Above, François Sagat and Ricky Roman in All Saints: Chapter One
An elaborate mythology. A trilogy. Jumps through time. Exciting saber play. If you didn’t know any better, you might say that CockyBoys has come as close to constructing the Star Wars of gay porn as anyone ever has or will.
Originally, Jake Jaxson conceived his latest opus as the beginning of what he envisioned as the “All Saints Mythology.” He always wanted to start with human characters first and ground it in reality, instead of the “Chosen Ones”—the angel-like demigods of Jinks, The Lamb and Puck that appeared in Answered Prayers, which debuted in October of 2013 and racked up a boatload of awards in 2015. But time and fate caused him to first start with The Banker.
“And I am so glad I did,” says the CockBoys owner and director. “I believe the first episode, with the ‘scissor scene’ between Jinks—played by Jake Bass—and The Banker—played by Ricky Roman—may be one of my favorites. At the time, it pushed the boundaries of porn. Everyone at first thought I was absolutely crazy, and I am—but I loved making it and was thrilled folks liked it. Otherwise, I don’t think we would be discussing this now.”
But fresh off a win for Best Feature for the 2019 GayVN Awards, All Saints—which premiered with its first installment in February of 2018—is impossible not to talk about.
“After Answered Prayers, I promised my husband and collaborator RJ (Sebastian), our director of photography, that I would never do a project like that again. And for a few years, I kept my promise—pretty much making smaller projects that were quicker to make, edit and release,” Jaxson says. “But he saw that I was not done telling this story, and I was getting depressed not making the kinds of films I enjoy making—mostly because he could see these projects were a kind of therapy for me. The guys also really enjoy performing in something that is not like everything else we do.”
Carter Dane in All Saints: Chapter One
The story follows two lovers—played by Carter Dane and Calvin Banks—who meet in present day as they begin to discover that they have been lovers in many past lives. Their time is always cut short, so they keep coming back and finding each other.
“I’ve been trying to understand where this has been going the last couple years, and quite frankly, I’m still not sure,” laughs Dane. “It keeps you on your toes in a sense … things come up as we go, and it’s just fun to see it grow and change.”
Jaxson notes that the story setup has become a perfect way to cast and use many different performers throughout the entirety of the series.
“These series are often challenging and hard to make because RJ and I do everything when producing these films, and I mean everything: costumes, makeup, props, production design and set construction. And we don’t have a crew—it’s just me, RJ and the cast. So you can imagine how taxing that can be physically and mentally over time. This is why I have to space it out; otherwise, we would absolutely end up killing each other. But honestly, I would not do it any other way—I absolutely love the way we work.”
In the first chapter (composed of four parts), the studio introduced the set of characters that make up the Institute of Religious Studies—a group that chronicles and examines the more mystical and mysterious sides of religion. Chapter Two, The Mystic Krewe of Memento Mori, debuted in November. It begins to go back to what Jaxson calls the “reincarnation stories”—the past lives of the young lovers.
“I actually shot a lot of the first and second chapter together since the series does play out in a more traditional way of having an ongoing storyline, like you would see in any TV or Netflix series. However, the experience is actually much different for me in the release of Chapter Two since all of these stories end in the death of the lovers. I believe they are very touching and beautiful—yet it’s not normally what folks expect in porn,” Jaxson says.
“But what has surprised me so much is how wonderfully so connected the viewers have become to both the characters and the performers in the scenes, since we have just taken them on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I often get comments, like, ‘Wow that was so beautiful and hot, but why am I crying?!’”
And that’s exactly what the director is looking for, as the project has the same effect on him.
“I know I have always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, and I very much believe that we should be more ‘emotional’ in porn. There is nothing sexier than boys laughing, and sex is so often very close to so many emotions we often feel. So I know that I am done with an edit if it makes me so proud I cry. I call it my ‘cue tears’ moment—if it makes me cry, then I know I’m making progress.”
But Jaxson says the most amazing part has been the reception the studio has received from fans and supporters, who have been effusive in their excitement for the project. They have even gone so far as working together on social media to connect the dots—and to find puzzle pieces that have been stitched throughout the series. Those clues encourage them to seek out the same bits of knowledge that the director has in his “quest to find myself and my perfectly anointed gayness.”
“At the start of this film, I was in a bad place—I was suffering from pain from a foot injury, I was depressed and dealing with some loss in my life. Like everyone else, I have both good times and bad. And it was a bad time for me, as I even questioned if the work we do has purpose. And it was the total dedication and hard work of my performers, the renewed dedication of my team, and the overwhelming joy and excitement, love and respect of the fans—along with my husband’s love and hard work—that brought me back to life. So it’s hard not to be emotional about this project.”
Troy Accola, Calvin Banks and Carter Dane
Jaxson notes that the performers—which include Banks, Dane, Roman and Adam Ramzi in Chapter One, all nominated in GayVN Award acting categories—must all show a passion for the project and be able to commit to work on it for more than a year. The director says he can only shoot the episodes incrementally, about one or two weeks at a time.
“Beyond that, they have got to trust me and RJ because I use a lot of what I know about them to help them get into character, and I’m so grateful that they really just give in to the process. It’s not always easy in terms of how long we may shoot, and the conditions are not always the most ideal since I use a lot of outdoor locations, in all kinds of weather.”
Jaxson’s favorite part of filming Chapter One was going home to New Orleans and shooting in so many of his “secret spots”—and in places he used to go to escape and daydream.
“Now I am finally able to see these daydreams come to life. I especially love taking my performers to new places they have never been—but to take them home, and watch their faces as we walked the Quarter, when they eat beignets or crawfish etouffee, was special to me.”
It’s a location that the director always wanted to film a porn project in.
“It’s home to my first creative projects—all non-porn—and I have a lot of great memories there, and a lot of difficult times as well. This is where I was finally able to be gay and be myself: I first came out there, had my first gay kiss, got my first boyfriend—and with that came all the upset, pains and depression that I never knew or experienced growing up or in high school. I was just not prepared for what came as a result of my newfound freedoms.
“And being such a haunted and mystical place, I wanted to take all of these memories I made in New Orleans, both good and bad, and re-tell—and in some way re-live—my time there, but in the way I see the world now.”
Beyond that, there is a much bigger drive to why Jaxson has invested so much into creating this mythology.
“I was always told that being gay and having sex was sinful and an abomination; I never had any framework from where I came from. I could not find myself in the teachings of the church—only the ones saying that I was bad. Remember the signs ‘It’s Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve!’?
“But I could not accept that. So, I began a quest to better understand the original and past acceptances of homosexuality throughout history. And in that search, I came to discover and believe that the foundations of the Judeo-Christian beliefs when it came to sex and sexuality were—aside from being completely hypocritical—designed to subjugate many groups and classes of people, especially women, as the origins of ‘original sin,’ whereas many ancient cultures were based on and venerated matriarchal societies. And so today, all these ‘shall not’ dictates about sex and even being naked—imposed thousands of years ago—still haunt us today, especially when it comes to how we deal with sex in America. I guess you can say this project, in a way, is me ‘finding my religion.’”
And he’s not done. Jaxson is currently working on the end to Chapter Two, and is hopeful that Chapter Three will be shot and released in 2019.
“The last chapter is still kind of evolving, in that I cast Troy Accola in part of Chapter One to fill in for an actor who cancelled—and I fell in love with him as person, actor and character, so I have been readjusting the story to add him in the mix, and that kind of pushed and moved everything around. But I’m really so happy, because I have found myself in his character—and in my opinion, he’s one of the real hidden gems of the biz.”
And if Jaxson had the time, energy and resources, he would make even more chapters.
“Sometimes I feel like the crazy old man who builds a castle out of sea shells and bottle caps—it just keeps going and going,” he laughs. “These films are actually just a small part of the total mythology that I have outlined and written. I keep telling myself that, given the opportunity, I’m going to make a book series out of it.”
Written by:Brady Jansen