FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Jodi and Jay West may not be the best known couple in adult at the moment, but if the success of their relatively young production company, Forbidden Fruits Films, keeps up the way it has, that could change sooner than someone announces a Jodi Arias porn parody.
"In the last 10 years, I haven't seen anything like it," said Howard Levine, whose Exile Distribution began carrying Forbidden Fruits late last year. "The line has taken off like crazy. All four titles sold out in two weeks, which is unheard of."
Those four titles are Blended & Twisted 1 & 2, Who Needs Boys and Mother's Indiscretion. The studio's fifth DVD release, Mother-Son Secrets, which streets today, was the #2 most pre-ordered title on AdultDVDEmpire, according to Levine, until last week, when, he said, "it moved to #1, overtaking the Digital Playground pre-release of Code of Honor."
Quite astounding for a little amateur company out of South Florida, to be certain. So how did Forbidden Fruits Films come to be, anyway?
Explained Jay West, who directs and edits the company's productions in addition to sharing administrative duties with Jodi, "We ran into Howard Levine when we were first starting production in 2010. His words of advice to us were, go home, shoot for a couple years, build up your content, then see me."
So that's just what they did. "We started offering clips on one of the amateur clip sites, until we became one of the top studios on that site," Jay expounded. "We then talked our way onto the larger VOD sites. Once we earned top studio status on sites like AEBN and HotMovies, we had a little more pull to get our DVD line started."
Not that it was easy to get to that point. "In today's very competitive adult business environment, we found out that there were not a lot of people willing to take a risk on a small niche company like ours," Jay said. "With no track record, we had to prove ourselves through sales every step of the way."
But prove themselves they did, and with the help of Exile, they're now well on their way to conquering the DVD market in the same manner they have the web.
"To date, we have shot over 500 scenes ranging from short fetish clips to full length feature films," Jay reported. "We have, on most of the larger VOD sites, over 30 vignette titles and are releasing two DVD titles a month now, with our plan to move to three titles a month by summer."
Perhaps Forbidden Fruits' runaway success can be attributed to the unique subject territory of its output, which Jay describes as "realistic characters when bad judgment and un-quenched lust crashes into opportunity. Albeit farfetched, our storylines are no more absurd than what is in the tabloid news on any given day. Manipulation, seduction, betrayal and overall bad decision making are the trademarks of our stories."
These out-there scenarios have resonated strongly with the studio's fans, Jay said, and he and Jodi have worked hard to keep giving them what they want.
"We have some of the greatest fans out there, and solicit their input and feedback constantly," he asserted. "Being a niche studio, our fans are often very specific on what they like to see in our movies. Although we have refined and developed our shooting style and editing to a more polished level, we have kept our storyline and realistic, amateurish feel throughout our productions. This has been essential in developing an extremely loyal following."
He also noted that "since we started producing adult erotica, we have not watched any other movies with similar genres, so we can't compare ourselves with any others. We have done this specifically to keep from being influenced by any other style."
This approach seems to have worked out smashingly thus far, and as Jay put it, "We would like to keep building a company that does business ethically, treats the people we work with fairly, and puts out a good, quality product that people will continue to buy."