Adult DVD Talk Reviewer, Astroknight Interviews Bud Lee
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Bud Lee's DVDs
24 Jul 2002
Astroknight: Anywhere in particular you'd like to start?
Bud Lee: No. Whereever you want to go.
Astroknight: Okay. We'll just give people a little background about you. How old are you and where were you born?
Bud Lee: I'm 46 years old and I was born in 1955 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Astroknight: Did you grow up there or move around a lot?
Bud Lee: Oh, no. I grew up right there and didn't move until I went to college, and I moved to Bloomington, Indiana and went to Indiana University.
Astroknight: What did you major in back then?
Bud Lee: I started off in dramatic arts and photojournalism and switched over to film school.
Astroknight: What were you like growing up?
Bud Lee: My Mom would probably tell you I was a pain in the ass. I was very much a rebel.
Astroknight: So she wasn't the only one who'd tell us you were a pain in the ass?
Bud Lee: No. (laughs) I just basically was a normal kid. I grew up without a father, and with three sisters and a mom, so I was in a pretty much constant state of siege from the females in my family (laughing). My first two broken noses came from my sisters, so we had a good time. We had a wonderful family. My mom had lots of love for us. She was in school most of the time as I grew up. She became a psychiatrist after my father left. She became a nurse, and then she studied psychiatric nursing, and then she studied psychiatry, and ended up being, you know, a shrink.
Astroknight: So Mom, three sisters, does that explain the long hair?
Bud Lee: No, I think the long hair, growing hair is one of the things I do well. One of the few things. So I do it as often as possible (laughs). There's very little places on my body that don't have hair on them (laughs).
Astroknight: When you were growing up, what were you planning on being?
Bud Lee: I actually, this is probably going to shock you at first, but my first thing I wanted to be in for a long, long time was, well I guess the best way to put it is I wanted to be a Disciples of Christ minister. I was born and raised in Disciples of Christ Church, and these men that were in the church were the only father figures I really had. They were very kind, loving, sweet men who really cared about people and really showed me what it was like to be a good man, and that's what I was most concerned with as I grew up. My mom surrounded me with people like that on a pretty much regular basis.
Astroknight: So from growing up, very religious background, going through film school, how did you end up getting into the adult film industry?
Bud Lee: Well, to be quite honest with you I met Hyapatia Lee and that's how I got into it. I was always interested in theater and dramatic arts. I had been on stage and doing plays and musicals since I was about four years old, and I entered into dramatic arts school in Indiana University and ended up not going through with it because I did a photojournalist thing for the end of my Freshman year. All that stuff was posted in student union and the guy that ran the film school in Indiana University went and looked at all that stuff and he thought that it was very good work. He liked my lighting ideas, he liked my composition and he came to me and asked me if I'd like to be in the film school. I said yeah, I'd love to, and then I said to him on one condition: I don't have to be in classroom all the time. And he goes "Son, you can't learn how to make movies in a classroom. You can only learn how to make movies by making movies.". So that is what happened and that's how I got involved in that. Then I left there and I met Hyapatia Lee and started hanging out with her and I fell in love and we got married. I ended up going out on the road with her a lot when she started her career as Miss Nude Galaxy and Miss Nude America. We were kind of approached by some people asking if she would like to make adult movies and we hem hawed around for a while, for about a year we looked into it. It took her about that long to convince me into it actually (laughs) and just checked out what it was like, who were the people in the business. We talked to several other different adult film stars and so forth and found out a lot of positive and negative things both and decided to go ahead and go with the idea that it might work out. We made our first movie for Gail Palmer and Caribbean Films that was called The Young Like it Hot. We actually ended up writing the movie and both of us were in the movie. Bob Chinn was the director and he helped, gave us a lot of free reign in saying what would go on and so forth. Jack Remy was the cameraman and he was very kind and considerate to us, and really helped us.
Astroknight: What was the first movie you then went on to direct?
Bud Lee: My very first solo directing movie that was just me directing and wasn't like assistant directing or co-directing was The Ribald Tales of Canterbury and then a movie called Tasty. We shot them right after each other. The Ribald Tales of Canterbury was about a $300,000 35mm film and Tasty was about a $130,000 - $140,000 35mm film.
Astroknight: Since then, how many films have you directed?
Bud Lee: Well, if you go online and look it up there's about seventy five. I counted not too long ago and it's just a snick under four hundred finished product and that includes all sorts of how to stuff and gonzos and both features and everything included, films, videos, everything.
Astroknight: Have you done any mainstream work?
Bud Lee: You know before I got involved in the adult business through college and through my graduate school program that I was professor assisted in, we did a lot of commercial, what's called industrial films and docu-dramas. We did stuff for Group Westinghouse and like the Ford Company, Eli Lily Endowment Corporation, and so forth like that. The biggest thing I think we were able to shoot and get done was a thing called The Brothers which was about the Wright Brothers. We used a lot of local talent from Indiana and friends I left behind. Interesting. We had a good time. Since that time I made a few movies with Paul Thomas under a different name, we worked under the name Toby Phillips and did some straight stuff. Killer Looks, Pamela Principle, Lover's Leap, stuff like that.
Astroknight: Do you pay much attention to reviews of your movies?
Bud Lee: You know what, as a rule I usually take a look at what's happening in the magazines or online occasionally. Most of the time it's people bringing it to my attention. Simon sends me little e-mails with attachments and so forth to show me. If I did that really, though if I did that, really paid attention to it a lot I'd probably drive myself crazy because I've really got to realize that's one person watching one of my movies over twenty years and judging my career. I can't allow that to happen. I have to assume that they're watching one movie one at a time. But in our business you're only as good as the last movie somebody reviewed. It's not something that you can live off of your reputation unless it's a long, long reputation. Luckily mine is. I think my audience, especially the couples and women in my audience appreciate what I do and look forward to my movies. So I try not to let it affect me too much. There's movies that I thought were absolutely great and I get a bad review on. I've actually called reviewers on the phone and said "What didn't you like about it?". I had this one tell me "Well the script wasn't as good as some of the scripts you've done in the past." and I said "You noticed what the movie was about? Okay. Great. Thanks. How was the sex?".
"Sex was great.".
"How was the production value?"
"Production value was wonderful."
"And it deserved two and a half As because the story was bad? You didn't like the story. Please. Stop." If the sex was hot and the production value good, then I did my job, basically I think. Everything else from that point is gravy as far as I'm concerned. Very, very few people when they're watching a movie on DVD or video do they watch the entire movie. It's only on cable do they sit and watch the entire movie because they have no choice.
Astroknight: What do you think sets your movies apart from those by other directors?
Bud Lee: Well I think I definitely have a very strong idea of what the audience is looking for because I spend a tremendous amount of time with them. Most of the directors in our business have barely met any of their own fans or any of the people who purchase our products. Being on the road with Hyapatia for twelve years and owning a dance agency and spending a lot of time in clubs and theaters and bookstores because of that dance agency and because of being on the road with Hyapatia I learned a lot of what they wanted. I did a couple fan surveys back in the eighties where I did one of them in bars. In the early eighties, around eighty three and eighty four I had one that was specifically aimed towards let's see what the bar people think, one for what hardcore bookstore people think, and the theater people, and one that the video people, what were they getting into. I think that one was later around eighty seven or eighty eight. You'd be surprised. Most of the people could care less about cock size. They don't care. They see somebody with a huge dick they think "Oh, there's no way that girl would ever like me. She's with that guy with a huge dick." The men want to see normal looking men with good looking women, the women want to see normal looking women with good looking men, and so it's funny. They want to be able to put themselves into the scene and so if you have Rocco Siffredi and Asia Carrera in the scene, it's going to be hot for the reviewers, it's going to be hot to people that are in the business, but people on the streets, the people that are normal everyday average people might sit there and go "Oh. Wow. Look. Two titans clashing.", you know? There not going to be able to really slide themselves into that place and I think the fact that I understand that and that I also grasp what it is men want to do with the movies when they're watching the movies with their wives or girlfriends or whatever. They want to get laid and so they're trying to turn them on. And so I try very hard not to turn them off. You know, I don't do a lot of misogyny, there's not a lot of degradation to women. The women in my movies are usually in traditionally powerful roles in society that men often occupy but women do too. You know, stuff like that where it's a situation that's happening, the plot of the movie is something that these people have possibly experienced themselves or somebody in their lives have experienced and they're able to attach themselves to it in some way. Women seem to need to attach themselves emotionally to either the characters or the situation to actually get turned on by what's happening. They don't just sit there and watch people mindlessly fuck and have a good time doing it.
Astroknight: Which of your features are you most proud of?
Bud Lee: I really, really like the stuff I've made with Simon Wolf. The trilogy we did, the three different tales, Wolf's Tail, Witch's Tail, and Devil's Tail. I think Blue Angel is a great movie. I really like a movie I made for VCA called Centerfold, one I made for Adam & Eve called Appassionata. I made a couple back for Vivid that I thought were pretty good movies too. Supermodel was a pretty decent little movie. I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed a movie I made with Ashlyn Gere and Asia Carrera and Steven St. Croix and Jon Dough and it escapes me what they called it because the working title wasn't the same as the other title but it's a very interesting movie about cops and getting caught up in the power of being a cop and so forth and so on. I think that any time that I've been able to stretch myself as a movie maker where I have to, like with the Simon Wolf movies some of them are so complicated technically that I really have to do some studying before I go to work to know that I understand what I'm going to go out and shoot and bring back to Simon and the editors so they can juxtapose it into what they want the audience to see.
Astroknight: To you, what sets Simon Wolf Productions apart from the other adult companies out there?
Bud Lee: Well, Simon is dedicated to making movies that are adult movies that seem to appear to be like regular movies. They have the same type of polish and gleam to them, as a finished form. He wants to be able to do things other people aren't doing, hence, that's why we have a lot of special effects. He is really into magic and fantasy, which is something I've always been into. I mean, ever since I read The Hobbit I've been deeply engrossed in fantasy and still read a lot of it. Got one of my oldest sons stuck on it too, and I think that's fun to examine those kind of things. I mean, there's other things I really enjoy. My favorite kind of movies are westerns, believe it or not, and that's my favorite type of movie and I'm gonna probably try to make a pretty good sized one sometime in the next year, and really take a stab at doing it. A decent one. I did one for Adam & Eve called, uhm, the title escapes me, I'm sorry.
Astroknight: The Quick & The Hard?
Bud Lee: Yes, and it was a cute movie. It did a good job. We had a nice look to it, you know, and I usually think that when you do something like that it's whether you achieve an acceptable look, that people can look at it and go "Ahhhhhh! It's not a cheesy, stupid, you know", and I had everybody in pretty realistic looking clothing and guns and saddles and all the different things like that.
Astroknight: How did you get started with Simon Wolf?
When we get on TV and we're on cable and somebody's trying to decide whether they're going to watch a Bud Lee movie on whatever programming it's on, or if they're going to watch something on HBO or Cinemax. I want to be able to at least have a go at it, where they can at least say "Oh, well you know, there's not that much difference." I mean, I've watched a lot of this Cinemax stuff that was thrown together, I think, for maybe eighty or a hundred thousand dollars and then put on Cinemax where the girls are showing a little boob, maybe a little ass, and the guy's walking around naked or something. But that's all you ever see. And a lot of those movies are really dumb. They really don't have much substance to them, and I'm thinking "Wow. The only thing that can save this movie is if these people actually did fuck and we got to see it". (Laughs) "Other than that, this movie's lame. I don't wanna watch it.", and that's my competition, late night dollars are a flip between Cinemax, HBO, and so forth. I mean, I'm not saying I'm competing with Sex and the City. I'm not a big Sex and the City fan. I think that's a real woman's show, dedicated to women, by women, for women, and I'm not a big fan of that woman. I don't think she's beautiful. I think she's interesting looking, but there's no way you would ever say that she's beautiful. So I try to get the gist of what they're doing. They're trying to get women to open up and be more comfortable with their sexuality, and realize that they can also be basically sexual predators, just like men are. I try to show that, hence, that's why I put women in traditional power roles in society and so forth in my movies.
Bud Lee: I've known Simon Wolf for a long, long time. He was introduces to me by two friends that owned an editing company plus also are the programmers for The Erotic Networks, and they introduced me to Simon. Simon had been around and watched a lot of my product go through QC for the channels, The Erotic Networks. He'd also, actually he'd cut a movie of mine at one time, and we'd had a nice couple conversations about what movies should be about and all that different stuff. He really enjoyed cutting my movie. He thought that I was much more intent on giving the editors all they needed to make a movie with. I'm one of these guys who I'll shoot one more angle, I'll shoot one more single, one more two shot, one more dirty single, one more master, one more sub-master just to make sure that there's plenty of stuff to go around. The first thing Simon said to me about any of my movies was, he was cutting a movie for me and said "You know that scene where they're in the office and you had that shot in the window with the tree, and in the tree was that bird?" and I said "Yeah, I think so." and he goes "You know that you don't have the bird's POV of the scene?". I said "Oh, I'm sorry." and he goes "No, I'm amazed! I've never seen so much footage in my life!". I don't necessarily think I overshoot because my shots are all usable. More is that I really, movies, if you watch a regular movie, it's a tremendous amount of shots. I mean, it's one shot after another. Here, there, all these different shots, singles, ECUs, which are extreme closeups, and dirty singles, which the other person they're talking to is just in the edge of the frame. All sorts of different, you know you have a master, you have a sub-master, you have a sub-sub-master, and those are how real movies are made, and I think it's necessary for us to do that if we want to look like real movies.
Astroknight: How long does it normally take you to make a movie?
Bud Lee: Well, it again depends on the amount of money you've been given, how many days you're allowed, all the different things. I'd say that usually most good movies are made in three to four days in our business. A lot of movies are shot, gonzos, are shot in one day, a lot of product is shot in two days.
Astroknight: For your stuff with Simon Wolf, how long do you normally take to shoot a movie?
Bud Lee: Depending on how big of a script we're attacking, and really what it depends on is how many setup shots we have for all the special effects. If we have a tremendous amount of special effects we're going to be shooting four to five days. We just did on Gypsy's Curse, which is a movie we just finished and I know that Simon's really excited about it. He's putting it together now. I think Blue Angel was a three to four day shoot. Yeah, four days.
Astroknight: Who do you think would look better in a Speedo, Simon Wolf or Maus the dog?
Bud Lee: Pardon???
Astroknight: Who do you think would look better in a Speedo, Simon Wolf or Maus the dog?
Bud Lee: (laughs) Have you met Maus?
Astroknight: I have heard him mentioned in your interviews and seen the pictures on there, but...
Bud Lee: (laughing) Uhm, I would have to say... that I'm going to leave that question alone. I enjoy my job at the Simon Wolf Organization.
Astroknight: I told you I was going to keep it interesting.
Bud Lee: (laughing) Yeah, I guess so. Simon's a real blue jeans and t-shirt type of guy. You know, he has to be comfortable so he can go horseback riding every day.
Astroknight: Well then, what's a typical day for Bud Lee?
Bud Lee: Well, I get up, usually around six thirty or seven o'clock in the morning, and I get online and answer all my e-mail from the day before and whatever came in over the east coast that day, and get paperwork and phone calls in my office. And then I will head out either to hit some meetings that I'll have with different companies that I'm working for or go to the editing bay and take a look at how my editors are progressing on the product, or I just go out to try and find some new locations and exciting locations. I'll often find a location and then write for that location rather than to write a movie and then try and find a location that fits it.
Astroknight: Who are your favorite performers to work with in a movie?
Bud Lee: Well, I'm a huge Asia Carrera fan. I think if everybody came to work as prepared and ready to work as Asia is, mine and every other director in this business' job would be a thousand times easier. She's so professional and she's so good at what she does. I also enjoy working with Lezley Zen, who's a new actress who I really enjoy working with. I think she's great. I love Miko Lee. She's one of my favorite, favorite stars ever. She's a lot like Asia. She comes extremely prepared. She brings tons of clothing with her and so forth. Just a real good person to work with. Inari Vachs is a real talented young lady, a real sexual lady who is fun to shoot and work with. Again, she is, professional people are really cool. Sydnee Steele is somebody that, you know, kinda look at this as a career instead of a job.
Astroknight: Are there any performers you really want to use but haven't been able to?
Bud Lee: Well, I tell you, it's funny. I haven't been able to work with Stephanie, um, what's her last name?
Bud Lee: The little girl over at Vivid, I mean at Wicked.
Astroknight: Stephanie Swift?
Bud Lee: Stephanie Swift. I thought I was making some great headway with Stephanie Swift, making movies right before she signed her contract. She and I did a couple things I thought were really cool. Desiree was one of them and she was in another movie for me. I think it was Hardwood, I'm not sure, and then she signed a contract and I really missed being able to continue working with her. I would love to make a movie with Jenna again. I made a movie with Jenna and Asia that I actually screwed it up really bad because I said I could shoot it in less time than I actually shoot it and it didn't turn out the way I wanted to. So I'd love another chance to make a movie with her. I would also love to make movies with the girl over at Digital Playground...
Bud Lee: Tera Partick, cuz she's so fucking beautiful. I don't know what kind of actress she is. I sometimes hear from people that she's kinda got an attitude and everything, but I'm real laid back. I'm extremely laid back and I'm not a big power freak or anything. The only time I yell is when I really feel like I have nobody's attention and it's a big room or a big area and I'm trying to get everybody to hear me. So I think that sometimes people who have attitudes with other directors may not have them with me because of me being so laid back.
Astroknight: How much leniency and control do you give performers in their scenes?
Bud Lee: Well, you know what? One of the things is a, first of all, I really want them working with someone they want to be with, and not someone I've just picked out and said "Here, are they okay?" "Yeah, yea, oh they'll be fine I guess.", you know? I'd rather them say "No, this is cool.", that's cool. I think that's important, that they're comfortable. They're sharing a tremendous amount of their intimacy with us on cameras, with the public, and so forth. I really think they need the opportunity to have a nice peaceful quiet place to show off that intimacy to us and they need someone who they are attracted to. Whether they're attracted to them emotionally, mentally, physically, or whatever, if some sort of attraction is there on some level it really, really helps them get into their scene. I ask them what they're comfortable doing, I ask them what they're not comfortable doing, and if I feel as though there's something they haven't done because maybe they're not totally feel safe or comfortable doing it I try to give them the safety net to stretch out a little bit, to become a little more of a performer than what they have in the past, and hopefully they'll take the opportunity and go with it. They should be more concerned with what they look like in front of a camera in a sex scene than I am. It's their career, not mine. One bad sex scene in a movie, or one okay sex scene in a movie is not going to damage my career. I'm gonna blame it on them anyway (laughing). You know, I'm gonna say "well, you know what? They're just not very good sexual performers", you know, or whatever, or "they had a bad day.", or whatever, you know? I think that it is very important for them to be comfortable, and I think that's the main thing you have to do is give them the space and place to feel as though they are appreciated, loved, respected, and wanted. If you can get them to feel those ways, then they're going to be more apt to give you more of themselves. Cuz that's really what they're doing. They're giving part of themselves to you as a director and to your cameras and to the audience. The more you make them feel good about that, the better off you're going to be. You're going to get more out of them.
Astroknight: You've been in the business for many years, and have seen a lot of performers come and go. If you could bring any one star back just to do a scene for you, who would you pick?
Bud Lee: Annette Haven is somebody I would love to work with. It would be really interesting to bring my ex-wife Hyapatia back to work. I think to this day that she's probably one of the most beautiful women ever in our business, and she was real professional. Real good at her job as an actress. Love to work with Marilyn or Seka. You know, the girls I grew up, you know, Desiree Cousteau. You know, what I'd really like to do is I'd like to recreate Swedish Erotica and try and recreate that in more of a modern sense. I always thought that was so cool. I mean, up until the time they were just stealing scenes out of movies. When you watched the Swedish Eroticas, the early ones, the girls all had scarves, garter belts and stockings, matching bra and panties, shoes, they all had this color coordinated thing going and the guy that actually created that stuff used to call the girls Pink, Yellow, Blue, whatever color they were in. He's a wonderful man who I've known for twenty-some-odd years. A great guy, and I asked him the other day, I said "Boy, I should do Swedish Erotica: The Next Generation or Swedish Erotica: The New Millenium or something like that, but throw it back to where everybody was dressed the same as they used to be and all that stuff and everything.", and he goes "Oh, fuck! Do it! It would be beautiful stuff!". But I also know that there's some sort of legal problem going on about the title Swedish Erotica between the people that owned Caballero now and the people that owned it before, so that might be a legal grey area I don't really want to climb into (laughs).
Astroknight: What's your favorite style of movie to make?
Bud Lee: I like to do romantic movies. I like to do the boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, and they live happily ever after stuff, but I like there to be some tension involved where the girl's involved with somebody else or the guy's involved with somebody else. It's a nowhere relationship, and then learning that, understanding that, and moving on. You know, there's that thing where you always seem to, there's a song that's Why is it you always meet the one you love when you're with someone else. It always seems to happen that way. I really enjoy period pieces too, I love the costuming. I love being able to think back in the time. Like I said before, I'm a big western nut. I really like westerns, and enjoy shooting things like Appassionata which went from Mozart's time to modern time and back and forth and back and forth and then we blended the two times together so it was sort of a smear of the time wave and the time line. Those kind of things are fun and they're interesting. I really enjoy doing the stuff I do with Simon because it challenges me so much to do those kind of things, the specialty shots, the lock off shots, all this different things that need it to do what we're trying to achieve as far as the special effects and so forth.
Astroknight: Which of your movies do you think is best to jerk off to?
Bud Lee: Well it depends on what you want to jerk off to. I've got a series called Filthy Little Whores which is pretty cool from Sinister, the Sin City company. I've got a scene in there where a girl takes two guys up the ass. If that's your cup of tea, then that's cool. I would have to say that Centerfold's a real good one to jerk off to because it is a photographer shooting men's magazines layouts within the movie, and it's pretty interesting because you've got the third person there telling the two people what to do, and them doing it, but capturing the passion of them doing what they're doing at the same time. Those kind of things are cool. I like a movie I made with Lene Hefner, it was her comeback movie with Sin City, Games, and I think she's a real sexy woman. I'm more into jacking off to the particular person than the situation. Lene is a beautiful woman with a beautiful body. She's a woman, she's not some tiny little girl who hasn't even reached puberty yet as far as I can tell. I don't find that sexy. I like women who look like women and have womanly attitudes towards sex, a mature attitude towards sex, I think is very, very, very important.
Astroknight: If you could teach each new starlet entering the industry three things, what would they be, since you mention the difference between women and girls in the industry.
Bud Lee: Well, first of all, I often have said, and I feel strongly that maybe I'm correct, I really don't think eighteen year olds know how to fuck. I don't think they know how to suck cock. I don't think they know how to eat pussy. I don't think they know how to do any of those things. I don't think they have enough experience. They haven't had sex with enough different people to be sexual performers. I think sexual performers have to have a certain amount of miles under their belt, if you will, to be sexual performers. I would like to tell them to get more experience. Try more things at home. Look at yourself in a mirror when you're doing stuff like posing and trying to see what looks sexy because if you think that look that you're giving me right now is sexy, it's not. It's ludicrous at best. It's not sexy at all. I would like to tell them to study acting because it would help them come in and do their job for me better. Although we're not really big on needing actors, we look even more ridiculous when somebody can't act at all. I think I'd like them to study movies of real good sexual performers and then I'd like them to learn that there's really only three things they need to bring to my set: their body, their ID, and their AIDS test. If they could only remember those three things we'd be about halfway down the road we need to go. Believe it or not, we still have people who show up without two of those things. They show up with their body, no ID, no test. They can't work, and for somebody who that's all they have to remember when they walk out their door in the morning, it's pretty ridiculous not to show up with it. So be responsible, study your scripts, understand what it is you're doing before you get to the location or to the studio that you're working at, and never agree to do anything that you haven't done before. Never ever do that. I don't want you practicing anal on my set. I don't want you practicing DP on my set. I don't want you practicing anything on my set. I really don't want to shoot your first anal scene, ever. I'd rather you come to work and tell me "Yeah I've been doing anal for the last month with my boyfriend", or boyfriend and friends, or husband, or whatever, "so that I can be ready to be here to do it today and I'm really comfortable with it" instead of showing up and saying "I've never done this before but I wanted to capture it live on camera the first time I do it". Well good. I want to see the tears rolling down your face too, honey. Thanks a lot. You know, that's not sexy. It's not a turn on. If you are into those things there's a company out there called Extreme Associates that you can pick up their product and watch it and some of the stuff that Anabolic, you know the rough sex stuff, if that's what you're into, then go and get that stuff, but I'm trying to make a romance novel into a movie here and you've got tears running down your face because this guy's sticking his dick up your ass. And my audience isn't going to get turned on. As a matter of fact, I'm going to turn off the women in my audience, and if I turn off the women in my audience I've lost my audience. Because I've had nineteen year old boys come up to me and say "You know Mr. Lee, you are a king in my house because all I have to do is put in a Bud Lee movie and my girlfriend sucks my dick every time. If I put in a Tommy Byron movie or a Rob Black movie they get up and walk out. I've lost them."
Astroknight: So would you raise the legal age to perform?
Bud Lee: Well I wouldn't because I strongly believe in everybody's right to express themselves and freedom of speech and so forth, but I just am saying I don't want to watch children fuck. I'm an adult (laughs). I am an adult who wants to be entertained by adults. I mean, some of these girls are really cute. There's no doubt about it. I look at them and "Whooooooah shit! She is fucking cute!". Is she beautiful? No. She'll be beautiful maybe in four or five years if she doesn't gain a thousand pounds and start slamming heroin or her complexion falls apart. But right now she's cute. Eighteen year olds are cute, eighteen year olds aren't gorgeously beautiful. I don't know if you've met a Playboy Playmate or Penthouse Pet in person. The most disturbing thing I've ever done was to meet a Playboy Playmate in person. She could barely speak English, and I'm not talking that she was foreign. She didn't have a good command of the English language. They were dirty as far as they don't believe in personal hygiene too much or don't understand it too well. I mean, I look at these women and I think you could lick this girl's ass anytime, anywhere and she's going to be crystal, pristine clean and all these different things. That all means something to me. Maybe I'm just jaded, but I remember feeling this way when I was twenty and twenty-one and I thought the girls in my school were cute. Some of them were even really pretty, but none of them were sexy gorgeous, and when they tried to be it's like, oh stop it, please! Like Brittney Spears. Stop! Please! Grow up. Quit singing in that Mickey Mouse fucking voice, and learn how to really fucking dance and sing, and then you'll be great. J-Lo? Ooooooo. There's a woman. There's an entertainer for ya. You know, she can fuckin' do it. She knows what she's doing. Not only is she beautiful, but she's an adult and she sings and acts and talks and walks like an adult, not like a little girl. I'm not into little girls. It's just not my cup of tea. A lot of people say "How come all the girls that you've been married to or been in relationships with are so much younger than you?", well, it has more to do with the fact that that's who I meet, that's who I hang out with because that's who I'm around. Not necessarily because that's the only thing I prefer. It would be great to find a woman my age who had my type of mentality, but I don't. Women my age are bitter, burned out, fed up with men, fed up with relationships, don't want to be involved with anybody, they especially don't want to be involved with somebody like me because they find me untrustworthy because of my job. Believe it or not, I'm damned before I even get started because these women think "Oh well he's just gonna be, he's around all these fucking girls. Why would he want to be around me?". That's just not the way it is. (Sighs) I am what I am, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm looking for the person of my life to be an adult film star. I'd rather they not be. I'd rather date women that weren't in my business than women that are in my business, but I find that women in my business seem to have a bigger line of trust for me that women outside my business.
Astroknight: So Ginger, Mary Ann, or Mrs. Howell?
Bud Lee: Ginger, mixed with a little bit of Mary Ann. Gimme Ginger's body and look with Mary Ann's attitude. (Laughs) I guess that's never going to happen is it? (Laughs)
Astroknight: What would you say is the biggest problem with the adult industry and porn today?
Bud Lee: We're not being socially responsible, really. We often try to hide behind that banner of education. You know, we go after that one big. Ohhhhhhh, but we're educational. Well, if we were educational then everybody who shoots a movie would insist upon the usage of condoms. But we don't do that because we think it's going to turn our people off, our audience off, to see condoms whereas I think if our audience is as smart as we are, they're probably going "Wow. Is that really safe? Wow. Should they really be doing that?" Do you know what the biggest questions are of adult film stars when they're on the road dancing or in a personal appearance when they do a question and answer session? Invariably one of the first three questions is "What about AIDS? What are you doing about that? How's that affect your life?" They say to me that you will not be able to find any gay movies that do not have condoms in it, and I said why is that? And they say because the gay community looks at a sex scene without a condom and all they see is death. They don't see sexuality. They don't see sensuality. They don't see raw sex. They see death. And I'm going wow, why isn't our audience as enlightened as that? Why is our audience so much into "Oh, it's okay, you know, we don't need condoms. We don't care if these people die. There's more people just like them around the corner."? Cuz that's how I feel the attitude must be.
I also think there's not enough respect given both ways. I don't think that producers and directors, and manufacturers, especially manufacturers, do not respect the talent as much as they are. I would love for these people to make an adult movie with no adults to fuck in it. Ain't gonna happen. We owe our lives and our houses and our homes and our cars and our clothing and our kids education to people that will take their clothes off and fuck in front of a camera, and we treat them terribly. But, they also act terribly so maybe they're being treated the way they should be treated. But at the same time if they had a little more respect for us and we had more respect for them I think it would be a better industry to be involved in. I really believe that strongly and have for many, many years.
Astroknight: What's the biggest change you've seen over the years you've been directing?
Bud Lee: Well, most of all, money spent on product. These people that run this business, the distributers and manufacturers have whored themselves out so much it's unbelievable to me. They complain about the monies that are there yet they're the ones that throw the prices down and fucked everything up by coming up with nine to ten thousand releases a year. You know that's stupid, and I don't like the fact that just about anybody who can go out and afford to buy a GL2 or GL1 or an XL1S or VX1000 or 2000 can be an adult movie maker all of the sudden. They don't have to have any experience whatsoever it seems like. All they have to do is slap something together. Just the other day I was talking to a guy who does several different gonzo lines for different companies and I said to him "So how did you get started in this business?". "Oh, well, I knew some people who were manufacturers and they decided one day that the cameramen should be really hot and good looking so they hired me to become a cameraman because that could be like a third entity in a sex scene, uhm, and that's why I got my job. I used to be a Chippendale dancer.". "Really?". "Yeah.". Probably didn't even know which end of the camera to fucking look in when you got the job. Well what a bullshit reason to... what do you know about lighting? What do you know about exposure? What do you know about matching shots? What do you know about cutaways? What do you know... he didn't know any of this shit. He just sits down there and shoots and then the editor sits there pulling their hair out for two weeks trying to edit something out of the mishmash of crap that they were given.
I think that if the people in our business were truly from our business and truly intelligent and truly understood the science of what they're doing, you know we've got some people out there that aren't really well educated in our business but yet are very talented at it. Michael Raven is one of the most, he's one of my favorite directors by far. He's extremely talented, has unbelievable vision, and this man studies daily his job. He gets books and reads about it. He goes and goes to sessions on different stuff put on by movie makes, film makers, that he goes to their workshops and he really studies this and he studies it as an art form and he's also brilliant. He's a genius and so he's got kind of a one-upmanship about some of the other people out there that aren't that intelligent as he is. But he really is trying to be the best, most well informed, director that he can be, and you've got to have nothing but respect for him.
Michael Zen is another great movie maker. He really understands making movies. He teaches movie, he teaches film at Pierce College. This man is a movie maker. Period. That's all there is to it. Bob Chinn is a movie maker. Now these people know how to do it. They're not somebody who wrote a couple movies and then all the sudden they got such a great idea that they got to direct a movie. That's not how they are or who they are at all. They are movie makers and there are too many people out there who used to be an editor or used to be a writer or was an actor or was a production manager or was even a PA and now all of the sudden they're directing movies. It just goes to show you that these distributers will stock anything and throw it on a shelf as long as there's naked bodies and cum flying through the air. Then you've got yourself a fucking movie. That's ridiculous. It's not fun to go out and I have to, after twenty years in the business, have somebody at a company say to me "Well bring me some of your work so I can see what you do.". Uh, okay. Is that what you asked this guy over here who's never made a goddamn movie in his life? No, you didn't ask him that because he came to you with an idea that was so cheap and so easy to make that you fell for it. You know, how many times when I worked at Vivid that they would hire somebody that I would have to produce, as a producer. This new person would direct and at the end of it all, when all was done and said, Vivid would say "Well that just didn't turn out like we thought it was going to.". Well you had a moron making the movie you dumbass! What'd you expect? If the idea's so great that you have to have it, give him so much money for it where he can't say no whether he gets to direct it or not. Cuz really, that's what they want. There's very few people out there that really want, I mean, Nic Andrews may really actually care about the publicity and so forth, but there's very few directors out there on my level. People like Michael Zen, like Fred Lincoln, Michael Raven, and so forth. We really want to make movies. We really enjoy doing it. We really like to do it and it's our career and we want a good paycheck for it. There's people out there, they'll do it for free, just so they can go "I'm an adult movie director.".
I'm not cool because I'm an adult movie director. Cool people find out how to cure cancer and HIV, AIDS. They're working on ways to make our lives better and easier for us to live, not entertain us. I do not think rock and roll stars, I do not think Tom Cruise or actors such as him, or directors like Steven Spielberg or anybody, they're not cool people. They are just merely artists merely doing their artwork. They're not cool. Cool people are struggling with the difficulty of AIDS and trying to find a way to keep the world alive. They're struggling with world hunger. They're struggling with the purification of water because we have so little water left on our planet. These are the cool people in our world and I think that someone in our business needs to stand up and, a lot of people in our business, and say "Hey, I'm just a smut peddler, really, that's what I am.", and they have a hard time with that. These people actually think they're cool because they direct adult movies. And I'm like going "Huh?", and then you've got actors and actresses going "Well I don't like to do personal appearances because I don't like to be around those scumbags.". What scumbags are those? "Well, you know, the people that buy the movies.". You made the movie and they're scumbags? You got paid to fuck, and the person who bought the movie's a scumbag. Okay. Fine. Whatever. You know, most of the people in Des Moines, Iowa look at you as a hooker (laughs). They don't see much difference. Stop it. Quit. It's not that important. What we're doing is a form of entertainment, not life and death. We are entertainers, but that does not necessarily make us cool. What makes us cool is our humility about what we do.
Astroknight: How much control do you have in your movies?
Bud Lee: Almost complete, pretty much. I've made some movies for Simon that he's gone "What were you fucking thinking?" and I said "Well you know what? This is my interpretation of what was written there and I didn't have enough of an opportunity or chance or didn't take enough of an opportunity or chance to sit down with you and the creators, the writers, to really fully understand your vision and I'm sorry, it won't happen again.". But did I get fired, lose my job over it? No I didn't because I still turned in an acceptable piece of product that made money and so that's really what's accepted of me. When I make a movie for Adam & Eve they're 3200 miles away. They do not come to my set. They send me, I send them a script, a suggested cast list, I book as many of those people as I can, they send me money, and I go and shoot my movie according to the script that I gave them. And so I guess I have a lot of control, you know, and most of my movies that I shoot, about eighty percent of them I make up. At least the story, and I have somebody write it. I don't like to write scripts too much, but I make up most of my stories.
Astroknight: With the experience you now have, if you could go back and redo one of your features, which would it be?
Bud Lee: Oh, I'd redo Incognito, not Incognito, I'm sorry. Redo the one I made with Asia and Jenna. I think I really screwed that movie up and I would have asked for more time and more money to do it and done it correctly. That's the one I really don't like at all. I'm not really crazy about Wildflower. It didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to. I'd probably go back and remake it and use a different male lead in it to try and pull it off.
Astroknight: What's the worst experience you've had shooting a scene?
Bud Lee: I shot a scene where I was shooting camera of a young lady from England who was doing a DP for the first time and she was in severe pain and agony and crying, but refused to stop, and wouldn't listen to me and just kept pushing and pushing herself. She was on my set for a while later after the scene because she was waiting for another performer to get done because they had ridden together. She spent the entire time that she was still on my set crying her eyes out and I felt miserably stupid for allowing it to happen. I would also say that some of the sex scenes that I shot with some of the girls, like I never really enjoyed shooting Janine because girl - girl bores me. I kept on trying to find ways to push her into other things and stretch her a little bit. She was all about the dollars and the money and you know, "Steve Hirsch will give me $30,000 to suck Jon Dough's dick, he'll give me $50,000 to fuck somebody, so I'm holding out for the fifty." and I was like going oh okay, well, whatever, you know. Those kind of things. It's like when I know that the person in front of me really is just there for the dollars and no other reason and is getting no pleasure deriving, nothing good out of what's happening other than the paycheck they get at the end of the day, it's kind of a discouraging thing for me.
Astroknight: You mentioned having kids, when they find one of your movies lying around, which one do you hope they find and which one do you hope they never find?
Bud Lee: Well I hope they find Appassionata. I hope they never find one of their Mom's! (Laughs) That's basically it, I guess. I would never want them to watch a movie that I made with their mother.
Astroknight: Are you recognized much when you're out in public?
Bud Lee: Yeah. Yeah, I'm... with this hair and my white beard? I'm pretty recognizable. People sometimes don't know exactly where they're seen me because they maybe they've seen me on a behind the scenes piece or a blip on one of the channels, you know and so forth or so on or seen an interview of me on one of the channels or on a DVD, but I get recognized quite a bit. I actually took a very good friend of mine from Adam & Eve on a wine tasting tour a little north of here, up above Santa Barbara, and the first four wineries we went to, someone working at the wineries knew who I was and gave us a little special glass of wine or something because of it. We headed out to eat dinner and I said c'mon let's go into this place because it's really crowded and we can sit in there and nobody'll bother us or anything and it'll be really cool and we won't have to worry about nothing. Cuz she was starting to go "C'mon, can't you go five minutes in any direction without somebody saying hi to you?", you know, or "Hey, we like your movies", and so I said let's go in here and we went into this restaurant and we sat down at the bar, because there's a forty five minute wait to eat, and we were sitting there and I ordered a glass of wine and she ordered a glass of wine and they came over with the bottle of wine, of the brand that we had ordered. I said no, we just want a glass and they said it's okay, the couple at the other end of the bar bought this for you and said to tell you "Thanks for all the wonderful times they spent with you.", and I'm going aw crap. And she looks at me and goes "I thought you said this was a safe place!". (Laughs) I think I'm more famous from the women I've married than from what I've done for a living! (Laughs) I'm Mr. Hyapatia Lee and Mr. Asia Carrera, not necessarily Bud.
Astroknight: Mentioning the women you marry, after marrying women in the industry, what's the biggest challenge to making a marriage work in the adult industry?
Bud Lee: Well, you have to listen real good. You have to learn to be a good listener. What I mean by that is when your wife is telling you before or after a sex scene with some guy, that she loves you, then you need to really listen to her say that and believe her and understand that she really does mean that. That she's not just saying something to make you feel better at the time. That this person does love you and they appreciate your ability to love them back. Although there have been times that you say to yourself, or I would say to myself, "Do I want to be with somebody who can allow me to do this? How much do they really love me?", and everything. But we have a lot of social moires and laws that have grown up over the ages that have tried to direct us as people in what we can and can't do, or should or should not do, and I'm definitely not a real follower (laughs) of the crowd. I never have been, as you can tell by my hair and my outward appearance. I'm somewhat of a rebel and I always have been. I have also been through experiences in my life, personal experiences in my life, that have made sex become what they are to me. The first woman that I was married to, who I still love dearly and we are very good friends and she doesn't have anything to do with my business. We got married way too young, she was seventeen, I was nineteen, it was a shotgun wedding because Daddy was pissed off at me and found us in bed together at a hotel room somewhere, and it was either get married or get shot. I loved her dearly, I still do to this day, but she hadn't experienced enough of life to be married at the age of seventeen. And so after a couple of years, and I'm a workaholic, I was then and still am, and my long periods of absence from the house, I mean like twelve, fourteen hours a day, she got lonely, she ended up cheating on me, I ended up leaving her, getting separated and divorced from her and so forth, and I started to put sex into a different look. And then I was a victim of a very violent crime that involved sex. So my idea of sexuality is, there's a lot of reasons for it. Love is definitely one of them. Saving your life could be one. Some women and men do it to get a better job. Some of them do it to get a job period. There are women who fuck their husband to get a new dishwasher. There are so many reasons that people have sex that love is only one of them, making love is only one thing that you do when you have sex. Sometimes it's just sex. Sometimes it's an act to get you from point A to point B. Sometimes it's an act of survival. And so, what somebody does to someone in an hour and fifteen minutes, hour and a half, two hours in front of a camera, to take them away from the love that I have for them, and the respect that I have for them? Then they weren't that person for me anyway. They really weren't the person I needed in my life and so I'd rather find that out then have them hurt me in a way that I think really would hurt me. It'd hurt me a lot more if I came home and found my wife in bed with somebody else then if I went to a set and found her fucking somebody. And yet, but I was aware of it. You understand what I'm saying?
Astroknight: Uh huh.
Bud Lee: I'm aware of one thing, and it's there and exists right in front of my face. There are no secrets. There are no hold backs. It's all very, very honest and very straightforward. There are women who are in our business who are married and they're like "Oh, my husband doesn't care that I make movies.". But does he mind that you blew three of the crew? Would he agree to that? Would he think that was cool? So there are people who take advantage of those people too. They "Oh my wife doesn't care if I have sex in front of a camera.". Why did you go home with that girl? "Oh, I just didn't get enough of her.". Well, I think that might bother your wife because your wife really thinks you think it's a job. You show up, you fuck the person, you do the best job you can, you act like you're having the most fun as you possibly can, the most enjoyment, you come, you take a shower, and you go home. That's what I think the married couple's mates think is supposed to be happening. I don't think that they think that, you know, my wife Miss Superslut, and she's going to have sex in front of the camera, she's going to have sex for money in hotel rooms, she's going to fuck the crew, she's going to fuck the director, she's gonna whatever. No, that's not what it entails. That's not a relationship. That's a pimp and a prostitute, and that I'm not for. That I don't understand. I can't comprehend that. There has to be some sort of level of love there somewhere, and that much unnecessary sex, just to prove that you're a wanton, sexual person, is ridiculous. That's a sick person. That's somebody looking for a tremendous amount of acceptance and validation in their life and if they can't find it from the love of their mate, then they're not going to find it.
Astroknight: What would surprise people most about you?
Bud Lee: I'm not a party animal at all. I'm real laid back. I read two or three books a week, every week. I go to a tremendous amount of movies by myself, I play golf, I am extremely a helpless, lost romantic when it comes to women. I really enjoy romanticism and I really enjoy little things like I send flowers and cards to the woman I'm in love with. I do special little things for them to let them know that I think about them when they're not with me and that they're always on my mind and a part of my life. I don't go to a lot of parties or a lot of places where there's lots of people that would know me because I really don't, I don't want to be a) idolized. I do not want to be attacked for who I am and what I do from people who don't believe in it. I don't want to have to prove I'm some sort of stud when I'm probably not. I'm just a guy, you know? I understand sex really, really well. There's no doubt about that. I'm probably an expert in the field. I can probably tell you more about your wife's body than you can just given enough time to talk with her about it, and probably help both men and women become better lovers for their mates because of my knowledge. I don't have a lot of sexual partners in my life, you know, just a few. I do have more than one at any given time, because I haven't been in love in a long time and I can't commit myself to one person unless I truly am in love with them. I still do see women and go "Whoah! Man, I'd like to meet her!". I'm probably much more reserved and quiet and conservative than people think I am.
Astroknight: What have you always wanted to know how to do but never seemed to be able to find the time for?
Bud Lee: Play golf better. (Laughs) Music. I'd really love to learn more about music, how to create it. I think it's a wonderful medium to not only entertain people but to relax and to escape into, and to lose yourself. I wish I could write better. I think my dialogue that I write that people talk is a bit sophomoric. I write more like I think people should talk than the way they actually do talk. But yeah, those things, you know. Those are pretty much it.
Astroknight: If you could meet any one person throughout history, who would it be and why?
Bud Lee: It would have been great to meet John Lennon, just to find out if he was really that enlightened or not. I often questioned whether he was. Anybody who'd involve Yoko Ono in their life makes me wonder if they actually are that enlightened. I think it would have been very interesting to meet General Patton. I think it would have been extremely interesting to meet George Eastman and Thomas Edison, people like that.
Astroknight: What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Bud Lee: I'm a chocolate guy.
Astroknight: On the subject of food, if a local bar made a drink in your honor, what would they call it and what would be in it?
Bud Lee: It would be a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Cotes du Rhone French wine and it would be just a slightly cooler than room temperature and it would be called 'Nectar of the Gods'.
Astroknight: Back on your kind of unconventional looks, who's sexier: Grizzly Adams or the miner-trapper guy?
Bud Lee: The who?
Astroknight: The miner - trapper guy?
Bud Lee: I don't know who that is.
Astroknight: From Grizzly Adams.
Bud Lee: Oh. Oh. Grizzly Adams for sure.
Astroknight: I suppose to finish up with some of your looks, just looking at some of the group that's been around Simon Wolf, between you, Asia, Tabitha Stevens, and now Evan Stone, is there some kind of mandatory hair length?
Bud Lee: (Laughs) You know, what he's done is he's surrounded himself with people who are dedicated to their career and to what they've chosen to do in their lives. Tabitha is the best slut our business has ever seen. This girl is a sexual maniac and deserves all the accolades that she can possibly receive. Evan Stone is one of the most beautiful men on the planet. Done a lot of work to get that way, I mean he's worked out a lot on his body. I think God's a little unfair that they should give him such good looking body, good looking hair, and a big dick too. That's not fair. He shoulda had a little dick. And then, you know, Asia's, again, another very competent, very dedicated person. I think that's what you see, is the dedication. It just so happens that sometimes people who can be this dedicated to a career in adult movies are a little eccentric at the same time. That's probably why we all have the hair (laughs) and so forth. Besides, Evan and I know what very few men do know, is that women do like long, sexy hair. And you know we're going to stick to that til our death because we're convinced we're right, and as long as we're marrying people like Jessica Drake and Asia Carrera I don't see too many people standing up and arguing with us.
Astroknight: If you could be a woman for a day, what would you do?
Bud Lee: Fuck my brains out.
Astroknight: I should have remembered to exclude that.
Bud Lee: (Laughs) I mean, when there's a woman laying underneath you and you're entering her and penetrating her and she's going bananas, what does that feel like? Wow. I think they have more fun than we do when it comes to sex. You know women hold it. They got us by the short and curlies. Women rule and men drool. That's it. You know they got the pussy. We spent nine months trying to get out and the rest of our lives trying to get back in.
Astroknight: If you were made King of the Adult Industry and could change any three things, what would you change?
Bud Lee: I'd cut down on the amount of companies that there are making movies, I would get rid of the misogyny and the mistreatment of women that are in our movies, and I would move to the forefront people who are more dedicated to their art as far as looking at it as an art, just thinking they're cool because they're making adult movies.
Astroknight: Do you own a DVD player?
Bud Lee: Yes I do.
Astroknight: What are your favorite DVDs?
Bud Lee: Well, I really, really liked Saving Private Ryan. I also am a big nut on any war movies. I love war movies and cowboy movies and so forth. I have Blow, which I think is a pretty good movie, on DVD. I have, oh gosh, so many different ones. I'll tell you, my favorite movies are The American President with Michael Douglas. I really like Pretty Woman with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. I like these movies because I think they're straight out movie making. There's no special effects. There's no neat things happening other than it's people interacting with people and doing some of the best acting I've ever seen in a movie. I really enjoyed a movie I watched the other night called The Contender with Joan Allen and Sam Elliot. Sam Elliot is probably one of my favorite actors ever in the world because he's a big cowboy guy too.
Astroknight: He's the ultimate cowboy.
Bud Lee: He is. Him and Tom Sellock are the two ultimate cowboys. I really like, you know, movies that are straight ahead movies that they're brought forth by the talent of the actors in front of the camera and the ability of the people behind the camera to capture them doing what they're doing then through special effects or gun battles or anything like that. It's tension created by relationships whether they be business, professional, or personal or otherwise and that I think is more of a reflection of real life and true life than some of the other stuff that comes out and that we deal with. I thought Traffic was a great movie. I think that guy is a great actor. What's his name? Del-what's-his-name?
Astroknight: Del Toro?
Bud Lee: Yeah. Del Toro. He's so understated that it's really cool. It's so dramatic how he understates his characters and understates what he's doing with such simplicity. It's like going to school watching him. As far as action movies, Heat is a great movie, you know you've got Al Pacino and DeNiro in the same movie together with Val Kilmer, and how can you go wrong? These three guys are ultimate talent and actors and they're really, really good at their job and they really bring forth the characters and bring the characters to life to you. I think that's what's important, more than lasers or spaceships or anything like that. You know, monsters from the deep (laughs).
Astroknight: Well, finally, if you had the time, do you think you could teach a monkey to fish?
Bud Lee: Yeah. Probably piss him off. Kinda like teaching pigs how to dance. It's a waste of your time and it pisses the pigs off, but yeah, I think so. A chimpanzee. I think he'd like it, but the trick is teaching him to clean the fish.
Astroknight: Well, I suppose we'll end her there.
Bud Lee: Okay.