Working partners- executive producers, Will Markham and Derek Dixon are known for their top notch premium channel TV shows, Forever Young and the vampire drama Being Screwed. But when a script for a racy gay BDSM series ‘MASTER’S BOYS’ is submitted to them for review, both men wonder if the world of premium networks are ready. The two producers can see ‘winner’ written all over the script.
Photographer, Madison Henning, husband of Will Markham, and owner of Capon Publishing, is in the process of shooting his latest book of male nudes. But Madison, even though he owns his own business, is very careful about what he prints. Showing full frontal male nudes always seems to cross the line from art to porn in the eye of censors and distributors of his work, so Madison never does it. Although Madison’s pictures are homoerotic, he manages to keep the scenes sensual, without what he considers, crossing the line. And lately, he is getting angry division at the censoring standards between straight and gay photography. They seemed to be judged on an uneven playing field.
As young men both Will and Madison had goals; ‘Three Wishes’, as to what they wanted to achieve in life by the time they had reached fifty. But although the world had changed over the decades, the societal resistance to men loving men was still a battleground. More so for Will and Derek as they fight for this gay BDSM script, which was created by a woman, adding yet another hurdle to leap. And the vying for approval of this type of venture, which immediately is labeled as gay porn simply because of men loving men, is about to make both producers lose their minds.
Three Wishes: In their twenties it seemed like they had the world at their fingertips, and anything was possible. But now, even after gaining the respect and power they needed to get where they were at this stage in their lives, in their chosen fields, Will and Madison find ignorance and obstacles at every turn.
The fine line between art and porn? Will recalled someone saying; ‘If you have to ask, it’s art.’ But that didn’t make their skirmish in the war on ignorance any easier.
Will stood at the doorway of Derek’s office, looking in. Derek was on the phone, and held up his finger, first gesturing one minute, then waved him in and pointed to a chair.
Will took a look at the wall of Emmy’s and the cabinet of trophies, one identical to his own collection. He relaxed in a soft leather chair, admiring Derek’s good looks, his crisp suit and tie, the photos of his adult children on his desk.
Opting for a more casual look, Will rarely wore a tie unless he had to go to a meeting to sell a series or movie concept to a new network.
He relaxed in the chair, crossed his legs, and didn’t listen to Derek’s conversation. His internal thoughts were occupying him enough, he didn’t need to hear someone else’s unless Derek needed his input. And if he did, he would ask.
While Derek spoke, he tossed a script at Will. Will caught it and read the title. ‘Master’s Boys’ screenplay by Patricia Logan’. He flipped through the script and smiled to himself. BDSM, the latest shift in public appeal. Vamps and werewolves were becoming passé, and he and Derek, if nothing else, liked to be on the cutting edge.
Derek hung up the phone. “Sorry.”
“Like I care you waste my valuable time?” Will smiled at the tease and then held up the script. “You read it?”
“I did. Graphic, very graphic, but we could still do it. It is cable, ya know.”
Will laughed at Derek’s wry smirk. Derek, even though they were both in their mid-forties, when they were together it felt like old times. And with Derek, Will could act like the kid inside himself. “I’ll take it home. If you say it’s good, I’ll read it.”
“Like I said, great potential. Just got to see what we can get away with. We can’t do gay porn…” Derek’s dark eyes gleamed. “Close, but not X.”
Will put the script on his lap and leaned on the desk. “What would they do to us if we crossed that line? We have gay friendly sponsors and backers.”
“Fuck sponsors. We’re airing on premium pay channels.”
“No. Our old back series is being rerun on non-premium cable channels, and you know how much it pays. They cut the hell out of it, but its big money.” Will fanned the script but wasn’t reading it, just staring at the format. “And we still need money to put this little parade on. You and I aren’t funding it.”
“We used to.” Derek leaned back in the leather swivel chair, his hands behind his head. “Remember how fucking hard it was back in the day to get someone to choke up a hundred bucks?”
Will shook his head. “I was thinking about that today. About that first gay short we did in college.”
“I still have it somewhere. On fucking celluloid.”
“Oh, fuck no.” Will cracked up.
“I should get made on DVD or download it.” Derek scooted his chair to his computer, taping keys. “Our guys could do that in-house.”
Covering his mouth from his laughter, Will shook his head. “Are we there yet, Derek?”
“Yeah, I guess.” Derek typed on the keyboard, then sat back. “I’ll have to dig around for the fucking thing. I know it’s in my attic in storage.”
“If it’s been in your attic, don’t expect the celluloid to be in good shape.”
“What a kick it would be to see it.” Derek chuckled.
“I swear back then I thought you were gay and deep in the closet.”
“You still think that.”
Will shrugged. “Why did you help me make all these gay shows?”
“Because first of all, I get it. I’m not gay but I can see why people are. And secondly…money.”
Will smiled. “Money? For gay shows?”
“Duh?” Derek gestured to the wall of awards. “Look, we both know it’s what the straight women and gay men want…oh, and the far right, wink, wink, nod, nod.”
At Derek’s sense of humor, Will kept laughing and dabbing his eyes.
“No one was doing it!” Derek tapped his chin. “Let me rephrase that. Everyone was ‘doing it’ but no one was translating gay love onto real network and cable shows.”
“We fucking broke ground you and I!” Derek reclined again and put his hands behind his head. “You and I were the ones who showed no fear.”
“Showed no fear, but I was scared to death.”
“I was gay! You were the straight man- and yes, I mean that in a comedic sense too.”
Derek’s expression went serious. “Really?”
Will looked at the open door and then lowered his voice. “Wasn’t until I met Madison that I stopped getting ulcers about us doing this kind of program.”
“Love Madison…talk about a groundbreaker.”
“Exactly. He was doing it in print. He was…is…my inspiration.”
“How long have you guys been together?”
“How long have you been married to Kendra?”
“You know! You were the best man at my wedding! Twenty years.”
“Yes, I know. Just needling you. And I met Madison fifteen years ago.” Will smiled and moved his wedding band around his finger. “But we’ve only been married for five.”
“That’s not bad for either of us. Ya know, how most marriages are, and in this business?” Derek rolled his eyes.
“No, not for us behind the scenes guys. The actors are the wild ones…although…”
Derek appeared intrigued and leaned his elbows on the desk.
“We do spice it up on occasion.”
“Yeah?” Derek glanced at the door. “Like?”
“Like…share a man.”
Derek made a face of ecstasy. “Kendra refuses to do a three way, with a man or a woman as the third.”
“It’s not often. Actually, we’re due. I’d love it.” Will felt his phone vibrate. He took a look. “Charlotte requests my presence.”
“Better go. I always thought the executive producers cracked the whip on the director and actors.”
“Stupid you! I’m the sub to Charlotte’s dom.” Will stood, holding the script. “I’ll read it tonight.”
“Damn?” Will paused at the doorway.
“A three-way. That’s on my fucking bucket list. I’m so jealous.”
Will smiled and headed to drop the script off in his office before he went back to the studio. Yeah, I’m a lucky dog.