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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

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
paintcharmer January 19 2014 at 12:27 PM

If you have seen one ,you have seen them all.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
ltg1201 paintcharmer January 19 2014 at 12:29 PM

Indeed, like Jodi Arias.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
winter scenes January 19 2014 at 11:54 AM

whatever it takes to keep healthie sex a live, maybe young will take the hint about safe sex, i think classes on safe sex ,

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
chattysparrow winter scenes January 19 2014 at 12:09 PM

No matter how you look at it...train your children so they know sex before marriage is wrong..now you got the bull by the horns

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
ihave1465fans chattysparrow January 19 2014 at 12:16 PM

wrong you got to test drive it before you decide to keep it.

Flag +1 rate up
jyates1936 January 19 2014 at 2:54 PM

What do you do with 365 used condoms?
Melt them down, make a tire, and call it a Goodyear.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
iggles7561 January 19 2014 at 9:04 AM

Let's see. Colorado legalized marijuana and California has the Wrap That Rascal Law. Interesting

Flag Reply +2 rate up
worldbeverages January 19 2014 at 9:05 AM

VEGAS..YE..

Flag Reply +2 rate up
bwfree3 January 19 2014 at 9:09 AM

come to ny when did morals start in this country

Flag Reply +1 rate up
IRVING January 19 2014 at 9:09 AM

An employer is required by Federal law to provide safe working conditions, so it really doesn't matter what Los Angeles or Las Vegas say. It looks like porn fans just want to see a bare ejaculating penis what ever the risks.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
junior IRVING January 19 2014 at 9:20 AM

Except it is law in Nevada that they wear condoms in brothels. So it will be that way for the porn industry as well.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
IRVING junior January 19 2014 at 9:44 AM

junior : Not wearing a condom in a brothel is really stupid. Displaying a condom with semen collected in the tip apparently is not exciting enough.

Flag +2 rate up
jlpjrcar43 January 19 2014 at 9:13 AM

Her is still another Liberal moment butting in everyone else's business !

Flag Reply +2 rate up
vtmichaelb January 19 2014 at 9:13 AM

Ah, the great moral state of California takes a stand!...sure, ok. lol

Flag Reply +5 rate up
claudiaarroyo49 January 19 2014 at 3:43 PM

My cousin Stan has a porn business himself. The entire family shunned him, he's looked up as the ''black sheep'' of the family. Anyways, he had to sell his home in LA for half of what he bought it for because he moved to Las Vegas. He bought a decent priced home. The poor guy is not a bad man it's just that he loves his job. Whenever I ask him about the family, he replies "They don't pay my bills".

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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