The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)

By Josh Eliot


The biggest movie in context of size, scope and budget I ever made was called CatalinaVille. I was tasked by our general manager to come up with a title that incorporated the company name. It took a couple of days going crazy before I finally came up with one that I somewhat liked. One of my very favorite movies is Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show. Its not-so-epic sequel Texasville somehow, some way popped into my head. I went into the office thinking, “This is shit, he’s going to hate this title, it’s so random.” To my surprise, he not only loved the title CatalinaVille, but L-O-V-E-D it! Okay, check that one off. He immediately became excited and shared specifics of what he was looking for in this movie. He wanted it to be a showcase for Steve Rambo that featured him as an “action hero.” He said he was willing to double or even triple the normal budget (normally $13k). I was told to come back to him with an idea and we would work it into our production schedule to shoot in conjunction with the other two movies per month we were normally producing.


CatalinaVille DVD cover art

CatalinaVille DVD cover art


Well, I can’t say it wasn’t music to my ears when he basically told me it would cost what it would cost. It released me from the chains that held me down from coming up with big ideas. I immediately knew that I wanted a huge cast of at least 20; we ended up casting 23. Double cum shots are always a plus, so whenever possible we would shoot the oral and cum shots one day and then the anal and second cum shots the next day. Travel was definitely a must in my book. We couldn’t possibly shoot this movie in the same used and reused locations around Los Angeles, no way. We had been shooting the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago for a couple of years by this point and I knew we had carte blanche access to the Congress Theater where the event was held. We always got to get into the theater a day or two before to inspect it for setting up to shoot the show. I was hopeful that they would let us in a day or two before the show to shoot some sex scenes. Luckily for me the producers agreed! I wasn’t sure about anything regarding the storyline at this point, but I knew that the climax of the movie had to take place at the Congress Theater during the International Mr. Leather Contest. I remembered seeing an Alfred Hitchcock movie with a dramatic climax (or was it the opening scene?) that took place during a live show in a theater. This movie needed something like that.

The previous year while shooting the International Mr. Leather Contest, we discovered a guy who we were determined to be our new exclusive. The hotel had two towers that looked into each other’s rooms. This hot man in leather had stuck a giant dildo to his window sill and was “showing off” for everyone to see. Like any great head of production would have, Brad Austin counted the windows and went to that tower, tracked down that room and got this stud to meet us in the lobby bar. We created a verbal exclusive contract, verified with a hand-shake. This guy had to be in CatalinaVille! His name was Ray Harley, and we would shoot his premiere movie, Meet Ray Harley, and his scene for CatalinaVille in the same weekend at our second location, Breckenridge, Colorado. It was a gorgeous location, very picturesque, although the altitude was atrocious and made it hard to breathe! We chose Colorado because we regularly booked models from Colorado, where one of our top agents lived. We figured the money we saved on their airfare could be used to fly myself and the crew to Colorado.


Ray Harley magazine photo with Josh Eliot quote

Ray Harley magazine spread with Josh Eliot quote


Catalina Island was a no-brainer as yet another location - it had our company name! Just off the coast from Los Angeles, it was the perfect place to start the movie. Lovely, picturesque and the perfect rural setting for our star Steve Rambo’s locale. The movie opens with Steve Rambo and his lover, played by Brad King, enjoying each other orally on the open seas in a motor boat. That setting wasn’t planned, though. We rented the motor boat, took off with the crew and equipment along the coast and found a secluded cove. The plan was to shoot the oral and anal in this beautiful setting. We anchored the boat and swam to shore with the equipment on a blow up raft - at high tide, nonetheless. I don’t have to tell you how grueling it was; we were in freezing cold water, struggling and out of breath, but we made it to shore. I started to shoot a bit of dialogue when suddenly a pontoon showed up with about two dozen tourists and laid their anchor right the fuck in the middle of our cove! I couldn’t believe our luck, or lack of it. We thought we would wait them out, but they all started snorkeling and we knew they weren’t going anywhere. I made the decision to take Rambo and King along with Brad Austin and myself out to the open sea in that tiny fucking motor boat to shoot some sucking. I could not under any circumstances let this day be a bust, so that was my plan B!

We went out into the ocean and shot that oral scene, which was a nightmare to shoot. I almost fell out of the boat while trying to get different angles so many times. Brad Austin had to take us further out to sea to get away from other boats so they could not see what we were doing! Luckily Rambo and King did not have any hard-on problems or trouble cumming on cue! After shooting the oral scene, we went back to the cove to pick up the rest of the crew and equipment. The snorkelers were still there, of course. We headed back to the mainland, returned the boat and had a great expensive dinner, which we 100% deserved. The next morning, we rented a golf cart, because no cars are allowed on Catalina Island, and shot some footage of Rambo jogging with island vistas in the background for the opening credits. I felt okay but not great about the opening scene. The fact that there was no fucking bothered me, because it’s not the best way to open a movie! In the storyline, Rambo’s character plays an IT computer tech who gets a phone call from a co-worker (Doug Jeffries) based in Chicago. The co-worker is involved in some shady practices with underworld characters from Scottsdale, AZ (another one of our locations). Long story short, Rambo tries to help his friend by downloading the info onto a floppy disc (because floppy discs were all the rage in 1998?), causing the underworld characters to now target Steve Rambo. While trying to get their hands on that disc, the underworld characters shoot and kill Steve Rambo’s lover Brad. Distraught and confused, Rambo narrowly escapes and runs off with the disc and is next seen on a ferry heading away from Catalina Island and off to ______????


Cole Tucker & Steve Rambo, Grabby award winners

Cole Tucker & Steve Rambo, Grabby award winners


That is where I need to end “Part 1” of this blog. Sorry to leave you with this cliffhanger, but a movie as big as CatalinaVille definitely needs a two-part blog. See you in two weeks!


  Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 


You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath

Rate this blog entry:
Sex in the Woods!
Hello Chicago/Adieu Fire Island Pines!

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Contact Us | 800-932-7111 | Join our email list

Archive List

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.
Go to top