One of Atlanta’s biggest gay-for-pay stars is hitting the big screen. For over 15 years, it has provided us with thrills and spills, strong ass drinks, and a must-see destination for gaylebrities like Andy Cohen. We’re talking about Swinging Richards, of course.
On April 1st, it’s time to make it rain on the world premiere of Gerald McCullouch’s new documentary, All Male, All Nude. The film examines ATL’s iconic gay strip club and the diverse assortment of characters who work there. The screening at Midtown Art Cinema is presented by Out on Film, Atlanta’s own LGBTQ+ film festival.
“I am fascinated at the idea of how a conservative state like Georgia can host one of the premiere clubs of its kinds in the world, one that people from all around seem to know,” Out on Film director Jim Farmer said in a prepared statement.
You may recognize McCullouch from his long-running role as Bobby Dawson on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as well as the BearCity trilogy. WUSSY spoke with McCullouch about the upcoming premiere and his inspiration behind making the documentary.
What drew you to this project, documenting Swinging Richards?
I went to high school at North Springs up in Sandy Springs many, many years ago. Many. Around my 3rd or 4th season on CSI, I directed my short film “The Moment After,” which screened at The Atlanta Film Festival, and a few of my high school girl friends and I went to Swinging Richards after the screening to celebrate.
That night, I met my friend Steven Marchi, who worked as an entertainer at Swinging Richards, and a close friendship was formed. The more I got to know Steven and his world, the more I was intrigued.
I imagine many of the club-goers and dancers were hesitant about being filmed. Was it difficult to get them on board?
At the time I was still on CSI, and a few of the guys knew who I was, so that was certainly an ice-breaker. I think it took some time for them to trust me, though, and open up about their lives. Luckily, I had a relationship with one of their co-workers who knew them well, and that certainly helped immensely.
Club-goers were a different story completely, which created some interesting solutions in how I shot the film and framed my shots.
Your previous film, Daddy, was a narrative picture. Was it natural for you to jump into the director's chair for a documentary like this?
Well, "All Male, All Nude." has actually been on my plate longer than “Daddy." I started shooting content for "All Male, All Nude." before I was cast in the first “BearCity" film; it’s actually one of the reasons I initially turned down “BearCity." Luckily, the director and creator of the “BearCity” franchise, Doug Langway, shook some sense into me and I gladly put "All Male, All Nude" on the shelf. Shortly after filming the first “BearCity" film, I was cast in the Off-Broadway production of “Daddy," and those two projects have taken my life on a crazy 6-year whirlwind.
Now that “Daddy" is in distribution and the final film in the BearCity trilogy, "BearCity 3,” is about to be released, I finally found time to get back to this project I started six years ago. Crazy.
Biggest cinematic inspirations?
They are varied and odd. However, I always go back to “Harold and Maude” and “The Sea Inside.” And there are a few directors who can do no wrong in my book.
What advice do you have for young, aspiring filmmakers?
It’s so easy now to create your own content; I’m incredibly jealous. Oy, the quality of content I created when I first started figuring out filmmaking is an embarrassment compared to what is available today. Make content. Find your voice. Get interested in the world and see what stories capture your imagination and tell those stories.
What's next for you?
I was lucky enough to spend over a month in Greece last year when the “Daddy” screening tour wrapped up with its screening in Athens. Consequently, while in Greece, I fell into gathering content for a documentary on the heartbreaking LGBTQI refugee crisis happening throughout that? country, and I hope to continue with that project.
“All Male, All Nude” premieres Saturday, April 1st at Midtown Art Cinema. Private party from 5-6pm, followed by the world premiere screening at 6 pm, a reception with director Gerald McCullouch and subjects of the film, and an afterparty.
Tickets for the film are $11 or $35 for a VIP all-access ticket.