In the adult industry there are two ways of thought, belief and determination that most people follow. There are those who become a part of the business and thrive within it, creating something that few in the world ever get to experience in their life. The second are those who take their love, passion, hard work and determination to levels people never thought possible, or think they could never reach. That is the person that we had sit down with us for the XCritic Interview to start the month of May. Our subject Miles Long, is a man who joined this business as a performer, a marketing guru with a hell of a lot of promise. What most do not know, it is a drive within that has taken him to a level even further beyond the camera of the adult and even the mainstream realms of advertising. Miles Long is not defined only by a Hall of Fame career, or a career in photography that took him on a journey that expanded to other loves and hobbies that became a part of a career that seems to have no bounds. On a Tuesday night, during a global pandemic is where I got to just sit down with my friend and do something that I have always wanted, showcase a person who is a mentor to not just other filmmakers but performers from so many eras of the adult film world. Miles is a man who starts his day early and usually ends just before the sun comes up at many points and days in his career. In my years in the industry I have seen him dedicate so much of his time, love life, day to day creations and character to simply help make people, and the industry he loves better with one of his strongest characteristics. A will to give back, and promise to himself to be the best that he could be and make this industry not a stop along the road of life for himself but a place to build his home, his empire and make his dreams come true for himself as well as others. That is the man we introduce you to today.
Don Juan: Brother, thank you for allowing me to get the girls fed and call you after dark. Oh, our days are even busy ones during a fucking pandemic.
(Miles is a man who has enjoyed helping others with everything from gun safety certification, to simply showing friends a powerful insight into a love that is one of many in the entertainment world. I caught up with him as he arrived home from a long day of work, shooting and the desert of Las Vegas.)
Miles Long: Thank you man, I had time to come home, get some time in the pool and the tub and really just unwind bro.
(In case you didn't know, Miles Long’s house is always busy in the dust bowl of “Sin City.” Many shoots, with many companies take place inside, outside, all over his place of residence no matter the time of year or the time of day. That is how I think Miles prefers it. His house has always been known as a place of solace for so many reasons for so many.)
I am really honored my friend that you chose me to be a part of this with you. This is something that means so much to me. You caught me as I was about to turn on the AC for the first time all year.
(We go into a conversation about solar panels, paying bills, conserving. Miles Long is one of the most laid back human beings I have ever met. Since the moment I met him I was always impressed with how the man can be so down to earth and even more so, calm and cool, even after long days on set or dealing with the drama of day to day life. Miles is a man that you can sit down and bring up any subject and the both of you will jabber on for a while, just like we did with our energy methods and home up-keep of our homes like a couple of old men. That is my friend Miles.)
Don Juan: Now, as we begin putting you on the hot seat man, I see so much good coming out of the industry these days, I really do. Truthfully bro, you have always been a man who knows every aspect of the business man. We will touch on so much of that in the full interview but you are a man who knows the sound, you know the looks, you understand lighting and editing. Then we go into knowing performers and what to expect, how to make things go the way you need them to for the talent and the production. You're a man who knows what he wants and knows how to get it. I think in the industry, it is people like you who are showing us we can go further brother!
Miles Long: Well, I think that a person has to be multifaceted to do well these days, you know what I mean.
Don Juan: Oh yes, I would love to talk about that aspect of the business more with the readers if you will good sir.
Miles Long: Of course. You know, there was once a time in this business where you could get by just by being a camera guy. There was a time when you could have a job on set and that job was as a boom operator. Or, you could be the person who was the “stills guy” for the production. There were so many things that you could do and even if you only had one focus, or one set of skills, you were able to thrive on set or in the industry. In today’s world, even in mainstream that has changed. You have to now be a person who is multidimensional. You know, I can take this even further, it is not just in this business but you have to be a person who is multidimensional in all aspects of life no matter what it is you choose to do to make a living. Just look at the modern performer. If you are a performer in today’s business you have to have multiple revenue streams. You have to also be somebody who knows marketing. Marketing now is social media, it is your OnlyFans, you have to have something that is available for the fans on Instagram. I know you know what I mean?
Don Juan: Oh yes Miles, the performers today, they must always be on their toes.
Miles Long: I think that even the fans do not see how important it is to be great at marketing when it comes to a performer they follow. You have to be able to speak to that fan, give into and create a supply and demand with just your tweets or things that you can give your fans insights into. You have to be able to excel at this especially to be successful. The days are gone of just showing up on set, banging some dude that you do not know and go home. You have to take your fans on a journey every step of the way, every step in your day. I think that is the price of success for today’s performers. The demand for being multifaceted is a must.
Don Juan: I see this everywhere man. We are in a world where the payment for success is your time and you must put more into it than I think people ever have in the world. Now, to begin the story of Miles Long we have to start at the beginning. You got into the industry in 1999, is that correct?
Miles Long: Yeah, that is right. It was so funny too because I had a unique way of getting into the industry. I was very fortunate to have Dyanna Lauren be that person for me. She was a very, very famous Vivid contract girl from back in the day. You remember Dyanna don't you?
Don Juan: Yes, I remember her. Amazing performer. Or should I say, legendary. She was also so bold and honest. I will never forget that about her.
Miles Long: Back then, my ex-wife had the largest feature dancing act in North America. We toured across the US and Canada. I was her DJ. Her licensed pyrotechnician in both the US and Canada as well. I was her lighting guy, her roadie. Don, we actually toured with a trailer full of effects. I remember those days vividly because they would literally lock me in the club before opening that night to set what was in the trailer up. We had everything, even some night club lighting that you would have loved. Back then it was like setting up a super club style show. We had snow machines, fog machines, you name it. It was a very fancy presentation.
I think I made a lot of friends across the country as I would set up my own DJ booth right next to the house DJ and when my ex-wife was set to begin, he got to take a little break. I was her MC, I was everything, and we were superb at that. It was fun, it really was. It had its moments that were hard as well. We could not fly anywhere because we had to haul so much equipment with us and shipping back then was not what it is now. Not even close. We had to drive everywhere and it was great. We lived on the road fifty-two weeks out of the year. Then, we met Dyanna Lauren at the House at Lancaster. That is a place up in Toronto, Canada. We all struck up a friendship because she was featuring at the same time that we were, and she saw the show we put on, and she was very, very forward.
When you feature dance, you are paid by how many butts you put in the seats just like ticket sales. She literally came to me and said, “Hey, I see your show and I like your show. I am doing exactly what you are doing, but I am getting paid ten times what you are. If you ever want to get into the adult film industry, come on down to LA and I will shoot your first scene for Vivid." So we gave it some thought, and we decided to give it a try. Why not? So, we drove all the way down to LA and this is kind of funny, I know that you will get a laugh out of this. Right around this time was when POV as a genre, this was when it was starting to develop. If you could imagine a big production crew, with lighting guys and sound guys. They were putting boom mics up, trying to hang cameras everywhere. There was no such thing as the director with a camera in his hand shooting what was going on. We just did not get there yet. The day was very long one. There were production problems on the set, that took a longtime to resolve and that was something that I was cool with. They came to me after the long, grueling day and told me, “hey, you should stick around and shoot some more with us, we like what we see.” I said I would give it a try and I stuck around. Everything just grew from there. I started out as a performer originally and then I began to understand another side of the business. We would go out on the road as always but this time we had DVDs to give away, to sell, give the fans something a little extra for coming out and seeing the show. So, as I was going around to all these different companies and picking up these DVDs I noticed that the guys that were driving the Ferrari's and Lamborghini's were not the guys that were naked and having sex. For me, yes, I am all about having fun but I like to be successful at whatever it is that I do. As a side thing, I have a weakness for fast cars and bikes which you know all about and most people will get that with one view on my social media stream too. I dawned on me that if I want to enjoy that level of success, I needed to move behind the camera. I needed to be an owner, a director, a producer of some kind.
Don Juan: So, is that where you discovered your true calling in this industry?
Miles Long: Well, back then, there were still movies being produced that were these massive features. These were big films that had multiple cameras, with multiple operators and a leash that went to a directors cart. There was a cart for sound and the director was telling his camera crew what kind of shots to get and so on and so forth. So, I bought two of those expensive camera packages. That is basically the story of how I moved behind the camera. I began to rent out the equipment to other people and companies and created the job title of assistant director so that I could keep an eye on everything. Make sure someone did not knock over any of the gear, or that they hooked it up correctly. That in return allowed me to work with some of the greatest directors that the industry has ever seen. They were men who became friends, who became mentors. People like Micheal Ninn, who is still a very close friend to this day. He was the man who originally shot me as talent. It was he that I got to work alongside, and I was learning to watch the camera guys. I was learning who the guys were who were great camera operators. I was learning how to take my love of porn and apply that to being a good, professional camera operator on set. Before I got into the industry I was a consumer. So one day, Micheal is going to Hungary to shoot his next project, and he decides to take only one camera operator. One memory I will never forget is that we hired a new guy from Hungary to be the second camera, and he had never shot naked people before. We rented this castle, and we were shooting these two beautiful girls on the castle steps and the other guy was basically screwing the pooch. Michael took the footage aside, as we were both shooting these beautful women doing there thing and I was trying to give even more being that this guy really did not know how to shoot the things we need. Michael looked at me and looked at the other guy and said, “I found my new cameraman.” What I think gave me that edge is that I shoot what I want to look at. That is how I have always looked at creating a scene, a film.
Don Juan: What else would you say played a part in getting you in good like that with such a legend like Michael Ninn?
Miles Long: Well, I have a pretty good background in the tech world. My technical background has always been something that even comes from a passion in my personal life with gadgets and technology. I think that made for an easy transition to apply those things to my work as a camera operator and later a director myself.
Don Juan: I have always wanted to ask you, where did you develop that passion for your photography and your camera work? I truly see your eye as one of the greats my friend. You are one of the rare individuals left in the industry who can still shoot a film. You can do it from start to finish and know all the angles.
Miles Long: I think the passion was just something that was always with me. I was a very big consumer of entertainment in general. I loved films, and I am talking about becoming immersed in the suspension of disbelief where you actually feel like you are in Star Wars, or you feel like you are in a Lord of the Rings movie. I think that is why I have had so much success doing what I love. I want the person next to me to understand what it is that I am trying to show them. I want them to step foot into my vision by any means possible and have them find themselves fully immersed in it. My theory is simple, if I find myself immersed in the story then the person I am trying to show it to will as well. That is the secret to success right? To answer this question a little more accurately I started out shooting video first. I was working with these massive two hundred and fifty thousand dollar cameras, with these fifty thousand dollar lenses. I had never even picked up a stills camera.
Mike, who was not just one of my initial friends and mentors in the business, he also encouraged me to stretch my wings and fly. He wanted me to get out of the nest and to move forward with my creativity. He wanted me to start doing things for myself and not just for other people. So, he beat some bushes, he made some phone calls to help me get my first deal as a director. It was a privilege to be able to make such glamorous, wall-to-wall sex filled movies with New Sensations. They were films that did very well, and they won awards. That was my first nomination for best director as a matter of fact, with that company. Then I had the opportunity because of my wonderful friend Chris Streams, to move to 3rd Degree/Zero Tolerance. With this company, we were shooting a more “Gonzo” style product. There was not as much detail in certain spots of production. For instance the locations we shot at were not as big and massive as ones were we were shooting feature style films. The requirements of being a director with this company, he had to be able to shoot stills and a box cover. Chris and I, we were very, very good friends coming up together. He also shot one of my first films when I performed with my ex-wife when I first came down to LA. We became good friends after that first shoot, and we even lived together for a while.
He and I were very close and Chris said to me one day on set, “I am going to show you the ins and outs of a still camera. He always has been, and he still is a still camera shooter. He has always been into that. He is the guy that helped me find my way around a still camera initially before I developed my own eye, and my own style of shooting. I started to develop a love for how I am able to see things with that camera. That is where everything started, and I was so grateful to Chris and to Zero Tolerance for giving me that chance to do all of those things. That was my first foray into shooting stills, also delivering a box (cover). Both he and the company taught me a lot about what was behind the creative concepts in developing a box cover or an image that would reach out to somebody to want to buy something, you know what I mean?
Don Juan: Yes, I sure do. Is this where Miles Long gained his depth for such pictures that sell. Man, I hate to beat a dead horse here but that is what you have always done with your work.
Miles Long: Yes, this is where I learned that there was more to this and that it just was not a picture of a pretty girl. The marketing angle, whereby you fishhook someone into paying money for something. Basically what you are doing is creating advertising shots no matter what I was selling, a VHS cassette or a DVD movie. Being the “tech-guy” that I am, I applied the same passion that I had for technology and I applied it to my marketing practices. I learned that it was the same kind of practice companies would use for a nightclub, for a car company, for a gun manufacturer. It is that method of study that helped me to really blossom as a stills photographer. Combined with who I was working with and for, that is where I really started to develop my passion. Now, as much as I love shooting video, I loooooove shooting photos. I truly credit Chris Streams and Laurent Sky for that love that is still with me for photography to this day. It is more basic that people think to develop your passion and method. They taught me to really care about what it is that I am doing, all of it, no matter how big or small. That is what develops into the attitude that no matter what you have to do to get that shot, you will do it because of how much you care about the outcome. From that development I went crazy with wanting to shoot everything, not just adult.
Don Juan: Brother, I have always wanted to ask you, where did this passion take you? Is this how you truly began doing work in mainstream? I think you know where I am going with this.
Miles Long: Funny you should ask that man. As the alount of work began to get more numerous and I had literally shot for hundreds of magazines. I decided that I was going to reach out to some photography agents in LA. When I began dealing with these guys I was getting a constant response from many of them which was, “you have an amazing eye but your name is all in adult.” They all basically poo-pooed on me. I finally ran into someone who was giving me something other than, “this is LA and you won’t find any work here because of what you do.” I met this amazing French gal who told me that I should start to look for other places for work in mainstream. This lady was telling me that if you can create something that sells with a beautiful woman in adult, I can do the same thing when I was selling other things with my photography. This is what opened my eyes even further to Vegas. I had established a lot of good business relationships with peoplethere as I was always going back and forth between there and LA. I had decided years ago that Las Vegas was going to be the place that I was going to retire at. I had already bought a house in Vegas so there was a lot that made sense about looking deeper in into the landscape. I don’t know if I ever told you this man but when I got out of college, my first job was in promotion was with one of the biggest nightclubs on the west coast. So I had connections in music and the nightclub scene already in Las Vegas. This goes way, way back man, we are talking the nineties here. It made so much sense to take my business there.
Don Juan: I can see Vegas being that perfect fit for you man. I have always loved the gigs you throw during AVN. Some of my favorite times during the expo. I look forward to them always man. It is very cool to hear the story of how that began man. I have honestly sat in front of the casino and said to myself, how did this come to be for Miles. This is something to be proud of. Something I can only imagine took time to earn.
Miles Long: Well, Vegas was truly the perfect city for me. What I was doing in adult was selling the picture of a pretty girl to someone who was in need of what I was selling. Think about this for a second. When you are going to a nightclub and you see that advertisement for the guy spending money on the table in VIP you are selling him the package deal that if he buys this table, the pretty girls will be flocking to him. You step into a casino and you see those pictures of people celebrating. Pictures of people with cash in their hands. You are being sold the idea that if you spend money on the slots, money on the card tables, you are buying the chance to be a winner, even if it takes a thousand tries to do so. That is why everything came so naturally to me. That is where business, unlike in LA, just exploded for me out here. I began to shoot billboards for nightclubs, billboards for gun companies, billboards for diamond merchants. I learned that the secret to success in life is to never take no for an answer.
With that, we conclude part one of our interview with the Hall of Fame director, but we are not done by a long shot. Miles Long has always been a man who if I were to say one word about who he is as a person, a friend, an inspiration, mentor and a director, it is that he always looks to spread the wealth of what the business is and what it can be for you. What do I mean by that? Well, Miles is a man who since the day I met him, always looks to include every single person in the business to be a part of the industry. To be accepted in circles that sometimes the outside world does not allow because of what we do for a living. Miles is a man who every single person who has worked with him, or called him a friend in this industry says that he made their time in the business special. In part two of this interview we talk about his numerous awards and his Hall of Fame status as well as this years past awards but even more so, we talk about the man who has made giving back to the business a mission that will forever be ongoing with him in my opinion. There are a lot of stories where people say, “hey, that person will give you the shirt off their back.” Miles, he is a man I have seen do it on numerous occasions and not have to post it on Twitter for it to be so. A man who has always opened up who he is and what the business can be in a positive way for many, many people. For a man who has served his country, served his industry and shown what the true meaning of the word “friend” really is to people who never had even a single person to call "friend" in their life up until meeting him, getting to finally show that to fans is something that is more than a privilege for me, it is a truth of what the people in this industry really are and the power of their rare hearts and personalities. Miles is a man who learned it from the greats and now that he has taken on that title and role himself, he shows that the power of this industry is more than skin deep.
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