by Rich Moreland, October 2015
This is the first of a two-part series on set with Girlfriends Films director B Skow. My thanks to the company for accommodating my visit.
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Pulling into a private driveway north of Los Angeles, my trusty associate and I are unsure of our location. We’d already miscalculated once, ending up on a someone’s back country lane.
Everything is quiet except the heat which is reaching for 100 degrees. Then the giveaway, a shaded front yard with cars parked everywhere.
After adding ours to the group, we walk up to the home. Inside a set of open double doors I immediately notice a large painting which I had seen in a previous Girlfriends shoot.
Finally, the right place!
The first person we run into has the warmest smile imaginable. He’s Alex a cameraman for B Skow, the director of the shoot we’ve finally located.
Next we greet Sabrina, today’s PA. She and I had met previously a couple of years ago.
They show me the day’s line-up. First scene is Karter Fox and Marcus Bay; the second, Iris Rose and Chad White.
A word about Sabrina before moving on. She’s been with Girlfriends for a number of years and is a true “jack of all trades.” Today she’s doing audio, part of her repertoire of talents that includes lighting, set-up, and props. Simply put, her job is to “craft the scene,” Sabrina tells us.
For my assistant and me, Sabrina is a touch of home. She’ s a transplant from the Washington, DC area, Silver Spring on the Maryland side to be exact.
Go Until I Stop You
Costumed as a hooker, a smiling Iris Rose is wandering around killing time. She has two scenes on the agenda with the second a raucous whorehouse slamming by Chad White who is not scheduled to arrive for another three hours.
In fact, whorehouse is the theme of the film that revolves around “taking over a family business,” Skow informs us.
He gives me a quick rundown of the story which centers on a daughter whose late mother owned the brothel that is the film’s setting.
The virginal Marie is living with her stepfather who suggests she follow in her mother’s footsteps as a businesswoman. So the girl takes up residence in the cat house to break through her prudery and find the joys of sexual licentiousness.
With that overview in mind, we follow everyone to a bedroom for the next scene.
Iris, who plays Marie, lolls on the bed as activity builds around her. Sabrina moves sound equipment; Alex readies his camera. Iris preps herself for the toys the scene demands. When the camera rolls, Skow’s only direction is “just go until I stop you.”
Sabrina has done her job, by the way. The set is filled with color, slightly tawdry in spots, characteristic of the brothel milieu. Everyone works efficiently, there is a subtle coordination among the crew in a very tight space.
Good natured as she waits, Iris yawns then smiles and feigns a little sleep.
We’re underway. Well, almost.
A Tossed Hitachi
Continuing with his preliminaries, Skow banters with Iris about a hot guy she met recently in the airport. The blonde cutie laughs and relates the story.
Amused, Skow says, “Thanks for that BTS moment.” (To those unfamiliar with “behind the scenes,” it’s an inside look at movie making that is often included in a DVD.)
With Alex ready on his left, Skow walks Iris through his expectations and gets her into character with the reminder that he doesn’t want this to look like a solo scene typical of cam girls. She’s got to come through with Marie’s frustrations.
Everything works beautifully. Skow encourages Iris to “talk dirty” because Marie is reluctant to seek her pleasures with the toy she lovingly calls “handsome.”
The scene ends with the guilt-ridden daughter flinging her Hitachi (not a power tool, gang, this is porn) across the room.
“I’m sorry I can’t do this,” Marie says to her dearly departed mother. “I’m not like you!”
The vibrating satisfaction is too much for this gentle flower . . . at least until she encounters Chad White in a later scene.
During the break, I briefly meet Karter Fox whose sex scene is coming up shortly with Marcus Bay. The saucy exotic dancer is a Vegas import for this shoot, she tells me, and looks adorable in her pink teddy.
Before her scene with Marcus is shot however, Karter must play through an episode in which Marie tries to flee the whorehouse. There’s lots of banging on doors to complement banging of another sort and Karter is tender in calming a distraught Marie, escorting her from the room.
The contrasts between the girls is fascinating considering both are porn newbies. Karter has a quiet demeanor, the opposite of Iris’s buoyancy, and for this scene their pairing works well.
Karter’s encounter with the troubled Marie is a solid acting moment for the dancer who comes across as the quiet girl in the back of the room. Understandable, the camera can be more intimidating than a live audience in a noisy club. It exposes the soul of a performer.
That’s it for scene nine, Skow says. Break time again.
Movie Making Comeback
The kitchen is filled with goodies so the crew and performers (and welcomed journalists) hang out for a few minutes. This opens an opportunity to talk with Alex and a bit of a friendship builds during the next few hours.
The affable cinematographer has been working exclusively on B Skow shoots for a couple of years now. A Toronto native, he went to photography school and started in adult with magazine shots and American Art nudes.
Alex worked for a host of studios that included Vivid and Elegant Angel until 2007 when he dropped out of the industry. With the renewal of the feature, he returned in 2012, emphasizing that his personal artistic spark was ignited when “movie making came back.”
The twenty-three year industry veteran and I have a common bond. I like the feature also, preferring a storyline over wall-to-wall sex in the movies I review.
The Next Customer
During their hallway scene, Karter suggests to an unsure Marie that she sneak a peek when Karter is with her next customer. It’ll be a mood builder for Marie.
That leads to the sex scene between Karter and Marcus Bay, a recent Russian émigré who is no newcomer to porn. He shot in Eastern Europe for six years. In a talent recommendation of the highest order, the noted director Rocco Siffredi brought the twenty-seven year old to American soil.
Skow sets the mood by presenting Karter as doll-like. There’s lots of foreplay which Marcus smoothly orchestrates and when the sex begins he gently opens her up for the best camera angles. In porn, that’s a must.
As often happens, a veteran male is teamed with a girl just breaking in. It’s a mentoring process familiar throughout the business.
Amusing moments are inserted into the action when Marie playfully steals glances through the curtains as Karter serves her customer.
Afterwards, I have a quick conversation with Iris Rose.
Just Came My Way
The effervescent blonde is building an impressive resume. Iris mentions she watched porn early on and “really liked it.”
“I should have been here from day one,” the eighteen year old says because she was “really comfortable” with her first shoot.
Iris reflects maturity beyond her years. Her charming giggles win over everyone while her serious attitude promotes taking direction well.
After high school, a move to California and signing with ATM/LA jump started her career.
Though porn “just came my way,” Iris says, she has a plan that will keep her shooting for the next few years.
On her model page Iris lists the expected porn fare of scenes she will do, but that does not include checking off everything at once. She is holding back IR (interracial) and gangbangs, though both are on her agenda and she’s eager to get to them someday.
Reflecting thinking that is right in line with the best industry advice, Iris says she is “not going to rush into what I’m down for because what am I going to have in a year or two years?”
In other words, she explains, by shooting everything now, “I got no more surprises for my fans.”
Adult film is not a normal job, of course, and careers can be short. However, compared with something more mainstream available to girls her age, Iris admits, “I would not have as much money.”
Not surprising for a hard worker who had her first job at fourteen to help out her family. Iris Rose is investing, paying her bills, and looking to the future.
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In part two we will take a look at the sex scenes and the male performers who are so vital to making adult film a positive experience for the girls.