A joke can change your life. There are times when my friends tease me for taking jokes way too seriously, but there is one instance that I never forget and thus tend not take to take jokes too easy either. Anyhow, this post is not about me. This post is about someone whose life took a twist because it all started with a joke. So almost a decade back a guy (F1) asked his friend (F), would you like to work for the Adult Industry? And F thought, well it’s only a joke and said yes! And eventually he did work for the adult industry for about 5 years, however never in front of the camera.
This post is about F, who I happen to know. I interviewed him yesterday and that interview idea also started with a joke but it did materialize.
What: Interview with a man (F) who worked in Adult Movie Industry for half a decade, behind the cameras.
Where: Starbucks, Ealing Broadway, London.
When: 1800 GMT, 27 July 2011
What’s on the table? Chocolate muffin, hot chocolate with cream, mango passion fruit drink and a dark chocolate torte.
We had a little chitchat and then the interview started. I asked him how it all started. To which he (F) replied, “It only started as a joke. A friend of mine knew someone who was an actor in the adult industry for more than a decade. And I had interest in videos, filming and stuff. So I was like, why not? I thought he is only testing how far I will go with this. So he called me two weeks later. I asked him to finalize the place. I still thought he must have been joking, because who does that? However, one day we actually went to a farm. His Actor friend had brought the actress and we went with the kit. The actor and actress were very comfortable and I found it quite interesting.” F told me how he thought this was more like a fun thing. This was in late 90s when he was still studying at a university. The clips they had shot on that fateful day may have been used for some adult movies. He did mention that such scenes are simply used for a proper movie and bigger companies actually shoot on a larger scale. After this incident, they got together couple of times and did some more shoots.
Then F started posting on forums and got in touch with bigger production houses. That is when this stunt got serious. He met people who were professionals, had contacts in the industry and who shot movies on a larger scale. These guys knew where to shoot, what kind of kit needs to be used, who are the people to work with, the trade masters in a nutshell. This was way back in the days of VHS and the price for each movie was about 60 to £70. Shooting used to be expensive and expenses for a day’s shoot were £1000. Accordin to him it’s much cheaper now. When I asked for how long did he work for the industry? He mentioned, “4-5 years however I did not work on a daily basis. It was not my regular job. I only went once in a quarter or six months.”
I asked him if he would like to go back and join the industry again. He replied, “No. It was interesting to do however does not tempt anymore” I was curious to know about the work ethics and how professional is the adult industry. F has high regards for the adult industry. He said the people who work for adult industry know what they are doing and it’s cut throat. You got to be good at what you do, if you rent a studio for 4 hours then you must complete the shoot on time, reach on time and be professional because it’s a high paced industry. Most of the actors and actresses shoot 4-5 times a week, though not necessarily for 8 hours a day. They do joke around, however you got to be professional when the shoot is going on as it’s all about the mood and comfort of the actors who are performing. To quote him, “It’s a professional industry with strong work ethic” He said for him it wasn’t his regular job however there are people for whom this is indeed their regular job and thus they know how to play, some are street smart and make it big. There are female actresses who run their own production houses, labels and what not. If you know how to make money, you can make big money.
F is not in touch with any of the people he worked with, but one cameraman. F1 is only a facebook friend now. The cameraman has moved on to the glamour industry.
When I questioned about marketing, research etc, F said,” advertising is a real challenge because you cannot advertise it where you like. There are places, websites and a niche way to advertise &; market stuff. There is research done hence they cater to female, male audience differently. Fashion quotient is quite high and that plays a role too”. F admits he has not worked with any well known actresses however he would have liked to. We spoke about AVN when we discussed marketing, advertising movies etc. F says, as per his observation if an actress doesn’t get recognized for her work at AVN then she may lose bigger production houses and opportunities.
He did mention that the male actors do play mind games with actresses. For instance, if the actress refuses to do a certain scene, sometimes during the act they tend to get carried away and the male actor does get the scene/act he wanted. F did not quote any figure on the money he made; he only said that money did not matter.
When I questioned F about the health hazards involved, and then he quoted the HIV Scare. He said all the actors/actresses have to get checked for HIV every month. Before each shoot there is mandatory checks that are performed, for instance age, HIV, looks etc. He mentioned how the industry had simply banned shooting for three months till they identified who was infected. Eventually they did and he is banned from performing now. I was amazed with the respect and pride F takes in the way adult industry works. He mentioned the actors and actresses do have a personal life, however it can be challenging to discuss about their professional life outside the industry. Actresses hardly have any family life. Its ironic how (at times) they do not reveal their identity because they are in front of the camera. However, because of the money involved they simply choose this field. As per F’s experience there are only two kinds of people in the adult industry. One who are passionate about sex and others for money. Surprisingly many of the actors/actresses are well educated and know what they are doing. Only 1 or 2 he met were introduced to this field because of their boyfriends or did not want to work but got involved some way or the other.
This is more or less what I discussed with him, as I was keen to know how the industry works, what his experience was like. I asked him the questions I received from networking websites.
Most of the questions are covered above, rest are here:
Q1. What’s the other profession you would like to try?
A. Motor racing.
Q2. What was the inspiration?
A. Working with people who were passionate about what they did.
Some questions asked on my (Chintan’s) blogs:
Q3. How do you deal with social stigma?
A. It’s only a profession like any other industry, people work 60-70 hours a week.
Q4. What are the actors treated like?
A. With respect.
Q5. How did you maintain professional veneer?
A. There are people for whom this is their full time job. So one got to be professional.
Q6. Do you get excited? Do you have everyone in the room?
A. First few times it was weird. However then you get used to it and actors/actresses need to be in the right mood and environment so you need to be yourself and behave professionally. Yes, everyone is in the room and camera keeps rolling all the time.
Q7. Why do you have stories in the adult movies?
A. There are actresses who wouldn’t work without dialogs or stories. They got to maintain the quality. Bigger production companies spend good money on quality of clothes, fashion, studio etc. Pirates for instance is one of the most expensive they (adult industry, not him) have made.
Q8. How do male actors perform in front of audience?
A. They do not have a problem; it probably gives them a high that someone is watching.
F did this only for fun and because it was interesting. He wouldn’t want to go back though. His family does not know anything about it. He did mention he is not sure if he would like to tell his wife, why not? He is not sure yet. May be because he doesn’t know who she would be. (He is not married yet) He may tell. He may not tell. However, he may have his reservations if his children wanted to work for adult industry (in front of the camera). This is the irony of life, though you respect something so much and takes pride in what you did, you know it’s difficult out there and families simply abandon children if they find out. Thus, he is unsure how he would react if he found out about his children being associated or if he would ever tell his wife! F is a young open minded man with lots of respect for women. He is passionate about his current job, moto racing, sweets and he does not drink. He attends anger management sessions which is very personal to him and wouldn’t like anyone he meets this often to attend.
All in all, I enjoyed this interview. I know the social stigma will always be there. People do get married to each other in adult industry, they at times do scenes only with each other after marriage or solo and there are mothers who return for more money or sheer pleasure. It’s like any other industry, with professionalism and strong work ethics, however would you like to be out there is a difficult question. F has worked behind the cameras, edited movies, participated in production tasks, interviewed actresses, been there done all that! And yes, he never hooked up with any of the actresses for he wanted to play safe and knew where they have been!
Winner – 28th July 2011 – The Viewspaper Express Yourself Week