Gentlemen, choose your weapons. The hunt is on. I recently had a chance to sit and chat with Phil Henricks, director of marketing for Manhunt.net, the hottest little hook-up site on the web. Manhunt.net, along with longtime partner HotHouse entertainment has hit the streets with
Manhunt.TheMovie. Phil told me about the idea, the process and, of course, the payoff.
Nightspots: Why do think there has been this shift toward internet hookup?
Phil Henricks: There are a few issues at hand. First of all, people are embracing technology. People buy more clothes onilne, book more vacations online, and make more dates online. Secondly, the taboo of meeting online, the dirtiness that was there even three years ago has definitely evaporated. And finally gay men are very sexual. There have always been alternatives to bar scene. This just fits with the technology of today.
NS: How did the concept of making a movie out the experience evolve?
PH: It something we wanted to do for over a year, we figured it was a great story and a great branding tool. We had worked with Hothouse for 2 years and we figured it was time to put the Manhunt stories on film. All scenarios in the movie are based on actual stories as told to us by Manhunt members. Each scene begins with an IM chat encounter. You can hear the typing and that sets up each scene.
NS: What has been the reaction so far to the movie?
PH: So far it has been very positive. The movie has been selling very well because members can relate to it. It's a fantasy that's based on reality.
NS: How did you choose the stars?
PH: HotHouse picked the cast and we got final approval. We wanted different body types and ages, hairy, muscle, college. We really wanted a very diverse cast.
NS: What's coming up next for Manhunt.net?
PH: Well, we just expanded into Canada. We're going to be launching in South America soon. We have been breaking records every week in terms of actual usage. We will have over 10,000 guys online at one time next week.
NS: Admit it– is this a dream job or what?
PH: Its a lot of fun. We're gay owned and operated. The opportunity for travelling is great. I love to travel and see the country.
Manhunt.TheMovie is available online exclusively now at www.HotHouse.com . It will be available in stores on November 19th, 2004.