Mike Kulich Makes His (XXX) Mark

As a Staples junior, Mike Kulich got suspended for selling Playboys out of the trunk of his car.

Recognizing all the sales Mike had made, a staff member joked, “Maybe you can make a career out of this.”

Mike did.

Today he is one of the biggest names in the porn adult entertainment industry.

Based in California, he is the owner and CEO of Assence Films. He also owns OGEE Studios. Hustler Magazine calls Mike a “veteran (who knows) how each segment of the business works and how to best apply effective strategies.”

Not bad for a 25-year-old.

Like many teenage boys, Mike was fascinated by porn. Unlike many, though, he decided to make a career of it.

“I read books about the ‘golden era’ — Marilyn Chambers (a fellow Westporter), the Mitchell Brothers,” he says. “It was an industry where I could swear on the phone, do something interesting, and still make a lot of money.”

After graduating from Staples in 2004, Mike spent a semester at John Jay, studying criminal justice. But the lure of his youth was strong. He soon headed west, got an apartment in Marina del Ray, and knocked on the door of industry kingpin Howard Levine.

“I was 18 or 19, a cocky kid,” Mike says. “He told me to get out.”

Today, Levine is Mike’s distributor.

Mike Kulich

The dogged Mike landed a job with International Video Distributors. He made cold calls, selling videos to adult stores, liquor stores — and, memorably, Westport’s Merritt Country Store.

As the growth of internet porn slowed sales of videos, Mike started a company that printed and replicated videos for big studios. After a big payout, last year he began producing his own films.

What does “producing porn” mean?

“I choose the girls and the story lines. I write the scripts, and shoot them,” Mike says. “Everything is done in-house.”

Mike is happy to explain that his success — and he is huge — is a result of hard work.

“I knew from high school on that this is what I wanted,” he says. “I researched the industry, went with reputable companies, reached out, and built my reputation.”

Many people have misperceptions about the adult entertainment industry, he adds. “They think porn stars are hookers. But people here are really monogamous. Being on set is like another day at the office. People work, then they go home to their significant other. It’s just one niche in the entertainment world.”

His family, he says, is “very supportive.” (Well, he’s “not sure” that his grandmother knows what he does.)

“I’m a studio owner at 25,” he says proudly. “For me to get to this position in banking or marketing would have taken most of my career.”

As for his Staples classmates, “the guys think this is the coolest thing in the world.”

The girls? “Not so much.”

Sasha Grey

Though adult entertainment is a multi-billion dollar industry, Mike calls it surprisingly tight-knit. “Everyone knows everyone. We see each other all the time. We pass along leads, and help each other out.”

This winter, Mike and his studio made headlines. Assence’s debut film featured Sasha Grey‘s final scenes. She had gone mainstream — including a stint on “Entourage” — but a public uproar arose last November after she read to a Los Angeles classroom.

Assence announced it would donate a portion of the film’s proceeds to the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” program. The NEA refused the gift. That caused an uproar of its own, covered by CNN, Fox News, the Huffington Post and TMZ, among others. So Mike offered the funds to a UC-Davis institute that studies and supports sexually positive media portrayals.

Mike understands he has a chosen a path that’s not for everyone — and that not everyone understands.

“A good portion of society thinks the adult industry is taboo, and/or controlled by the Mafia,” he says. “We’ll, it’s completely legal, it’s taxed — it’s just another industry.”

And, like most industries, it has its rewards. No, I’m not talking about titillatingly close encounters with very naked women.

The Xbiz Awards -- just another day at the office.

Every year, the Xbiz Awards honor the “the Oscars of porn.” There are presentations for Best Actor, Best Actress — and Best New Studio.

Mike Kulich thinks he has a shot at that last award.

If he wins it, he may even give a shout-out to the Staples staff member who, less than a decade ago, jokingly suggested he make XXX-rated movies his career.

79 responses to “Mike Kulich Makes His (XXX) Mark

  1. Heard he was invited to make a presentation to our Senior Center.

  2. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Staples has produced Captains of all industries. This is just one more to add to the great array of graduates. Personally speaking one of the most interesting ones.

  3. John Karrel

    This will be an interesting Comments thread to read 24 hours from now …

  4. “Mike is happy to explain that his success — and he is HUGE — is a result of HARD work.” Oh, wow! That expains his success!

  5. Great Story.

    Westport to Westporn.

  6. Interesting post on this day,
    International Women’s Day
    Porn-for-profit – “really?”
    whose profit?

  7. Great article Dan. Well done. Made me feel like a perverted hometown hero!

  8. The Dude Abides

    The exploitation of women for profit. Ah, America, land of opportunity.

  9. Frederick Rothschild

    I enjoyed the story very much. Mike is a great kid and a very hard worker and pretty much my best friend! And many of us from DAGO (San Diego) are more than proud of him. This industry is a legal one and a Tax paying one, and you would really be AMAZED at just who watches his movies behind closed doors! Then again maybe you would not? Keep the quality high and the content real and fun. I love you Mike…

  10. I bought my first dirty mag from Kulich…25 bucks for a 1998 Pamela Anderson…that dude cleaned up!

  11. Jealous…

  12. I am not sure how you can print this filth? Who cares about a Staples smut slinger? It is no wonder the likes of Rush and Santorum gain an audience.

  13. Westporter4ever

    bRA..it’s pretty ignorant to compare someone who has a successful business to likes of Rush L…Seems to me like Mr Kulich I’m sure loves woman and is respectful of them…do a little research on the porn industry before throwing around the “smut slinger” label…granted there is a dark side (What business doesn’t have one!!)…but it’s the year 2012 and it’s more mainstream than ever…Iif you don’t like it..Don’t look…being a woman myself..I have NO problem with it…like anything Chocolate, Coffee, Alcohol..there is nothing wrong with it in moderation. Congrats to Mr Kulich on a successful business and having the guts to do it!!

  14. It is pure crap and you know it. When the almighty dollar becomes more important than any sense of morality, we are one sorry society. Betty Friedan is turning in her grave. Would you want your daughter in one of the films this douchbag produces?

  15. Bravo, bRA. Let us hear real women roar!!!

  16. bRA…these women choose to be in these films…get over it, its 2012. This is a legal industry. if you dont like it, dont watch it. the exploitation of women argument is garbage. Congrats to Mr. Kulich for having a successful business and not being afraid to share his story.

  17. bRA,
    Morality is a subjective conclusion usually based on religious beliefs. In many parts of this globe, sex is considered appropriate whether done for fun or money. On the higher evolved spiritual plane [above religion] there is no such thing as “SIN.” Sin is a product of our own limitations and our inability to accept that this universe was designed to include ALL our human thoughts and desires. You are free to pursue or not pursue your path, but may I caution you not to judge any other soul’s choices. It has a very negative effect on your spirit.
    An individuals Karma is based not upon their actions, but rather on their intentions.
    Namaste :-)

  18. Oh bullshit. Most of these sluts are high on drugs or do it for drug money. You are the ones living in a fantasy world if you condone this smut. I didn’t succeed for decades in a man’s world to have this punk sleaseball degrade my sex. And don’t preach to me about karma. The reality of this article is that men will do anything for money including the degradation of women!

    • LOL. Did you just refer to what Mr. Kulich does degradation of women and open that comment with referring to the girls as “sluts”?

    • Woman will do anything for money as well – read the headlines of any NY newspaper today. Last time i checked running a prostitution ring is illegal and producing porn is not. Seems woman are also not adverse to doing “anything for money including the degradation of women” as you so eloquently put it.

    • So if he was shooting movies featuring only males it would be ok?

      • Frederick Rothschild

        Dam your a bitter bitch! This is a kid who is making an honest living paying taxes and giving back to our young! Grow up bitch I bet you watch some of his movies in the dark!!! 81

  19. mike is my
    cousin and he is awesome…..

  20. Burn your BRA, bRA. Not certain how you define succeed. Most successful women who have done well in our mans world are feminine in thought and action. And they are sensitive and inclusive… Except for some of the more masculine types. Where do you fit in?

  21. Frederick Rothschild

    Buy the movie for the kids just don’t let them watch it !!!

  22. Dirtbag, just because he’s from here doesn’t make him any different.

  23. The whole thread seems indictive of the “pussification” of the American male, as aptly distinquished by the late great George Carlin. One, a sperm lottery winner who was too lazy or without sufficient talent to direct real actresses in main stream Hollywood AND/OR the laziness of men who would rather wack off to these poor excuses for art rather than make love to their mates.

  24. Great post Dan.

    Some great comments and some not go great name calling. Wonder why contributors like bRA feel the necessity to name call rather than debate the topic on hand

  25. What a LOSER… who happens to be from Westport. He must have an underlying hatred for women and no class.

  26. Maybe Mike got his inspiration from the movie “The Girl Next Door”…

  27. This explains a little bit more about the type of upstanding business model Mike is running. Sasha Grey’s take on his company is pretty interesting.
    http://www.tmz.com/2012/02/08/sasha-grey-read-across-america-assence-films-porn-anal-artists/#.T1l-yc3DZOg

  28. if ‘prostitution is the oldest profession in the world’ (inspite of how many pieces of anti-prostitution legislation passed over how many centuries), then photographing it, a.k.a. porn, has got to be running a close ‘2nd oldest’. the problem isn’t that there is pornography, the problem is that for some other reason, some women can’t afford the lifestyles they aspire to for themselves and for their families in any other way.

  29. Late Night Rita

    I find it interesting that Mr. Woog chose this week to write an article on a young man who has chosen a career in pornography involving the abasement of females when the 2012 Women in the World Summit is meeting in New York City highlighting many women who fight the system for the advancement of their gender instead of merely spreading their legs for token pay.

    • do you not realize that there are thousands of women who choose to go into prostitution and sometimes porn so that they can pay for medical, schooling, etc., for their children, their parents and, yes, also for themsleves? there are areas of the world and USA where there are genuinely no other financial opportunities and living on the dole isn’t anybody’s preference.

      • You have been watching too much of the Hallmark Channel. Most are merely sluts who like to screw.

  30. The pornographers are the canaries in the First Amendment coal mines. They serve many useful purposes.
    Everyone has the right…
    not to look.

  31. bRA haha dude you’re a joke.

  32. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Let’s see, we have a fat windbag drug abuser calling highly educated woman slut, we have how many circus clowns vying for our attention that want to end a womans choice, we have both woman and men creating body image issue clothing on the runways of fashion. We also have people who feel that sex is evil or embarrassing and that it is absolutely not art. We really need to get our priorities in line. This kid is not doing any of the things that people are saying. He has created a business where there is an industry. Thank god no one is trying to kill him, like some MDs have been at womans clinics. bRa you are smarter than name calling. Your shouting and name calling might get attention but not to be heard.

  33. Personally I’m looking forward to Mike’s first three releases:

    My Dad’s Best Friend
    Ink’d and Pink
    Obscene Teens

    In fact I hope he has casting calls at Staples for the eagerly anticipated sequel “Obscene Teens 2″ so we can get more of 06880 involved in what many of you view as a “successful business” in a “legal industry”.

    Looking forward to seeing your daughters on the big screen….

  34. Hahaha! That was by far the best point made here.

  35. Yeah let’s have one of these screenings prior to a homecoming game and see how much support this town gives Mike?

  36. This thread is full of jealous haters who sit on their couch cursing out the world. Grow up people, nobody cares about your miserable existence. Props to Mike for working hard and moving up the ladder.

  37. Roger Tishman

    If you recall the blog article about the young man who was attempting to go without any electronic networking for ninety days, the mention that he used to watch porn on the net as well brought great disdain from the reading audience. I think Mike got all his buddies to rally around the flagpole (as the monkey flogged his logger). I have been known to indulge in the enjoyment of pornography but I gotta tell you, having a daughter was a game changer. Now, if I watch, all I say is WTF?

  38. Does his work fit the educational films model?

  39. Read it…and all I can do is pat him on the back. Well played, Mike. As a woman, if another woman wants to get paid to get laid, who am i to judge? It’s the same as the 583937 women in Beverly Hills & Bel-Air that do the same thing…off camera…for a place to live and a Fendi bag. From one businessperson to another, keep up the good work Mike.

    PS – I’ll read your distribution agreements anytime!

  40. Haters are going to hate

  41. Mike is one of the hardest working guys in the biz. You have no idea what he does. Your a dummy. I’m sure you did NOT get a job or something. Shut up!

  42. I just read a comment posted by yet another scared ass ANONYMOUS poster saying for Mike to kill himself. What the fuck are you thinking! Why would he want to do that. This kid is on a fucking roll. Maybe you should consider doing yourself? This sounds like a comment from a shot out old porn whore (RB), rest your fucking neck bitch! Bitterness will make you more ugly than you already are. Mike keep up your hard work and get bigger than ever. (RB) is just to fucking old and shot the fuck out to get any work and you won’t use her content because it’s in black and white, and her birth stone is LAVA. Mike we love you buddy. But (RB) don’t…hahahaha