Keeping It Clean: Interview With Elegant Angel's Carlos Dee

This article originally ran in the April 2014 issue of AVN magazine in a series of interviews with Elegant Angel Productions directors. Click here to see the online digital edition.

Director Carlos Dee has a long history with Elegant Angel. "Elegant Angel was my first job. I've been here off and on 12 years, since I was in school for graphics."

Besides directing, Dee is responsible for the uncluttered look of Elegant Angel covers. "I've been doing all the graphics, photography, anything that has to do with print work. Part of this has to do with my personality: I like order; I like clean things. As a kid I used to trim the edge of my parents' lawn because I like clean edges. It's always been part of my design work. I can do grungy stuff with distressed lettering, but there's always that clean element."

Dee directed two handjob videos (Let Me Jerk You) before starting his signature Let Me Suck You series. "It's tough to keep the chemistry going [in handjob videos]. It's more about the tease and what can happen. I learned a lot from them, because they're challenging. It was POV, and from there they let me do something different with Let Me Suck You."

Dee told AVN that he started directing because he wanted to see something different in videos. "I wanted to see more stylistic stuff. I grew up watching MTV and music videos, and I wanted to see that in gonzo porn. I never wanted to be a director—my main thing is design and photography. Being the artistic person that I am, you start growing out and you want to explore other things. I went to management and said I'd like to try to shoot something. I was getting a little restless. I was doing photography, and it was a transition to movement."

Dee has melded his search for visual style into the Elegant Angel style of moviemaking: "I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel; I'm not trying to go harder with the sex. I'm fortunate that the company I fell into is all about the realism and going for the emotion. At first I didn't get it, but I started understanding it, and now I get it. I like the realism of pushing the girls, and having them push themselves, sexually. I'm not going to go over the top for the sake of going over the top. I like trying to capture that realism. I'm not trying to be the MMA of porn.

"No matter what I put out, I always give it my best. I hope it shows. When I'm out there, I don't half-ass anything. Sometimes things go my way, fantastic; sometimes they don’t—it's the nature of the business—and I'll look at something and I'll say, 'I could have done better,' and it bugs me. I'm always trying to elevate what I'm doing and I'm not afraid to take risks. I'm not afraid to take risks with gear, and I'm not afraid to take risks with certain girls, because I feel that it's the director's job to pull a performance out of them. If the chemistry is not there it's my job to make that environment comfortable and make that chemistry happen. That's the kind of risk I'll take."