Saturday, April 03, 2010

Admittedly, I’ve been curious about what goes on at a porn shoot and have mentioned that to Irena; this week she invited me to stop by. After being assured that I wouldn’t be intruding, I accepted.

As has been widely reported, porn is more popular than ever but the industry is in the throws of a major depression the effects of which are asymmetrical. The larger producers who controlled production and distribution are getting killed, while the small independents and self producers are doing OK. It’s the internet and technology of course that is causing this, new content soon becomes freely available and good quality digital camera are cheaply available allowing would be performers to record themselves and keep the proceeds from the website subscriptions. A few thousand subscribers at 10€ a month is a nice income when production expenses are small.

That is how Irena started with her former BF and still business partner, a camera and a tripod in their apartment. Later a guy was found to do the recording, paid of course by being able to do a scene with Irena and eventually a guy was found who would do gay scenes with the BF as well, with Irena manning the camera. As her website became more popular they increase the production values, a second camera and lighting. A couple of years ago they decided to add other performers to the site and while that added a cost of talent, managing the production costs results in a decent margin.

What I found when I arrived were two camera men, one of whom also managed the sound and a lighting person who doubled as the still photographer, along with several performers. When the performers in one scene needed a break, the crew would go to another room and begin recording with a different set of performers.

They were about to start shooting a scene with a “first timer” the girl in my estimation was barely eighteen, as Irena explained how the scene would play out the girl agreed with everything and seemed very willing, until they got to the, ahem, meat of the scene. Maybe it was the guy’s tool, which was…impressive, or maybe she was having second thoughts, whatever the girl was having a tantrum. A break was called and the crew went off to a bedroom with a performer for a masturbation scene. Irena took the girl aside and gave her the ultimatum that if she wanted to get paid, she needed to do what she agreed to, but she was also free to leave and then left her to think about it.

Milla showed up as the scene with the girl ended and we left for a café. The scene did go off as intended and frankly didn’t seem to go well at all, but when Irina joined us later, she told me that she had an alternative plan for the footage so it wouldn’t go to waste.

Cost control, every business needs to do it I guess.



Anonymous VJ said...

I'm always wondering what the performers are paid for such 'one offs' for a day or 2 of work. Mostly I suspect it's somewhere south of $10K, or even just 2 grad per performance. Cheers, 'VJ'

6:47 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

VJ, I believe the compensation is often less than two thousand a day and a day would include several scenes.


10:23 PM  
Anonymous VJ said...

Thanks Kim, I'm probably thinking about another era too! Cheers, 'VJ' (Strangely, this comment above 'disappeared & then reappeared' too.)

2:45 AM  

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