bel Ami is famous for its models. How do you find them?
GD: Nowadays, mostly through scouts. We have four full time scouts working exclusively for us and there are others who work with us on a non-exclusive basis. Of course, some boys contact us directly or through our business partners. Occasionally, I meet somebody socially and he ends up as a model.
T: Are models ever harassed or do they ever regret being in porn? What happens to them after their days as stars in your films; where is Lukas today, for example?
GD: Lukas is still a part of the company. About thirty percent of our employees are models. In a production unit, most of them are either active models (like Luke Hamill or Todd Rosset) or ex-models (Lukas, Johan, Marty). Many of our boys are university students and come from regular, middle-class families. And quite a few are bright. For example, Mark Aubrey is our lawyer, while Claude Cocteau built and runs our web site. Dolph Lambert will get his IT degree soon, and Luke has one more year to go to get his degree in management. In September, we will send a number of models for intense language courses to Cape Town so we can start to shoot with them in English. Our initial selections usually pays off. On average, our models stay with the company at least five years. Are they harassed? Yes, they are. Sometimes really badly. Recently, Kris Evans lost his job with the police force and the tabloids got involved. It is never pleasant, often stressful, yet always good for their integrity and their ability to defend their position.
T: What’s your favorite film you’ve put out?
GD: I shot or produced quite a few films, but the only one I shot the way I planned is An American in Prague. So I like it. But my personal favorite is Summer Camp. It simply has all the elements I like in erotica.
T: Have you ever shot a film that you had to scrap or do you have any other disaster stories?
GD: I keep scrapping all the time. I daresay I am the biggest porn scrapper in history. We have a whole line of films based on scrapped material: the Out At Last series. In the beginning of each episode, I explain where it was supposed to be and why it wasn’t. Disaster stories…I could write a whole book about that. (Me: *chuckle*)
To read the entire interview, click here.