Crowdfund Confidential: James Deen on ‘Cowboys & Engines’, ‘The Canyons’, Lindsay Lohan, and Porn

- 01-28-13Featured, Film, Interviews Posted by Jason Tabrys

This edition of Crowdfund Confidential features an exclusive interview with James Deen, the producer of Cowboys and Engines and the star of Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader‘s The Canyons… aka, that Lindsay Lohan film from the now notorious New York Times profile.

We did ask Deen about The Canyons, his career in porn, and whether he worries about Lohan’s infamy, but this article is really about Cowboys and Engines, a sci-fi/steampunk project that Deen is trying to get funded through Kickstarter. After all, that’s what Crowdfund Confidential is all about — introducing that you to a project creator that is trying to get funding for a comic, film, or other like creative endeavor that is both independent and interesting.

Here’s James Deen…

Tell me about Cowboys and Engines and also, how did you hear about it?

James Deen: Cowboys and Engines is a steampunk western. I describe it as a sci-fi western utilizing the steampunk visuals to accentuate visual images. Basically… it is awesome.

How did you nab Walter Koenig? 

Deen: Koenig’s manager submitted him for the project and we offered him the role. We are all extremely excited to have someone involved with the talent, experience, and nerd cred that we admire and desire so much.

Why Kickstarter?

Deen: Kickstarter is a great way to do market research before your project goes live. You get hard proof in financial form as to if people are into your project or not. It also allows us to really get the people involved and create a project that isn’t just for us, but for everyone that wants to support it.

Are you a fan of both the western genre and steampunk?

Deen: I am a big western fan and a big sci-fi fan. I like the idea that steampunk could be real. Mechanic eyes and tesla coil guns being applied in a western world adds nothing but excitement and adventure in my eyes.

Why not appear in Cowboys and Engines yourself?

Deen: I wanted to at first, but I don’t really fit any roles. The closest is the lead of Cade Ballard. I am too young and we would have to “make it work”. Why do that when I could produce, help bring the film to life, still be heavily involved AND we can have someone who is fantastic for the role play said role?

Michael Musto asked if you were the “First Straight Male Pornstar” in the Village Voice. Do you think that you are, and also, as a top talent, are you still making significantly less than the biggest female stars?

Deen: I am not the correct one to judge my stardom. I see that as something to be judged from the outside in. I think there have been very many male porn stars but to what degree of stardom one needs to reach to be considered a star by the masses is not something I can speak on.

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You’re working as a producer here but you have experience behind the camera in the adult industry — any ambition to direct a non-adult film in the future?

Deen: I had that conversation today. I am not opposed to the idea, but I like producing more. Making it all happen is really exciting for me.

You clearly have a want to remain in porn, but if you find continued success in the mainstream, won’t it be hard to serve that career and maintain your adult career, or would you happily try to prove that perception wrong?

Deen: I have not just done a porno or two. I have about 4,000 under my belt. I will always be “that porn guy”. If anyone wants to hire me after I quit doing porn, I imagine they will be just as inclined to hire me while I still do porn. People don’t just forget about 4,000 movies.

I have no desire to leave the adult world. I hope I can still work on good mainstream projects while continuing the profession I love.

If you will, take me through your thought process when Bret Easton Ellis first started courting you for The Canyons, also, what did you think when you heard that both Paul Schrader and Lindsay Lohan were involved?

Deen: I honestly just wanted to hang out with Bret Easton Ellis. The movie was secondary. He sent me the treatment and I read it. After that, I wanted to see this movie get made. Whether the role went to me or someone else was not even in my mind, I just wanted to see it happen. Schrader was always the intended director, even though I got to read the treatment before he did. I didn’t know much about him beyond his work. I didn’t really think about him until it became real and I was actually considered for the role. That is when it all sunk in and I realized who the director was. I was honored to have my first mainstream film be directed by him.

When they told me that Lindsay was being considered for the role, they actually asked me if I was okay with it. To me, I saw it as nothing but beneficial. I don’t consider myself a big enough star to carry this film alone and I was, and still am, happy that she was involved. Hopefully the movie will be good. I worry that I did not do a good job. I worry it won’t be as strong as the story Bret wrote. I worry that people don’t take Lindsay seriously. I worry about a lot of things. No matter what, it happened. We made it. We did it. I am proud to be a part of it.

Is there a worry that Lindsay Lohan’s “off-the-field” issues will overshadow The Canyons?

Deen: Who cares? Well, I am sure some people who own the movie care. I did this for the personal experience and fulfillment. I like making things and working on projects I believe in. As far as I am concerned, as long as I get to watch it, and keep a DVD copy, then I am successful.

Once more, please tell us why we should support the Cowboys and Engines Kickstarter.

Deen: Well, I would personally like you to support it because I would like to see the movie get made. I am excited to announce a certain name of a special someone who I am not allowed to talk about yet…. but it made me, and everyone else, jump up and down.

Check out the Cowboys and Engines Kickstarter here

Category: Featured, Film, Interviews

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