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Supplier's Series Is All About the Boy

21 Sep, 2003 By: Dan Bennett

The pop singer Deneice Williams once sang, “Let's hear it for the boy.”

Picture This! Entertainment continues the basic theme of that song some 20 years later with its new video line, “It's All About the Boy.” The new label is designed to showcase some of the hottest young male actors working. The titles, from a company long associated with gay and lesbian releases, will not always be gay-themed, but will always feature charismatic lead actors who appeal to a gay audience.

The first title in the series is the drama Danny in the Sky, scheduled for Nov. 25 release, stars newcomer Thierry Pepin playing a character who pursues modeling and becomes embroiled in the industry's darker side.

“I am a firm believer in branding,” said Picture This! Entertainment president Doug Witkins. “From the very onset of Picture This! Home Video, I insisted that our logo go front and center on the box to help consumers begin to identify a quality and taste level in our film selections that they could depend on consistently. The majority of our online and catalog sales, for example, are to people who rented or bought one of our titles and were so pleased that they wanted to screen other films in our collection. I think after five years, Picture This! Home Video has created a library of eminently watchable feature films, shorts and documentaries of particular interest to the gay, bisexual and lesbian audience.”

Witkins has always been a fan of films with coming-of-age themes.

“My parents had raised me going to arthouse films from the time I was 6,” he said. “I remember my father taking me to see If ... when I was just a teenager. The whole boys-school milieu is a genre unto itself, and there were several films that I had seen and enjoyed over the years that were difficult to release, because they were stories about kids or teens that were too dark or too intense for kids to watch.

“‘Tales From the Orphanage' (TFTO), the label we started last year for just this type of film, has been successful for us,” he said.

“ I chose ‘Tales' to be an adjunct label of Picture This! because we were starting with pictures that were very male in subject matter that appealed to the kid in all of us, and the Picture This! male buyer was a good demographic to approach.”

By releasing the “It's All About the Boy” titles as a separate line, Picture This! seeks to ensure that viewers understand the titles are more about watchable males than strictly gay themes.

“In our trade, the gay and lesbian film business, we sometimes encounter good films with what we call IGC, Insufficient Gay Content,” Witkins said. “Putting these titles out under our main label would falsely imply that the films are primarily about a gay character and the storyline is mostly a gay story. Still, many of these films are quite entertaining and have great-looking, charismatic male leads, which would definitely appeal to a gay audience, or a female audience, for that matter.”

With the attractive male as the centerpiece, Witkins said, the titles enjoy a hook. “‘It's All About the Boy' uses the stunning male cover boy as the hook to get people to watch a film they might not otherwise have discovered,” Witkins said.

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