IVAN — “Porn has made me more tolerant of all kinds of people and all kinds of environments. Basically, porn made me a better person.”
May 18th, 2010 by misslagsalot
Original Article with Pictures

Editor’s Note: This is Part One of a Two-Part interview. Part Two will be posted next week.

WHACK! Hello, Ivan! Thank you so much for giving us some of your very precious time! We know you’re mondo busy and we really appreciate it! Can you go ahead and give us a little bit of basic information about yourself, for any readers who might not know who you are or what you do?

IVAN I am Director in the adult industry. Been around for about 7 years. Directed for Extreme Associates, Evolution Erotica, Anabolic, Amy Ried’s Riedemption Productions, Tom Byron Pictures and for a few other companies uncredited. I am also a co-owner of Puba.com, where I am the director of production and post. We cater in top level girl sites. I was born in Russia, came out here when I was nine years old. Have a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinematography and Motion Picture plus a vast independent horror filmmaking background. I am child at heart, only wear jerseys with hats and shoes to match. My collection consists of around 100 hats, 50 pairs of shoes, and over 150 jerseys. Sorry that was a mouth load. Wait, load of words ONLY.

W! Can you tell us anything about your childhood in the Soviet Union?

I When we left Russia I was eight years old; the trip was a total of six months. We arrived in the United States on March 6, 1979. Yup, during the Cold War. And yup, we were called traitors when we left the Mother Land. And double yup on the same folks later asking us to help them escape that shit hole. When I was a kid in school, I was regularly beaten up and called names. The part of Russia I was from is now officially Ukraine…here is an FYI: Ukrainians for [the] most part hate Jews. And guess what, I’m a Jew. So I was a punching bag physically and emotionally. I was called the equivalent of the “N” word on a daily basis.

But I did have fun on my grandfather’s farm. He was a blacksmith and we rode into town on his horse-pulled carriage. He had chickens and ducks and geese. I saw many chickens run around headless in his backyard. That might be the reasoning for my eight year old mind set. My mind got molested at eight and stayed that way until now.

W! One thing that’s always fascinated me is the difference in sexual values between what’s now Russia and former Soviet block countries, and here in America. While it seems like the official moral take on sex seems to be the same in both places (“It’s bad. Don’t do it!”), it varies very much in practice. For instance, I’ve met a TON of Russian and Eastern European people (particularly women) at swinger parties here in the US, and many women from the same area end up as exotic dancers, porn performers, and other types of sex workers in America. Do you think there is a marked difference between the way sexuality is seen here versus over there?

I Well, going from experience, I think Russians are old fashioned at heart. At least when I was growing up. My parents are very old fashioned. I think the difference in the new crop of Russians, particularly women, is that in Russia there are limits to work and money. And from what I hear, woman of the night is a pretty popular form of profession. Now, though, Russia does seem more liberal while [the] United States still is pretty prudish. It might be the fact that Russia is run from money and power stand point while United States is run from the Religious Right stand point. I equate Russia to my old boss Rob Black… he tells you he will fuck you as soon as you enter the premises. On the other hand, the US is like one of my recent bosses… he smiles to your face, then manipulates everything around you for his own benefit.

I guess what I am saying is, Russia is just more open whether it’s out of weird anarchy or greed but probably arrogance. While [in the] US, in many parts of the land, [it] is stuck in the old traditional ways while still fucking the neighbor’s daughter behind closed doors… at the same time judging everyone who openly fucks others’ daughters.

Not sure if that answered your question, but it was fun coming up with that weird analogy.

One last thing though. What about those Swinger Parties? Now you are making me want to interview you. Better yet hang out with you. Just kidding. Maybe.

W! We’ll talk about all that later, off record! Anyway, how has the American take on sex affected your decision to move from the mainstream film industry into the adult industry? You’d won all kinds of awards and had been extremely well educated in film-making in the mainstream industry before you moved to “the dark side.” What made you decide to make the leap?

I Honestly, what made me take the leap was a steady check and chance to be creative. I think if any other company but Rob Black’s Extreme Associates and Tom Byron’s Evolution Erotica offered me the gig, I wouldn’t be here today. I worked on a TV show (The X Show) for almost 3 years as camera utility, then it was canceled and work was sporadic. The same week I got a call for The Bachelor, I got a call to come be the BTS guy for EA and EE. I knew it was a steadier paycheck, plus I was given an opportunity to be creative with the BTS. If you look at some of the old reviews, I am mentioned as the “great” BTS creator.
I still do my mainstream horror stuff out of love for the art. But porn is my main stay and bread winner. And I love my job.
Porn has made me more tolerant of all kinds of people and all kinds of environments. Basically, porn made me a better person.

W! Which do you enjoy more: mainstream or adult? Why?

I Both offer so much to me. Mainstream for one, I adore! It lets me be creative on so many levels. It lets me do massive PR work, do film festivals, it lets me get creative with story-lines and acting and lighting and camera tricks. But most importantly it lets me show off my work to my parents. That to me is the most important aspect. My parents worked hard to help me get an education and they love seeing my progression as a filmmaker. I want to make them proud.
Porn is a way different outlet. It lets me be creative on a perverted level. The main thing I enjoy about porn is meeting new people. At my heyday at Anabolic, I shot a lot of first timers. These girls eventually became like my little sisters. It’s nice to make a difference. And I have to tell you when a girl tells you, “Thank you for treating me like a human being,” well that means a lot. My co-workers labeled me as “Captain-Save-A-Ho.” I take it as a compliment.

Oh, I guess this is the answer most want to hear. I LOVE PORN because I get to work around hot and naked, sexually-open girls. Yes, that’s true too.

W! Where do you see yourself going from here, in light of the above questions? Do you think you’ll stay in adult, maybe start up your own production company full time? Or go back to mainstream films? Or try to combine them in one career?

I Well, I have often tried to combine the two. I was one of the first people almost six years ago to start shooting parodies. I did horror spoofs, meshing my mainstream filmmaking abilities, techniques, and fellow filmmakers (Texas Asshole Massacre and Dawn of the Head). I plan on continuing that. About a company. Yes, we actually have our own company called Puba.com. We specialize in pornstar websites. One thing we bring to the table that most web and DVD companies don’t bring, is professionalism and high quality content. I am the director of production and post [production]. The quality and professionalism and, yes, the “Captain-Save-A-Ho” attitude I bring to my DVDs, are the same aspects I bring to all the girl’s shoots and content. With this mindset we have amassed an amazing roster of girls: Asa Akira, Jayden Jaymes, Shyla Stylez, London Keyes, Mason Moore, Charley Chase, Natasha Nice, Jessica Bangkok, Avy Scott, and Kelly Surfer.

I’m here to stay but will keep dabbling in my first love, horror movies.

W! I know that for performers, the standard wisdom is that “you can never go back” after working in porn. Do you think the same is true for people on the other side of the camera?

I Well, I think it also depends what kind of person you are behind the camera. If you have talent and skills plus a hard working attitude, I believe doors will open up. These days porn seems to be crossing over more to mainstream, to a point that some porn people become novelties that are thrown into mainstream world just for being a “pornstar.” My doors have opened more rather then closed since joining our world of smut.

W! You said in an interview that you started shooting porn because you noticed a lack of work ethic and actual skill in your coworkers. Care to elaborate? Is it still like that, or have the recession and internet piracy thinned the ranks down to the best of the best?

I still believe that. I have seen and heard of directors sitting on their ass in a chair with wheels, yet still working for top companies. I see directors who are simply bad, negative people still working because they know someone. Sheesh, there are directors who don’t hold a camera, don’t edit, and don’t do anything but collect a paycheck, simply again because they know someone. But there are also very talented individuals in our business, who deserve high praise as filmmakers and not just pornographers. I think many companies are in a comfort zone with their workers because they are buddies. That mentality will be the downfall of their product. I have seen it first hand, where a company won’t take a chance on good people, sticking with their homies who need help white balancing their cameras.