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Update: Defiance Nom’ed for Best New Company

Porn Valley- Nominatin’ and winnin’ are two different things. But Defiance Films/Torrid Entertainment is halfway there with an AVN nomination in the prestigious category of Best New Video Company.

Granted, Defiance is sharing those honors with other organizations like AMA, American Hardcore, Critical X, Damaged Productions, NA, Lurid Entertainment, Mach 2, Platinum Blue, Swank Digital, 3 Vision, Twisted Pink, Ultra Hard Films, Velocity X and X-Worx, it’s, however, significant to note that Defiance is the only one of that group to be nominated for Best Overall Marketing Campaign- Company Image. And, in that, it’s competing with some very big boys.

What this means, if nothing else, is the fact that Defiance, a company whose first release came out in July, has been amazingly successful in getting its name circulated in a very short period of time. Four months to be exact.- a fete alone which is astonishing.

Also being celebrated in Defiance’s red letter day, which includes an on-line marketing nom, is the fact that one of its titles, Teenage Dreamin has been hailed in the Best All-Sex Release category as well as for Best Hi-Def Production. Meanwhile, another title, Justine’s Red Letters, enjoys a nod as Best Vignette Release.

But where Defiance really garners respect for acute decision making is the signing of Taylor Rain and Lauren Phoenix to contracts this year. Both Phoenix and Rain are nominated for Female Performer of the Year.

When I spoke to Keith O’Connor last week, O’Connor revealed plans for Defiance’s first Feature project, Runway.

“When we started the company we had a clear vision of what we wanted to do,” O’Connor said in the interview.

“We wanted to have a production company that would also cross over into other aspects of adult which would be membership sites, content sales, working with talent, working with directors- we knew what we wanted to do from the beginning. We mapped this whole thing out. We didn’t know who would fill the slots, but we knew we wanted to branch into working with other companies on distribution.”

O’Connor notes that Defiance/Torrid is working with three different companies on distribution deals.

“One of them is a huge name,” says O’Connor. It’s a Club that wants to make use of their brand name, and they want to get into crossing over between shooting some of their girls, pro-am style. They want to do that and they want us to run it. They want us to distribute all their products. They watch what we do on the Internet. They watch what we do in AVN. Everything we do, I think speaks for itself.”

The press on his company has also been excellent, according to O’Connor, noting that for its five months of releasing titles [it’s now shooting four a month], Defiance/Torrid is in a very enviable position of being able to pick and choose what it wants to do.

“It’s all branding,” O’Connor states. “Defiance has laid the foundation so that now anything else that we do, we have to make sure it’s up to the standard of Defiance. Defiance has the reputation of being a company that shoots high-end films.”

Ordinarily a company might shoot a gonzo with two strong scenes and fluff the middle with scenes that might get by. This wasn’t Defiance’s approach, says O’Connor.

“The way we set up shoots- we try to have five A scenes,” O’Connor goes on to say. “We’ll be out more money, but if it gets me another 500 pieces in sales or if it gets me no returns, it’s worth it. We’ve made the titles strong and now we’re at the point where get to look at unit sales per title and that’s how we determine what to shoot next.”

According to O’Connor, the first run of Pleasure- the company’s first release- sold out. “So we shot Pleasure 2,” he says. “The first run of Slick Chicks sold out so we’re shooting another one.”

The company also receives a lot of feedback on its website,

“You see the contests we run,” says O’Connor, making note that other companies seem to be copying this approach for what it’s worth. In a recent one, Defiance selected three contestants to participate in its latest Handjob movie.

“They’ve never done porn and they got handjobs,” O’Connor laughs. “We picked three people from e-mails they wrote in. Because it’s shot POV, no one will ever see the face.” O’Connor’s amused by some of the responses he got from fans in Australia who were dying to get a handjob from Cindy Crawford. But not so amused at the prospects of laying out for airfare, so he had to narrow some of the parameters for contest participation.

“It wasn’t feasible,” he says. But at the same time, those that were able to participate in the movie got paid a rate as male talent.

“I think it’s good that it was a handjob scene,” says O’Connor. “Because in a regular scene it’s stop-stills-stop-stills. With a handjob scene it’s start until you’re done. It was pretty good because it was just a cameraman, the girl and a guy. We were pretty lucky with it because the guys maintained their erections.”

O’Connor says one guy blew a load like Peter North. “He blew like a four-foot load. He wrote in a fantasy requesting a Latin girl.”

The modeling agencies, as well, have proven to be a major asset, says O’Connor- particularly for providing Defiance with first dibs on hot, young, fresh faces.

“They bring their girls in. Before they put them up on their websites, we get to see them and book them the same day.” Defiance, according to O’Connor, makes a policy of paying their modeling fees same day as well as booking fees for agents.

“That’s why we get the top talent,” he points out. “We’ve been lucky that way.”


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