Rob Black to Launch New Company, Revive Extreme Associates
LOS ANGELES — The Evolution of Rob Black will enter a new phase in January as the notorious producer rolls out a new company bearing his name, begins a ramped-up production schedule and also launches the Extreme Entertainment Network. Black put his unique stamp on 2011 with several high-profile productions, settling back into the director’s chair under two different stage names — General Stone and Sinister X.
He directed the XBIZ Award-nominated “Taxi Driver” for Sensuous Diamond/Pleasure Dynasty and “Rezervoir Doggs” for Exquisite Films as General Stone. Using the name Sinister X, he helmed Extreme Comixxx releases such as “Captain America XXX” and “Iron Man XXX.”
In 2012, however Black will not only be attaching his own name to some cutting-edge projects, he’ll also be introducing Rob Black Productions to the marketplace.
“I’ve made a brand out of these characters,” Black tells XBIZ. “General Stone will represent the dramatic movies that I do, such as ‘Rezervoir Doggs,’ ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Training Day.’ “Sinister X creates all the comic book parodies like ‘Captain America XXX,’ ‘Supergirl XXX,’ ‘Ironman XXX’ and ‘Super Heroine 3D’ in the comic-book genre. And then that brings us to good old Rob Black.” Black says that under the new Rob Black Productions umbrella he will resurrect his notorious Extreme Associates label in January. He noted that reviving the line means tapping back into its roots. “This will not be Extreme 2.0 — it’s not a reboot — but the original Extreme Associates,” Black explains. “I got the original library back. We have about 400 titles that are packaged and will be put into grab bags. It’s stuff that hasn’t been on the shelves in years and years because we’ve been out of business.”
Black on June 3, 2010, was released from a federal penitentiary in Texas after serving 10 months of a year-and-a-day prison sentence for distributing what the government deemed to be obscene materials. The federal prosecution of Black and his wife Lizzy Borden, who also was incarcerated, dragged on for seven years and drew national attention along the way. Black says he has learned from the whole experience, coming away with a new perspective and focused determination to re-establish his brand of moviemaking.
“Some of the stuff I did that I got into trouble for, now it’s like common fare — the over-the-top stuff. But for me it was a business. It was a character, a way to make money. It wasn’t a lifestyle,” says Black, now in his 16th year in porn. “Back then we were trying to capitalize on the business of an extreme brand of entertainment. But you have to evolve and move on, just like Madonna or Metallica. They evolved, and they still play big venues.”
The 38-year-old also admits that he added fuel to his whole legal ordeal simply by being “an asshole.” “Rob Black, it’s always been a fucking character,” he continues. “Nobody can go to jail for making a sex movie for consenting adults, I went to jail for being a douche bag, but that’s alright because we live and we learn from our travels.” Black at post time had hired respected industry veteran Sandee Johnson to be his sales manager for the Extreme Associates line, which he will independently distribute. Johnson is a former performer whose professional background also includes working as a sales executive for Evil Angel. She’ll begin taking sales calls this Monday morning.
“We’re running it as its own entity,” he says. “We’ll be releasing the catalog and some of the classics again showing the old school way. We’ll be doing the return of ‘Cock Smokers,’ real basic stuff that we did, all under the Rob Black Productions banner — ‘Excellence in Filmmaking.’”
Meanwhile, Black says in January he is also rolling out the Extreme Entertainment Network, which will be his own adult channel available on Roku, Google TV and Boxee. Black says he thinks the next big wave is already happening with streaming video.
“My thing is we’re going to revolution the streaming and bring a form of entertainment to that. We have original content, I have a talk show and reality show we’re starting called ‘The Life of Rob Black’ which will be following me around,” Black says.
He reveals he’ll also produce some softer, “Maxim-style stuff” that is sexy, but not hardcore for the Extreme Entertainment Network.
“Picture it like the Netflix of porn. It’s basically just my library and everything that I do,” Black says. “I’m excited because for the first time all the parodies I do will be available for streaming.”
He adds, “We have big, big plans. This is my business — I’m not an outsider, not a Johnny Come Lately, not a guy with aspirations and dreams and hopes. Now it’s about the fun of it again. The fun is getting to the top. It’s not being on top — that ain’t fun for me. I like getting back on top. That is the fun of it.”
When Black got out prison, he teamed up with veteran distribution and production exec Jerry E. at Exquisite due to the relationship they had before he started doing his time. Their friendship dates back to when Black did business with Jerry E. on a producer-distributor level with Extreme.
Black reached an agreement to begin shooting parodies for Exquisite, but with a careful strategy. “I had said I was nervous about putting my name on stuff that was different than what I was known for because I didn’t want people to immediately dismiss it like, ‘Oh it’s going to be anal depravity,’” Black says. “We said fuck it, let’s do a character and do parodies and we’ll rebrand the Exquisite name and make it Exquisite Films and Extreme Comixxx. So I branded it with fake names because I didn’t want people to immediately give it that ‘no.’ After that I guess the rest is history. Since then, we’ve put Exquisite basically on the forefront of the high-end business along with the companies around it.”
Black also recently announced a deal with his longtime friend Axel Braun in which he’ll direct a new slate of movies that will be released by Braun’s namesake production company. Black recalls forging a friendship with Braun when he’d travel to Italy to make foreign rights deals. Braun, now one of the top producer-directors in porn, grew up there. “I’ve known Axel before Axel was Axel in America,” said Black, who used to hang with Braun in Milan. “We’ve always been friends and it just went from there. We had talked about doing something under his label.” It’s all part of a new trajectory for Black, whose colorful career has been full of highs and lows during the past decade-and-a-half. Now he is eager to create a new legacy for himself. “People love me and people hate me, but regardless, from 1995 up to now I’ve been a force in the business, and I’m still here and still surviving,” Black says. “I think that says a lot.”