In a recent interview with the small UK based LGBT blog, Vada Magazine, the creator of the web series Freefall, Lamont Pierre, opened up with interesting details about the show that may give hope to new content creators.

For those unaware, Freefall is a black gay web series popular amongst the BGClive crowd of young, sex starved gay men. It features melodramatic stories of sexy young black gay men who date, work, rob, commit crimes, kidnap, murder, have sex with and rape each other.

It’s also the most successful black gay web series currently dropping new episodes.

Having said that, success is relative in the wild west world of the web. There are many gay men with thousands of Twitter followers, hundreds of Instagram Likes and tons of YouTube views who still can’t pay their rent on time every month.

Be that as it may, Freefall is very popular amongst a select group of people. This is not in question.


It’s no secret that we here at Cypher Avenue (and many of our readers) don’t like this series. Nothing personal, we just don’t critically find the story, writing, acting, directing, lighting, photography or audio quality to be very good at all. To be honest, we haven’t even seen the new episodes of the show since its muddled second season featuring a bareback anal male rape scene between two main characters that was never acknowledged or resolved.

This article is not meant to (once again) disparage the overall low quality of the show. We genuinely do appreciate creator Lamont Pierre’s stylized marketing and his desire to at least attempt to add something different to the limited realm of black gay cinema.

As black gay content creators ourselves, Ocky Williams and I often have conversations on the lucrativeness of developing non-porn related media for gay men. Especially film and video content, one of the most expensive art forms in existence.

Seems like every week a new black gay web series, reality show or YouTube Blog series is popping up on the Internet. Unfortunately, 100% of the time these projects are either self-financed for peanuts or dependent on donations from fans via crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, IndieGogo or GoFundMe. Even established filmmakers such as Patrick Ian Polk (Noah’s Arc) and The Gossfields (The D.L. Chronicles) have resorted to virtual panhandling to finance their works.

Even still, many of these fundraisers have failed to meet their projected goals. Even in a world where a guy can raise over $55,000 in donations to make a pot of potato salad.

This leads to a chicken and the egg scenerio. You can’t create quality content to profit from without the resources and you can’t get the resources without first having the money to create quality content. There appears to be no real profit to be made in creating black gay media content that entails quitting your day job and paying people who work for you (unless you are making sex/porn related content).


The main explanation for this seems to be the “fans” themselves. Will black gay supporters actually pull out their wallets for anything other than admission and drinks at the club?

At the start of their third season (aka what they call the official second season), the Freefall team premiered a Vimeo On Demand page where exclusive content and extended episodes would be available for rent for a fee. This is the same method we saw employed by the creators of The D.L. Chronicles for their amazing short film Episode Thomas.

This month old interview with Lamont Pierre seems to offer some insight on if and how he’s managed to make Freefall profitable through this rental method for himself and the people who work on the show.

Excerpt From Vada Magazine:

Now, let’s talk about Mission Mainstream, an initiative you put in place around the time Season 2 started. Can you tell me a little more about that?

When we started Mission Mainstream, the goal was to get a bigger audience. When we did Season 1, we impacted many area that have a large black gay population demographic. Freefall is well known in these places. However, there are still a lot of places where Freefall isn’t really known that has a large black gay population. We also wanted to start gaining viewers outside of that immediate demographic as well. That’s why I told my whole team and all of my actors that I wanted everyone’s mindset to be on making it mainstream when we started filming Season 2. We wanted to expand past our direct audience demographic. We also created Mission Mainstream, because our ultimate goal was to get the attention of a network. In order to do that, we needed to show them that we were more than just a black gay show. We can appeal to more than just the black gay demographic. That’s why we made a bigger attempt to bring in more diverse characters and enhance the story.

Mission Mainstream also has a GoFundMe page. Why did you  want to focus on crowdfunding rather than finding investors?

There were no investors originally, and we had to find a way to continue making the show. To be honest, even though we still have the crowdfunding campaign up, we don’t really use it. That’s because we’ve found a way to monetize our show. We’ve gotten to the point where fans are willing to buy our episodes, and we’re one of the first web series to be able to do this. We make a nice amount of money on our shows every month. We’re able to make sure all of the actors get paid, and we are proud of that fact.

And now that we’ve found a successful way to monetize the series, we plan to use that same model with future series.

What do you think the future holds for Freefall? Where do you see the series in one year? What about five years?

I think we still have so much ground to cover. We have a lot of places in the United States and internationally to expose to Freefall, but we still have so many places that don’t know about the show.  Right now, we are going to continue that we keep working on improving the show. We are growing at a satisfying rate, so even if we never get picked up by a network, we can still be successful on the web and make money from that. That’s where we see Freefall. Freefall is considered a success for us, and we want to ride that for as long as we can.


[Editor: Fans, take note. He said they don’t need your donations…so use that information as you will. Cypher Avenue, on the other hand, welcomes your donations!]

Granted, this was a promotional interview, not a hard hitting industry-insider journalistic piece featured in Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. So who knows how much of Pierre’s statements were accurate confessions of a winning entrepreneurial enterprise or just grandstanding for positive perception from the media and fans.

Also, who knows exactly how much his actors are being paid. Even just giving actors $25 per filming day (far below a standard actor’s rate), would technically be enough to say that you paid your talent for their work.

Forget all that.

These are black gay brothers doing the damn thing by working hard to create content.

Let’s give #TeamFreefall the benefit of the doubt and say that not only are they pulling in mad guap from renting content through their Vimeo page, they also pay their actors a rate worth taking the time to film a full season of 15-minute webisodes.

Is this a method that more black gay content creators could and should employ?

Should No Shade creator Sean Anthony make season two of his series available for rental only?


Back in August of 2013, Ocky Williams wrote an excellent (and popular) Cypher Avenue article titled, “WTF Is Up With Black Gay Content Creators?” In the piece, he proposed that black gay content creators follow the lead of their Caucasian counterparts and start charging rental fees for their work.

Freefall creator Lamont Pierre even joined us in the long comments section on that article, adding his opinions to the discussion on the topic. Soon after, he appeared to take Ocky’s advice by renting out his popular content…and he claims to be making a killing.

Does this mean that Cypher Avenue was once again inspirational to Pierre in some small way when it comes to Freefall?


Chest-Thumping aside, maybe Ocky was on to something with his idea.

Does Lamont Pierre’s Freefall interview prove that there’s hope for black gay content creators to make money from their work?

Or is the monetary success of Freefall an outlier? An anomaly? Or just plain old fiction?