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Pornography Industry


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#1 Matt808

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 09:49 PM

Post removed at author's request. -TT
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 10:20 PM

This might seem immature and a bit odd to ask, but seeing as the porn industry is in the billions I'd like to know some information on it.

Right now I'm only 16, and am working ...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It would be illegal for you to be in front of the camera, and if you were my 16 year old son, I would certainly not want you behind the camera. :rolleyes:

I sense that you see this as a quick way to wealth, rather than as art. Examine your motivation carefully.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 11:18 PM

The Porn Industry is a self-contained world, with its own crews, equipment, post facilities, etc. In Los Angeles, a lot of production is centered in some industrial park in Canoga Park in the Valley.

And I only know that because I used to live in Canoga Park, and on this short film was I was about to shoot, about nine years ago, the gaffer I interviewed said that he knew an affordable set caterer and since I lived in Canoga Park, I should visit the set and check out the food at lunchtime. This gaffer also had all sorts of deals on equipment and post from places I never heard of.

So I get to the set and it turns out to be a soundstage for some porno shoot. Strangest vibe, with this old married couple running things, the husband directing and the wife doing script supervising, which seemed to mainly entail collecting the actor's AIDS test results clearing them to work. Heard one actress shout out "Are we doing the DP after lunch?" Took me a moment to realize what "DP" meant...

The crew seemed to consist of five people total; one guy (the grip/electric) looked in his twenties and the rest looked over fifty. Sort of surreal. Actually, it was all rather grim and depressing.

The food was OK, by the way, and we hired that caterer.

Turned out later that the gaffer I hired was part of a porn family production company and he produced a number of pornos, even though he was young. He was also, it turned out, something of a drug addict, sleeping during most of our shoot, and then one day just leaving the production, stealing all the donated gels we had gotten from Rosco. Never heard of him again.

Anyway, my point is that I'm sure that most of us here have little to do with that particular industry, Porno being somewhat self-contained and closed-off from mainstream production, so I doubt you're going to get good advice from us on how to get into it. Personally, mainstream production has enough sleezy people with questionable business ethics in it...
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#4 drew_town

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 11:44 PM

Pretty creepy there David. There's money in wedding videos if you're good. I know a guy who works three days a week shooting and editing weddings and is doing quite well. He was showing off his new car the other day. There's people that get brainwashed by watching porn. Imagine what it'd be like to work with it. Nasty! Anyway, I'd never do it and wouldn't even consider it.
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#5 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:15 AM

it would also be rather difficult to build a reel shooting nothing but porn :blink:
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#6 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:20 AM

All these porn locations have an odd vibe.

I did a music video a while back in some industrial office. As I was looking around I found all these Aids test forms everywhere. I, latter in the day, had my suspicions confirmed. The people that owned the building were nice, but sleazy and had an odd "vibe" that made it just creepy to talk to them.

I live near Canoga Park, but even around here (Woodland Hills) there is porn being shot all the time.

I did a show with two brothers who shall remain nameless (everyone seems to have a story about these guys, sleazy, drunk brothers one a gaffer, one a key grip with odd nicknames). They were nice enough to me, they work on everything from bigger shows to porn, but they definitely had "habits" and enough negative stories about them and their habits affecting their work that I won?t work with them anymore.

The entire industry is odd, just as David says. I think if you really want to get into that end of the business, use the editorial route. Go in working as an editor, and then slowly work towards production side. There is no question that there is money in it, just know that getting out can be tricky. That stuff seems to follow you, no matter how hard you try.


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:29 AM

I shot an informercial in a BelAir mansion once and the police showed up and asked to see our permit. Turned out the owner regularly rented the place out for porno shoots and the neighbors, annoyed, figured we were another one since we had a small video crew and a few lights.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:30 AM

Oh this is going to be one of the most interesting threads in the history of the forum.

Maybe there's more to David Mullen's brush with the porn industry than he's letting on :D
(kidding David)

I'll say one thing for the porno folks they are certainly forward thinkers. When video gear was just starting to be available to "average folks" they where the first to see its potential for porn and buy it in large quantities. I remember a news story about a rash of BetaCam thefts from news crews in NYC. The news shooter would set his camera down for a second, and flash, gone. Seems the porn video makers where the ones doing the stealing.

Then when the internet came along they once again saw the enormous potential for their particular industry, and made big investments into it. Today of course the web is used to look for porn way more than any other search topic.

It's incredible to think that the porn video biz makes more money than Hollywood films do every year.

So at 16 already thinking about the porn video biz? Hmmmm, producer senses tingling, I smell a screenplay and hit movie!

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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:34 AM

No doubt that the porn industry is at the cutting edge of media technology. I'm sure that among the first several features shot in 24P HD with the Sony F900 in 2000/2001, no doubt one of them was a porno. And you can bet some pornographer will be one of the first buyers of the Panasonic P2 consumer HD camera.
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#10 J. Lamar King

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:53 AM

I think it would mark you in a negative way more than anything. If you want to just make money do it shooting weddings, real estate, news or whatever. There have been only a very few DP's jump from that industry into legit filmmaking.

I think Maryse Alberti mentioned in AC that she used to shoot that stuff but I don't know if it was the hardcore stuff they do today.
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#11 Mark Allen

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:56 AM

I was in a conversation with some filmmakers and a relative story came up - so I'll share it.

One of the filmmakers was very frustrated and said something casual like, "I should just do porn and make millions." Then another filmmaker surprised everyone with a very sincere response, "Actually, you're chances of making millions in porn are about the same as making millions in legit films - especially now that amateur porn has become a favorite - it's really the luck of marketing that will bring in the money. So - you basically just have to figure out what kinds of projects you want to work on."

It was around this point that I burst out laughing because his actual statement was much longer and in more detail than I paraphrased here - and totally unexpected. So we asked where he was getting his information and he went on to explain that he had two friends who had come to this same conclusion quite a few years ago. One guy did something in the amateur realm with a unique twist - but he did everything "wrong" - he just "found" people to star in it, he shot it in the offices he was working in after everyone had left. The other guy went to the performer's union and got a contract, had a crew and did everything "right" - and I bet you can guess what happened. The "wrong" guy got lucky - his movie got "out there" and the "right" guy had spent his every last penny on his "sure bet" and been ruined. Now what I found most interesting was that in his estimation, the "right" guy was a very intelligent guy, came off smart, was a thinker and the "wrong" guy - not so much, just some guy you wouldn't think much about.

Make whatever morale of the story you want. Just thought I'd share the story as the topic came up.
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#12 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 01:21 AM

". . . Today of course the web is used to look for porn way more than any other search topic . . ."

Even more than cinematography?!? Unlikely :D

Deep Throat - Prime example of doing things the "wrong" way and striking gold.


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#13 Saul Pincus

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 01:25 AM

I think Maryse Alberti mentioned in AC that she used to shoot that stuff but I don't know if it was the hardcore stuff they do today.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Barry Sonnenfeld started out in porn, too, from what I recall.

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#14 Rik Andino

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 01:30 AM

Now I don't know if it's right to call them all sleazy smut peddlers
Some of them might be decent smut peddlers :)

But the industry is definitely different than your standard film industry
And to us standard filmmakers they seem a bit alien...

Porn isn't really a get rich scheme like many people think...
Even internet porn which might seem like a goldmine...
You still have to make it...and to make it
Requires you to produce a large quantity of work...
Not giving you much time to venture into other productions like regular filmmaking.
But you can make a steady living off of it although you won't be rich.

And what everyone else is saying is right...
Once you're in it'll be difficult to get out because of several reasons

You'll be making a steady living doing that kinda of work
You'll have a hard time letting the money go
To start all over again in the standard film industry.

You'll never make any connections with anyone in the regular film industry either
So you'll have to work your way up again from intern etc...
And form a completely new looking reel.

I say it's different direction...just like doing weddings or the news
There's some money in it if you do it right and you'll fall in love with it
And lose you way...and once that happens it's hard to get back on track.

So my personal advice is avoid all of that type of work
Weddings, Porn, Live Events, News...
& if you do it once for the money, don't make it a habit.

If you wanna make films just get into it and make films...
You'll have to struggle for years no matter when or where you start
So the earlier you start the better off you are.

Good Luck
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#15 Dominik Muench

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 01:41 AM

not that im an expert on that field, but anyone ever heard of andrew blake ? that guy shoots those really soft focus, "high class" erotic movies, not necessarily porn all the time, and he shoots all of his stuff on 16mm and with proper lighting.
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#16 Patrick Neary

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 10:17 AM

>As of know I've got 8 national television shows credited to me for editing and 1 national commercial for VANS shoes for being an AC.

hi there-

this makes no sense to me.

You're working on national-level spots at 16 and you think pornos will further your career?

Why not stay in the far more lucrative and promising arena of commercials?
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#17 fstop

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 06:24 PM

I have never understood the shame of pornography as an industry, given how much Western economy depends on it.

Technically as well it's a real art when it's done properly. Those softcore features made by the Playboy channel particularly are made to a VERY high standard- those guys are masters of skin tone. You'll notice on a lot of those pics whenever they have obligatory plot device dialogue sequences the portraiture is just as attractive when everyone is as fully clothed as all the make-out tableaus. Even those infamous Traci Lords nasties from the 80s were shot to very well decided fstops on film, and arguably to a higher standard than half of the big budget Hollywood movies shes played since she cleaned up!
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#18 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 06:51 PM

Tim,

I'm not sure what you mean by this...

"I have never understood the shame of pornography as an industry, given how much Western economy depends on it."

You mean that it generates huge amounts of money and employs a lot of people?

As for shame, so you would have no problem with your son or daughter being a porn star?

When asked, "How's your daughter?" In a social setting, you would proudly respond, "Great she's just finished her 29th porno feature."

Richard
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#19 fstop

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 07:34 PM

I can't understand how being a pornstar is anymore demeaning than if my future daughter chooses to be a sleazy lawyer, a particpant on a reality TV show, a used car dealer, the head of a cigarette company, a papprazzi journalist, a tabloid gossip columnist, the marketing director of McDonalds or marrying a 70 year old millionaire on his deathbed blatantly to nab his riches- there's a ton of stereotypes for you to indulge in- are they all decent stock professions because the dominant sleaze is all censored?
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#20 Rik Andino

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 07:58 PM

It's a moral issue
(so technically we shouldn't be discussing this on the forum...
but I just can't resist :) )

People feel that having sex is wrong...
So having sex in front of a camera is doubly wrong...
Really there alot of things wrost than being a pornstar...

I remember a college professor once saying...
"That the popularity of the porn industry
Coupled with the stigmatization of the porn industry
reveal the hypocritical side of the American society..."


It's okay for us to be voyuers and enjoy watching the videos
But it's shameful if we attempt to participate in any of those acts.

However with that said I've seen some videos that are darinly extreme...
But don't ask me why I've seen them. :)
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