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