Blue Movie: 3D “Avatar XXX” fights piracy while mixing species

“It is the third 3D Blu-ray movie ever,” says “Avatar XXX” director Axel Braun. “Right after ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.'”

We are in a small screening room in Burbank and have just skimmed through Hustler’s parody “Avatar XXX,” which may have had a more compelling plotline than its source material, James Cameron’s 2009 film that has made more money than any in history.

In “Avatar XXX,” a team of human space miners go after a rich source (note I didn’t write “lode”) of Viagratanium, a blue substance sacred to the Na’bi, a tailed and azure group of beings the humans need to subjugate in order to get the precious mineral.

In order to survive in the Na’bi’s atmosphere, the humans zap their consciousness into Na’bi-like “avatars.” But the Na’bi scream blue murder when they find they’ve been betrayed.

The movie looks great in a digital screening room with expensive glasses and an ass-kicking sound system, but at prices between $1,000 and $3,000, what is the penetration of 3D TVs among consumers?

“The price points for 3D TVs have really come down,” said Hustler’s Director of Operations Rob Smith. “And with ESPN and the Discovery Channel broadcasting in 3D, people are buying them. At this point, you can get a 3D TV near the same price as a regular HDTV.”

Cameron has been publicly indignant about movies like “How To Train Your Dragon” that weren’t shot in native 3D but were instead retrofitted that way. Smith said that wasn’t the case with “Avatar XXX.”

“We shot it over five days with a Stereotec rig,” he said. “And one say was just tech as we figured it out.”

Camera technology has been evolving exponentially over the past few years. Digital Playground bought and shot with the very expensive Red One cameras, then companies like New Sensations rented the Reds for movies like “The Sex Files.” Now many porn companies are working with the far more versatile (and less expensive) Canon 5s. The moral in a pubescent tech market? Wait, and rent.

“Did Hustler buy the Stereotec rig?” I asked.

“Oh, no, no, no,” Smith said. “We rented.”

There have been a few 3D porn movies, as well as a lot of online content. Tommy Gunn’s “Cummin’ At You 3D” was the first, and was very simple. It did what you might expect of a 3D porn movie by providind a lot of shots of Sindee Jennings squirting into the camera. Next was New Sensations’ financially disappointing “Octopussy 3D.” Clips4Sale has a lot of 3D content available for 3D-capable computers that are simple and well-shot.

But “Avatar XXX” represents a near-maturity of the form, as it doesn’t use 3D as a gimmick.

“In 3D you want the frame to be busy,” said Dr. Hung, a film director with horror collective Fewdio. “To make it effective you need to populate the space with material to give the shot depth.”

The shots in “Avatar XXX” were constructed on sets that included trees with falling leaves and rickety spaceships filled with cargo. The extra objects gave the movie depth.

Which is good, because the plot was pretty shallow. Luckily, a complex plot is neither what we expect nor what we want from a porn film. That said, “Avatar XXX” relies on viewers to have seen the original in order to understand why characters we met as humans are now blue. The movie also doesn’t explain what an “avatar” is.

But it does improve on the original in that it is funny. Brassy Nicki Hunter wakes a marine from hypersleep the only way she knows how (“It’s protocol,” she says, blowing him) and one character has a “Planet of the Apes” moment when he sees a “Coming Soon: Hustler Casino” sign tacked to a tree.

Because 3D movies are harder to copy, has Hustler found a way to combat piracy? I knew that no one at Hustler would tell me how much the film cost.

“It was way cheaper than you’d think,” said Smith.

“Post-production was fucking expensive,” said Braun.

Braun also said that the little jars of blue paint proved problematic.

“It would take six hours to get them all blue,” he said.

This is true of Lexington Steele, who appears in the final orgy scene, and Misty Stone. Steele and Stone are both black and blue.

“We wanted it to be interracial times three,” Braun said.

The Na’bi discover the humans’ treachery and overthrow them, a storyline representative of Hustler’s longstanding support of indigenous cultures. But how come everything wasn’t blue?

“The girls didn’t want blue cocks in their vaginas,” said Braun. “It was a health concern.”

Buy “This Ain’t Avatar 3D XXX” here

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Sindee Jennings—baby wipes for that extra dimension; Perhaps Porn Valley needs a little “Glee XXX”
See also: Hustler

XRCO Awards 2010: But it’s our clusterfuck

About an hour after the show was supposed to start, Lisa Ann took the stage at the 26th annual XRCO Awards and said, “Would you all shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down?”

I have been to several of these events and, as director Eli Cross said beside me, “It’s not an XRCO show until a girl starts screaming to shut the fuck up.”

But now the XRCO has shrieking women, which is an improvement over XRCOs past, which had wailing men.

Bobbi Starr won for Orgasmic Oralist and Superslut (I know this because I was sitting with her), but I couldn’t hear most of the show because I was actively prevented from paying attention. Sasha Grey won for Mainstream Crossover star, but she wasn’t there. Nor was Kimberly Kane, who won Best Actress. Jack Lawrence, nominated for Unsung Woodsman, lamented that he got beat by a guy, Sascha, who didn’t show up.

“At least you look dapper,” I said to Lawrence.

“Teen Cream Dream” Lexi Belle did not attend the awards, either.

But it’s more important, I think, that the XRCOs happen. And if they moved to a hall where everyone got there on time and sat with hands in their laps paying attention, it just wouldn’t be porn.

Five minutes into the awards I got antsy, so I left the comfort of my booth at the Highlands, situated at the recently-famous corner of Hollywood and Highland Boulevards in Hollywood, to hunt people down.

Sophie Dee and Kelly Divine compared triceps, Andy San Dimas and newcomer Zoe Voss, friends from Minneapolis, posed with Bobbi Starr in the one instance of good light the whole evening, I finally met Aurora Snow, who won Best New Starlet the first year I attended AVN and is now all growed up, and Aiden Starr and friend January told me about the pet peeves of dominatrices.

All these delightful interactions occurred while people were onstage (or not) presenting and, in most cases, not receiving their awards. It was enough for me to see that reviewer extraordinaire Roger T. Pipe is still alive, Floating World creator Terri Redor hasn’t left the country, Cousin Stevie remains irascible, Sunny Lane and Tom Byron remain cheerful and dour, respectively, and Kristina Rose and Alexis Texas still have their asses in the right place.

I also got to meet American badass Jules Ventura, whom I can imagine is the right person to have on your side when things get rough, saw the new hair color of Lexi Lamour, met a woman named Lexxxi Lowe whom I originally thought said her name was Lexi Love, and nearly popped an aneurysm when Pride of Florida and Colorado Sophia Lynn turned up, post-Jesus Camp. “It’s all still a part of me,” she said.

But I was not always able to communicate at my articulate zenith.

I tried to bust out my Swedish on Puma Swede, who would have none of it. I was only able to mention Abba once before it all ended in tears. Not only that, but during a conversation with dominatrices Aiden Starr and January, I had the impression that they thought I was soliciting them for prostitution.

But I was able to reconcile with Andy San Dimas, whom I’d mislabeled as a “cougar” in a recent review. The DVD broke so I extrapolated a plot out of some stills and – strangely enough – I was not able to put the storyline together.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Maybe it’s because you look so European and exotic that I thought you were sexually precocious,” I said to San Dimas, who is all of 23.

“She’s not European,” said Bobbi Starr,” she’s Cherokee.”

So are we all,” I said.

Were David Foster Wallace (who wrote a snarky piece about the AVN Awards once and who irritated many in the porn industry who said the same sort of things but they’d earned the right to, God Damn It)  or XRCO founder Jim Holliday alive, both would agree that the XRCO Awards, to an outside observer, appear a shambles but still mean a lot to the people who are there, even if those people aren’t paying attention.

Because porn performers are rarely recognized for their work, it seems  fitting that this homespun-seeming garage band of an event reflects the quality of the average porn movie. It’s all over the place but enjoyable, until it isn’t, and then you validate your parking and get out of there, swerving a little as you go. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But as I headed to my car I saw the future, and it was grim.

I am rarely in that part of Hollywood on a Thursday night, but the women going up the escalator to the clubs as I was heading to the garage cashier all looked far more whorish than anyone still at the awards show.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: David Foster Wallace, 1962-2008; Sophia Lynn goes back to the garden; XRCO insta-gallery 2005-2008
See also: XRCO