31 December 2009 21:44
Portland, OR – This is going to be a far more personal and reflective entry than most of those that I have written before. A couple weeks ago XBIZ, the adult industry association, announced their nominations for 2010 awards. Among nominations ranging from Toy Manufacture of the Year to GLBT Company of the year to Transsexual Performer of the Year, there are the nominations for Gay Director of the Year. Among the individuals I know and respect nominated for Gay Director of the Year are Brian Mills, Chi Chi LaRue, Chris Ward, Kristofer Weston, Mr. Pam (with Michael Lucas), Steve Cruz & Leif Gobo, Steven Scarborough, and Paul Wilde (who is co-nominated with me for our work on the Rough line). Wow! I definitely didn’t expect this kind of recognition when I first got into the industry.
To understand why I do what I have done and what motivates me toward the future, I offer my initial attractions, my proclivity toward rough trade, what it’s like getting caught in the act and how I’m cruising for more…
When I started doing ‘art films,’ it was on a whim. Why not get flown down to Palm Springs with my new found boy Derek da Silva, get put up at a resort, do what I wanted to do to him anyway, share our passions through a demo before a live audience of fellow BDSM players, have the whole thing recorded for posterity under the direction of GayVN Hall of Famer Daddy Zeus and get paid?
Things changed a little when I was told Titan might want me to design a scene for one of their Folsom releases. Derek was in Folsom Filth and was tapped to do a scene for the next Folsom release slated for September 2007. He pitched them a scene he had fantasized about for years and told them there was only one top he knew that could pull it off. Suddenly, I had a challenge. During our first conference call, I immediately started discussing rigging requirements, the type of tree indigenous to northern California best suited to the purpose, the time necessary for the scene, where to get rope and possible casting with GayVN Hall of Fame director Brian Mills and award winning videographer Paul Wilde. I was actually being asked to design and drive a real BDSM scene for a major gay studio. The whole thing got me thinking on a multitude of levels.
If you look at it, before Titan started releasing the studio’s Fallen Angel series in 1999, there wasn’t much real BDSM content produced by any of the contemporary mainstream gay studios. About the only thing that really comes to mind is Falcon’s Abduction series and even that was ‘fetish-lite,’ at least by my standards, with some notable exceptions in the Fisting and Pissing genres. For the most part, after Fred Halsted first captured the image of queer, male BDSM and the ‘leatherman,’ the essence was left to be captured by independent directors and niche studios like Roger Earl, Christopher Rage, Daddy Zeus and Shotgun Video. Sure, the iconography of the ‘leatherman’ was used by mainstream gay studios as an example of iconic masculinity, but the essence of our play wasn’t there. The fantasy of a ‘leatherman’ was acceptable. The reality of our play, however, was far too extreme and heavy. But that was starting to change and I began my career right in the middle of a dramatic shift in the portrayal of BDSM on screen.
After we finished shooting Fear, Titan asked if I would be willing to come down and work on a Joe Gage project. As regular readers of my blog already know, I have long held Joe Gage in high regard. His Working Man Trilogy (Kansas City Trucking Co., El Paso Wrecking Corp. and L.A. Tool & Die) helped me define my queer identity. I had also admired Gage’s ability to provide enough back story and character development to set a tone and build the sexual tension in the movies he directed. I was thrilled to be working on one of his movies and my scene with Braxton Bond in Chainsaw went exceedingly well. At the end of that shoot Brian Mills approached me and asked if I’d be interested in becoming the ‘face of fetish’ for Titan. Looking back, I could never have imagined what that would become.
By the time Fear was released over Folsom weekend in September of 2007, I had already signed on as an exclusive with Titan (although there was one other fetish feature I filmed with another studio prior to signing). Through the course of the year that followed I was involved with the production of Breakers (GayVN Hall of Fame director Bruce Cam’s final panoramic, triple-x feature and the first Gay Adult video released in Blu-Ray), Folsom Prison (the winner of the Best Fetish Film at the 11th Annual GayVN Awards and Best Fetish Video at the 2009 Grabby Awards), Folsom Undercover (the official release of the 2008 Folsom Street Fair), Funhouse (which earned the 2009 Grabby for Best Art Direction) and Home Invasion (which earned me 2009 GayVN and Grabby nominations for Best Actor). I was also given the opportunity, with special permission from Titan, to work with CBT legend Roger from Shotgun Video on the production of Squeeze Play. In all, my body of work for the first full year in what I have dubbed my ‘art film’ career earned me a 2009 GayVN nomination for Best Fetish Performer of the Year and a surprising level of recognition within the fetish/Sm community.
The truth is I am a player, educator and activist in the fetish/Sm community. I have been all these things, at least to some extent, for the past twenty years. For me, performing in the adult industry is just an extension and expansion of those roles. The recognition I’ve garnered as a performer has opened opportunities to teach at events like CLAW, Thunder in the Mountains and ShibariCon and to perform at events like the IML XXX Victory Party at the House of Blues in Chicago. It’s given my boys and me opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals in the scene and to spread our philosophy and approach to play in ways I never really thought possible.
And the more I performed, the more I learned. I devoured books like Bigger than Life by Jeffrey Escoffier and anything I could find on the early directors of BDSM porn. I conversed with industry veterans like Chi Chi LaRue, Brian Mills and Steven Scarborough. I came to realize the important educational role pornography plays in the lives of gay/bisexual men and how significant the responsible portrayal of fetish and Sm could be in the development of a healthy sexual identity. By the time we began shooting Folsom Prison my passion and creative desire to capture this thing of ours (as I often refer to BDSM) on screen was solidified.
After my original contract with Titan came to a close in August of 2008, we started talking about what the future would hold. Because of the close ties and relationships I had developed over the previous year with the studio, I had no problem continuing as an exclusive out-of-contract. About the same time we were shooting Triage, Brian Mills asked what I wanted to do next and I told him I wanted to direct. I wanted to work on a series of RACK inspired, documentary style fetish/Sm features that focused on real play with real players. Shortly after pitching my vision for the projects to Brian, Keith Webb and Bruce Cam, they suggested I team up with Paul Wilde to co-direct and make it happen with Titan Media behind us. And the new Rough line was born.
The line debuted with the nearly concurrent releases of our first two projects, Rough. Fist and Piss and Rough. Shock Treatment immediately following this past IML and then our third feature Rough. Bound and Beaten two weeks before the Folsom Street Fair. My work at Titan has always been collaborative in nature, and the studio has granted me great latitude in the conceptualization and creation of many of my scenes for past projects. They gave me screenwriting credit alongside Brian Mills and Diesel Washington for Folsom Prison and graciously acknowledged my directorial contributions to that project in the press. But this has been a particularly exciting year for me because these three titles represent my first contributions within the industry as a Director, co-credited with my friend and colleague, Paul Wilde.
Caught in the Act
With three features released already, our vision for the Rough line has taken shape and come to fruition. Fist and Piss is filled with content worthy of its title and a few innovations like Chris Yosef being fisted while in full-suspension Shibari rope bondage in addition to some creative piss play. Shock Treatment is a deeper exploration of pleasure and pain through some of the heaviest and most advanced Sm scenes involving electrical stimulation. And Bound and Beaten pushes the limits even further with outdoor bondage and intense impact play. I couldn’t be happier with the results or the reception they have received from the critics.
Harley Shadow’s review of Shock Treatment for XXFactor.com reads, in part:
OMFG!… …an amazing demonstration of another type of erotica and sex… …as heated and fun as getting your cock sucked or fucking a tight ass.
…The earlier yelps and screams were murmurs compared to da Silva’s bloody murder-like screams in the finale. This scene between Buff and his boy da Silva is intense, crazy and mind blowing, but yet I found myself titillated and in awe.
Really, Shock Treatment has to be seen to be believed. This film is one crazy wall-to-wall vision that will take multiple viewings. Sometimes you’re not just watching the models or the stimuli, but looking at the set wondering what’s next. Shock Treatment isn’t for the faint of heart and is a portrayal of realistic and authentic BDSM and fetish sex.
The review of Shock Treatment Martin Cox penned for ManNet.com describes it as follows:
Electrosex has never looked this good onscreen, and it’s all thanks to the top-notch creative talents of Tony Buff and Paul Wilde that this very special fetish finally gets it due.
And in his review of Fist and Piss for ManNet.com, he continues of the Rough line:
You’d have to go a very long way down a very dark staircase to find dungeon action as hair-raising as the stuff in the fantastically nasty “Fist and Piss.”
It turns out that Tony Buff not only is fucking hot, he’s also got a very creatively dirty vision for his art, which in this case involves starting out with a piss scene in which he totally douses Chris Yosef.
In many fisting and piss films it seems the object is aggression and domination. Tony Buff reinvents those notions and makes it much more fun.
…it focuses more on the satisfaction and pleasure one can receive whether they’re dom or sub or top or bottom rather than on power and ego trips or over-the-top shenanigans.
That’s the thing about Buff’s fetish films. They are so different from other kink lines and instead of sticking to the same devices, Buff and Wilde go outside the norm to bring viewers something so wild, uninhibited and yet so erotic.
There are so many things that I can go on and on about in Fist and Piss, but one thing I liked best is that it demonstrates that kink can be freaky and fun, but it’s also another side of erotica.
In reviewing Fist and Piss for Fort Troff, Hawk remarks:
I gotta give props to Titan Men for launching their new Rough division. They are turning out films that I know you pigs are gonna dig.
“Fist and Piss” is a warm, wet flick that is destined to be a golden classic.
… the fisting scene with the bottom hangin’ and swingin’ in a rope suspension RULES. The cast is hard bodied and DEF into the play, not “acting.” I give it two greasy, piss-soaked thumbs up.
Directors Buff and Paul Wilde, along with the films’ casts, are so good at what they do and present it so well, that instead of just sex or getting off, the films are a showcase of a different side of erotica.
While I or you may not understand it, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look into the eyes or see the facial expressions of the models … to know this is an extreme high for them. Being tied up, mummified, beaten, caned or suspended and dominated is what makes them tick, it’s what gets them off.
… It’s a beautiful blend of dominant and submissive roles, respect, love, passion, and kink.
Bound and Beaten is another great eye-opening and erotic piece of work from the twisted minds of Buff and Wilde. … The locations are gorgeous and serene, but the actions and tools used are wicked and disturbed. I can’t imagine what Buff and Wilde will whip up next.
And it’s not just the critics that have found something special in these releases. Clearly, they are capturing the attention of players and the specialty market for fetish and Sm content. Shock Treatment, our first feature in the Rough line recently spent four weeks as number one on the JRL Bondage & Fetish Rental Charts. And all three of the Rough titles continue to dominate Titan’s distributor charts with Fist and Piss, Bound and Beaten and Shock Treatment sitting in the second, third and fourth place slots behind only our most recent Folsom release Folsom Maneuvers. But even better than that, the messages I’ve received on sites from Recon.com and M4MKink.com to DudesNude tell me that what we are accomplishing with the Rough line is resonating with players from around the world.
Cruising for More
So, why the fuck am I doing this? I think I’m doing it because I have a passion for this thing of ours. I enjoy sharing this passion with others through teaching and performing. And I do it because I am an advocate for safer sex and responsible play. These are the things that drive me. They are the things that have grown to motivate me even more over the past two years in the industry. And they are the reason I’m cruising for more.
As we move into 2010, we will be moving forward with the Rough line. We’ll continue to bring really heavy yet responsible BDSM play to the screen and, with the help of Titan behind us, to a broader audience of current and potential players.
And I continue to cruise for other players that want to help us do just that. Casting is by far the most challenging aspect of capturing an engaging fetish or Sm experience on screen. The essence of the Rough line is that we depict real players doing the sex that they enjoy. Top notch BDSM players are a rare and elite class — these are the men whose play we seek to document. Most world class players are more focused on honing their skills than on spending a lot of time building a gym body. But video is a demanding medium and finding great players who are actually willing to share their private passion is hard enough without the additional need to find guys that also look great on video. If you’re one of those guys and want to be a player for the Rough line, you can apply here.
Tags: Art Films, Bound and Beaten, Breakers, Chainsaw, Fear, Fist and Piss, Folsom Maneuvers, Folsom Prison, Folsom Undercover, Funhouse, Home Invasion, Rough, Shock Treatment, Squeeze Play, Titan Media, Triage, XBIZ
Category: Best of, Reflective.