As most Bel Ami customers are aware, Lukas Ridgeston works behind the scenes as a director, cameraman and editor for his own production line. As he will explain, Lukas’ award-winning career as a performer — beginning with “Tender Strangers” in 1993 and concluding with 2005’s “Lukas in Love” — now gives him unique insight as a director.
Tell us about what you do today for Bel Ami.
LR: I direct, shoot and edit my own stuff for the internet. It began in 2003, I think. In the beginning shooting for the website and movies were separated. The clips were only five minutes long, then ten minutes, then longer and longer. That was where I started to shoot and prepare my own stuff as a director.
And you are releasing DVDs now, yes?
LR: Yes. Last year and this year the best of the internet scenes were put on DVD. This year we made a cooperation with Hammer Films and Rolf Hammerschmidt. We first release scenes on Bel Ami’s website and then they release the movie. The first one was “Intimate Liaisons.”
When you were performing, were you also thinking that you wanted to direct or to move behind the camera?
LR: I don’t know. It’s really creative work. I like creating things like this. I didn’t think about it as [a career move]. It was a good opportunity.
Do you have a preference for directing, shooting or editing?
LR: Editing takes a longer time than shooting and directing, of course. But every director of mainstream movies also edits their own stuff. I think it will never be as good if somebody else edits it. [spoiler]
Do you plan to continuing doing all three jobs, or do you plan to narrow it down to one job?
LR: [chuckles] I think it is still one job. What I don’t like, for example, is production. Things like prepare lighting, prepare the locations, prepare the models, everything. This is a different job and it is not that easy. But directing and shooting in porn movies is good when it is one person. There are less people on the set and the models are more comfortable. Also, when I am shooting and directing I am thinking about how I will edit this episode. I have to remember to shoot everything I need for editing. Everything is much easier for me this way.
And no one else to blame if there is a mistake, right?
LR: [chuckles] I am responsible.
How do you work with your models? What do you tell them?
LR: I can imagine how they feel because I used to be a model. If somebody is telling me [a position] is not possible, I show them that it is [chuckles]. “Move like this, do it this way.” Sometimes I move the model and just show them how I want them to do it. I try to relate to the boys. It is always about good direction. If the models have good direction, everything is easier. Rule number one: Good direction. Rule two: Listen to the models. Rule three is to allow them to show their own sexuality.
What do you mean by that?
LR: Everybody has a different sexuality. Somebody is more romantic, or something else. The most important thing is to let them show this sexuality. Models do not always get to show it.
Do you talk with the models beforehand, or do you learn about them as you film?
LR: There are two options. One option is I talk with them a little bit to get closer with them and get a feeling of who they are, how skillful they could be or if they are romantic or rough. We like to shoot, first, a small scene first just to get closer with them and they can show me what they do. So if I work with a model beforehand, then I can direct them more easily laster. For example, I learn that somebody is a good cocksucker, or they like it a little bit rough. Everybody is different. If I know where I can take them, then I can make a good episode.
One more question about you: Your last movie as a performer was in 2005, but you are still as popular as ever. I told people I was coming to Bel Ami and would interview Lukas Ridgeston, and they were so happy…
They still think about you and want to know how you are doing.
LR: I think I just was at the right time in the right place —
[George Duroy: “It was the right time and the right swimming pool. Tell them this. I am sorry to interrupt.”]
LR: [chuckles] I think maybe with my type of sexuality, I changed people’s lives, maybe not.
[George Duroy: “What are you saying?”]
LR: My style, my sexuality, I am saying maybe I changed people’s lives, I don’t know.
[George Duroy: “You changed a lot of lives.”]
Does that feel good, to know that people feel that way about you?
LR: I always feel good if people are nice to me and when I see they are happy because of me. It gives me energy, you know? I feel a lot of good energy coming to me all the time.[/spoiler]