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WOOD ROCKET – THE FUTURE OF PORN?

WOOD ROCKET – THE FUTURE OF PORN?

INTERVIEW BY EDDIE RIVKIN

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There is only so much left to do in the world of porn, unless God (if you believe in one) or science adds a new orifice to women and/or men. Everything from the most vanilla to the most vulgar, vile, lewd, crude, (and illegal in many countries), form of adult sexuality, has been done well past the saturation point.

The only thing that has really changed since Al Gore invented the Internet back in the day is the unfettered access people around the world have to unlimited access to any and all forms of pornography. As porn has made its way from the seedy to the mainstream, from men in trench coats in theaters to couples buying DVDs and watching at home, revenues have grown exponentially. Some estimate the porn business to generate as much as 15-20 billion dollars annually! For more than a good number of years, all you needed to have was a camera and a cast, and you could be a pornographer and make money. Of course, there have always been large companies that dominated the adult movie business, like Vivid and Wicked. These studios and others like them spend and make tens of millions of dollars every year on big production movies – sometimes rivaling those produced by mainstream companies. All was well in Pornoville – maybe too well – because instead of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, people decided piracy was the way they were going to get their piece of the delicious porn pie. Within a couple of years “Tube” sites of every variety popped up all over the Internet, featuring pirated scenes and oftentimes, entire movies. Oh, by the way, these so-called “Tube” sites are ABSOLUTELY FREE! The proliferation of these porn sites and the slow response of the big studios have caused the big studios to lose millions of dollars of profits! Being a capitalist, I say: “Shame on you, bad boy pirates, for stealing someone else’s hard work and giving it to the people for free and your own profit!” But, being a red-blooded middle-class American male living on a budget, I say this: “HOORAY, FREE PORN!”

Well, after hours and hours of research, months and months trying to find free porn without guilt...
Ladies and Gentleman, allow me the great pleasure of introducing you to The Future of Porn: www.woodrocket.com!

Wood Rocket is an absolutely free, absolutely XXX site that produces its own content, makes its own full-length features and parodies, and licenses content that you can only find on its site. The capitalist in me worried that with a business model of giving it away for free, that my porn utopia was really just a mirage and would disappear in the blink of an eye. So off I went to Mission Control Studios, the 17,000 square foot fully-equipped studios and headquarters of Wood Rocket, located in Las Vegas, to interview Lee Roy Myers and Seth’s Beard, (two-thirds of Wood Rocket’s brain trust) and find out exactly what they are up to.

RIVKIN: Tell me about your history in the adult industry?
ROCKET: Oh, that is going to be a really, really long answer.
RIVKIN: OK, let’s go with the condensed version. I hate typing!
ROCKET: I’d say I started off sort of dabbling. I was in film school when Naked News came out. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do any kind of real hardcore porn. I was thinking, softcore stuff. It seemed like a fun, novelty idea – mixing nudity with other things. So I tried doing some websites – I’d say 25 websites in the first year – and they all failed. I didn’t have nearly enough capital and no experience in marketing, so they all failed miserably. I spent a few years in mainstream on documentaries, pilots, comedies, all in Ottawa, Canada, as a producer and all sorts of things. I got hired at Hustler TV in Canada, not knowing it was an Adult station. I busted my ass there, learning everything I could about TV there. They asked me to produce commercials and then some movies. I originally told them no. Turns out, I was the only qualified person in Ottawa, so I agreed. I made three of the absolute worst porn films ever! It was good practice. As soon as I left, I found another gig, running the adult division of a very large Pay-Per-View cable company. Did that for a few years, and was very successful. During those years I met lots of the executives of the adult companies and became friendly with some of them. That’s where I met Scott from New Sensations. He knew I loved to write and asked me to write a mainstream porno movie – a comedy about an office in Chatsworth in porn Valley. He wanted mainstream jokes. He wanted not just puns and word plays with cock in it. While I was writing it there were just a couple of parodies out. And then I thought about The Office, with all its awkward pauses and odd looks. It can’t just be wordplay. So I suggested it to Scott and he said, “Go for it.” So I wrote and turned it in. I had no intentions of being a director at that point. I just kept writing. Six months later, Scott called me in and said they didn’t have a director for The Office and asked if I wanted to do it, knowing I had experience. That’s where I started on the path that would evolve into Wood Rocket.
RIVKIN: You are a happily married man. Is your wife in the adult business?
ROCKET: No and yes. My wife helps me run my businesses. She edits when I need it, helps with wardrobe when I need it. She works on her own projects in mainstream, as an editor and a production manager.
RIVKIN: How does she handle you being in the adult business?
ROCKET: She has known me since I worked at Hustler, since I have been in the business. Like any marriage, there are steps along the way. As long as you have open communication and you trust each other – and we do – it’s like any good marriage I would guess is. Albeit, ours has some very unusual elements in it.
RIVKIN: She was never “talent” or anything like that?
ROCKET: No, no, nothing like that. I actually met my wife on Myspace – in a film group, to be exact. And no, not a porn film group – before you even ask.
RIVKIN: I have heard of this thing called Myspace back in the day. I think it was already dead by the time I learned of this whole social media thing. Tell me a great casting couch story, oh “mighty director of porn,” that won’t go beyond this room.
ROCKET: I’ll tell you what, there are exactly zero! I got nothing. Sure, there have been offers, but I have NEVER taken anyone up on them.
RIVKIN: What a shame, that’s such a great question to ask to the owner of a porn company. Oh shit, what a shame you didn’t take anyone up on an offer! What’s your best work? The title you’re most proud of?
ROCKET: I am going to say, definitely Sponge Knob Square Nuts. It was the first real release on Wood Rocket. It made people go nuts! It went so viral so fast. It is so weird it makes my weirdest stuff seem so tame. It is definitely what I personally love about porn parodies the most. It can be insane, it can weird, it can be campy, ridiculous and surreal. If you mix all that with sex, it just blows everything up. I love that some people really loved it and A LOT of people went totally ballistic! I got messages and e-mails from people telling me that I ruined their childhoods. I did something that I am very proud of that is totally ridiculous and I am very glad that tons of people watched it.
RIVKIN: Tell me about a day in the life of guys who own a porn company.
ROCKET: Up at 7:00 A.M, immediately into the day’s agenda, whether it is making sure Seth has everything he needs for his day on the operations side, and me handling content and the business side of things. It can be anything – from insurance to accounting to taxes, to just about anything.
RIVKIN: (Interrupting) OK, this is going nowhere fast. We hit the mud.
ROCKET: (Laughing) OK, I’ll get to the good part. Once I get through the mundane stuff, I move on to the slightly less mundane stuff. I’ll work and help with editing; write or fix some scripts, more content driven stuff. If we are shooting that day, it’s heading to the set. By 8:30 or 9:00 A.M., we are on set. Girl in makeup, second in hair, next up could be wigs, etc., and all the while running lines. Basically, making them pretty girls ready. Next are photos: from them going from clothed to naked to spread eagle. Then we do sex stills of the entire scene with the exception of the pop shot. It gives us a good idea of how the scene will play out.
RIVKIN: Is that the semi dress rehearsal?
ROCKET: It’s the opposite of dress rehearsal, it’s the anti-undress rehearsal. Then we get dressed again. We go through dialogue, we go through sex and then we have everybody wash up, shake hands and say thank you. AND THEN WE MOP THE JIZZ OFF THE FLOOR!!!
RIVKIN: OK, enough of this filth! Let’s talk business. How did Wood Rocket end up in Vegas?
ROCKET: I was in L.A. for four or five years working for other people, other studios, and then my own studio, and what you realize after owning your own studio and doing all the accounting is that it is just way too expensive to shoot in L.A. – legally! There are plenty of people who don’t pull permits. I always did. And with the new condom law Measure B, it’s not just about the condom, it’s about the cost. You need a health permit to get a regular permit and they both cost. When you tack that on to studio cost and all the other costs in making a movie, not even counting the cost of living in L.A., it just gets to be way more expensive. You come to Vegas and you realize, even with the flights in for talent and lodging, if they are going to stay for a couple of days, it is still significantly cheaper to shoot here. Then we got an amazing deal on this studio space, decided to do a renovation on it, to make it a place we would want to shoot, and we created the place where we wanted to be, where we can do everything we want, at a cost where we can still make a good profit. We have everything we want and need here, we are totally licensed and legal and get way more bang for our buck shooting here in Las Vegas than I ever did shooting in L.A.
RIVKIN: How much of a factor was Measure B in the decision making of bringing Wood Rocket to Vegas?
ROCKET: It was a throw in factor. I was already looking at Vegas before it passed. Measure B was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back and tried to force a condom on it. We have a website that is known for giving away everything for free: from our sex stuff, to our non-sex series, to our parodies. People are watching our parodies for something fun and funny or campy; I doubt they care if there are condoms. Performers for Wood Rocket can wear a condom if they so choose. It is 100% up to them. Either way, it’s fine with me. They are ALWAYS given the choice!
RIVKIN: Even with the premier talent being in L.A., and the transportation, etc., it’s still significantly cheaper to shoot in Vegas, than L.A.?
ROCKET: Absolutely! To shoot and to live. You have to figure in cost of living into the big equation of your business.
RIVKIN: Do you shoot everything in-house or do you go on location in Vegas, as well?
ROCKET: So far we have only shot in-house. We will definitely get out more in town, especially for some of our series like James Deen Loves Food and the Stoya show.
RIVKIN: How does Wood Rocket succeed and survive if you give everything away for free?
ROCKET: Honestly, we are a new company. We have been around only since January. Our site is pretty expensive, not at all like a Tube site. We produce or purchase everything on our site. That’s how we function, and it’s very expensive right now. Product placement has been very kind to us so far. We do a scene with Evolve Novelties involved in the scene. In Game of Bones our throne is made of 250 Evolve Novelties. We do everything with a sense of humor and anyone we partner has to have a sense of humor, because we might be making a joke about it. We don’t do just ads; we build it into the storylines. We have a web store that a lot of people shop at. Our ad server went up in early January of 2014. We are also planning a couple of Crowdfunding events. The opportunities are endless and there will always be more revenue streams working and in the pipeline. You can’t just release a DVD and expect to make your money back anymore. You have to make that, plus everything else, in order to be successful.
RIVKIN: Let’s advance the conversation out of the startup phase for a moment. Once you have all of your other revenue streams up and operational, what percentage of your revenue do you think will be derived from the content, itself?
ROCKET: I would say probably 20-25%. I hope that grows. I mean the content will drive everything, we hope – but as far as actual percentage of revenue, I am comfortable with 25% to start.
RIVKIN: The reason this is so fascinating is because it is completely blowing up, sort of, the established business model. The traditional model is completely out the window.
ROCKET: We said fuck it to the traditional model. This is an experiment no matter what we do. We are growing, as is our revenue. So every time we hit a landmark in traffic or media coverage or exposure, something presents itself.
RIVKIN: You have all new metrics. Everything that was ever used to gage success of a product is now completely gone, because you are trying to create an entirely new set of standards. How do you know if you are succeeding?
ROCKET: We are definitely blowing up the old model and what better place to do it than Las Vegas, where buildings get blown up and rebuilt all the time?
RIVKIN: Do the big boys, like Vivid and Wicked, fear you? And, do you think, if this is as successful as you plan and expect it to be, that they will murder you by taking 
the concept from you and duplicating it on their scale?
ROCKET: No and no. I do not think they fear us and I hope they are paying attention. My goal is to have Wood Rocket be a pioneer, a strong pioneer. We meet every single day to discuss how we can be better. We are never going to be perfect, but every day we are going to strive to be perfect. Every day can bring a new web series or new web star, a parody or a scene, or new form of content that can go viral. That’s our goal. We are making porn and porn-related entertainment for the masses. When we stop doing that, we will fear other people coming in taking our place.
RIVKIN: Let me try it this way: What happens if Steve Hirsch of Vivid looks at Wood Rocket and says, “Hey, this is great! Let’s do it.” A guy like him with backing like that could crush just about anyone, with or without their permission.
ROCKET: One: We’ve done it, and we’ve become successful and no one else has started to do it. The people like that are still pretty old-school. They seem to think pay sites and broadcasts are the way to go. And if by chance they get around to seeing how successful we have become with our business model, they still won’t have what we have, which is our ideas. Because of the web and the way it is, our ideas will keep us going viral and keeps us popular. The biggest thing is that we are doing the things that we want to see. We are fans that happen to make content. And being able to relate to the masses of people who like the things we like and laugh at the things we laugh at, will always separate us from other companies.
RIVKIN: Whose idea was it was to mix in the non-adult content into Wood Rocket?
ROCKET: All of us. Originally we tried to figure out how to compete with the Tube sites, so our aim was to do something free, plus give them other things like behind-the-scenes, bloopers and trailers. It was content we already had. There was no way we could compete with a site that had, say, 75,000 scenes for free. So we found a way to go from quantity to quality. We knew we were good at parodies, so we decided to focus on them. We took a bunch of AVN footage and chopped it up into funny bits and the idea of a web series came into play. We decided to create PORNOTAINMENT. It’s not quite porn, it’s entertainment, but with elements of porn in it! We do a lot of what could be called YouTube-inspired videos.
RIVKIN: What do you do when the Tube sites start stealing your content?
ROCKET: We watermark all our content. It drives traffic to our site. Let them steal it! I’d say, that’s our motto: “Let them steal it!” It’s just more advertising for us. The more people steal something with a giant www.woodrocket.com splashed across it, the more people will want to come to my site for free and enjoy what we do, and I don’t have to pay the advertising fees.
RIVKIN: You are going to use the theft of your content as a marketing tool?
ROCKET: Absolutely! I can’t stop it, so I might as well find a way to try to use it for my benefit, right?
RIVKIN: Would you say Wood Rocket is effectively destroying piracy by giving it away for free?
ROCKET: I think there is no way to destroy piracy. There will always be people whose goal will be to steal and reuse content for their own profit. That being said, I think what we are doing is the first of its kind, by accepting that our content is going to be pirated and creating it in such a way that when it is, that it drives traffic to our site, which is free. We are making the best of a situation we can’t really do anything about right now.
RIVKIN: Is the most important goal, for any project you do, to go viral?
ROCKET: It’s one of the top goals, but not the ultimate goal. The number one goal of anything Wood Rocket produces is making a movie, a scene or a web series – whatever we create that we are proud of.
RIVKIN: OK, but proud does not pay the bills.
ROCKET: True. But what we have found is that if we create something we like or think is funny and/or sexy, the money will follow. We are very fortunate that we are able to do something that people want to watch, so it goes viral. And because it goes viral, advertisers want to advertise with us. Companies want to do sponsorships and product placements with Wood Rocket all because the people like what we do. The money has followed us doing something we absolutely love.
RIVKIN: What’s on the horizon for Wood Rocket?
ROCKET: I feel it’s Wood Rocket’s job as a website competing for traffic to continue to create content that is original and entertaining; that are themed with sex and porn, but aren’t always hardcore – to give to people in the age of porn that’s okay, a site where they can get off if they want or they can just stay and be entertained. To me, cumming and laughing are the two greatest feelings on earth. I want Wood Rocket to be the place on the Internet you can get both, for free.
RIVKIN: Is Wood Rocket the future of the adult business?
ROCKET: I think that free content that is entertaining, original, different and sexy in whatever way you want it (hardcore or naked people doing sexy things) is the future of the Porn Business, and yes, I think Wood Rocket is it!

So there you have it, Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls. I have done you all an incredible service by doing the exhausting research of finding an incredible XXX website that is ABSOLUTELY FREE. Make sure to thank me when you see me. Just be sure to wash your hands first! Happy Stroking!

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