If not exactly love at first sight, Mach 2 Productions owner Dani Duran’s business heart most definitely went pitter-patter the initial time she watched the hard-charging, porn power couple Otto Bauer and wife Audrey Hollander — now under exclusive contract to her — in action.
“Through my foreign sales about a year ago is when I saw a scene from Otto and Audrey,” recalled Duran, a 20-year veteran executive of the adult industry, all with Cal Vista, founded by her husband, industry pioneer Sidney Niekirk. “At that time, they were fairly new in the business, and I thought, that's a special couple.”
She sent the scene to a partner of hers in Germany, and he too had the same reaction. “He loved them,” Duran, Cal Vista’s vice president of foreign sales, said. “He wanted to know if he could pay to have them come over and shoot something in Germany. Got a hold of Otto. He was open to the idea.
“And he came back from Germany, before the AEE show 2004. And he brought me what he had done. And I looked at it, and I thought this is exciting stuff. This is different. I know the audience will like it. It's very MTV-like, and very hardcore. It's progressive, creative. It was really hot.”
Duran and Bauer shopped the footage around at the 2004 Adult Entertainment Expo, but couldn’t find an acceptable distribution deal.
“So, I thought, Hey, I'm gonna start a company that will exclusively distribute only his company, Supercore,” Duran said.
And thus was born Mach 2 Productions, of which Duran is the president and CEO, and for which Bauer and Hollander, as of late January, shoot for solely (more on that later).
Mach 2, Duran said, means “twice the speed of sound.” She picked it, she explained, “because I wanted Otto's progressive style and his creativity to come at the public twice the speed of sound. I wanted to hit them right between the eyes. His stuff is unique. They are an amazing couple. They are dynamic. Their energy comes across like you can't miss it.”
For anyone who has ever seen a Mach 2 release, the name of Bauer’s company, Supercore, needs no explanation. Bauer-directed titles like Lips That Lie, Triple Threat, Porn Valley, Erotic Cabaret and Live and Loaded in Switzerland, all starring Hollander (billed as “Supercore’s superwhore.”), the gorgeous, statuesque red-headed anal queen who ran away with AVN’s coveted Female Performer of the Year Award in January, are pretty much as hardcore as hardcore gets — indeed, Supercore.
Duran owns all the titles, except Live and Loaded in Switzerland, in which Bauer has a 50 percent interest.
“I pay him for the movies,” she explained. “All I say is, ‘Here's the money, bring me back a kick ass movie,’ and that's it. He's in complete control, He hires the talent, the editing, everything. All cameras, art, stills, everything goes through him. I give him a budget. They're very high-budget gonzos. We do between $23-$25 thousand. Then I spend probably another 5K to do the artwork and the replication.”
When making a Supercore title for Mach 2, Bauer said, “I’m going for super hardcore with a quality look to it. Personally, I don’t like porn that appears to have been shot in my bedroom. So it’s important to me that the girls look great, well-lit, with great makeup. We use two makeup artists, one of them arguably the best in the business, Glenn Alfonso.” AVN Hall of Fame director Jim Powers shoots many of Mach 2/Supercore’s titles.
Duran recalled the deal the three made when they first got together: “Our relationship was this, ‘Don't ever tell me how to do business, and I will never tell you how to shoot a film.’”
It’s an arrangement that has all three Mach 2ers smiling.
“I’m super happy,” Supercore’s Bauer said. “She gives me all the freedom I want. I can pretty much do anything I want. And she pays all the bills. So who am I to tell her how to run the business?”
Hollander, too, says she feels like she’s found a home.
“I feel like I have by my choice the best people in the business looking after me, as far as camera guys, makeup, still photographers,” she said. “Everyone that Otto puts together, the personalities work so the environment is really happy.”
Smiling too are Mach 2’s sales, Duran said.
“We’re doing really well” both here and abroad, she said. “We have a foreign deal in Canada. And there’s a company called Mach 2 Europe, owned by Astrit Hashani, who is based in Paris. He’s also got Platinum X for Europe. His company actually loved our stuff so much that they incorporated and made their own company in Europe strictly to distribute Mach 2 product. And they're doing great. They're like a sister company. Every title we make goes to them. We have an outright royalty deal and a 50/50 (profits) deal, VOD streaming, all other rights.”
“If I can't sell it foreign,” she noted pointedly of product in general, “I don't want to hang on to it.”
Besides the undeniable presence of Hollander and Bauer, also distinguishing Mach 2 titles from the rest of the gonzo pack, in Duran’s estimation, is the original rock music each release features. Such virtually unknown but nonetheless hard-thrashing young outfits like, to name a few choice ones, Choking Susan (Choking Audrey would be a more apropos name. — Ed.) and Plastic Bastard, play on each Mach 2 soundtrack, care of former rocker Otto’s music industry contacts, she said.
“Otto has a background in music,” she said, “so a lot of these groups give us their own copyrighted original music. It's hard to be different nowadays in this (the porn) industry. The reason I feel that Mach 2 is different is (in part) because of Otto's connections in the music industry.”
And it’s that young hard-rocking sound that Duran feels connects with the Mach 2 core demographic.
“I'd say our fans would be the younger people up to maybe 45 or 50,” Duran said. “Because we cover (rock musical tastes) all the way… you can think of Led Zeppelin all the way up to now. We don't have rap; that's already been done. There's hip-hop out there. Just real rock and roll. We're looking for the progressive younger (rock music) genre.”
Mach 2 initially released two titles a month, is now up to three, and by the fall, will be releasing four a month, in part due to demand from Mach 2 Europe.
“Otto and Audrey are very big in Europe,” where the couple make semi-regular trips to both shoot and to attend adult expos, Duran said (“They are so exciting. People want them wherever they go. They don't just sign, they put on a show.”). “So between going back to Europe and over here, we have a niche.
“They will go and do whatever it takes to push our product. How many people do you know in this industry who, after they give you the product, they care how much you make? Well they do. They care that Mach 2 is successful, and they're really in on every part of it.”
So much so that Duran earlier this year signed Hollander and Bauer — who weren’t initially exclusive to Mach 2 — to exclusive contracts, renewable each year for the next five years.
“We decided the exclusivity would be a big thing,” she said. “They’ve worked for a lot of companies and once all that stuff has been released, you’ll only be able to get them through Mach 2.”
Bauer said the advantages of going exclusive with Mach 2 are obvious —“long-term financial backing, stability, security. Obviously, Audrey coming off winning Female Performer of the Year, a lot of people want to hire her. And in my opinion, that could simply dilute her worth. The big thing is — it’s a guaranteed gig.”
Under the contract, Duran said, Bauer will expand his creative horizons with different types of titles, including a teenage line (“almost virgins,” Duran characterized it), and Hollander will make her directorial debut with Audrey Hollander’s pASSionate Love,scheduled for release later this month.
“I really had a lot of fun directing that,” Hollander said with a giddy giggle.
“I just got the footage,” Duran said, “and I think Audrey’s gonna be a hell of a director, cause of her style. Her style is one of a kind. I've seen a lot of girls that can do a lot of things, but there's only one Audrey.”
“It's usually a split,” she continued. “You see gorgeous girls that don't do much, or you see homely girls doing stuff you don't care to see. But then you've got Audrey, and she happens to be beautiful. I mean she looks like Nicole Kidman (Though about 15 years younger. — Ed.) I always go, ‘Otto, you've got the perfect woman. She's the best of both worlds. She loves to cook, and then you've got a whore in bed.’”
The exclusive contracts were announced about three weeks after Hollander won Female Performer of the Year Award at AVN’s 23rd annual Vegas gala, which led to her gracing the magazine’s March cover.
“That Award meant a lot to us,” Duran said. “I think it took her to the next step. Her work had been previously recognized with Awards in Europe, but I wanted the U.S. people to see how great she really is. That Award has opened a lot of doors. I'm getting calls from all over the place.”
“Otto and Audrey are the most loyal, the most trustworthy people I've ever met,” she stressed. “And they’re so grateful and so happy when you give them a break, any recognition whatsoever, and they're not like ‘I need this, I need that.’ These two are not like that. That's why I think they'll be around a long time.”
Bauer returned the compliment. “The first time I met Dani and Sidney, I was struck with their integrity,” he said. “They’re honest people. They’re straight-up with you. Really quality people, which is hard to come by in our industry.”
“I love Dani,” Audrey said. “She’s the best. She’s a beautiful, smart woman, and I really look up to her. I think she’s made Mach 2 a very successful company. And the trust that she’s put into Otto and I to help build Mach 2 for her really means a lot to me.”
Duran said she wants to “make Otto and Audrey a household word in our industry. Cause in our industry, a household word is someone you can count on. And I think you can count on them for the best product I've seen in years.”
For Mach 2 Productions domestic sales inquiries, contact: Hank at firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll Free: 866-386-6226
For Mach 2 Productions foreign sales inquiries, contact: Dani at email@example.com
Phone: 818 786-1300
For more on Mach 2 Productions titles, go to Mach2Ent.com.