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Porn production moves to Vegas after condom law



By HANNA DREIER

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Lee Roy Myers has everything you'd expect to find in the nation's porn capital in Southern California: sets of a classroom, hospital room, locker room and a bedroom, as well as a list of porn stars waiting to perform.

But his plywood universe is not in the San Fernando Valley. It's a few paces away from the glittery casinos of the Las Vegas Strip.

"Las Vegas is a fresh town, and it's where people need the business," said Myers, whose new studio is part of a boom in X-rated production in Sin City sparked by a Los Angeles law requiring male actors to wear condoms.

The rule and potential opportunities in Nevada were the talk of the Adult Entertainment Expo this week. The annual sex industry trade show culminates Saturday with an awards ceremony for adult films.

"It's not really an option to change the way we make our movies, and moving production isn't that hard," said porn purveyor Jules Jordan, who hid out behind nearly naked models at his booth.

Jordan warned reporters not to ask him about condoms.

The voter-approved Los Angeles regulation survived a constitutional challenge, but other lawsuits are ongoing, and the industry is still waiting for the first big prophylactic bust.

The number of permits requested to make porn films in Los Angeles County has declined by an estimated 95 percent since the law took effect, according to Film LA, a private nonprofit that issues the licenses. The number of applications fell from about 480 in 2012 to just 24 through the first nine months of 2013.

For Myers, who co-owns Mission Control studios and also directs web films, the condom police are just the start of his troubles with Los Angeles. The region had also gotten too expensive for him.

With DVD sales continuing to plummet, the bounce provided by the mommy-porn series "Fifty Shades of Grey" wearing off, and no solid business model in sight, producers in this notoriously low-budget industry are looking for new ways to cut costs.

While Los Angeles charges hundreds of dollars for location permits and requires health checks as well, Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, gives out location permits for a nominal fee and does not require health permits.

The warehouses are cheaper, and it's also more affordable to rent out mansions and put actors up in hotels. The hardest part, Myers said, is making sure the stars leave at the end of the shoot.

Myers has also found that Las Vegas, a town already suffused with commercialized sex, is less squeamish about his line of work.

"They're used to it here because they already kind of have it," he said, sitting among rows of desks in his studio's classroom set. "Figuring out how to make these things more cheaply won't include shooting in Los Angeles."

The studio sits in what was once another empty building on blighted Industrial Road behind the town's tourist corridor. Local officials appear content with the arrangement and have no plans to pass additional rules.

"It's a legalized industry and properly regulated, so I don't see it as a problem," said Clark County commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. "I think the city and the county will benefit from any expansion of the film industry. It's economic diversification."

Las Vegas is home to some major porn players, including Brazzers, Bait & Tackle, Corbin Fisher, VCX Ltd. and newcomer Bluebird Film.

Several producers with top porn purveyor Evil Angel are talking about moving to Las Vegas, according to owner John Stagliano, and enough porn stars have settled down in the area to supply all the extras a film could need, if not all the stars.

Derek Hay, owner of adult talent agency LA Direct Models, opened an office here last fall. He estimates that 20 percent of the industry will have moved to Las Vegas by the end of the year.

Some contrarians believe the boom will eventually lead Clark County to adopt the same regulations that are scaring the industry in Los Angeles. This September, the same group that championed the 2012 condom law started a similar campaign in Florida.

For now, concerns about an eventual condom showdown in the desert are not stopping producers from making investments. Myers has several producers coming through his studio this week.

After that, he will turn his attention to repurposing the cave set featured in the high fantasy spoof "Game of Bones" for another pornographic parody, based on The Hobbit.

The star of both films, James Deen, a millennial porn icon who acted alongside Lindsay Lohan in "The Canyons," said moving the industry to Las Vegas is just a band aid.

"The issue with running to Vegas is it doesn't actually fix anything," he said, taking refuge near a stairwell at the convention hall to avoid interruption by a constant stream of fans. "We should explain to the people who put that law in place why it's unnecessary, and appeal it the same way any community would appeal any asinine law."

Join the discussion

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saltwaterbluesky January 19 2014 at 9:21 AM

Wouldn't it be right that dvd sales are down regardless of the industry because of the Internet? Even the post office has seen their business decline because of the internet. Anyway, ewwww. Love sex, could care less about porn.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
fulredy January 19 2014 at 3:36 AM

Ron Jeremy looks dead.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
billycowmilker fulredy January 19 2014 at 3:47 AM

The wages of sin is death.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
him1298 fulredy January 19 2014 at 3:48 AM

If you had expelled what he has over the years you would look dead also.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Alan January 19 2014 at 10:11 AM

The perfect business for Las Vegas and Harry Reid--there ya go Harry. Now you can actually say you`ve brought jobs back home to your district.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
JIMMY G Alan January 19 2014 at 10:38 AM

********?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
whatsup January 19 2014 at 3:31 AM

neil truth hurts...truth!!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
snhhert January 19 2014 at 10:16 AM

With the web you can shoot anywhere even your own back yard.. I'm just saying location location location!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
rdcabe snhhert January 19 2014 at 10:21 AM

Yeah it really scary. I saw on date line last night .If you saw the segment on the new cameras they have know it good then it can be good for perverts. Did antone see that last night?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
hony53 rdcabe January 19 2014 at 10:30 AM

Can you try that again in English?

Flag +1 rate up
Craig January 19 2014 at 10:23 AM

What's new? Look into the history of Las Vegas, the gambler's been getting scr**** since it's founding. Now the scre**** business really is in Las Vegas.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
Sonny Craig January 19 2014 at 10:35 AM

Certainly...... and the home to Harrt Reid!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
invmartyc January 19 2014 at 10:32 AM

Maybe they can build an annex to the chicken ranch and have a theme park!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
psvi invmartyc January 19 2014 at 10:39 AM

talk about fun rides lol

Flag Reply +2 rate up
blo2thehead January 19 2014 at 3:21 AM

How would the state of California rnforce such a law? Send someone from OSHA bout to shootings to have a peek?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
intrepiddragon January 19 2014 at 10:33 AM

Porn does have a place in society. For couples and individuals that need to spark up their love lives it is a necessity. Infidelity would drop if more couples where more innovative. Why search else where when you can get it at home. If my girl asked me to tie her up and play a role, I would. If I don't do it, some one else will do it for her. As long as you cause no harm to the other individual mental, physical or spiritually their is no problem. Sex is wonderful and that is why we are all here. As far as women in porn more power to them. This not ancient Jerusalem nor are we a muslim country. Woman have the same needs as men. Stop with the societal judging and name calling. I would rather date a woman will a wild she then some sterile religious boring hermit. As per Elvis Presley,"Viva Las Vegas."

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
rdcabe intrepiddragon January 19 2014 at 10:37 AM

Yeah every fiance should watch one. Then divorce rate will decline.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
liquidwallpaper January 19 2014 at 10:05 AM

They had the laws in place to keep people from spreading the virus HIV. But it seems that some porn actors tested positive so it all came to a screeching halt. If the laws are there to protect people it isn't asinine. These porn producers are just in it for the enormous amounts of cash they make every year. Greed and lust run that business, regulation in this case isn't a bad thing.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
togrp liquidwallpaper January 19 2014 at 10:10 AM

It's not your nor anyone else's job to protect anyone. More government over reach and control.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Mary liquidwallpaper January 19 2014 at 11:34 AM

doesn't greed and lust run every business?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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