Greg Lansky Talks Tushy, Blacked, 'Momentum'

LOS ANGELES—No matter what Greg Lansky shoots he realizes it always begins the same way.

“It always starts with a beautiful woman and then we work our way down from there,” he says. “So then it’s like ‘OK we have a beautiful woman, let’s get to work.’”

And when Team Lansky shifts into work mode the results have begun speaking for themselves.

The French filmmaker is only five weeks removed from what he considers “the most amazing night of my life” on Jan. 23 in Las Vegas, where he and his studios Blacked and Tushy combined to win 16 AVN Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

“It was a very humbling experience,” Lansky told AVN. “I thought we did something great last year but I guess when you really put your heart into something you don’t expect anything in return; the reward is really the experience of collaborating with all the people.

“But when I saw the recognition and all the awards that we won it was like being in a dream. It took me literally like three days afterwards to be like, did that really happen? It was just an unreal experience. I would do anything to relive it again.”

Lansky’s all-anal Tushy line, launched last June, received seven awards including Best New Imprint, while his 20-month-old interracial venture, Blacked, claimed eight awards including Best Membership Website. The 33-year-old chief creative officer for Strike 3 Holdings, the parent company of Blacked and Tushy, also won the Director of the Year trophy.

“Every award was amazing,” Lansky said. “The Director of the Year was very touching for me because that’s the kind of award where once you win that no one can ever take that away from you. That’s such an honor. I feel like it’s also a responsibility.

“I feel like over the years AVN has rewarded people not only for their work, but also because of who they felt could be a good ambassador for the adult industry. So it’s a show of confidence.”

The night marked “an achievement of a lifetime” for the talented shooter, who admitted “I’ve wanted to be in the adult industry since I was like 13.”

“That night was the result of over 20 years of thinking about being in the adult industry, and then being in it and battling in it and winning and failing and trying again,” he said.

He honed his skills directing more than 200 movies and hundreds more web-based scenes—eight years for Reality Kings after getting his start with New Sensations/Digital Sin—since arriving in Los Angeles in late 2005 from his native Paris.

Lansky worked in the nightlife industry and as an assistant producer for Cellcast, the company behind some of the most successful TV shows in Europe, before trying his hand at porn. Now that he is pursuing his passion he’s always in the lab.

“I don’t take days off. I work every day—Monday to Sunday,” Lansky said. But he makes time to recharge, too.

“I meditate a lot. That’s been a huge part of my life. Whatever happens I meditate twice a day. That’s really what allows me to do what I do and it has helped me to outgrow the person I was a few years ago.

“Obviously, surrounding myself with amazing people was a big part but meditation has really allowed me to extend the person that I am and to be more creative and more focused.”

It’s a focus that has driven the growth of Blacked and Tushy to the point where in less than two years they are standing with the elite brands in adult entertainment.

Known for paying top dollar when casting a big movie, Lansky said each decision starts with “being able to communicate.”

“Especially when you speak of performers like Riley Reid or Kendra Lust or so many of the top girls,” he explained. “When you speak to girls at that level you have to talk to them on an artistic level. You aren’t going to sell them into it. They know better than that. They didn’t get there by being easily convinced, so I never try to convince anyone.”

He continued, “When it comes to the money part, every business model is different. The business model that I had in mind with and and every single website I’ll open is that I’m interested in customers that are sensitive to details. That are sensitive to beautiful imagery, beautiful outfits, beautiful shots. And beautiful women and men. Two years ago a lot of people told me that that’s not the case. That people want to see hardcore gonzo and that’s it.”

But Lansky disagreed. He remembers growing up watching any kind of naughty video he could find, but being intrigued by the event movies from the likes of Marc Dorcel, Joe D’Amato, Mario Salieri and Pierre Woodman. Their productions often looked and felt big because they were.

“Some of those scenes marked me,” Lansky recalled. “I thought to myself if we put in the artistic effort and also the right budget, let’s see if we can blur the line between mainstream and adult. I’m not there yet, far from there. Miles away. But that’s my dream.

“And there were huge budgets. Some of them were even shot on film, can you imagine? That’s nuts. And that’s what I grew up on. There was real actors and they would rent a little town and do unbelievable things.”

Lansky brings that cinematic approach to his productions, many of which entail high-profile girls doing career firsts.

One of his signature movies from 2015, Being Riley, featured 2016 Female Performer of the Year Riley Reid in her first anal and double-penetration scenes. Both encounters won AVN Awards, while the movie also received the Best Star Showcase and Best Girl/Girl honors.

Performer “firsts” for Tushy and Blacked became ingrained in their AVN Award-winning marketing campaign. Some of the most talked about included: AVN MILF Performer of the Year Kendra Lust’s first anal in Miss Tushy; 2015 Best New Starlet Carter Cruise’s first IR movie Obsession, which produced the Best Threeway Sex Scene with Cruise, Flash Brown and Jason Brown; and Abigail Mac’s first IR scene which led to the AVN Award for Best Boy/Girl Scene for her scalding session with Flash Brown in Black & White Vol. 4. All of Lansky’s movies are distributed on DVD by Jules Jordan Video.

Tushy also unveiled first-time anal scenes with Abby Cross, Karla Kush, Ash Hollywood, Sabrina Banks, Samantha Rone, Cherie DeVille, Whitney Westgate, Anya Olsen and today’s update—Ariana Marie.

“I don’t think there’s a limit to a performer’s worth,” Lansky said. “With performers, first of all it’s an unbelievably hard job. Every day when I do this job I’m like wow I am so thankful for all the adult performers that I work with that have the courage to put themselves out there and have the courage to perform their art even though 90 percent of this planet is judgmental of them.

“They deal with the hate on Twitter, the hate on Instagram. They deal with the hatred and nonetheless they keep on going. They keep on performing and I have so much respect for that. So when I approach a deal I don’t come with preconceived notions. I don’t look at it like what does the average performer get for this?

“That’s not my approach to my business. I also feel like if a performer is able to monetize their career and make as much money as possible and I can contribute to that, then I’m very happy to do so. And I can still have a successful company and produce a great movie. To me they’re the last people I want to be greedy with.

“So yes I spare no expense for anything. For the cameras to the locations, to the performers, to the outfits, to everything. I’m looking for quality.”

That includes the guys, too.

Lansky has both Flash Brown and Jason Brown under contract for Blacked, recognizing that male talent make or break high-stakes scenes.

“The thinking was that I love working with you, you love working with me. We do awesome stuff together. I want you to be your best when you work for me,” Lansky said. “That was the thinking behind that. I want you to be your absolute fucking best when we work together. I want you to be completely dedicated to that.

“It’s a difficult thing when you’re an actor to put your emotions and your mind to a certain thing sometimes being a completely different character and going through all kinds of emotional changes. [Hollywood] actors usually do a few movies every year at most. Performers sometimes have to work Monday through Friday fucking—that’s super difficult. You cannot expect performers to be their best all the time. They’re not machines.

“But if you want to have them at their best all the time then maybe you need to make an effort to work out a contractual deal with them. That’s what I’ve done with Flash and with Jason. And I’ll continue to do that in the future any time I feel like it’s necessary. Hey, if performers can make more money and physically work less, that’s a great thing for everyone.”

It was Lansky’s sincere regard for the performers who star in his movies that defined his acceptance speech for Director of the Year. His message was adult performers are “artists.”

“We live in an age where I feel like people are genuinely trying to be more sensitive and trying to promote diversity, but I don’t see it really happening for the adult industry,” Lansky suggested.

“When is it going to be time for sensitivity toward adult workers? Let’s ask ourselves the question, why do people have such a hard time admitting or accepting that pornography is art? It’s performance art. It is art on any level you want to put it on.”

Looking ahead, Lansky revealed he plans to launch a new website this year that will be “along the same lines as Blacked and Tushy” in terms of aesthetics.

“I haven’t figured out everything yet but I’m coming in strong for sure,” he said with a grin.

He also pointed to “fantastic momentum of positivity” coming out of Las Vegas.

“I’m very inspired to move forward,” Lansky said.