The day breaks early on the floor of AEE 2007. Yesterday, things were strictly business-to-business, but today the floodgates opened wide as fans from around the world (well, some of them had foreign-sounding accents, at least) and around the nation showed up in force to strut their stuff in all manner of outlandish dress (and, in some cases, undress) -- and to mingle, press flesh and capture the souls of porn chicks through the technological magic of cell phone cameras.
Best line heard during the first wave of fans, from a muscle-bound, pec-flexing pornoholic: “I blasted these guns for three weeks solid, dude. Damn right I’m wearing a tank top!”
Kids these days.
If anyone is to be pitied when the fans arrive, it’s the starlets who stand or sit for hours signing slicks and sundry promotional material for the slavering horde. The Naughty America booth had a brilliant idea by designing what was, essentially, a suburban house where the girls could loll around on twin beds.
As curvy Gianna Michaels said, “Those other girls are going to get tired fast. I’m getting paid to lay around in bed all day.” That, and of course, the setting presented the girls in their natural habitat. If you tuned out the pulsing music and crush of bodies, you could almost imagine that you were back in the wilds of the San Fernando Valley. It was only when one of the security personnel asked you for the 40th time to turn your badge around so that it could be read, that you were yanked out of your fantasy and placed smack-dab back in Vegas.
Wicked Pictures head Steve Orenstein, looking fresh after last night’s company shindig at Tao, said of Day 2, “Things are just getting started, but it’s great so far! The booth is working great for us. And yesterday was great as a trade-only day.”
Howard Levine, sales guru of Vivid Entertainment was equally enthused about his second day in the AEE trenches. “Day 1 was really good, for us,” said Levine. “We were really busy,” he continued. “We wrote a lot of orders and we’ve had constant appointments. Things are strong, but I hope next year things will be set up so that we get two days as business-only so we can get things done. But overall, the show’s going great.”
The K-Beech boys were doing a brisk trade at their spacious installation, as Teanna Kai sucked in the crowd like a whirlpool of sticky plum sauce. Ray Burke of the company's Back End division reported strong interest in Kai's latest vehicle The Teacher.
Pleasure Productions' John Paone said that his booth drew heavy traffic thanks to new contract girl Tera Wray and slinky Italian imports Michelle Ferrari, Roberta Missoni and Luna Stern. "We attracted a lot of fans, but we've also been writing a lot of business," Paone said. "We're very happy with the ratio so far."
Stuart Wall of Smash Productions, looking fit after taking a sucker punch from Tony Santoro at Wicked Pictures’ Tao party on Wednesday night, was enthusiastic about the show. “It was like the party booth,” he said of Smash’s display. “It was incredible. I accomplished all I wanted to achieve. I met all my VoD contacts, mobile and foreign. I’ve been coming to these shows since 1990, and this is one of the best ones.”
Mark Kulkis, owner of Kick-Ass Productions, was basking in the knowledge that his company was getting some serious fan attention. Cute girls, crazy novelties and big posters proclaiming “It's not piss!” seem to have caught on with the fans. Kulkis was in agreement with the general assessment that business was going swimmingly.
Asked if he thought that 2007 might be a stronger year than 2006, Kulkis said, “I heard someone say something like, if they're staying even at this point, they’re doing okay. But DVD sales are down in the mainstream, too. Everybody just tries to hold the line.”
A massive fan crush formed around the Hustler booth as Larry Flynt himself laid down the free-speech law -- 'cause that's just the way the man rolls. The big news for Hustler Video was a new distribution deal with Nautica Thorn Productions, inked just this afternoon. The starlet herself was all smiles as she posed with male and female fans. The one-year agreement will see Thorn's company producing four hardcore vignette movies including the internet fantasy-themed EnterNautica.com.
Elegant Angel's Mike Barbella was busy passing out his company’s promotional goodies to eager fans who loved the t-shirts and ball caps. “First day of fan day! It’s been great," Barbella raved. "Yesterday was also awesome. People love Elegant Angel. They know the stuff and they love the stuff and it shows. It’s been a wonderful show so far. And we’re really happy to touch base with our fans today.”
The overall opinion as the day wore on was that yesterday had been great for business, but that today was for the fans.
As things wound down, Kylie Ireland was gamely signing autographs for the last of the die-hard fans. Asked how it felt to be on her feet for so long, Ireland offered, “Today has been absolutely insane! I’ve gotten so much feedback from my fans from Corruption as well as all the other movies I’ve been doing. The fans are happy I’m directing and they’re watching my stuff. The feedback is always the best part of the show for me.”
One director who mixed business with meeting the fans was the irrepressible Max Hardcore. One could almost hear the strains of ZZ Top's "Precious and Grace" (or was it "Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings"?) cutting through the techno-din as the controversial director prowled the show floor with his super-freaky girls Layla and Ange Venus.
“I love coming up here for these shows,” said Max. “I’m not sure how much business is done here. To me, it’s just a big party. It's always fantastic to see so many good-looking whores in one place.”
Of course, Max being Max, when asked if he had any pertinent observations regarding the show, he said, “Porn whores seem to be psychologically incapable of telling the truth. Even when it’s in their best interest and the easiest path to take…but that’s what makes these shows fun.”
To see a gallery of images from AEE Day 2, click here.
Photos by AVN photographers Gia Jordan, Hewman Being, GP and Rick Shameless.