Brown said that he chose his story line based on what the performer said his fantasies were rather than try to get the performer to match the director's fantsy.
Born and raised in Chicago. Moved to New York for college in late 1950s, with parents urging him to get into television, as it was “respectable.” He ended up with a job at Circle in the Square Theatre working on sets, but the connection who got him the job soon left and he was left adrift. He ventured into retail work, then advertising, then a bout with hepatitis knocked him out of commission. While recuperating, he bought a movie camera to kill time. On a walk through Central Park, he cruised a partner who encouraged him to film their exploits and he started doing that with others. Arch soon became involved in the private movie club Cinema 7, showing his shorts for eager members, and soon drew the attention of Andy Warhol and Variety magazine. Through one of his actors, he met Jack Deveau, with whom he collaborated on The Night Before and the rest is history.
According to an article on Arch Brown by Bruce King in Gay Scene (v.4 no.4, Sep 1973, p.4.), [the five loops in Five Hard Pieces] were made in 1969 for Cinema 7. Cinema 7 was a private club organization, formed by a man named Eugene Dildine, in New York City that charged members a $3 admission to see gay porn films, which at first were softcore loops. Dildine contracted with Arch Brown to make films for him to screen, all of them hardcore, and these are alleged to be the first hardcore loops screened to a larger group of customers in New York City. On January 30, 1970, Cinema 7 was raided by the police. Dildine, several customers and a projectionist were all arrested, and many of Arch Brown’s films were confiscated. Dildine swore he would fight the charges, but instead he fled the country and Cinema 7 was shuttered. Fortunately, one of the projectionists was smart enough to grab a handful of the films left, and these five films were those.