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Peep Show – Interview with Joanna Angel

Peep Show – Interview with Joanna Angel
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Joanna Angel is a total nerd.  Her words, not ours. She loves to read, write, and, you know, make porn.  No big whoop.  She pens and stars in her own movies, including the very popular “Joanna’s Angels”, “Joanna’s Angels 2”, and “Porny Monster”.  She’s won AVN awards, has her own blow up doll (jealous), and runs the Burning Angel Empire (Not Safe For Work, Yo…unless you work in a very cool place.)

Joanna and business partner, Mitch Fontaine, launched Burning Angel in 2002 while in their last year of college, and since then it’s erupted…er, exploded…um…really grown into an impressive brand.  Go to the website, and you’re not just going to see hot girls doing naughty things.  You’re going to see events. You’re going to see specifics on how to purchase ads on the site.  You’re going to see stats on their users. And they even have interviews with rock bands. (Aw, cute. You can say you love Burning Angel for the articles.)

Joanna and Mitch know that sex sells, but sex + fashion + music + lifestyles sell better, and they’re rockin’ every part of their business.  In additional to their main sites, they run sites devoted to specific tastes, some revolving around piercings and tattoos, another focused on hot girls in 80s get-up.

Our favorite things about Joanna Angel:

  1. She’s a smart and savvy business woman.
  2. She celebrates what’s fun and funny about sex.
  3. She took a few minutes out of her crazybusyinsane schedule to answer some questions for PEEP SHOW.

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King is a Fink: Between the time that you started making films and now, what are the two most important things you’ve learned about filmmaking?

Joanna Angel: Everything takes a lot longer than you think it will take. Also, when you’re filming any kind of movie with a “plot,” planning every shot out is really important. The more planned out everything is, the better the product will be.
KFink: Do you have a preference for writing, acting, or directing? Why?

Joanna: Well, acting in porn involves having sex, and having sex is a lot of fun. I honestly don’t think of myself as a great director. I feel like the camera operators that I hire do a lot more of the actual directing on set than I do, but I’m very clear with them as to what I want in the pre-production stages.

The writing is probably the most challenging and time consuming part of the process; it’s also my favorite part. There is no better feeling in the world than when I’m done writing a script that I’m proud of. I went to school for writing, and I’ve always loved making characters come to life with words, so I’m going to say that is my preference of the three.

KFink: Since porn is such a highly competitive industry, how do you set yourself and Burning Angel apart from other porn products, particularly free content? How do you find your audience and keep them interested and active?

Joanna: I just stay focused and try to make the best stuff I can possibly make. I think the best way to separate yourself is to not even worry about separating yourself. I just do what I think is sexy, or entertaining. If it just so happens to be similar to someone else’s idea, I don’t worry about it so much. I know I deliver everything in my own way, and it will always look unique.

We have eight websites now with lots of different girls and lots of different content. Everything is updated regularly, and I think that keeps our fans interested and loyal. If, for some reason, someone isn’t into a scene or a photo set that goes up, chances are they’ll find something else they are into pretty easily. Competing with the free sites isn’t easy, but we have a loyal fan base who support us. We try to deliver good content that is worth paying for.

KFink: You have a very far-reaching internet presence through your blog, websites, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  How important is it to interact with your audience online, and how much time do you devote to doing this?

Joanna: My blog is part of my website, and keeping my blog updated is just as important as keeping the photos and videos update: it all goes hand in hand. If I don’t keep my fans updated on what I’m doing, they’ll eventually stop caring about it! So, yeah – it is really important.

I don’t respond to everything that everyone says to me on Twitter – nor do I think I have to. I make a more conscience effort to respond to every comment from paying members on my site. I use Facebook and Twitter to keep the public up-to-date on what I am doing, but I do more of the “interacting” on my website, which gives paying members something else to be thankful for.

KFink: We know that with making indie movies things go wrong all the time. Any humorous stories about your experiences making porn?

Joanna: Funny things happen all the time! One time we’d built this very cheap hospital set for a naughty nurse scene, and during the scene, while the girl was holding onto the headboard, she broke it.  Instead of trying to salvage the set, we just kinda went with it, and the guy and girl proceeded to break almost every part of the set throughout the rest of the scene. It was pretty funny, and it also made everything look more intense. Hey, when life hands you some lemons, you gotta make lemonade.  Sometimes lemonade means breaking a hospital bed made out of cardboard on someone’s head you’re having sex with!

KFink: If we’ve said that once, we’ve said that a thousand times, Joanna…the cardboard hospital bed thing. You obviously have a very good handle on the business side of your porn career. What advice do you have for indie movie makers about distribution, marketing, promotion, etc?

Joanna: I think what us porno folk are good at doing is taking advantage of ALL mediums, and I think that is what anyone doing any kind of independent production should try to do. We put our stuff on DVD, the internet, VOD, cable – we put our stuff anywhere it can possibly go. I think a lot of indie filmmakers work hard just to get on one film festival OR they only think about DVD distribution. It’s important to put your product into as many mediums as possible so you get your stuff out there to as many people as possible.

KFink: Great points. What’s something new from you that we should all watch out for?

Joanna: Last month I came out with a movie called “Doppleganger,” which is about my blow up doll trying to ruin my life. It’s pretty hilarious. I loved making it. I did an entire fight scene with the doll, and we had the doll knock me out, chloroform me, throw spit balls at my fans at a dvd signing, all sorts of stuff. It was a challenge to make and I’m happy with the outcome. I would recommend to check that one out!

KFink: Blow up doll revenge movie? We’re very jealous that we didn’t think of that first, but since the King is a Fink blow up dolls aren’t in (yet), we can’t wait to see how you rocked it out.  Thank you so much for doing this interview for PEEP SHOW, Joanna.

Find out more about what Joanna’s up to here and here. (Disclaimer: These are straight up porn sites. Kfink is not responsible for any naughty thoughts or raised blood pressures as a result of clicking on these links. And…you’re welcome.)

Next up: Buck Angel!

Other Peep Show interviews: Erika Lust, Cinekink’s Lisa Vandever, Madison Young

Peep Show articles: Sex & Tech Connection, Eats Your Peas & Watch Your Porn, Why We’re So Right for This Job

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KingIsAFink Jessica King grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and eventually moved to the city via China; country mouse Julie Keck entered Chicago via Jessica. Their first films were inspired by inside jokes and made primarily to tickle the fancies of their closest friends. In subsequent films they explored the exquisite embarrassment associated with living. King and Keck’s most recent efforts, Anxiety Acres and Libidoland, showcase characters venturing out of their comfort zones and flailing in the quicksand of their own imaginations. In addition to producing ultra-low budget films, Jessica and Julie write short and feature length screenplays in a variety of genres. Their primary goal: to tell stories that are at once familiar, uncomfortable, demented, and exhilarating. They’re currently working on a movie dramatic thriller called TILT with Minnesota director Phil Holbrook. Julie and Jessica chronicle their work at kingisafink.com and are active on Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.

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