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 Gay DVD Review, a part of the Adult DVD Talk community...
Joeblow69 Interviews Keith Webb
June, 2004

How did you go from being a star of films such as Eruption and Fallen Angel 3 to being Vice President of Titan?

I originally started working with TitanMen when I contracted with Bruce Cam to overhaul and re-vamp their website. Over time Bruce and I became very good friends and with his encouragement, I eventually decided to appear in “Eruption.” I did it for fun and for ego, I never did it for the money or to try and be a “pornstar.” I also did it because Bruce is one of the best cinematographers in the world; I knew that he would make me look great (and he did!)

Bruce is a smart guy; he always knew that trying to run a large growing company on his own was too big a task for only one person. So he brought on director Harold Creg, Photographer Brian Mills and myself as partners in Titan Media and formed what is now the team that makes up Titan Media.

In those early days money was tight, and we were plowing every penny we made back into the company to fuel the growth and expansion of the business. We always joke that the only reason I appeared in “Fallen Angel III” was that we couldn’t afford model fees at the time and that I would work for free! My “model fee” for appearing in “Fallen Angel III” was getting to keep the knee-high Wesco logger boots!

How has the effort to stop online illegal distribution of Titan films gone? I've read that most straight porn companies don't even bother with litigation, since even if they do swat down one pirating company/person, 4 more will jump to take their place.

Our films and photos are the most valuable asset our company has and we would be foolish not to try and do everything we can to protect them. The issue of theft and illegal use of adult material is overwhelming. Industry estimates are that for every 1 DVD/VHS we sell there are 5 illegal or pirated versions being distributed. People wonder why the price of adult DVD is so high; they can blame the pirates for this! If producers could sell 5 times more legal product the price of adult films would drop in half!

With the growth of the Internet and peer-2-peer file stealing, the problem of piracy has exploded. In the old days when someone copied a VHS tape and gave it to a friend it was not that big of a problem. But today with P2P file stealing all it takes only one person to rip a DVD and put it into the P2P networks, “sharing” it with 50+ million of their “closest friends.”

The effects of P2P on the industry have already been devastating, and most producers don’t even know why their sales are declining and their businesses are hurting. We have an automated, spidering system that scans P2P file trading networks looking for illegal copies of our films. It then initiates a download from the user of our stolen film, records the users IP address and evidence of the download and reports it all into a central enforcement database. In the first year of the systems operation we sent out over 475,000 cease and desists to users illegally distributing our property with a 92% compliance rate of the removal of the stolen content from file trading networks. I would call that a major success in the fight against online piracy.

We have taken a different approach than many other producers and have aggressively sought out and prosecuted people stealing or illegally distributing our property. I think that many producers have any underlying feeling of the problem is just too big to try and overcome, and they stick their heads in the sand trying to ignore the problem. With this approach you are constantly treading water and trying to keep your head above water to stay afloat. Our efforts to stop the online, and offline, theft of our materials has been extremely successful! The deterrent effect of our prosecutions has caused many of the pirates to stop stealing our content on their own. When the word gets out that Titan prosecutes ALL theft of its products, the pirates stop stealing Titan products.

Another important aspect of the protection of our content online and in P2P is the protection of children. A core principle of our company has always been that our products should only be available to age verified adults specifically wishing to view our content. The vast majority of our stolen content appearing online and in P2P is freely available to anyone including the millions of children surfing the net and P2P networks. I was shocked to see that a search on the term “Angel” in Kazaa returned Fallen Angel films right along side children’s films such as Elmo’s Alphabet and Disney films. With one wrong click of the mouse some 12 year old could accidentally download and view a ripped and stolen copy of “Fallen Angel III”!

This type of activity is simply unacceptable and is not something that we will allow to happen with our content. Through the irresponsible actions of millions of adult file sharers, millions and millions of adult oriented movies and images are being freely distributed with no concern for the welfare of children. The producers of adult materials are, by and large, NOT distributing these materials via file sharing networks. When an adult steals and copies these materials from a DVD or videocassette, and then places it in their “shared” folder making it available to anyone using P2P, that material is now freely available and accessible to children. If your next-door neighbor gave your 12-year-old son or daughter an adult DVD, you would be outraged! Yet, this is exactly what is happening in the online world of P2P file sharing. Hundreds of thousands of adult movies have been ripped, stolen and copied from DVD and VHS by users of P2P. They then freely and without impunity trade, share and distribute these adult films via P2P, making them freely available to children.

Titan Media is dedicated to the protection of children in the online world of the Internet; we have implemented many technologies and strategies to prevent the exposure of adult materials to minors. By protecting and removing our stolen content from publicly available areas of the Internet and in P2P file sharing networks we are working to prevent the exposure of adult products to children all over the world.

Your online site contains all your movies available for streaming, as well as tons of pictures. Do you see a day when online delivery is the main mechanism for people to get their porn? Or do you think that the customer will always want a hard copy (VHS, DVD, or whatever else comes next).

Our online website, www.TitanMen.com, currently has over 180 hours of streaming content; weekly DRM downloads of full scenes, and over 100,000 data based and searchable TitanMen images. In addition to ALL Titan and ManPlay films and their DVD extras, we also have web only extras and content not available on DVD.

Direct to consumer digital delivery of content is guaranteed to be the future of our industry. Any studio or producer that is not preparing for this inevitability is missing the boat and needs to prepare for this massive shift in the distribution channel of adult material. Someday, sooner than most people realize, consumers will have the ability to download and view in the privacy of their own homes every single Titan Media film, as well as thousands of other films from other production companies. Video rental stores, VHS, DVDs and other hard product forms of films will essentially go away with direct digital delivery becoming the standard.

Consumers will have the ability to make or store their own “hard copy” version of films they purchase via home based DVD burners or home entertainment hard drive storage archival devices. Instead of buying a “DVD” from a store or online, consumers will purchase a copy of the digital file of a film with a perpetual license for unlimited viewing “wrapped” around the file. The “wrapped” and protected file will be delivered direct to a consumer in their homes via Internet broadband and the file will be playable on both their computers and TVs. The file can then be burned onto a blank DVD for archival purposes or stored on hard drive based set-top devices such a PVR (personal video recorders) similar to TiVo. Not only will prices of adult films drop dramatically, but also the availability and selection of films will be virtually unlimited.

And I guarantee you that Titan Media will be leading the way and be the first gay adult studio to make this scenario a reality! ;-)

What has been the reaction to your Titan Man of the Month club so far? Have you received a lot of subscribers yet?

LOL! There are too many of our competitors out there already watching and mimicking most everything we do already! Let’s just say we are very pleased with the reaction and subscriber rate for the program. It was our way to cut the price of our products to our most loyal customers. If someone is willing to commit to purchasing all of our releases in a year, we are happy to reward them with a guaranteed lower price and priority shipping to be the first to receive a new film.

What is your reaction to the charge that many porn companies (like Titan, Falcon, Hot House, etc...) are overcharging customers for the un-edited versions of their movies? Or that in some cases controversial footage is added to a movie, not in order to make a hotter scene, but just so that the company can charge a premium for their product?

The reason that studios such as Titan Media and others cut the more controversial footage is that the wholesale distributors will not purchase films if this kind of content is included. The larger, high-level distributors refuse to purchase any films that depict fisting, watersports and often bondage as well. As wholesale distribution can account for 50-70% of studios total sales revenue most studios are forced to edit their films to achieve wide scale distribution necessary for them to remain in business. To overcome this refusal to carry the content, and to provide customers with the content they desire, most companies have started doing 2 edits of films, one for wholesale distribution and one for direct to consumer retail sales.

It is not some plot to try and force people to buy direct to see the good stuff. If the only option available to us were wholesale distribution consumers would never be able to see the "really good stuff" as no nationwide distributor will buy it for distribution.  We've all adopted the model of 2 edits to try and service the needs of both our wholesale and retail customers.

Can you give us some kind of ratio as to how DVDs sell versus VHS? How much life do you think VHS still has in it?

Direct to consumers, we sell 1 VHS for every 100 DVD we sell! The only customers buying VHS these days are wholesale video rentals customers. Customers purchasing for their own use, only buy DVD these days. The prices of DVD players are now less than the cost of a Falcon DVD! Why would anyone buy a VHS when for the same price they can get a high quality DVD with bonus materials and extras? We no longer sell or offer our in-house or director’s edits of films on VHS, these are all only available on DVD. We only make VHS for Wholesale customers, and as long as they are asking for VHS and paying for it we will keep make it for them!

I know Titan has a firm policy on not hiring actors who appear in bareback films, but what about actors who engage in oral cumshots on film? It seems they're coming more and more popular, showing up in films by Raging Stallion, Kristen Bjorn... even Blue Blake's latest flick had a couple of oral cumshots. Is this something we'll ever see in Titan films?

Our recent public policy statement specifically stated and referred to unprotected anal sex or “barebacking.” While we do not agree with or condone oral cumshots, we are drawing our line of standards at barebacking only at this time. It is highly unlikely that you will see oral cumshots in a Titan Media film anytime soon. The jury is still out on the degree of risk associated with oral cumshots. We would prefer to err on the side of caution for both the safety of our models and the community at large. We believe that it is our responsibility to make safer sex beautiful, affirming, and inspiring. And our definition of “safer sex” does not include oral cumshots.

For those interested in possibly modeling for Titan, is there some sort of casting couch involved? If not, how would you know if a new guy was even a good lay?

Absolutely not! We have a strict company policy against employees and models getting together. Employees do not play with models, and they risk being fired if they do. We run a business, not a party sex orgy! We treat our models with dignity and in the utmost professional manner, and we expect the same back from them. We want them to have fun, enjoy themselves and put on a great sexual performance for the cameras. Based on our experiences the best models are not going to be the ones that would sleep with someone to get a job in a film. The best models are ones that are truly exhibitionists, very sexual, self confident, secure with their own sexuality, and drug free. We can tell who is going to be a good fuck more from these personality factors then we could from playing the “casting couch” method.

What's the story behind the falling out between you guys and Billy Wild?

Over my objections Billy used his personal relationship with Brian Mills to get himself cast in Trespass and other Titan features. It was my opinion that Billy was not “TitanMan” material, especially for a Bruce Cam film. He was only ManPlay caliber at best. During this time, Billy asked for and received a full time position with Titan doing web preparation work and production assisting – with full Titan employee benefits. When we hired him full time, Bruce had a number of meetings with Billy explaining how we want him as a valuable employee rather than a model. Billy intellectually got this… in fact Bruce paid for an expensive photography class so Billy could increase his skills. But, when it came time for developing the box cover and marketing material for Trespass and other features, which is one of my responsibilities at Titan, I chose not to feature Billy on the cover. I felt his photos were not up to par for a box cover, and that other models in the films better represented the Titan Media image. Billy was very upset that he was not on the box cover, and assumed that it was Bruce’s decision and harbored resentment towards Bruce because of it. Billy had trouble differentiating between Billy Wild, the pornstar, and Billy our employee. He let his ego and desperate desire to be a “pornstar” emotionally take over. Soon after this Billy’s overall attitude and demeanor in our office changed and he became very bitter and antagonistic to many of our staff, including myself. One day, while Bruce was out of town on business trip, in front of several employees in our offices, Billy made extremely rude, disparaging and personal remarks about Bruce to our general manager; Stephen -- Stephen suspended him on the spot. Billy chose to go back to trying to be a pornstar rather than continue a long-term career with the Titan Team.

What has been the most popular Titan film? Are there any that, looking back, didn't quite live up to their expectations?

The most successful single film title has been SeaMen- Fallen Angel IV. It was our first title to break $1,000,000.00 in total worldwide sales. We love all our “children” the same, some are more successful than others, but each is unique and has its own special quality that appeals to consumers.

Are there any plans for another Fallen Angel sequel?

Not at this time. The Fallen Angel series has been extremely successful and we did not want to bastardize it by going back to the well once too often. While you will continue to see masculine, edgy, and more fetish oriented titles from us in the future they will most likely come under a different series name or title. One of our goals at Titan was always been to push the envelope somewhat and redefine what is considered “hot” or to expand viewers own definition of what they find erotic.

The term “leather” as applied to adult films has been somewhat of an issue for me personally. I’ve seen too many “leather” films where the models look like it’s the first time they have ever put on a harness or a pair of boots in their lives! Or the term “leather” applied to a film as a way to justify poor production quality or just a really bad fetish film. Just because a model is wearing a pair of chaps, does not make it a “leather” film! One of the major points we were trying to get across in SeaMen- Fallen Angel IV was that you didn’t have to wear leather for it to be a “leather” movie. We purposely did not use or show the typical or traditional leather garb to try and make a point. “Leather” is about a masculine, self-assured and sex positive attitude, NOT about the outfit you are wearing.

What can you tell us about some of Titan's upcoming projects? I hear you've brought in the legendary Joe Gage as a director...

Yes, the legendary Joe Gage has joined the Titan Media team to direct 3 films for us this year. The first 2 films are in the can and are AMAZING, and production on the 3rd film is currently in progress. My favorite gay adult films of all times are “Closed Set” and “Kansas City Trucking Co.” But, when I saw the new film versions that Joe as done recently for another production company, I was extremely disappointed. It has not the same “Joe Gage” that I saw from those original films. We got together with Joe and were able to give him the tools and the financing to support what he does best…make “movies”! His films for us are a departure from the typical Titan “All-Sex” movie. We gave him the luxury of time, the best and most professional production team in the business, and creative control to actually take what has in his head and get it onto film. I think consumers are going to love seeing the old Joe Gage back on top and doing what he does best. In addition, you can expect to see a big blockbuster Bruce Cam feature coming for Holiday 2004. Gotta keep the details under wraps for now, but it’s gonna be a BIG one!

Speaking of Bruce, we haven't heard much from him lately... what's he been up to?

He’s been busy and focused on running and expanding the company. Titan Media now has 22 full time employees and a number of sub-contractors; Bruce considers it his full time job to daily inspire and empower each member of the Titan Team to do a great job. Titan would not be the #1 adult studio without an incredibly loyal and talented staff. Bruce has also been traveling a lot to Europe recently setting up our new European distribution center to better serve the EU market. There is a lot behind the scenes to do to run a successful business and Bruce has been at the helm guiding our company to new and exciting places.

It seems like the last few Titan movies were lacking in the really big name stars (like Dred Scott or Patrick Knight). Do you have any really hot guys in the wings that you are conditioning to be the next big thing? Are there any plans to bring in any already established big names?

Titan Media has always been about the “brand” and not about a particular model or “star.” “Stars” come and go, but a “brand” lasts for a lifetime. The only real exception to that has been Dred Scot. Dred Scott is the only model that we have ever put under exclusive contract. Many other studios had already seen him and turned him down, they were afraid of his image and didn’t know what to do with him. I remember when I saw his images from his first Brian Mills photo shoot; I just about dropped to the floor! I immediately asked Bruce to get this guy under contract and then flew him back to San Francisco for another expanded photo shoot with Brian. We knew that he was magic, and that he personified in one package everything that a “Titan Man” represents. He has also really nice guy, a total exhibitionist, and we loved working with him.

Ben Jakks is also one of our favorite models and has chosen to work with Titan Media exclusively. Handsome, masculine, multi-ethnic, sexually adept and extremely intelligent. He is currently in medical school in London and will soon be a physician! That is the type of man we want representing the Titan Media name brand! We have a couple of few faces under wraps that will make their screen debuts in the upcoming Bruce Cam feature. We have been saving them especially for Bruce to film, and they are guaranteed to be huge with the fans!

Speaking of Patrick Knight, has he retired from the business? What about Ray Dragon? I know he's got his own studio now, but is there a chance he'll show up in a Titan film again?

Patrick is currently on hiatus from the industry, and has an open invitation from us to come back and make another film whenever he is ready.

Ray Dragon is on location with the Titan Production Team shooting the 3rd Joe Gage film as we speak! You can expect to see him in this Titan Media film sometime in November/December of 2004. Ray is a great guy, we love working with him and as long as he wants to work with us he’s always welcome!

Will we ever see you in front of the camera again?

Not with my clothes off! <G> Age and HIV has taken its toll on my body so you won’t be seeing me naked anytime soon!;-)

Big thanks to JoeBlow69 and Keith Webb for this informative, interesting interview!

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