Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Is it safe to say that AZ is transforming into just another Next Door Corbin Cody Blue Strokes site? I miss the experimental intimacy they had with their models but, oh well, good things never last that long.
It's safe to say that since Zane left AZ, the house of cards that they built has fallen. The new owners claim they "are working hard to get back to a rigid 5 day update cycle" but have not made an on-time update since Zane left- a few times going 12 days in between updates. After not updating their members via the blog, they have removed it and have not (as far as I can see) had one single live show since his departure. I follow both AZ and Zane Michaels on Twitter and I have to admit, all of Austin's attempts to bring new members to the site are coming across as cheap and desperate and remind me of SCM. Seems like Zane got out at the right time, me thinks there is more to the story, though. Care to comment, Zane???
Actually, I would rather hear from "Austin." It's clear that Zane has left the site and has no input to the day-to-day management of austinzane. I would much rather hear something from those who are managing the site. Regardless, I think the writing is on the wall. Austinzane is pretty much toast. Austin is off working with Austin Wilde and Anthony Romero and their new site, while his site flounders. That tells me that Austin is not committed to his customers that pay every month. Frankly, without having regular updates and there being no explaination of the future of AZ, I have been foolish for waiting this long to cancel my membership.
Just discovered that you can read Zane's book on a Kindle free if you are a member of Amazon Prime (via the included lending service)
^I hope Amazon is paying him royalties for the privilege.
Darn, I had a trial Amazon Prime membership for a month before his book came out. Maybe the book is available if you try the
30 day trial.
for someone who's retired from porn, zane's sure showing a lot of skin (not that i mind!)
damn, i'd love to be tickled deep by him!
seeing as he hung out and appeared to be friends with the cf guys, i wonder if pete might coax him into doing some scenes for cfselect?
You know what they say, "once a whore, never a bore." :D
Kinda sad he left AZ. He and Austin had such good chemistry onscreen. Oh well. I am sure Zane will hang around. He already did a scene for men.com.
Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted in a while! Yes, I am afraid it is true, the site the Austin and I created, seems to be dead. I had originally thought that the site was in good hands without me being there but now the site seems to be left for dead. On Christmas, I was trying to show my cousin the Hardball Films logo that I designed (we're a close family lol) so I went to the site to bring it up and I was surprised to see that all traces of the HBF logo have been removed along with the Blog, the LIVEchat, video descriptions, and the update schedule was removed from the 'help' section. I'm not sure if the new year will bring a revival to AZ but it seems that I did get out before things got really bad.
I recently visited Las Vegas and before I left, I chose to go visit Austin and bury the hatchet. We spoke over a 6-pack and I was surprised to learn that he never actually sold his share of the website. The only reason I agreed to sell the site was because as I was laying in a hospital bed in Ohio, I received an email that stated that Austin agreed to sell his portion of the site to the new owners. I knew that if one of us was no longer a part of AZ, the site wouldn't be the same site that we created so I accepted the same offer to be bought out. If I knew he wasn't actually going to sell, I would have never sold my part and AZ would probably still be operating. I'm not sure of any agreements that Austin has/had in place with the new owners but as you can understand, I felt a little betrayed. However, I was there to bury the hatchet and there was nothing that I could do to undo it so I just wished him well.
Now that the site is dead, I do not know what he is doing or has planned but I can only imagine that things are a little tight for him. It pains me to think that he may be struggling which is why I feel that although there is some validation in the thought that I was a big part of the site's success, it brings me no satisfaction to be 'right' in this situation.
As far as my book, Shame and Fortune, goes, I have been very limited in my promotion of it and have almost completely cut communication with my publisher. The book was published with so many errors and silly mistakes that were supposed to be edited by my publisher but were not. If I knew he wasn't going to edit it, I would have took the time and did it myself. Sales are still doing well, but when I received the version to approve for print, almost all of the mistakes that I had since changed were still in the new version for print which I will not approve. I appreciated all of you that purchased the book and were able to look past the mistakes and just focus on the story. If I receive an edited version from my publisher, I will approve it for print but until then, the digital version will just have to do! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store! I love you guys!
Who got Bret in the breakup?
Shared custody, I suspect. :)
Lol, I speak to Bret pretty regularly and he'll be coming to Ohio for a visit in the spring ;) he's doing really well!
Sorry, late arrival to this conversation. Sorry to hear about things dissolving. Where in Ohio are you at these days?
I'm in the sticks but the nearest city is Toledo :)
I can't even begin to say how sad I am. I stumbled accross a video of Zane from SCM and was tottally wowed, so of course I started searching him and was so happy to see not only was he doing porn but even started his own site. I was super psyched and I was seconds from signing up when I stumbled accross this. All in one day I found one of the most beautiful men out there and "poof" he was gone. I will be buying the book, partly cause I super nosey and partly cause Zane seems like a cool (crazy hot) guy. Even though our love affair was quick Zane I wish you all the best. :)
Anyone see the latest video the "new owners" of AZ posted? I could barely watch it and only did to confirm my suspicions that it was garbage and also to confirm that Austin is no longer with AZ. Below is what I wrote in the AZ comments section after the video but am sure it will never be approved to post so I also sent a separate email to the new owners. I'm sure what I had to say will mean nothing to them anyway but it made me feel better to say it.
"First words that come to mind are "what the fuck was that?" I would normally try to be positive and give constructive criticism but this doesn't deserve it. Obviously, you "new owners" are trying something different and it sucks. Let AZ die in peace and just start a whole new website if this is the content that is going to be on it. This doesn't deserve to be on this site. What Austin and Zane created was very special and the fans and members are all disappointed and sad that it came to an end. Austin was trying to carry on and at least he still had the passion and drive to want to continue to create a quality product. If given the chance, I believe he could have succeeded. Yes it would be different but still a quality product plus he still had his fan base to pull it through. This was just crap. Completely fake and staged from the moment it started. No chemistry and kind of creepy. To the actors themselves, really don't mean to offend, this may be perfectly acceptable porn on some other site, but it is completely misplaced on AZ. Fans/members came here for specific reasons and this latest update is the exact opposite of them. Yes, you can call me bitter and tell me to get over the fact that the real AZ is no more; I can admit I don't like it and miss it. BUT that doesn't change the fact that Austin shouldn't have been restricted then pushed out and should still be running this site. It also doesn't change the fact that this latest update was shit. EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED! Since this will probably never be approved to post, I will send an email also."
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
What I find most interesting and disturbing is that Austin or the "new owners" have not made any public statements about AustinZane. That crap scene that was posted a few days ago is pretty much a joke. I don't believe that we will ever know the truth that went on between Austin or Zane, the demise of the site or the "new owners." While Zane has made comments here and there, but, the real story is in what has not been said.
In my opinion, they have all taken advantage of the members. By not communicating with the members and not posting regularly scheduled content, what we have is pretty much a scam. They are making money from the site, charging subscribers and not providing any new materials. The "new owners" and the "former owners" have failed their fiduciary duties to their subscribers...not that they care.
It's also interesting that non of the porn bloggers have taken an interest in what happens when a once up and coming and award winning porn company goes belly-up.
Lastly, in following the AZ twitter TL, it looks like porn producer, Tom Moore is somehow associated with AZ. That can't be good at all. The quality and depth of Tom Moore's stuff, IMO, is pretty low class.
After finally speaking with a mutual friend, I was informed that Austin really wanted to prove to everyone that he could do AZ on his own without me but the new owners were making it very difficult for him. When I was bought out, the new owners felt that AZ could only be more successful if they owned it 100%. Now I have heard that the new owners had closed the bank accounts, locked Austin out of the site and the Twitter, and it appears to have been sold or given to that Tom Moore guy- but I really don't know however, there is some tell-tale signs. So all that I know for sure is that Austin and I have nothing to do with AZ anymore and the site has indeed taken a turn for the -strange? Did the new owners get more frustrated with Austin? Did a big blow-out lead to a sale? We may never know, this is all speculation which is why I can only be so informative.
AZ was my obsession. I loved creating content that was unique and fun. Had Austin taken the site as seriously as we both did when we first launched, it would still be the same site that it was. I would grow so frustrated sometimes that I would start manipulating situations to somehow try to get Austin more on board but my efforts usually backfired and made me look like an asshole of a friend. Even now, I sometimes wonder if there was something else I could have done to influence him but after a while, AZ was no longer a priority for him. I was always and still am very devoted to those that supported us. I still Skype with fans (zane.michaels1) and still interact with everyone on my Twitter (zanemichaels1) so please do not include me in the 'scammer/taking advantage of members' group, the new AZ is something that I am not comfortable being associated with.
ZaneMich, there are always going to be people who accuse you of all sorts of things. I for one don't believe any of that, and I think you did your best...but the success of a partnership requires both partners to want it and work for it.
I'm going to follow you on Twitter and I look forward to your next venture.
Those last couple of pix of you and your glorious ass you posted . . . I know that fuck me! look all too well brother . . . like looking at a hungry child . . . You miss it. You need it. The hard HIM of him deep inside . . .
OH GOD, THEY DID IT AGAIN!!! (Runs to bathroom to vomit) Another new AZ video uploaded. Is it just me or does John Magnum seem like a predator? And who's the creep behind the camera - is it that Tom Moore guy that has been mentioned? ICK ICK ICK!!! Then at the end they ask for positive feedback. Good Luck with THAT!!! A website that once made fans Hot and Happy now make them cringe from the creepiness. Another glaring reminder of how special the real people behind Austin and Zane were.
I shall mourn AGAIN and light a candle in remembrance of what AZ used to be....
I don't think the new guy is bad looking, just not a fan of that kind of nose piercings on a guy.
latest tease from sexy Zane
Is Zane going to get back into porn?
You could argue that he never left:
There's nothing quite like a HOT, Sexy, Good Hearted, Ohio Guy! (!) (!w!)
And, Zane certainly qualifies in all of those respects!! (group)
Keep smilin'!! :kiss: (*8*)
Ok wow...I don't even know where to start. Everyone might want to skip right over this post and go back to watching some porn because I'm just going to go on a long rant (consisting of a million paragraphs) about everything you already know, sorry in advance...
So thanks for all the updates about the site everyone. I had been wondering for months what was happening with the austinzane site. I should have been checking this forum more regularly and I would have known before now. Clearly I'm months behind on this news. The only reason I finally discovered what happened was because I logged onto Twitter and saw that Zane Michaels was following me. So thank you for that Zane (Jared).
For the past few months I would check the austinzane site occasionally just to see if there was a new update. I was always left disappointed when there would never be a new scene posted that included Austin and Zane. I was starting to grow irritated simply because I only cared about the site because of them. That's what kept me coming back to the site, nothing else, as was the case for many people. I was wondering what the deal was it was obvious from the updates that something was happening behind the scenes. Except whenever I would check the austinzane twitter account nothing was said about any changes to the site so I figured everything must be continuing on. You would think something as big as Zane leaving the site would be posted on the Twitter account or made public. Clearly not. Still I just had that feeling that something wasn't right because last I knew Zane was in the hospital and then nothing, it was like everything changed. Which I know now is accurate...everything had changed.
I am definitely Team Zane in all of this mess, he was always my favorite not only because of the porn but because he seemed genuine and honestly a good guy. I appreciated the fact that he was so open with the fans and always posted on this forum and on twitter. He has responded to my messages many times. Which showed me that he realized he wouldn't be in the position of running a successful site without the fans and that he was appreciative of those fans. He seemed a lot more devoted to the site and the fans than Austin, which once again, has proven now to be accurate. Austin did not communicate with members very well at all. I feel like Zane actually made it a priority and Austin did not. Much respect to Zane for posting here multiple times and sharing his side of what has happened. I will continue to support Zane because from the beginning he has been open and honest about talking with us all.
One thing that is quite odd to me...I don't understand at all why Austin would continue with the site if he didn't put much effort into it when Zane was a part of it. It sounds like he was getting sick of running the site, so why continue after Zane is gone? Doesn't make much sense to me. I do think it's shady that Austin had not sold his share of the company like Zane was lead to believe. However it seems to have backfired anyways since it appears he has now been forced out of the site by the new owners. Maybe you guys know better than me since you have been following the story but has Austin actually addressed everything that has happened or has he completely disappeared into obscurity? I haven't seen any interviews or him acknowledging what went down. You would think that he would at least want to address the fans who have supported him for the past few years about what happened. Has he done so?
I saw that Zane mentioned earlier this month that Austin is no longer involved with the site. It's ridiculous to me that the site has not mentioned at all that Zane and Austin are no longer a part of it. Instead keeping the 'about us' section up like nothing has changed. It seems like most members are aware by now. But it's very misleading to people who may stumble upon the site for the first time and think that Zane and Austin are still affiliated with it. I understand that the owners bought the site and the appeal is the Austin/Zane name and dynamic but how can you just continue on producing videos for the site without addressing the fact that Austin and Zane are gone. I guess that's just the perfect example of what the site has turned into, total crap.
Honestly this whole situation is really unfortunate. The two did have great chemistry which always came across in scenes and seemed authentic. It's disappointing because I was definitely a hardcore fan of them both. I had watched every single one of their scenes that they had filmed together multiple times, even some from SCM. So you could say I was a dedicated fan. I was such a fan that I even created a tumblr fan page for them because there was such a demand for them by the fans. Which will obviously be taken down asap because now there is no reason to be connected at all to the austinzane name. It wasn't only about the porn for me, it was the fact that I really connected with both of them and loved their chemistry together. I never cared to watch any scene that didn't consist of Austin/Zane together. No one else had the chemistry that they shared in those scenes. So it's very unfortunate that their relationship took such a turn for the worst. But I guess that's real life and things are not always what they appear to be. It's good though that Austin and Zane seem to be talking again now, or are at least cordial.
I've unfollowed the austinzane twitter account because I don't care anymore. I'm not interested in the site when Zane isn't on it and the site has majorly went downhill. Even though he is not a part of the site anymore I don't care enough about Austin at this point to continue being a fan. Not that he will care because the fans never seemed to be very important to him anyways. I'm glad that Zane got out when he did. I hope you see this post Zane, I sincerely wish you the best and I will continue to be a fan because you have always been good to me. I hope you're enjoying life in Ohio and taking a step back from all of this to just breathe and get your life back in order.
To anyone who actually read this post, damn you deserve an award and thanks for your time.
There are a bunch of these ex gay4pay porn guys who do general contracting. In addition to Zane, there's CF's Lucas, TommyD, SC's Curtis. They should pool their resources and do a reality show re-modeling rich queens' condos etc. Season One could be "Upper Market", Two Chelsea, etc. Obviously they'll be shirtless most of the time or in denim overalls, like cheesy 70s-80s porn. They don't get naked, though you might see a crack or two like Dan Ackroyd's in the classic SNL "Norge" sketch.
Call it "Tool Guys for the Queer Eye".
@babekitty, I'm glad you found this forum and thank you for your support and loyalty! I am glad you are 'Team Zane' but my intention of the book was not to smear anyone, although it does most certainly come across that way.
If you've read my book, you will surely notice how the writing and clarity gets worse towards the end, and that was a true reflection of how my life was turning... into a complete mess. During the many Skype sessions I had with my publisher, he always convinced me to write when things were 'raw' and 'fresh' so that the book was more 'real.' That was what I did. Instead of approaching Austin when I was upset with him (usually to avoid a blow-out and to preserve the business) I would turn to my book and vent my true feelings and frustrations. In hindsight, I wish I would have handled things a little differently.
When writing a book was suggested, I thought about how unique and interesting our situation was and I thought it would be an interesting story to tell. While I knew that I was writing some very personal things about us, I always thought that our story would have some grand, happy ending and the true story would be that no matter how much BS we went through, no matter how bad we treated each other at times, that our friendship was stronger and would outlast anything. In my mind, he would have seen it that way, too.
Since leaving Vegas and leaving the website, I have had a lot of time to reflect on my life and some of my decisions over the years. One thing I wish I could take back is not reading my book before it got published. I was pretty messed up in the head the first couple of weeks after my departure and wasn't ready to go through my book and reminisce. Now, with a clear mindset, there is definitely a handful of things that I should have removed and for those things, I have apologized to Austin.
While the members of AZ know that I was extremely passionate about the success of the site and pleasing the members, while writing, I would often hide my anger and frustration (towards Austin's lack of interest) under the title of passion for the business. No matter what I tried, nothing could keep AZ a top priority for him and that was a huge, almost constant stress for me. It sucks to see AZ crumble to an incoherent mess after my departure but the true casualty is the deterioration of our friendship and the book definitely didn't help that cause. If you have or are planning on reading it, please just take it as a journal of rough times and don't let it change your opinions of Austin. Sure he wasn't the greatest friend or business partner at times, but I wasn't perfect either. If I didn't think that deep down, he was a great person, I wouldn't have kept going back so many times.
Who got Brett in the breakup, lol?
you miss how warm he feels
you miss his smell
Where the hell have I been...hiding under a rock? I recently visited AZ – checked out some of the older vids and joined thinking I landed in heaven. You can tell by my visit here that I quickly realized something was wrong. The content continued to decrease in quality and there was a noticeable absence of the founders. Needless to say I have since cancelled my subscription.
I read through the string of post and now have a better grasp as to what happened. Let me first say I am sorry to hear you have retired from the business, and sold your interest in AZ. You are greatly missed, but I understand how life can sometimes take you down one path, only to have you end up in a totally different place. These are the things that make us who we are. I would like to encourage you to enjoy the journey, and not be so hard on yourself.
You started a successful business, watched it grow and now you are on to another phase ...we are not through hearing from you I am sure. Ignore the negative bloggers...people who's never done anything, or started any business do not realize what it takes. You appear to have enjoyed what you were doing, and had the pleasure of doing it with one of your best friends. That's awesome!!! Don't dwell on the bad times...focus on all the fun you and Austin had starting AZ. Your fans can see it in your work:)
As for you now strained friendship with Austin...time is a funny thing. It tends to heal / change us in ways never expected. I hope the two of you can come together and regain what you lost. Looks like you are healing and maturing based on the entries I've read. Keep up the good work of working on you. I know you said "retired", but I am one fan that is hoping this is a short lived sabbatical.
I would venture to say that AustinZane is unofficially defunk. The last update posted was on January 21 and based on the response to it and the previous ones offered by the new owner, I can't imagine that they have much of a membership base still left.
As one of the initial members, that is really, really sad to me. I really loved this site and it was exciting because they seemed to bring a realness back to the industry. There are so many phonies who deliberately lie to their members that their site and product were really refreshing. Zane always seemed to genuinely care about their members and the members responded accordingly. I cancelled my membership when Zane departed because the handwriting had been on the wall for a while that Austin had lost interest in building the business.
There have been a few previous sites I also loved which felt more like a community to me i.e. Dirk Yates Live, ASG, Mike Hancock and the old Active Duty. I still value some of the cyber friends I made there and miss them still. If there are any replacements out there, I haven't found them yet.
It's a shame they can't force them to drop the name "AustinZane.com". Or can they??
I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
Finished the book. Basically, I felt every gay person in that book was either 1) a child molester 2) pervert with power control issues or 3) difficult queen, especially if they are a gay performer in gay porn. He discusses how Jason blew him without pay in Hawaii comparing it to being molested as a young child. Now this is an adult here we are talking about.
The weird thing, I get the feeling that Zane was in love with Austin. The story reads like a diary of some teenage girl.