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by Cilantro Che Guevara

Last weekend, the CockyBoys crew packed up and embarked upon our own personal RoadStrip to catch the world premiere of Max & Jake’s RoadStrip at the Philadelphia QFest. I was excited to see the first full-length film I edited on the big screen, but I also couldn’t really wrap my head around how quickly it all happened.

When I was handed all the RoadStrip footage from Jake Jaxson back in February and told to create a final product that was unlike anything anyone had seen before, I have to admit I was a little bit nervous. I graduated from film school with a degree in screenwriting two years ago, so I at least had a grasp on narrative structure. But writing blueprints for movies and then editing footage into finished movies to me was like jumping from the first step of filmmaking to the last, so I had a lot of catching up to do.

Cilantro and Hugo exploring their newfound celebrity.
Cilantro and Hugo exploring their newfound celebrity.

What I think kept me moving throughout the process was that the footage I was looking through really spoke to me in a way that seemed magical. The two stars, Jake Bass and Max Ryder, had a special presence on film that was hilarious, fascinating, and authentic, and it was this chemistry that I really thought was necessary for the world to see.

When all four of the hardcore RoadStrip episodes premiered at CockyBoys between April and June, it became clear from fan reactions and bloggers that the film had crossover potential. People from all ages, genders, and sexual orientations responded enthusiastically – some getting caught up in the story and conflicts simmering inside Jake and Max, and others so inspired by the pair’s comedic skills that they created .gif after .gif of them.

The sex scenes also raised several eyebrows – not only for their hotness, but also for the creative way Jake Jaxson fused tell-all interviews with video illustrations (Max and Ashton), a throwback to the ol’ fashioned porn scenario (Jake and Levi), an unexpected orgy with a screwball setup (Max, Jake, Aiden Summers, and JD Phoenix), and a dream sequence that changes your entire outlook on the film (Max, Jake, and Kevin Warhol).

The festival circuit just seemed like the next logical step for the project. After all, the collective response we received from Twitter and in our comments section on CockyBoys seemed like a very communal thing, almost as if all these people were sitting together in a theater already, sharing popcorn, and snickering with each other like old friends. And while the Internet releases provided a very personal experience for each viewer, what they lacked was that communal presence – that energy you feel when something is either so funny or heartbreaking that it just needs to be shared.

So we loved having our very first audience. The CockyBoys who were there — Jake, Max, Levi, and Ricky — had the most fun (what did you expect?) watching themselves transform into true movie stars on the silver screen. And then there were the big belly laughs from the audience as a whole that caught a lot of us by surprise.

“Isn’t there usually a star that says ‘you are here’?”

“I DARE you to go back to the RV for the rest of the night!”

“Oh my god, Jake, is that a beer bottle in my ass?”

“Waddle to the back, you bitch.”

And then there were the quieter moments where you could genuinely sense the audience was learning something new — Max revealing his real name and sharing his photos from high school, Jake and Max winning their first major award at the Cybersockets, and (my personal favorite) Max and Jake wandering around the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a complete collision of one industry and another like two passing ships who honk their horns at each other and then drift away.

Another great advantage to a live film screening was the opportunity for Paper Magazine’s Mickey Boardman to host a Q&A with director Jake Jaxson with partners in crime RJ Sebastian, Benny Morecock, and the CockyBoys stars – something our fans have not been able to do unless they’re vocal on Twitter or other forms of social media.

The night ended in an exclusive CockyBoys party at Voyeur, where we took tons of pictures, sipped Cristal, and pretended the bottles we were holding were Oscars. All in all, CockyBoys’ first big film festival was a huge success, and I know that I’m hungry for more of them in the future. I’m proud to say I worked on this film, especially since the final version didn’t skip or the sound didn’t blow out the speakers or anything. And to me, that says a lot!

By the way, the version of RoadStrip we screened at QFest was completely re-cut with all the naughty bits transformed into R-rated sex sequences, and there were also a bunch of other story edits we made to gel the episodic narrative into one. This version will be included in a deluxe DVD coming out in September, but for now, you can check out the hardcore versions of episodes 1 – 4 by signing up at CockyBoys.

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