Axel, Thank You so much for agreeing to do the interview for ExplicitList.com. I know you don’t do a lot of interviews. So it really means a lot to us. I am a huge fan. I’m very sorry for being late in getting you the questions I have a sick five-year old right now and I’m a single dad, Plus I got kind of tied up yesterday on working on our comic book project our company Explicit Enterprises is doing a comic book with our VP of Marketing and Public Relations; Jasmine Jae. Who is alo married to Ryan Ryder, who is staring as Peter Pan in one of your films that was just released. is also like yourself I’m a huge comic book fan. I have quite the collection. That being said I do sincerely apologize for taking so long to give you the questions.
Interview questions for ExplicitExplicitList.com
1. Bender: so Axel let’s start at the beginning you did as a lot of people do. You entered the family business so to speak by following in the foot steps of your father Lasse Braun, who was I pioneer in the adult entertainment industry by his own right. So how much of influence was your dad on your own work as a director and producer?
The experience of working alongside my father was definitely invaluable. We had a very similar aesthetic sense and an obsession for details, and he taught me everything he knew about the industry, so you can say he is largely responsible for me having a career.
2. Bender: Now Axel you are the King of parodies I know like myself you are a huge fan of comics. So how did you have the genius idea to make pornographic versions of your favorite comic books?
It didn’t feel like a genius idea at the time, I just took the approach of only parodying source material that I was truly a fan of. I felt that I could deliver a much better product if I was really into the original, and that translated into fans responding very positively to my efforts. Basically I make fan films that have sex in them 😉
3. Bender: Staying on the topic of comics two of your most famous work’s are Batman XXX and Star Wars XXX which of course goes without saying that I am a fan of both of these films you really raised the bar with your work so what was it like tackling these two iconic pieces of culture and turning them into a full length XXX feature?
I had been wanting to do a spoof of the 60’s Batman TV show for about a year, and at the time I was working primarily for Hustler so I pitched it to them, but they repeatedly turned it down despite the huge success of my Happy Days and Star Trek parodies. So I decided to do it myself and find a distributor, and that’s when Vivid came along. Luckily, Batman XXX was a massive hit and catapulted my career (and my bank account) to new heights. Star Wars was a huge undertaking, the most expensive adult movie ever filmed…I think I lost a few years of life over it, the stress and the sheer amount of visual effects, costumes, sets, and production issues was insane, but a lot of fun, and the end result was awesome. Again, as luck would have it, a huge success. To this day it’s the highest grossing adult movie of all time.
4. Bender: Let’s talk about Riley Steele your contract girl for Axel Braun Productions who is simply amazing by the way I loved your work in your feature Barbarella a XXX Parody not to mention Riley is probably one of the most beautiful women on the planet. So Axel how did you choose Riley Steele as your contract star?
Riley had ended her contract with Digital Playground and took a few months off when she came to see me. We had lunch, and she struck me as this incredibly beautiful girl who had always been relegated to play second fiddle to Jesse Jane, although she had all the qualities to be a superstar in her own right. She wanted to be in high-profile projects, and I wanted a contract girl…so I felt she would be a perfect fit for ABP, and signed her on the spot.
5. Bender: Now Axel I have spoken to a few performer’s that have shot for you most recently my business partner Jasmine Jae’s husband Ryan Ryder among others. Every one has described you as very professional, hardworking, outgoing and easily approachable onset Ryan describes you as someone who is just a joy to work with and very humble. But the fact is; you are a true pioneer and icon in the adult entertainment industry. In 2011 you were inducted into the AVN a Hall of Fame and you are the only director in the industry to win 4 consecutive AVN Awards for director of the year and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so my question is what’s it like to be recognized by your peers for your many great works?
Winning awards is great, but what’s more important is being able to make the movies I want, and that’s why I can still have fun doing what I do. My association with Wicked Pictures has allowed me to do just that, and I am incredibly grateful for it.
6. Bender: Axel Let’s go a little off topic Axel if you don’t mind you have quite the car collection from what I understand I’m a big car collector myself I think we’re doing different style I prefer classic American muscle cars. I’ve got a 1970 Hemi Cuda convertible and a 65 Malibu super sport what’s your favorite in your collection of cars?
Mine is not a collection, it’s more like an addiction…LOL. I used to be into Muscle Cars too, in fact I did own a 70’s Hemi Cuda back in the early 90’s, albeit a coupe. I also had a ’69 Mustang Mach 1 with a 427 Cobra Jet in it, and a bunch of other cars that needed to see a mechanic almost on a daily basis. Lately, because of my old age, I’m into more comfortable rides…I’ve got a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Bentley GT Speed, and a Porsche 911 GTS, but that lineup may change completely by the time you print this. I call it “Car Attention Deficit Disorder” 😉
7. Bender: Axel other than owning Axel Braun Productions /A. B. P you also own Level 5 post can you tell if a little bit about your other ventures such as level 5 post?
Level 5 provides editing, authoring, graphic design, and VFX to a large number of adult companies as well as several mainstream ones. My other ventures include real estate investments, a food processing company, and I’m in the process of opening a luxury car dealership. This way I won’t spend so much time buying cars, I’ll already own them all! 😉
8. Bender: Axel I know you are very anti-piracy, as we are as well at ExplicitList.com. I don’t think a lot of people know the impact piracy has on the industry and the effects. Not just you as a producer and director but it also affects the stars and even the production crew. It all trickles down would you agree?
Illegal downloads have a tremendous impact on the state of the Adult industry. Slumping DVD sales reflect on lower budgets, which means less days of work for the crew, and lower rates. I want the effort and the money I put in every movie I make to show in the quality of my product…when people download them from a torrent site they get a low-quality version of it. The colors are wrong, there are artifacts and pixelation, and on top of that, they expose themselves to malware and spyware. Plus, they steal money from me, and I don’t like it. By waging war on piracy I am simply trying to protect my investment, my brand, the quality of my product, the people who work for me, and even the consumer.
9. Bender: Okay Axel let’s talk about your most recent film Petter Pan a xxx parody Staring Ryan Ryder, Keira Nicole, Riley Steele and Steven St. Croix what was it like putting this together how much work actually went into this feature?
Peter Pan was always my favorite fairy tale as a kid, so it was definitely a labor of love, and it would have never happened had I not found the perfect Peter in Ryan Ryder. His performance was fantastic, and his commitment to the project and to the character were absolute. I mean, the guy dyed his hair bright orange!!! The amount and complexity of the visual effects ended up being more than anticipated, so much that the movie almost didn’t make it out in time for the awards deadline, but I’m very happy that it did. St. Croix was simply magnificent, and Keira mastered a British accent to become the embodiment of Wendy. It’s easily one of my favorite movies, and I’m very happy about the tremendous success it’s enjoying.
10. Bender: So Axel of course you cast my friend Ryan Ryder as the lead role of Peter Pan but you also cast Steven St. Croix of course Steven is a legend in the industry is a male performer and Ryan Ryder is well on his way, but both of these performers are very unique in the fact that they can actually act in addition to being able to perform and put out a good sexy how important is it to have performers for you that actually have some real acting chops?
It’s VERY important. My movies don’t sell on a gimmick or a clever title…fans demand accuracy, and the proper respect for the source material, and that’s impossible to achieve without great acting. At the same time, these are adult movies, so the sexual performance needs to be on par with the acting. Ryan excels at both, and he’s also a terrific person so I’m sure he will have an extraordinary career in the industry.
11, Bender: Axel I’m hoping you’ll give us the big exclusive your Axel can you give us a hint on what your next project might be maybe a parody of the new Star Wars trilogy?
Out of superstition I never spill the beans of what’s next until my PR people make an official announcement. But I can tell you it’s big 🙂
12. Bender: Okay Axel so how your originally from Italy and you’re living the American dream the American success story in fact you’re living every man in the world dream do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?
The best advice I have for anybody is to look at the big picture and think of it as a career, not a gig. Be honest, respectful, and willing to pay your dues. And if anybody is considering becoming a porn director, DON’T! I already have too many people trying to steal my job 😉
13. Bender: So Axel how did fans of your work keep up with what’s coming up next any new projects that you have in the works what social media do you use?
I’m not particularly active on social media because I actually have a life 😉 But I do post on Twitter and Facebook, so my fans can find me at www.twitter.com/axelbraun
14. Bender, Once again thank you so much Axel for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to do this interview with me for our readers here at Explicitlist.com I look very forward to reviewing Peter Pan XXX and I look forward to all your future work as I said I’m a huge fan of your work and it really means a lot to me and my staff and put my partners that you took the time out of your schedule to do this interview I hope our readers appreciate it as much as I do. I would also like to thank Ryan for helping set up the interview I can’t tell you once again how much it is meant to me.
Thank you Bender, it’s been a pleasure 🙂
All my best,