From Titanium to Strobe… or, “How I Almost Named a Porno”

The date was August 20, 2012, and it was a pleasant (if somewhat cool) San Francisco afternoon. Casey Williams and I had just finished filming our scene for the upcoming “untitled nightclub feature” (which would later become Strobe… more on that in a moment) at a popular dance club in San Francisco… the same place, in fact, where I’d first met Dirk in September of 2011! :mrgreen:

Anyway, we were mulling around waiting for the extras to arrive so we should shoot the film’s opening party sequence and interstitials (collectively called “B-roll”) and I started wondering what the movie could be called. Clash? Nah, too confrontational. VIP? Might piss off Pamela Anderson. Then it hit me. Titanium. That could be the name of the fictional club where the action was set, and the name of the film itself. I ran it by Casey and the production crew, and the response was positive. “Oh, like the song!” Casey observed.

The title began to stick. The production team started referring to the project as “Titanium”. I thought I’d done it… I thought I’d named a porno. T.P. Deaux even put together a conceptual teaser trailer:

But then, alas, someone in marketing reminded us that Titan sells a brand of silicone lube called Titanium (good lube, by the way). My title had been used — sigh — so the hunt for a title began anew. At first the working title became Hard Beats, but Titan had recently released Hard Up (with Spencer Reed) and we didn’t want to re-use the H-word again too soon. Then T.P. finally hit on a winner: Strobe. Kinda of a cross between “stroke” and “probe”, with a nod to the use of strobe lights in club culture. Win.

Next came the task of putting together a Strobe teaser trailer. T.P. and DiscoPup collaborated on getting the initial video edit and original music together, and came up with this rough version of the teaser:

Which, after more editing, eventually turned into the official teaser trailer (with additional clips from the film):

And, finally… the full official Strobe trailer, with extended clips from the three scenes, and a completely rewritten theme song that would later become known as the “Theme from Strobe”:

DiscoPup, it should be noted, was handed a huge challenge in writing “Theme from Strobe”. The music needed to work on two levels. First, it would be used as the music playing in the club when my scene partner, Casey, was spinning. But when we make eye contact, time slows down, and the music starts playing at half speed. (Which was kind of my idea, by the way… we didn’t have the club lights running while we were filming… I pointed this out, so T.P. came up with the “time slows down” concept to explain that discrepancy.) So on the one hand the track had to be dance-worthy and fun at full speed, but turn into sexy “bow-chika-wow-wow” music at half speed… and I think DiscoPup handled the task masterfully. Take a look at the extended preview of the scene, and see for yourself how well the music from the official trailer works at half-speed:

Pretty cool, huh?

So that’s the story of how I almost named a porno… and a little behind-the-scenes peek at how a film moves from concept to trailer to full-on Titan production. I hope you enjoyed it! And make sure you check out the final version of TitanMen’s STROBE, now steaming in on-demand HD and also available for purchase on DVD!