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Lately I've been reconsidering becoming a porn producer. Or rather a producer of adult content.

What is the difference, you ask?

As it turns out, plenty.

You see those late-night commercials for GIRLS GONE WILD? Ever see a Mardi Gras boobies video for sale? Well, as it turns out, those aren't considered porn. They are considered adult videos, but are not subject to many of the restrictions of trade that are placed on hardcore pornography. For instance, you can advertise them on late night TV, and video stores can sell them from the rack rather than having a separate room.
Same thing with softcore. Softcore isn't considered porn, I shit you not.

Where the line is drawn in making the distinction I shall not go into. I do know, and it is rather amazing to me as to what is allowed and what isn't but that's pretty much beside the point for the purposes of this tirade.

The main point is that there are some distinct advantages that crop up.

1.) I have the equipment to do this now. It doesn't take any further investment in equipment.

2.) It's legal, as long as you verify and maintain proof of age of your participants. A copy of a picture ID is suffucient. It's a whole lot nicer than selling drugs from a legal standpoint.

3.) It's profitable. This is something that is debatable, but within the realm that it's pretty cheap to produce (when you already have the equipment), the potential for profit is good.

4.) Tax write-offs. Say that I create a line of adult videos called "Hot Tub Hotties". Buying and installing a hot tub then becomes a business expense. And since I'm shooting at my home studio, the rennovations also become partially a business expense.

It's not a get-rich-quick scheme, certainly. There are expenses to be had, like paying the models (I refuse to call them actors), marketing and advertising, DVD duplication, website space and maintenance, and the like. And keeping an attorney on retainer.

The other part that I haven't touched on is the question of ethics. I have no problem with it because I understand my own sense of ethics and morality, and I've always sort of had one foot in the fringes of the "sex industry". The issue comes in more with the potential models, and the problems that can be associated with them. For instance, if I get contacted by a woman who has a crack habit and wants the money to buy more drugs, how do I deal with that? My gut response is to say no, because I don't want the bad karma and the potential hassles that can come with it.

The things that worry me the most are the business aspects. That is an area that I do not have good skills or knowledge in.

More research is required.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
Personally I say go for it. Life is short. It's definitively fun and profitable. There is chance for artistic development even if it won't be obvious to the average customer. Humanity needs adult content even if just to fight off the social repression.

I think it's an interesting idea.
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
It's kind of modeled after Seduction Cinema and Shock-o-rama, along with some other things that I've been looking into.

The legal issues get really funky when you start getting into hardcore.
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
5.) You might get lucky.
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Actually, that's something that I want to avoid. Not in general of course, but in the specifics of doing the job, I think it's a really bad idea to get involved in that way. It just leads down so many bad pathways. Consider the sexual harassment possibilities alone.

I have nothing against sex, but this is something that I'm looking at as a business opportunity, and one way to finance more movies of the non-adult variety.
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
Well, on the off-chance you would need any script help with this, let me know.

Not like there's much in the way of scripts with these sort of deals, but who knows.
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC)
Heh. It's a long ways off, if at all. I have plenty o' stuff that needs to happen first, but yeah, most definitely.

Check out http://www.seductioncinema.com
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
I, for one, hope you're not actually serious.

No offense, but the whole idea is sleazy and beneath your talents. Even shooting Menard's commercials is more respectable than doing porn.

Spin it how you want, pornography in general is a disgusting, degrading enterprise for all parties involved.

Come on, man.

Feb. 25th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
Serious as toast.

The idea has come up many times in the past ten years or so. At one time I had actually worked up a business plan, or at least part of one which I was going to partner with someone else. That went badly in a way which didn't involve me, but it has made me more cautious of who I deal with.

As for being disgusting and degrading-- it doesn't have to be. There is a presumption that it's sleazy and sick, primarily because of the history that the industry has had, and the exploitation of women by some really uberassholic men.

However, there has been a real resurgence in the past several years of "empowered porn", where many women porn producers are taking over their own business and running it in a much more safe and much less exploitive way.

Yeah, I actually follow this stuff. I have a rather jaded history.

If I were to decide to do it (and that's a big if), there would be a lot of rules. The biggest would probably be no exploitation, which will likely be argued left and right by people who believe that any sexually charged media is exploitation. What I'm talking about is providing the models with a fair and decent wage for their work, providing a safe and healthy work environment, and making sure that they are fully knowledgeable about what they're doing (i.e. no drunken frat party titty-cam).

Sarah-Katherine would probablky stomp all over my head in trench boots for even suggesting that such a thing is possible, but I think she's biased.

As for shooting Menard's commercials... nice gig if you can get it. And despite the cheesy look, I do believe that these are rather expensive agency commercials since they run in several states in the midwest. Don't know the ad agency; Menards is HQ'd out of Eau Claire, so its likely a Minneapolis company like Miller Meester or Carmichael-Lynch, but I don't know for sure.

And I have shot commercials. But making a living out of that was pretty much shot in the ass when the TV stations and Cable started offering free commercial shoots when you bought advertising packages from them.

Music videos aren't much better. Most bands that want a video have a couple of hundred bucks at the most, and they want flying monkeys and hot ass-shaking babes and expensive cars, and when you tell them that you can't do all that stuff for three hundred bucks, they get all petulant.

Yeah, I'd rather be shooting features. But I'd rather be paid for shooting features, or funding my own productions. And doing Hot Tub Hotties to get there doesn't seem like a particularly bad way to go.
Feb. 25th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
There is a presumption that it's sleazy and sick...

There may be money in it, and if you decide to do it, I'm sure you'd make stuff that's on the non-sleazy side, BUT: I don't know if there's any way around that presumption.

An important factor to think about is what it would do to your reputation. Yes, I know, your personal reputation is a moot point, but your professional reputation might suffer.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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