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AVN pub editor is slight, but a giant in the industry

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One of these people is a power broker in the adult film business. The other is looking for a ticket to the AVN Awards Show.
Photo: John Katsilometes
Johnny "Monty Oakwood" Katsilometes

On the Saturday of the annual AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Sands Convention Center, the event’s busiest man is a thin, un-tall (maybe 5-foot-5) unassuming sort with a slightly Mohawkian haircut and a stack of AVN awards show tickets to dole out.

Even Dan Miller’s name is something of a whisper. And this guy is one of the most influential voices in the adult film business? That he is, as the editor-in-chief of the monthly AVN Magazine and the man who heads up the team that organizes the annual AVN Award Show at Mandalay Bay Events Center, and assembles and determines the nominees and winners honored at the awards show, which has been dubbed the Oscars of the porn industry by no less an authority than Entertainment Weekly. Without the AVN crew, there would be no award for Best All-Girl Three-Way Sex Scene, no Best Big Butt Release.

But Miller is serious, if bemused, about his career path. He’s 36 and single and, on this day, besieged by dozens of people collecting their AVN tickets. One woman writes his name and number on her left hand with a Sharpie. She’s wearing a purple-and-black negligee with what seems to be a tattoo of herself on her left shoulder. What a life.

More disposable facts about Miller and AVN:

*The magazine is a monthly and employs a staff of eight writers. Most of the film reviews its run are farmed out to freelancers who are paid a nominal fee. “There is no living to be made reviewing films on a freelance basis for us,’ Miller says.

*Miller is a former sportswriter who worked at what is now the East Valley Times in Mesa, Arizona, before getting tired of mainstream media. He cashed out his 401k -- $1,200 – and moved to L.A. without a job. That was in 2001.

*Before entering the industry, he says he was a “casual” fan of adult films.

*The first question he was asked during his interview by AVN execs was, “What sort of porn do you like?” He tossed off a few names of film companies. “My short answer was good enough.” He also submitted game stories and personality profiles from his days as a sports writer.

*Since 2001, he has seen “thousands” of adult films, but as he grows in stature has farmed out the responsibility to his staff. Around the time of the AVN AEE expo, however, he ramps up his viewing to keep abreast (yeah, I know) of the awards nominees.

*He says that, ideally, the AVN publication will become more a leader in the industry instead of a source of pure information. “The leaders in our industry have not taken appropriate action to solve the problems of the industry, but it’s slowly starting to act,” Miller said, saying that the pirating of porn online is easily the biggest challenge facing the industry today.

*About 50 adult film journalists review material for the AVN nominations, and each individual has seen every title or performance he or she is voting on.

*This month’s cover story is about John Stagliano’s Evil Empire film distribution company, which turns 20 this year.

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