L.A. Direct Models Owner Derek Hay Talks Vegas Expansion
LOS ANGELES — Derek Hay told XBIZ that he opened a Las Vegas office for L.A. Direct Models because Sin City is “more active than ever” with shoots.
“I can only see that increasing I think over the course of the remainder of 2014,” Hay said, noting his Vegas office has been operational since September. “I suppose the passage of AB 1576, which now one imagines to be near certain, will only stimulate even more studios to decide to come to Vegas.”
AB 1576, a bill that would mandate condom use on all adult productions shot statewide, passed the full California Assembly on May 27 and next will move to the State Senate for further action.
Hay said during the past one to two years there has been a noticeable increase in porn studios booking shoots in Vegas. Still though, the Vegas market only accounts for about 10 percent of L.A. Direct’s bookings, Hay noted, adding that he now works out of both locations.
“We have staff that remains in L.A. and staff in Vegas, and yes I go back and forth. I’ve become very familiar with highway 15,” he said.
Hay said the advantages of establishing a second office in Vegas include “having local knowledge of where people are shooting, knowledge of distances involved from the airport to the locations and the recruitment of local talent.”
“And also to be able to on occasion meet in person with the producers, directors and studios that hire our actors,” he added.
L.A. Direct, which celebrated its 14-year anniversary in April, currently represents about 90 female models and about a dozen guys.
“The guys are a challenge,” Hay said. “It hasn’t gotten any easier to keep a guy busy. The market for guys is as competitive as it ever was.”
And while the current climate offers many more opportunities for girls, it’s certainly no easy task building a bona fide female star in today's porn industry either.
“In recent years it’s become more difficult to bring a girl through and create a bigger name. To create a true star is more difficult these days,” Hay said. “It’s more difficult because there are so many less of what you might call banner-type feature films for them to appear in.”
The proliferation of Internet only scenes is a significant factor. Prominent roles in buzzworthy parodies or high-profile features give fans something with which to associate their favorite performer, Hay said.
“It can elevate their status,” he added. “It’s more difficult now to get a girl to the top of the ladder.”
But two L.A. Direct girls in particular are continuing to create a buzz in Porn Valley and beyond, according to Hay.
He said one prominent producer has referred to Adriana Chechik as “the No. 1 girl in porn right now” on more than one occasion.
“She’s an absolutely outstanding performer,” Hay said. “Mason recently shot her in a scene, and suffice it to say she was absolutely thrilled with the scene that I think will be much-talked about in January. She has extraordinary ability sexually speaking and an appetite that matches. She’s very much on the road to becoming a big star.”
Then there is Miami-based Veronica Rodriguez “who arguably is already a star and her career trajectory continues upwards very nicely,” Hay said.
“She continues to do everything right,” he said, adding that he was “blown away” by some of the footage he's seen from her burgeoning studio, Veronica Rodriguez Productions.