2011 Director of the Year: Interview With Axel Braun

A quick look at Axel Braun's output for 2010 shows nine parodies, including best-sellers like This Ain't Avatar XXX, This Ain't Glee XXX, This Ain't Star Trek XXX 2: The Butterfly Effect and Hollywood's Nailin' Palin, not to mention the one that swept the AVN Awards: Batman XXX: A Porn Parody. But he's also been responsible for three hot all-sexers—Alexis Texas Superstar, Nikki Benz Superstar and Tori Black Superstar—and a disc that got nearly as much mainstream attention as Batman XXX, Hustler's Untrue Hollywood Stories: Lindsay Goes to Jail, chronicling the imaginary hoosegow adventures of Lindsay Lohan. It's an enviable record—and one Braun expects to top in 2011.

"Winning 14 awards and getting inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in one night was quite exhilarating, and actually a little overwhelming," Braun told AVN. "My father [AVN Hall-of-Famer Lasse Braun] is incredibly proud of me, and I'm just really happy that I was able to follow in his footsteps without disgracing his name."

The year saw Braun tackle adult's first big-budget 3D movie, and with its nearly all-night shooting "days" and the eventual need to completely remaster the 3D in post-production, Braun has already recommended that directors think twice before committing to shoot in stereo. But he remembered how the project got started.

"Avatar started as a joke between myself, Drew Rosenfeld, and Rob Smith at Hustler," Braun explained. "And then, when the [mainstream] original became the highest-grossing movie of all time, I thought maybe it wasn't such a bad idea, so I put together a package with pictures of the cast, along with some 3D images, and submitted it to the powers that be. It definitely carried a hefty price tag, especially since we shot it in real 3D, but both Michael Klein and Mr. Flynt saw a great cross-over opportunity and fully supported the project immediately."

A self-described workaholic—“That's because most people actually have a life, and I don't. I work compulsively; I have no private life.”—Braun is quick to recognize those who played a part in his victories.

"Behind every director's success there's always the hard work of many talented people, so as much as I would love to take full credit for it, I don't think it would be fair to my overworked crew," he said. "The Director of the Year award simply means that I was lucky enough to have several high-profile movies come out this past year: Batman, Glee, Avatar ... I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to bring many dream projects to life. This award is a great icing on an already incredible cake!”

"The first movie I funded myself, Batman XXX, went on to become the year's highest-selling DVD, and Elvis XXX has already sold out of two replication runs in less than three weeks," he added. "There's an enormous creative freedom that comes with owning your movies, but it takes a great distribution company to make them successful, and in that respect, Vivid is absolutely a dream come true. Steven Hirsch is a marketing genius, and working with him and everybody else at Vivid is a great honor and a blessing."

So what should fans look for from Braun in 2011?

"Superman XXX just came out, and I'm getting ready to shoot two Spider-Man parodies back to back for Vivid, which is really exciting, and a Ghostbusters parody in 3D for Hustler," Braun detailed. "And in February I'll shoot The Godfather XXX and Bruce Lee XXX for my own company, Axel Braun Productions, winner of the 2011 AVN Award for Best New Video Production Company. And then James Bond XXX, and of course Star Wars XXX in 3D, a very ambitious project I've been prepping for eight months."

All we can say is, Doesn't this guy sleep?

This article originally ran in the March 2011 print edition of AVN magazine. AVN.com features photos of the AVN Awards winners, the stage show and the red carpet.