This article originally ran in the July 2018 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition. Pictured above: Jovannie; photo courtesy Supreme X Entertainment.
Studios in the gay adult space face enough challenges keeping up with ever-changing technology, business models and tastes. For those who champion men of color, the hill can be an even steeper climb.
“The expectations for urban content have become enormously low for several reasons, with the biggest reason being an absence of innovative urban production companies. There’s no talent development, branding and consistency. The bulk of hot urban content is homemade amateur clips on Tumblr and Twitter,” says Lance, owner of Supreme X Entertainment, LLC—which was founded in 2015 and launched the membership sites SupremeXent.com and JovonnieXXX.com this January. He hopes to flip the script as he breathes life into the studio’s mantra: “A new era in urban adult entertainment.”
“I can’t think of an urban gay porn star studio that produces feature films or that is tapped into the culture. Neither do I understand how any entertainment company can accomplish tapping into the culture without a successful front man or team,” he adds. “The challenges are opportunities for us; our lane is storytelling and creating fantasy. The urban industry is in need of a hero in the form of a company that rewrites the business script in every aspect. Our keys to success begin with our company’s culture and staying true to why we even exist in the first place. And just to remind you, we are here because the status quo for urban porn stars was not getting the job done.”
Lance was a professional commercial print model and actor for 15 years, noting he was represented by top agencies, worked with top brands and was featured as the principal talent in more television commercials and ads than he can keep count of. The modeling career led him to relocate 10 years ago to Miami, where he got a business license and pursued real estate, management and other opportunities.
“My entry into adult was unorthodox. In 2011, I managed a popular gym in Miami, which at the time was the spot for celebrities and pro athletes,” he says, adding that he befriended adult performer Castro Supreme there. A few years later, Lance organized an event in central Florida hosted by porn star Pinky XXX. “It was that experience where I gained the know-how and confidence to risk my professional reputation to become involved with the adult industry.”
Lance used his lessons learned from modeling and acting to work with Castro Supreme; then, he says, he finalized a business plan and founded the company three years ago.
“It was tough, and the industry is messy,” Lance says. “It was a long road. We grew tired of the industry standards, low-ball offers from club promoters. I especially hated the compensation for urban adult actors—I felt that it was beneath my client and wasn’t worth my time. So I became further emboldened and decided to do our own production thing.”
In 2016, Lance added Jovonnie (pictured below) exclusively to SXE, kicked off the “Porn Star House Party Tour” and “eliminated our dependence on club-hosting gigs. Rumors had begun on social media that a film was in the works—which it wasn’t—but we enjoyed all the attention, and I began finalizing movie scripts.”
Film production began a year later, but Lance notes that “Castro had differences and went in a different direction prior to our first movie project. I’ll admit that I am not proud of it.”
The spotlight was now on Jovonnie as the studio’s premier star, and SXE added more performers to its stable.
“Jovonnie came with a proven résumé and fan base. His desire to win outweighed vanity; he had no issue being a part of a team, and even in the shadow of Castro Supreme initially,” says Lance, adding that Jovonnie is “the face” of Supreme X Entertainment and is also involved in casting and creative directing. “Holliwud delivers the authenticity and creativity to excite and arouse. He has this infectious, playful, fun and spirited personality. He’s sexy and a true professional. And Drilla has contributed some of the hottest content available in the urban market over the years. I had to have him on my squad. We have cool concepts in the works for both Drilla and Holliwud.”
Other projects have included The Evolution of King Memphitz and Jovonnie’s XXX Confessions. The studio also snagged popular star Johnny V—best known for his work with the Falcon Studios Group and AmericanMuscleHunks.com—to appear in SeXXXerSize with Jovonnie. His presence is helping Lance realize one of his goals for the studio.
“Our content caters predominately to fans of established urban porn stars, currently. However, the focus is to cultivate a universal audience through a unique variety of porn star brands, an evolving portfolio of creative and wide-ranging content that features interracial, fetish, celebrity, real couples—some featuring raw sex, while other brands such as Jovonnie’s consisting of safe sex only. In addition to standard films, SXE fans should expect to experience their favorite porn stars in 360-degree virtual reality video, reality show projects and more. We are just excited and humbled to be in a position where our focus now is to just grow and build our audience.”
And the performers are key to that growth.
“We are defined by the success that we bring to the porn star’s brand and business. I am proud that we are beginning to change the culture by upgrading the standards in the urban market. In the end, we want to create a situation that—to be considered successful—urban adult entertainment studios must make it standard to expose urban male film stars to successes that are currently unavailable to them. So there’s no desire to fit into the existing urban marketplace; I want to improve it,” Lance says.
“From my experience, it’s the star actor’s appeal and social success that have always been the ingredients for success. The stars are the adult fantasy, and we build upon and around them … we represent for our star, and our star represents us back.”
For Lance, “a new era in urban adult entertainment” means that SXE’s stars are “substance incubators. This is their moment, and our platform creates brand success and financial success by including the star actors in residual and royalty compensation.”
It’s also about adding the technical knowhow to enhance those personalities and content.
“Luxury urban media is our standard in producing urban fantasy. To make it elite, we incorporate the most exclusive men, luxurious backdrops and even the virtual reality environments I mentioned. We incorporate all things pop culture and with high-tech media production. The results are next generation, impressive and quality filled: real storylines, high-definition sex and hardcore action,” Lance says. “I want fans to expect us to produce elite brands, push the envelope and bring the highest quality films with the most in-demand stars. We’re introducing new technologies, new experiences, concepts and a new generation of elite star talent. We capture authenticity and content that’s overall more entertaining and with more fulfilling experiences.”
And the company head is open to adapting as he needs to—a lesson he learned the hard way on set.
“I wouldn’t necessarily paint the picture of myself as being the director, directly,” Lance says. “Initially, I did the bulk of the directing; however, Jovonnie approached me on set one day and seemed concerned. He explained to me that I am viewed by the actors as a father figure—and that causes them discomfort during sex scenes. Needless to say, I was shocked because I am—in most causes—only a couple years older. As a result, I prepare each shoot down to the smallest detail, I write the storyline, create the theme and I make a checklist of sexual positions, sex stunts and scene lengths for the actors and film crew to accomplish. Aesthetics are important, and I am focused on it more and more with every project.”
The owner plans to release two new films monthly, with virtual reality endeavors to be added soon so fans can “experience their favorite porn stars in an entirely new way”—which can also be said of Supreme X’s overall mission.
“We pride ourselves in accomplishing the goal of creating a company for the urban porn star to thrive and benefit from the financial success of projects. As I said earlier, the status quo for urban actors is insulting and is beneath what we stand for. We believe it should be no other way, because success in entertainment as a company is derived by the success realized by its most visible players. Success begets success, and we’re betting on our stars.”
Written by: Brady Jansen
Originally published on https://avn.com/business/articles/gay/supreme-x-aims-for-new-era-in-urban-adult-entertainment-789328.htmlTags: Brady Jansen Castro Supreme Jovonnie