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XXX Wasteland Interviews Erica McClean

Dozens of interviews at www.adultcybermart.com/Interview.html

Los Angeles – Adam Wilcox at www.xxxwasteland.wordpress.com writes: Adult filmmaker Erica McLean has earned a reputation as one of the most creative people in the industry with her imaginative plots and colorful storytelling. As co-creator of Hustler’s Barely Legal series along with her late husband, legendary photographer and director Clive McLean, Erica continued to helm the popular chain until its 95th installment in 2009.

In recent years, Erica, who heads her own company called Cheeky Monkey Productions, has become a highly celebrated scriptwriter and director in her own right by producing original, artistic and innovative titles such as Hardcore Circus, 2010’s Alice in Wonderland adult parody and the recently released first installment of The Flying Pink Pig trilogy, a series of films based around a real-life gourmet catering truck.

In addition to her XXX ventures, Erica has also branched out into several mainstream projects, showcasing her talents to a number of diverse audiences.

Erica kindly granted XXX Wasteland a recent interview to discuss her highly praised feature adult movies, the controversy surrounding The Flying Pink Pig that garnered national news coverage, two wonderful upcoming documentaries she has in the works and more.

You can follow Erica on Twitter at @EricaMcLean.

(Special thanks to James Bartholet of Galaxy Publicity for arranging the interview. Photo of Erica McLean courtesy of the agency)

Adam Wilcox: Can you give us some background on how you entered the adult industry?

Erica McLean: Sure. I have been directing and producing going on six years now. How I got involved is my husband (Clive McLean) and I were the creators, producers and directors of Hustler’s Barely Legal. We started that in July 1999. Clive was a photographer for Larry (Flynt) and he came home one day and said, “We’re going to do video.” There was no video department in Hustler. Nothing. So, I guess we were the pioneers of Hustler Video. We started in July 1999 with Barely Legal 1 and by the time we got to number 6, it just took off. So, that’s my background.

When my husband passed away in 2005, I took over the line of directing – he was directing, I was producing. Larry gave me the opportunity to direct and produce and I went on to do up to Barely Legal 95. It went from Barely Legal 53 when I started to 95 and there is like five vignette scenes in each installment of Barely Legal. I did Barely Legal: Brazil, Barely Legal: Miami, Barely Legal: Back in the Saddle – I did a couple of spin-offs on it.

About two years ago, I started doing independent adult films. My first one was Hardcore Circus, and that was distributed under the Hustler roof. Hardcore Circus was up for six awards.

Then I did Alice last year. In 2011, I was nominated for nine awards for Alice. It was like an urban take-off on Alice in Wonderland. I directed a music video and this past year I’ve been doing The Flying Pink Pig – my latest – and it’s a trilogy. The last one was released January 27 and we have two more coming out – the second part and the third part.

My newest film is called Erica McLean’s Erotic Soloist – it’s a masturbation video. That’s coming out May 17. So, that should be exciting – that’s worldwide with Metro/Cal Vista.

So, that’s kind of my background. That’s what I’ve been up to as of late. But, there are other things that I’ve been doing as well that aren’t adult-based.

AW: Nice. So, The Flying Pink Pig is the first of a series?

EM: It’s the first of the series. I did The Flying Pink Pig 1, 2 and 3. It’s a trilogy. It a really cool story. It stars Sunny Lane, Nicki Hunter, Ron Jeremy – a cast of amazing people. It’s about Sunny having a gourmet catering truck – The Flying Pink Pig. She serves the food. For instance, Megan Foxx served (Tommy Gunn) his sandwich and it has the magic mojo in each one of them. There is a magic ingredient for all of the food that comes from her truck.

AW: Yeah, I saw the trailer online and it looks like a fun film.

EM: Thank you. I saw the truck coming home – I was coming home from yoga and I instantly thought, “This is great. This could be a series, this could be a movie.” But the trilogy was fun. So, it was a great idea and Metro loved it. It’s doing really well.

AW: I actually interviewed Sunny a few days ago and she was really excited about the movie and very happy with how it turned out.

EM: Yeah, it came out amazing. It’s funny, it’s colorful, it’s what is happening now and it kind of fell into the trend of the gourmet catering trucks, because when I saw it, I had no idea that’s what was going on. I just saw the truck and got an idea from it, because it was all by itself on Cahuenga. Then, last year, all the (catering) trucks were vying for which were the ten best trucks in the United States, so I guess there’s a big craze on it now. So, I thought it was kind of cool because it fell into what is trendy right now, which is great.

AW: I read that there was some controversy surrounding the film in that the owner of the truck claimed he had been tricked into thinking it was being used for something else, is that right?

EM: Yeah. See, when I first spoke to who I thought was the co-owner – a guy named James Seitz – he was really wanting to do this. I told him my name, what I do and who I am, and he was great. I have E-mails back and forth from him and he was the one who released the Pink Pig truck, because I obviously took it out on the road and even his driver played an extra. He knew what I was doing. I sent him trailers of my other work. I’m pretty straight-up with what I do and he was fine with it.

What happens is all of a sudden – when (the movie) was just about to be released – we get the cease and desist from Joe Kim, who is the other partner in (The Flying Pink Pig). I knew that he was, but I didn’t know that he had more of a say than James Seitz.

I get this phone call on my cell. (A woman) says, “Erica?” I said, “Yeah.” She said, “What’s your batch number?” I said, “I don’t have a batch number. You can scan it and you can send it to me. What is this in reference to? Who is this?” She said her name. I said, “What is this in reference to?” She said, “Joe Kim.” I go, “But, who’s he?” I had no idea. I was clueless. And she said, “You’ll see. I’m going to send you an E-mail.” I saw the E-mail and I thought, “Okay, this is 24 hours, this cease and desist.”

It was impossible. She gave me until like twelve o’clock the next day and it was about four-thirty in the afternoon the day that she sent the E-mail to me. It was like stopping a train, really – like stopping a subway. (Laughs) I was like, “It’s going to be out. What are you going to do?” So … whatever.

I got on the phone with my attorney and Joe Kim … luckily, I had him sign a release form and he had signed a W9 form because I had paid him for the days that I used the truck. My attorney said, “It’s right there: Use for sexually explicit material.”

And that was that. So, he signed it. And then he said, “Since I’m Christian, I’m going to forgive her and hope that it doesn’t happen again,” or something crazy like that. He said, “I was falsely led (to believe) that (the truck) was for a romantic comedy.”

I said, “Well, maybe some people call sex on a cold, steel stove romantic.” (Laughs) I didn’t lie to him. I never spoke to him – I spoke with James Seitz. My agreement was with James, who was the co-owner of the truck. And that’s how that rolled. But it was pretty scary. Not only did I put my money out, but I would have had a lawsuit, which is really bad.

AW: It’s too bad that all of this happened right before the movie was about to be released, but at least the matter was resolved without too much harm being done.

EM: Yeah. And here’s Ron Jeremy going, “Go ahead – sue Erica McLean. That’s how Debbie Does Dallas earned a lot of money, because the Dallas Cheerleaders were going to sue her. So, go ahead – sue.” (Laughs) But I’m glad that I had the release signed. It would have been horrible. I’m glad that I had a trail of E-mails back and forth from this man. That cleared it too. It could have been really bad.

AW: For sure. You mentioned your movie Alice earlier. I spoke with Sunny about that as well and she said that you were responsible for essentially the look and feel of the entire film. Can you talk a little bit about creating the Alice parody?

EM: It was fabulous! I love putting things together, creating it and coming up with different concepts. It was more urban. Actually, Clive, my late husband, wrote the script and I added a little bit more to it. There is a line that says, “What time is it?” And Evan (Stone) says, “Time … 4:20. It’s ALWAYS 4:20 at my parties!”

AW: (Laughs)

EM: We kind of modernized a little bit of it, but Clive had the idea of where the rabbit goes down the hole, and the hole is the Viper Club. Only we couldn’t use the Viper Club, so we recreated a club called The Hole – which is the Duchess’s hole – and the rabbit goes into it. I’m also cross-promoting it with a music video. The band is called Yeah I, so that it would be more urban – it’s a rap video – where they would promote it and they would be in the club. The rabbit goes into the hole to the club and shoots with Tweedle Dum.

I loved it. I loved putting the costumes together. It was very abstract. It’s colorful, abstract and hardcore. It was fun. I used my old-school car in it. I wanted to make it hip and modern. I guess I am known for my movies being your typical adult films. They have a little twist on it – a storyline, great costumes, great videography, great writing and great editing. It’s the whole team of people that I’m working with too – I’m so happy to be working with very talented crew and talent. Sunny is amazing. I met Sunny when I was in Berlin, because I was up for Director of the Year at the Berlin Venus film festival. I met Sunny and as soon as I walked off the elevator I knew that was my Alice.

AW: That’s what she told me. (Laughs)

EM: Yeah. I was with my rep from Germany. We were leaving in the morning and there was Sunny with the little trench coat on. (Laughs) And I said, “Helen, could you wait for me in the car? I think I’ve found my Alice.” I talked to her. I said, “Look, I’m doing this (film) and I would like you to be my Alice.” I knew right away. I had never met Sunny before because like I said, I was doing Barely Legal, so I was casting 18, 19, 20-year-old girls. I just got a vibe that, “This is my girl.” I couldn’t have been happier. We have a great rapport, Sunny and I. We have a friendship that goes beyond work. She’s totally, totally great – great actress, great performer, great friend.

AW: Yes, she spoke very highly of you as well. I liked how the Alice film stood out as being something unique and different in today’s porn industry where parodies are so prevalent.

EM: This is what I want to do: I have two great ideas for other videos in adult-style. I wrote this one that’s pretty amazing. And when I go to companies, they are like, “Well, parodies are what’s going, what’s selling.” There’s nothing really with any plot, any dialogue, any thought to it. There has to be at least a few people out there who would say that they enjoy watching something that has a plot, has something storyline-going and a thought process into it. As a female, I kind of think that if you are going to watch something, you can watch something as a couple or be entertained by something that you’re watching. And I want to keep the quality of it so that I’m proud of my work. Parodies are just … Star Trek, Star Wars, blah, blah, blah. Everything has been copied. I really don’t know when they are going to come to the end of doing parodies. And I know that’s why they make money, but I think the public needs something fresher and maybe something different. Hopefully, 2012 and toward the end of 2011 will bring some different ideas. They’re now doing parodies on superheroes, so the parodies are still happening.

I like original pieces. I think they are cleverly done and executed with thought and process, and they stand out. I don’t know … do you think the public is ready for something that’s not a parody?

AW: That’s a good question. The market has certainly been saturated with them.

EM: They said that last year, but they still continue and I don’t know how much more they can continue to make parodies off of. The public wants something new and something fresh, and it has to be that. I have a great idea for another one that’s really, really great. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to do that.

I am currently working on a documentary for autism. I’m directing a music video on Sunday with these three very talented 16-year-olds. One boy is a rapper and I met them at the autism Walk. I’m going to incorporate it into my music video. I’ve been interviewing moms and kids who have autism.

I met a 24-year-old autistic young man who is a motivational speaker through a friend of mine. I was staying at her house and he just happened to be there. Isn’t that weird? Had I been there a half-hour later he would have been sleeping, I would have left the next day and I would never have met him. And now I’ve connected with him. He just moved here, and so for the last three weeks I’ve been working on this documentary. We have a bunch more interviews – we did the people from Parenthood, the show, Holly Robinson, Joey Travolta – John Travolta’s brother – and a couple of other actresses who have portrayed autistic people in films. We have other interviews to do and that’s what I’m currently working on is this documentary.

I didn’t know about autism. I really didn’t know anybody (afflicted with it) until I met Alex and it just so happened he was looking for somebody to produce it, and I said I would.

There is a mainstream indy film I’m doing called No Ordinary Love. It’s about the adult industry and it’s going to be pretty amazing. Then I’ve got two – one for BET called Stiletto and another I wrote for the adult industry called Paris Nevermore. And that one I’m shopping around, but everybody wants the parodies. It’s not that. It’s really so great and whoever is going to get it will understand that with marketing it will rock the adult world. It could be a series, stand by itself, or I could do another trilogy. So, we’ll see where that one is going to go.

The first (Flying Pink Pig) is out, 2 is going to be out maybe in the Fall and then the next one will come out maybe a couple of months after that. Then I did Erica McLean’s Erotic Soloist and that will be out May 17. I had the girls from Pink Pig talking about masturbation and the taboos that they grew up with (about) it. (The description reads) “This film takes the hottest porn stars and showcases them in a way that is extremely unique, sexy and sensual.”

We talk about the emotions behind masturbating as they recall their first times. In addition to the visuals, they are really sexy, sensual stories about what gets each one of (the girls) off, like Sunny, Nicki, Meg is in it, Tessa Taylor … it’s a natural approach to the art of masturbation. It’s not cynical at all. There’s little fun tidbits to help women explore their solo sexuality.

Women can enjoy it alone or watch it as a couple. A couple men that I know, they said they like watching women masturbate, so it could be for a male audience as well. I think it’s the best “how to” film on masturbation that I’ve seen. The girls all talk on toys, the method and what really gets them off. By learning what gets them off, it helps women explore their sexuality and learn new things. Nicki Hunter puts grapes in her mouth and gives a blowjob. (Laughs) Everybody was talking about that afterwards. They go, “Ooh, we have to try that.” She puts different kinds of fruits in her mouth and they’re frozen, so imagine what that’s like. They give like little tidbits on toy or what makes them squirt. Cytherea – how she squirts. Sasha Heart also squirted in it too. So, I have a really good lineup of girls. It’s kind of fun.

AW: Terrific. Do you write scripts as well?

EM: I write the scripts. Well … for instance, with the Pink Pig, I gave them all the ideas and I sat down with Eric (Mittleman) and the journalist Gram Ponante and we put everything out on the table. We thought of the plot and everything – they put the dialogue out, I thought of a couple of things.

With Hardcore Circus, myself and two of my friends wrote it, my friend Tiko and Tere Joyce, the comedian. We thought of the different things that I wanted people to say or the different scenes and how I wanted them to break down.

Hardcore Circus was a dream that I had. I dreamt it, and two months later I was on the float in the gay parade with Blue Iris – she was part of Howard Stern’s Whack Pack and she was in my movie. I did eight scenes – I must have been really crazy (Laughs) – and I constructed a circus tent in my back yard, as I have a horse ranch. I came up with all these ideas of how I wanted to do it. I talked to the art director. I have a stylist and I tell her what I want, what each girl is doing in a scene and how I want it incorporated.

The second movie, Clive had written the script out and was diagnosed with cancer two months later. So, we never got to do it, because it was supposed to be made that Summer – the Summer of 2005. So, I brought that script out, just revamped it a little bit and put it out again. I did that with a girl named Tere Joyce – we sat down and revamped it.

The Flying Pink Pig, it was Eric Mittleman and Gram Ponante. You know what was really funny? I have to tell you something: They were saying, “Oh, we’re going to blow up the Pink Pig, get an airplane and put it into a higher plane, and have Sunny deliver the food in Europe with the plane.” I was like, “We can’t do that, because James has been so nice and supportive and so helpful in doing this, and think of all the customers this is going to bring to the Pink Pig. We could cross-promote it and put it in front of the Hustler building, get them more business and get the girls signing.” (Laughs) And look what happened: It turned around and bit me, right?

AW: (Laughs) Yeah.

EM: I said, “People won’t think and realize that the truck isn’t really blown up.” They wouldn’t understand that – that the truck is still The Pink Pig catering truck. I said, “If we go into a series, we’ll just have it blown up and I’ll start a Cheeky Monkey catering truck – we can serve Cheeky Cheeseburgers, Cheeky Veggieburgers and little banana shakes – make it real healthy and have the girls in jungle outfits. (Laughs) So, we can just keep evolving and making it go forward.

AW: Definitely. Just to finish up, are there any more upcoming projects you would like to mention or anything you wish to say to readers?

EM: Yes: Thank you, first of all, for this interview and thank you to the fans for their support. I’m going to keep creating my original stories. Erotic Soloist is coming out on the 17th and Pink Pig 2 and 3 are coming out shortly. I’m going to be doing another movie called Paris Nevermore and that’s an original script. I’m hoping to do that. I’m not sure under whose roof, but it’s going to be fantastic. I look forward to making it and hope to begin filming that at the end of May-beginning of June.

The documentary is coming up soon, but that’s a whole other field. (Laughs) It’s to help kids and the parents of the kids – give them hope.

I have another movie that I’m going to be doing – an indy film – called No Ordinary Love and I would like Larry Flynt to endorse it, basically because it has a lot to do with my husband. It’s a love story, but it’s also to show that people in the industry do have loving relationships. We do have a family of sorts. The adult industry has a community and it’s a very supportive community – when Clive was diagnosed, all the people that supported us. Also, the battle with cancer and all the fraudulent people that came in to “cure” Clive – so, it’s a little bit about that, which will help people dealing with cancer get through – and (how) after filming Barely Legal and being able to exercise my creativity helped me heal and get through my grieving. The support system there is amazing. Also, (the film) is to give people hope that you can continue after the death of a loved one.

It’s a pretty compelling story. Peter Warren from AVN is writing the screenplay and synopsis as we speak. So, it is going to be very much about the adult industry, because we were a couple in the adult industry. I’m hoping to make it a wonderful, fabulous story that will make a statement.

AW: It sounds excellent and I hope the movie does well, because I’m sure it will be a fantastic work. Thank you very much for your time and I wish you continued success in the future.

EM: Thank you so much. Have a beautiful day!

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