Feminist pornographer / speaker / sexpert / writer and artist Madison Young was kind enough to answer some questions and help us on our quest to find out what indie film makers can learn about marketing and distribution from indie porn makers. Here’s Part 1. Ready for part 2?
King is a Fink: What are some of the behind-the-scenes tasks involved with erotic filmmaking that other indie filmmakers might not know about?
Madison Young: I ask the performers who they would like to work with and inquire about their sexual fantasies so I can fit those into the script. We also discuss things like STI testing, safer sex needs, sex toys that they have wanted to try, what their lube preference is, and if they have latex allergies (so we know what kind of condoms to have ready for them). Preshoot we gather props, enemas, vibrators, toys, baby wipes (to wipe up fluids), bottled waters (to replenish fluids), douches, sponges (in case any of the models get their period on set), and any implements that might be used on a bdsm set like rope, cuffs, and collar. Most of the behind-the-scenes tasks specific to erotic film making really has to do with finding the cast that has the right chemistry together and creating the most erotic and comfortable space for those characters to open themselves up intimately and share their sexual selves with their collaborative partner and the camera.
KFink: Non-erotic indie filmmakers generally plan to take their films on the film fest circuit or start looking for distribution / VOD options early on in their filmmaking journey. Do you see this as the common trajectory for erotic / porn filmmakers as well? If not, what do they usually plan to do with their films? Also, do you think it’s easier for erotic / porn filmmakers to make money from their films than other filmmakers?
Madison: It’s a similar journey for indie film makers and erotic film makers. In creating an erotic film, I release the film via dvd, VOD, and on my membership web site www.madisonbound.com.Â I also show a lot of my films in the erotic film circuit. It’s a great way to reach a new audience. I haven’t tried to sell any non-erotic films, but from what I know of the mainstream and indie film industry it’s really about networking and knowing the right people, which really translates to any industry.
KFink: How do you see the porn/erotic film industry responding to competition from free content on the web? Are some methods/companies more effective than others in terms of finding ways to sell content? Is this an issue that you contend with?Â If so, what are you doing to stay competitive?
Madison: Basically if your content is a quality product and you are documenting a unique aspect of sexuality, if your content is authentic, creative and showing chemistry between the performers, then any free content that goes on the web is going to simply be promotion for your product and will actually bring in customers as they will want to see more of the products that you are producing.
A lot of the free porn out there is mainstream porn or what I call “fast food porn” which is formulaic and doesn’t show any chemistry or pleasure. If someone isn’t interested in quality, then they can just consume a bunch of “fast food porn”. Personally I don’t find “fast food porn” to be satisfying or hot. I need to have chemistry and passion in my porn, and I know the directors that provide that kind of content, and I’m happy to pay for those films because I know I’ll be getting what I’m looking for and something that I enjoy. I also know who the director is and it makes me happy to help support the films they are making.
KFink: Do you have anything new in the works that we should watch for?
Madison: Last week my film “Pregnant with Desire” that I directed for Good Releasing was released. It’s a documentary porn about the sexual desires of women during pregnancy. I’m wrapping up editing on a film called “Lucky: A Woman’s POV” which is the 3rd installment in my pov series shot from a woman’s point of view – it’s the first of its kind. And I’m casting for my next bisexual film and in pre-production for that project. The Real Sex episode in which I was featured is now airing on HBO, entitled “Real Sex: Stocks Down, Sex Up”. I’m working on some final edits with my literary agent on my memoir and doing a reading for an erotic film next week. I’m also working with Spike TV sometime this month to come in as a sexpert. I have a lot of upcoming workshops that you can check out on my web site www.madisonbound.com and working on launching a second site before the end of the year.
Just looking at what’s on Madison’s plate makes us tired…and excited. Definitely taking notes from her about how to create opportunities and market. It sounds like she has so much fun doing it. Pun totally intended.
Ready for the Kfink interview with Cinekink Director Lisa Vandever?