Tag Archives: B.Skow

AEE 2017: Kasey Warner

by Rich Moreland, February  2017

My thanks to Girlfriends Films for providing some of the photos in this post.

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Talking with the stars of films I’ve reviewed is always a treat. At this year’s Adult Entertainment Expo, Kasey Warner fell my way, an expected surprise.

A text and a meeting at the AVN booth led to an interview after her signing time.

I’m interested in Kasey’s perspective on B Skow’s Color Blind, a film that was nominated for Best Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay at this year’s Awards Show.

She plays an unsighted girl who falls in love with a man of color.

To read my review of this socially significant film, click here.

colorblindcover

 

I Can Hear Your Voice

I asked Kasey how she prepared for her role.

“B Skow sent me some clips of a girl on YouTube and said study her videos and pick up on her mannerisms so you can play a convincing blind girl,” Kasey remembers.

At first, this adorable brunette realized that the YouTube girl wasn’t doing the things that seemed “stereotypically blind,” something she would have to take into consideration in her acting.

“At the beginning of filming I was trying to portray a blind person as blind people actually are, but then as it went on, [I started] doing the things that people do when they act blind.”

She references her eyes shifting around, for example.

Skow picked up on her mannerisms, understandable because he directed Maddy O’Reilly in Daddy’s Girls who also plays a girl without sight.

Kasey recalls his reminder, “‘Don’t look at people in the eyes, [because] you can’t see.'”

It was a struggle at first and she remembers telling Skow, “I can hear your voice and I can center my ears to find your voice. So it’s kind of hard trying to find a medium between a realistic blind girl and a girl that people could watch and say, ‘Oh, she’s blind.'”

But, she pulled it off!

Feeling it Out

The opening scene in the kitchen sets the tone for a powerful film. Were the scenes shot in lockstep with the screenplay?

“That actually was the first thing we filmed. I don’t think every scene was filmed in chronological order, but I do think that the team tried to have it that way because for professional actors it is a little bit easier to go through the movie and kind of feel it out as you go,” Kasey replies.

“By the second day I was is in the groove of a blind girl,” Kasey notes with a smile.

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And that was no mean feat.

“When you’re shooting a porn movie you don’t get as much time to practice,” Kasey explains. “You don’t have a table read, you don’t have run-throughs. So I definitely felt like as it went on I got more into my role, so that was good.”

No doubt, her performance is impressive.

Not Typical Gonzo

Kasey’s sex scene with Isiah Maxwell is far from a gonzo shoot. There’s a gentleness in it.

How did she balance being sightless and romantic at the same time?

Isiah Maxwell

Isiah Maxwell

“I was obviously already in the character and I love Isiah. He’s the sweetest guy in the world so it’s not hard to have him be my boyfriend and be all lovey-dovey with him.”

Because of her character’s circumstances, “each scene is a whole new experience” for the girl, Kasey says, and “I was able to use that to make it seem like it was new for me.”

In other words, her scenes had authenticity.

I suggest that losing virginity in the real world is hardly a romantic experience.

Kasey concurs.

“I read one review where they didn’t like the sex scene and I understand that because it’s not your typical gonzo scene and it’s not me riding like a crazy person. I am a blind girl from a sheltered racist family losing my virginity. It’s supposed to be kind of scary, timid, and very emotional and romantic because that’s what it is.”

Adriana Chechik

Adriana Chechik

Fans should understand that portraying a certain character does not mean every sex scene is an Adriana Chechik scene, Kasey points out. (Adriana plays her sister in the film and was voted AVN’s 2017 Female Performer of the Year).

She says fans often want gonzo “to be every scene” but her character’s situation doesn’t lend itself to that. “I’m not going to be on top, doing crazy stuff like ‘choke me, Isiah!'” Kasey laughs.

Filming with Skow

“I love shooting with B Skow because he allows me to do scenes that aren’t just, ‘Be my Stepdad, Again!’ It was really nice to be able to shoot a movie that really had some meaning behind it,” Kasey says.

Picking up on Color Blind’s theme, this East Coast girl remarks, “It was nice to do an interracial movie where the whole point is that we’re all the same.”

The idea is important to Kasey because she was on board with IR shoots as soon she entered the industry. It seemed natural to her, but she was in for a surprise.

“I didn’t know that some girls hold out on that.”

But no matter. Even if she had been aware of not doing everything right off the bat, Kasey wouldn’t have changed her approach to her career when it came to IR.

“It’s dumb to discriminate. The whole point of me being blind is I can’t see color so I’m the girl who says, ‘Why shouldn’t I have sex with this guy, I love him. He’s great.'”

At this point, Kasey interjects that too much of interracial porn is gonzo-centered, just another white girl banged by a black guy. “Usually it’s like, ‘Woo, you’re my black babysitter!’ I don’t know, some dumb stuff [like that].”

Focusing on Emotion

I’ve reviewed enough B Skow films to understand his intensity and his endearing maverick status. I explore this idea with Kasey.

B Skow

What makes Skow such a spirited and impassioned director?

“He refuses to adhere to what porn says he should do to make the most money. He’s not going to shoot the most generic, asinine thing just because ‘Big Butts 37’ is going to sell more than a politically, racially-fueled movie with a message,” Kasey says.

“He  really cares and he doesn’t care that some people might not like it. This is what is important to me. It’s nice to shoot with directors who are passionate [about their work],” Kasey explains.

“That allows me to do a good scene because it’s hard for me to care if the director doesn’t.”

My final question on the film concerns its shocking finale.

Because her theater experiences in her student days enables her to feel empathy for the characters she plays, Kasey is good at focusing on emotion and that showed up as the film closes.

But there is more. Kasey praises Steven St. Croix’s portrayal of her racist father. His intensity created the energy she absorbed to enhance her performance.

Steven St. Croix. Photo courtesy of AVN media

Steven St. Croix.
Photo courtesy of AVN media

Were her tears spontaneous?

“Yeah. I was like it would be cool if I cried but I didn’t mean to. But the emotion was building up, I let it happen.

“The PA had to leave the room because he was going to start crying. Because there was so much emotion, I garbled through the speech a little bit. I was glad they were able to get the crying and the speech through editing.”

Sexology?

Kasey and I are from the same part of the country, just outside Washington, DC, a continent away from LA. This interview is like old home week for us so I inquire about her background.

What motivated her to go into porn?

kw1

The school she was attending had a stem program (science, technology, engineering, math), Kasey explains, but it was not for her.

“I’m not really into any of that. I just went there because they gave me a big scholarship.”

She didn’t much care for her classes.

“I wanted to pursue a culinary career or get a degree in sexology and study human sexuality professionally.

“So I’d be sitting in my room just watching porn—not masturbating or anything—thinking this is really good porn, you know, just appreciating the cinematography and the acting. It occurred to me, ‘Hmmm, that’s an actual job that people have. I’m eighteen, a young cute girl, I could do that.

“So I just packed up and moved to California and started working.”

Aren’t we glad she did.

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The 2017 AEE Extravaganza: Part Two

by Rich Moreland, February 2017

My thanks to AVN’s Dan Miller, Brian Gross, and Jill Hagara for making my visit to the show enjoyable. Their hard work cannot be appreciated enough.

Also, special kudos is extended to my favorite PR company, StarFactory. Thank you Tanya and Alex!

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Seminars

Rarely do I get to attend all the seminars that pique my interest and this year’s AEE was no exception.  Nevertheless, I did make a few.

On the show’s opening day, the seminar on money was super informative.

Tasha Reign, Alan Gelbard, Lee Roy Myers, Adam Grayson, Nate Glass

Tasha Reign, Alan Gelbard, Lee Roy Myers, Adam Grayson, Nate Glass

Hosted by sociologist Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, the panel discussed turning a profit in a time of piracy. Attorney Alan Gelbard set the tone with a statement that at first seemed a capitulation but as the seminar went on, proved to be the most salient. Money can still be made in this age of tube sites and free porn, he said, and pointed out that “the music industry has figured out a way to let the piracy just be there.”

Lee Roy Myers

Lee Roy Myers

Filmmaker Lee Roy Myers of the parody website WoodRocket got it right when he insisted that everyone should maintain ownership of their content and “choose to give it away.” In reality, this seeming anomaly sells traffic to your site at a time when “less and less people are paying for porn in traditional ways.”

Evil Angel’s Adam Grayson’s assertion that identifying niche markets can turn a profit for your content through a reliable customer base made sense when thinking of porn as subgenres that capture pieces of the larger adult universe.

On the practical side to the money equation, a company like Nate Glass’s Takedown Piracy can be a great benefit to all producers in protecting their content.

2017-01-18-07-39-26Before the panel began, I spoke briefly with Nate Glass and met Chauntelle for the first time, a real treat.

Thursday afternoon offered up the seminar on the legal battles that may lie ahead with the incoming Trump administration.

After attorney Clyde DeWitt recounted the history of the Meese Commission’s pursuit of pornographers in the 1980s, Reed Lee, First Amendment scholar from Chicago and a member of the Free Speech Coalition, calmed nerves somewhat when he asserted that “history is on our side” and the “clear march of social progress is in our favor.”

Nevertheless, Free Speech Coalition’s President Eric Leue emphasized that passivity can no longer be the watchword and that everyone has a dog in this fight. In other words, support FSC.

Clyde DeWitt, John Stagliano, Eric Leue, J Michael Murray , Reed Lee, and moderator Mark Kernes

Clyde DeWitt, John Stagliano, Eric Leue, J Michael Murray , Reed Lee, and moderator Mark Kernes

Outside the hall, I had a moment to catch up with Colin Rowntree of Wasteland.com who plays both host and panelist when needed at these seminars. We talked about the possible political outcomes that face the industry.

Later that same day, another panel highlighted the increasingly independent role of women in adult.

Filmmaker Angela White said it best, “if you think porn is degrading, then you probably think sex is degrading.” Her words stressed the message of this seminar aptly named R-E-S-P-E-C-T that focused on celebrating empowered people who are comfortable with their sexuality. Moderated by Chauntelle Tibbals, the panel also included filmmakers Kay Brandt and Bree Mills.

Interestingly, an audience question led to a brief sparring over the interpretation of words. At issue was the concept of “feminist porn” which may be giving way these days to the idea of “ethical porn.”

Is the sun setting on “feminism” in the industry as some attendees seemed to hint?

Downtime

2017-01-18-09-17-39AEE is a constant round of rockin’ and rollin’, but there is occasional downtime, or to be honest, the need to take a break. I found a few minutes in the press room where the always upbeat Jill Hagara took some time for a chat. We’ve know each other for a few years now and she is a delight.

More relaxation moments came at the small Dunkin’ Donuts shop right off the casino where the convenient access for a quick coffee attracts industry people.

I talked with performer Daisy Layne after running into her earlier in the hallway.

Amber Jo

Amber Jo

A statuesque beauty named Amber Jo sidled up next to me with her java and Boston cream doughnut in hand. She’s networking, AJ said, and that began an informative chat.

Later Amber posed for my photographer and I offered to do a story on her. She’s an exotic dancer from the Midwest who has thoughts of LA and the biz. Stay tuned to see what happens with this gorgeous girl. Maybe a new star will soon be on-screen!

Setting up interviews is never easy and once again this year I relied on the best PR people in the business, Star Factory, whose watchwords are dependability and reliability. Their clients do not flake on the press.

With the help of Steve Nelson, the editor of AINews.com, I usually nail down a couple of people for impromptu interviews. This year the highlights were the previously mentioned Emma Hix at Foxxx Modeling and Kasey Warner, the star of B Skow’s Color Blind. Kasey and I are from the same part of the country which made our talk special.

Emma Hix

Emma Hix

Speaking of Skow, his productions are distributed by one of my favorite companies, Girlfriends Films. As mentioned in part one of this post, Moose, the company president, invited me to the GFFs suite for a morning coffee on Thursday, a great way to start the day.

Kudos to AVN

Eventually, a text helped me find AVN’s senior editor, Dan Miller. I first met Dan’s warm personality and infectious smile when he was with XBIZ.

We took a few minutes to discuss the passing of adult film historian Bill Margold (Dan did a wonderful obit for AVN online) and I mentioned that this year’s show was well-organized, enriching everyone’s experience from fan to media.

James Deen and Dan Miller Photo courtesy of AVN

James Deen and Dan Miller
Photo courtesy of AVN

Helping to make this year’s AEE enjoyable were some not so subtle changes in the “feel” of the show.

The club music in The Joint wasn’t nearly the volume of the past which made conversation easier–a boon when one carries around a digital recorder–the lighting much improved, and best of all, the traffic flow was smoother among the various rooms. Thank you AVN!

After experiencing the breezy atmosphere of the Sands Center some years ago, I was doubtful AVN could pull everything off in a more broken up environment. And at first it was a challenge, but the bugs have been worked out.

On the downside, there was one thing distinctly different this year: the weather. The days were cloudy, very cool, with periods of rain, the same weather pattern I left back home. The only difference, it seemed, were the trees. I’m not used to seeing rain, mist, and palm trees!

Despite that, inside the Hard Rock the action was invigorating and informative.

I encourage everyone to visit next year, or to put it another way, attending AEE at least once in your adult life should be on your bucket list.

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Color is only Color: A Review of B Skow’s Color Blind

by Rich Moreland, October 2016

B Skow believes a little political incorrectness teaches all of us an important lesson. In Color Blind, he attacks racial stereotyping in broader society while offering support for diversity in the adult film business.

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colorblindcoverEvery Single Day

Meal time in the family kitchen opens Color Blind. Along with daughters Noelle (Kasey Warner) and Shauna (Adriana Chechik), Mom (Reena Sky) and Dad (Steven St. Croix) are watching the evening news . . . sort of. Noelle is unsighted; her vision is hearing and touch.

A small television is positioned on the counter behind Noelle and for the family, especially Dad, watching it means looking past his daughter. It’s an image that defines where this film is going.

The year is 1992 and rioting is devouring South Central Los Angeles as the African-American community protests the arrest of Rodney King. Clips of what we sadly see too much of today—looting, vandalism, and general mayhem—move front and center in the opening moments of Color Blind.

B Skow has set the mood. Dad and his daughters will ultimately clash like the chaos on the streets.

By the way, this is a working class family that doesn’t live in LA. Shauna flippantly mentions her all-knowing father should move to California to straighten things out.

Steven St. Croix in another B Skow film, Proud Parents

Steven St. Croix in another B Skow film, Proud Parents

Dad goes through a litany of stereotypes, suggesting the modern large screen TV is the black man’s “forty acres and a mule,” a reference to the expectations of freedmen immediately after the Civil War.

To set the record straight, they got sharecropping and an unrelenting cycle of poverty instead.

Relying on a history he interprets only in sound bites, Dad, an angry replay of Archie Bunker, offers one of his own. He calls the rioters, “dumb shits.”

Later when racist language comes unexpectedly from a frustrated Noelle, he reacts with shock, wanting to know who “taught” her the nastiest of all words.

“You did, every single day without saying a word!” she screams.

Special

Color Blind pokes fun at stereotyping by using stereotyping.

Layton Benton

Layton Benton

Fried chicken, corn on the cob, and iced tea, a favorite menu in the South, grace the family table. Dad reminds everyone that basketball and unprotected sex are cultural staples in the black community though, unbeknownst to everyone, he has an African-American stripper girlfriend (Layton Benton) on the side.

But in Dad’s mind, that’s okay. A little cheating never hurt anyone and don’t black women crave sex anyway?

Incidentally, he does her bareback in the movie’s third sex scene.

Fed-up with his tirades, Shauna sarcastically says she’ll iron his KKK shirt because he’d “make a great wizard” in a statement that carries a double meaning: the racist Grand Wizard and the 19th century Populist vision of the Wizard of Oz, who is nothing more than political hot air (Donald Trump, anyone?).

Adriana Chechik

Adriana Chechik

Later Shauna mentions that her father caught her with her “pants down” using a dildo she affectionately calls “a big, black cock.” We see her frolic with the satisfier in a well-shot scene.

By the way, there’s more to come for Shauna when flirting with Tyson (Jovan Jordon) works to her advantage.

Skow takes one more shot at stereotypes when Dad speaks with Noelle. He mentions the word “special” and how God makes some people different from others, creating more than one interpretation of “special.”

Of course, it’s his way of telling Noelle that her blindness is her burden, making her “different” in a good way.

His attitude changes when she challenges him about the “different” people on TV. They are not special, he says, in so many words.

It’s the height of hypocrisy.

Kasey Warner

Kasey Warner

Reaching Out

What makes Color Blind a must-see film is its social statement. The groundwork is laid early when a pair of Bible sellers, Mathew (Isiah Thomas) and Tyson show up at the front door. They “are reaching out” to their neighbors, “extending the hand of friendship,” they announce.

The African-American brothers are a bit uncomfortable peddling the “Good Book” in a neighborhood that is alien to them. To soothe the way, Mathew remarks that “love is blind, color is only color, skin is just skin.”

Of course, Dad will have none of this and slams the door. But the girls are persuaded; the brothers have much to offer emotionally and physically (this is a porn film, after all) which is the narrative’s remaining journey.

Isiah Maxwell

Isiah Maxwell

Speaking of sex scenes, all are solid and three are interracial which carries a stereotype of its own as I have heard in the industry.

Two stand out. First is Kasey Warner/Isiah Maxwell. . . . not the usual porn fare. Tender and warm, it’s the sexual awakening of a girl for whom color is meaningless. Remember, touch is part of Noelle’s vision that makes this sex scene unique.

On the other hand, for gonzo fans Skow includes an extended anal romp featuring Jovan Jordan and the raunchy interracial sweetheart of this film, Adriana Chechik.

Jovan Jordan

Jovan Jordan

Not a Single Color

The final ten minutes is the movie’s tour de force, but the resolution is traumatic and thought-provoking. Not surprisingly, the word “boy,” another stereotype, makes an appearance.

In an overwhelming moment, Noelle shouts at her father, “I’ve never seen a single color in my entire life,” deflating the central stereotype of Color Blind. What the eyes see is too often culturally programmed and not individually felt.

Simply put, everything is neutral until given meaning.

Reena Sky

Reena Sky

Accolades are extended to Steven St. Croix who holds the narrative together with superb acting. He captures the Archie Bunker persona perfectly. Also, Kasey Warner handled a difficult role beautifully, perhaps learning a thing or two from Maddy O’Reilly who plays a blind daughter in another Skow production, Daddy’s Girls.

And let’s not forget that Reena Sky delivers an entertaining scene with Steven St. Croix and Adriana Chechik is as fine a gonzo girl as can be found, plus she can act.

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B Skow takes chances with Color Blind. In fact, he’s courageous beyond any adult director I know. His work moves past the tepid political/social statements we usually see in porn while keeping the genre going with explosive sex scenes.

So where does this leave Color Blind?

Rodney King, whose arrest sparked the 1992 riots, said in retrospect, “Can’t we all just get along?”

That is the question Skow presents in this dynamic film and for those in our society who can’t, the consequences can be dire.

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Color Blind is a product of B Skow for Girlfriends Films and can be ordered from the website.

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The Meaning of Consent: Directors

by Rich Moreland, February 2016

The series of posts on consent in the adult industry begins with the directors.

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Directors are the captains of the porn ship, so to speak. Everyone’s job on set is smooth sailing when the weather is good. . . until a disgruntled performer stirs turbulent waves that can wash over everyone’s day.

From a director perspective, coaxing anyone to go beyond their limits invites turmoil, such as speed dialing an agent to complain. If anyone walks, kill fees are offered to keep peace and the day is lost.

Though I’ve never seen this on any set I’ve visited, I’ve often observed models interacting with each other before their scenes. It’s not idle conversation. They are taking care of business, clarifying what they are good to go with and what they are not. It calms the waters.

Girlfriends Films

gfs logoThough directors have different levels of flexibility, they review the scene with talent before shooting commences and often work a camera themselves.

I queried two award-winners, the legendary Dan O’Connell and B Skow of Girlfriends Films, and got responses corroborated by performers who have worked for them.

Here’s Dan’s view. He shoots only girl/girl scenes, by the way.

“[Consent] has never been an issue on my sets. Everyone arrives knowing what is expected of them. We talk about the sex scene beforehand and go over each girl’s ‘don’ts.’ So nobody goes into the scene not knowing what to expect.

“I tell every girl that she can, should, and is encouraged to stop the scene if she wants to use the bathroom, consume water or discuss what’s going on. Nobody has ever stopped a scene except for water, to use the bathroom or blow her nose.”

Dan O'Connell reviews the scene with Jorden Kennedy and Aidra Fox

Dan O’Connell discusses the scene with Jorden Kennedy and Aidra Fox

B Skow sends a similar message.

“I never shoot scenes that push limits like the type that Kink.com or James Deen shoot, but I can tell you if I felt either performer was uncomfortable, I would stop shooting and make sure everyone respected each other’s boundaries and start shooting again if we all agreed.”

B Skow

B Skow

Skow does mostly boy/girl work, shooting gonzo and features. In Dan’s case, his content is the vignette, a short story with a sexual theme. My reviews of their films, which are offered on DVD, can be found on this blog and my column at AINews.com.

The Feminist View

For a theater-oriented director like Jacky St. James, whose content is marketed by New Sensations/Digital Sin, her set is geared to bring out a performer’s acting ability.

Jacky says, “I don’t delve too deeply into what is required of a performer prior to a shoot unless I am tackling territory that might be challenging for them.”

She mentions The Submission of Emma Marx, an award-winning three-feature series she wrote and directed, as an example of establishing limits. Jacky wanted to make sure the star, Penny Pax, “was comfortable with each of the BDSM activities we were going to film.”

Jacky St. James

Jacky St. James

Overall,  the feminist director emphasizes, “I would never ask talent to do something that made them uncomfortable. Basically I set the precedence that they must be prepared and work hard…and I’ll help take care of the rest. I want to make their lives easy on set so that we can really focus on the most important components of the production, namely, nailing their characters.”

Gonzo on the Internet

Internet sites, natural vehicles for gonzo or all-sex shoots, aim to satisfy the sexual tastes of their online members. How does this influence limits?

To explore that question, I chatted with Billy Watson who directs for the DogFart Network, an interracial conglomerate of over twenty sites. He runs his own studio in LA and has a variety of sets available for his scenes.

dog fart logo

“Essentially, when someone walks into my studio, I always go over what’s expected and what I want and what I need,” Billy begins.

He uses licensed agents exclusively and relies on them to tell the girls what the shoot entails, “so they know what they are getting into when they come here.” He mentions gang bang and cuckholding scenes as examples.

While the girls are in the make-up chair, a feature of Billy’s studio complete with artist on hand, he reviews the scene coming up, everything from “the sex positions themselves to what names we can call them during the shoot.”

Responses that vary from “Oh, you can call me anything, I don’t care,” to “Don’t call me a bitch,” and everything in between. The same with on-screen behavior. The native Arizonan gives the following example, “Pull my hair, choke me, but don’t spit on me,” or “You can spit on me, but just don’t choke me. You can slap this part of my butt . . . whatever.”

For the DogFart people, it seems language is a sticking point. Occasionally in a gang bang scene the girl will explicitly state she does not want to be called a bitch. “Invariably somebody will actually slip,” Billy comments with a shrug.

Apologies immediately follow, “‘Oh my God, I didn’t mean to do that,'” and the shoot moves on.

A Tricky Thing

However, Billy runs into an issue most other directors don’t encounter.

Jim Talks Business Photo by Bill Knight

Billy Watson

“We show a lot of interracial porn and a lot of the members love it when the girls call the guys the n-word. This is a tricky thing because it goes both ways.”

Some male performers don’t mind. In fact it cranks up their engine. However others “won’t accept that kind of language.”

Has he had an incident that caused filming to stop?

“No, never. I’ve never had any kind of drama because we’re really careful not to violate anybody’s boundaries.”

Billy Watson checks member responses

Billy checks member responses

There are times, however, when “my boss says the members are looking for a really crazy, over-the-top scene.”

In those cases, Billy will book a girl with guys who are comfortable around the n-word. But that may not apply to all the male performers that day and the ones who don’t want such language directed at them will make their boundaries known.

In this reversal of the norm, it’s the men who feel violated.

Billy recalls a particular shoot that starred a model who was free with questionable language. It was a ten-man gang bang and getting all male talent on the same page had its issues.

“A couple of the black guys came up to me and said, ‘that girl’s not going to call me a n—‘ and she had to hold her tongue because I didn’t want the black guys to get upset with her.”

Gone Away

Performers have hinted to me in casual conversation that there are some directors who will look the other way when problems arise.

Bringing this up with Billy evokes an honest assessment.

“It depends on the producer and director and your crew. There’s still some people in this business who think the girls are kind of like chattel. Bring them in [and do what you want] because we’ll never shoot her again.”

However . . .

“A lot of those guys seemed to have gone away,” he remarks.

“The 2008 perfect storm killed a lot of those dudes. [That’s when] Brazzers perfected the tube site, basically the fine art of piracy. They all started off as search engine guys in the early 2000s and have gone on to all the things they’ve done to ruin this business.”

Or challenged it, for sure. But they may also have run off the worst of the lot when it comes to ignoring the performer.

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Your Personality and the Passion

by Rich Moreland, October 2015

Here is the conclusion of a recent day on a B Skow shoot for Girlfriends Films. My overall impression is the same as I have on other shoots I’ve visited. With a strong sense of camaraderie, people in adult film work very hard to produce a quality product.

2015-10-08 07.41.31

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Getting everything together for the next scene

Getting everything together for the next scene

After the first sex scene is completed, everyone is breaking and moving equipment around for the next episode which will lead to Marie’s trying out this whole whorehouse business.

Out of the corner of my eye I pick up a flash passing on my left and Iris Rose scoots in front of me (a remarkable feat considering in bustier and heels!) to follow it.

Chad White, her shooting partner, has arrived and they will get acquainted, or perhaps reacquainted.

B Skow returns to his computer to finish the day’s final scene.

B Skow

B Skow

He reviews for me the schedule in getting this film made. There are four sex scenes. Two were shot yesterday with Iris also on set. The film is a two-day project though the boxcover and editing are still on the horizon.

I ask about editors and Skow mentions he uses four. Each has a different style or specialty and he selects the editor (or editors) based on what the film requires.

The Sex was very Nice

While waiting for the crew to set up, my assistant and I sit down with Marcus Bay. We’re outside on the veranda of an adjoining building.

The athletic Russian started in porn in 2006; he just recently came to America.

“I lose my virginity at eighteen,” Marcus says. Two months later he was into porn at the urging of a photographer friend. Not an easy step, by the way, because Marcus’ grandmother was raising him and the thought of shooting adult film was not in his life plan.

But he showed up on the set, saw the girls, and the rest was easy.

“I was horny,” the twenty-seven year old declares and immediately took to the business. A little help from legendary performer/director Rocco Siffredi and a move to the states happened.

Marcus talks attitude, mentioning that some performers are just in the business for the money, not the passion. Respect is also important to him. He is always accommodating to the girls as was evident in his scene today.

His secret to success is energy, Marcus says, which he gets from the people around him. That’s important because “everyday you shoot for [a] different company.” Each has its own style and expectations which requires extra zip for some scenes.

Good conversation with a rising male star on this side of the Atlantic

Good conversation with a rising male star on this side of the Atlantic

Today’s shoot was oriented toward “romantic sex” and the girl, Karter, was shy, Marcus comments. At the beginning “I was very quiet, a gentleman, and she relax,” he explains with a smile. Then Marcus repeats Rocco’s tutelage. It’s “all about your personality and the passion, how you talk.” The real “man” is inside and Marcus wants this to come out to his co-stars.

By that he means he is not like many guys in porn who are buffed and tattooed with macho attitudes to match.

The handsome Russian wants to put everyone at ease. He describes what happened today.

Karter is new to the business and getting a handle on a comfort zone is not always easy. But everything worked out and she gave a good performance. “The sex was very nice,” Marcus says.

Marcus treating Karter with the gentle touch Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Marcus giving Karter the gentle touch
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Finally, he adds what we noticed. There were a lot of people around the set which made the shoot challenging for Karter. But she overcame the hesitancy of the moment.

“It was a very good scene, nice girl . . . she will grow up so much in this business,” the European star believes.

Marcus’s assessment is on target. The scene did progress well. Lots of kissing with Skow softly reminding the couple “pretend I’m not here.” A question of how to stage the pop shot arose and was quickly resolved to everyone satisfaction.

With an effective concluding touch, Skow has Marcus re-dress Karter, returning the final images to their beginning.

Next up is the conclusion for the day, the scene featuring Iris and Chad White. If Karter is quiet, Iris is an erotic thunderstorm!

Iris Rose Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Iris Rose
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

This is Your Fetish

Chad has smiling eyes and a boyish charm that makes him the perfect partner for the eager Iris. He is on his back in bed and Iris, as Marie, enters with a shocked look (remember she is trying out this brothel thing).

The scene is playful and erotic.

Skow explains everything before they get started

Skow explains what he wants before they get started

Skow reminds them a water fetish is the shoot’s focus and says politely, “no joking, this is your fetish and you need it . . . both of you will be clean” when the water is sprinkled and dripped around.

So the male veteran and the “fresh off the bus” starlet execute a perfect scene. There’s lots of foreplay with a wash cloth and water before the hardcore banging gets under way.

Iris Rose is a sexual dynamo and Chad guides and caresses her performance.

The water fetish precedes the hot sex Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

The water fetish sets the atmosphere of the scene
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

To help make the shots bright and the action come alive, the crew moves the lighting around to catch the best angles.

*          *          *

While waiting for the crew to set up for the sex scene, Chad White relaxed with my assistant and me by the fireplace for a quick interview. Later when the day was complete and checks were written for services rendered, we continued on the patio.

It’s all about Mood

Chad talks about male standards of attractiveness in the business and points out that a large manhood and great abs sell films. Unfortunately, a good-looking guy may not always be a girl’s first choice in filming. Like Marcus earlier, Chad stresses the importance of attitude.

Before the shooting starts, it’s Chad’s habit to get to know the girl.

“I’ll walk straight up to her and say ‘hi,’ and try to give her a hug.”

Chad White

Chad White

This is a process the helps him “read body language to try to understand her mood.”

“If the girl is into it, if she’s sexual, if she tries to touch me a little bit,” he remarks, “that’s good.”

In other words, he’s looking for positive communication because his job is to get her primed for the sex. “I want to feel the emotional connection,” Chad says.

During his almost four years in the industry, he has come to certain conclusions about the business and the girls in it.

About half of the newbies are here for the money, he observes, though he quickly adds that is not true of Iris.

“Today, she wanted to get fucked.”

From this native Californian, that is praiseworthy of a potentially rising star. “That’s your job,” he adds, “the money should just come along with it.”

From his experience, Chad White estimates that “nine out of ten” girls who make porn a career are here primarily for the sex. That is what moves this business forward.

What the average fan often misses is how important men are to a girl’s success. Her popularity is a product of her attitude, of course, but the talented guys who work with her should never be dismissed out of hand.

Indeed. Watching Chad and Marcus Bay at work reveals how vital they are.

Wrapping Up

By late afternoon, the house is returning to its pre-shoot space. My lovely associate takes a few final pictures and gets our stuff together.

On our way back to LA, she mentions how impressed she is with everyone we met on this excursion into the north canyon country.

“Everybody is so nice,” she exclaims, then mentions without comment from me something I learned years ago. People who don’t know anything about the adult industry have such a biased judgmental view of it.

How true, but on this day at least, those within the orbit of commercialized adult film have enlightened one open-minded young woman.

Another shooting day completed

Another shooting day completed

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I Should Have Been Here from Day One

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.

*          *          *

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.

Sometimes porn is shot in the most romantic places!

Sometimes porn is shot in the most romantic places!

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.

Alex

Alex

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.

Alex and Sabrina explaining what's on the schedule for today

Alex and Sabrina explaining what’s on the schedule for today

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 waits with her two little friends

Iris waits with her two little friends and the camera that will record her

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.

Getting the technical stuff ready for the shoot

Getting the technical stuff ready for the shoot

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.

Talking with Karter

Talking with Karter

Pink Teddy

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.

Waiting to see Marie

Waiting for the cue to see Marie

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.

Skow going over the script to prepare for the hallway take

Skow going over the script to prepare for the hallway take

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.

Talking with Alex

Talking with Alex

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.

Chatting with Marcus before the scene

Chatting with Marcus before the scene

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.

Iris sneaks a peek! Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Iris sneaks a peek!
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

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 as the sultry Marie Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Iris as the sultry Marie
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

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.

Someone once said a porn shoot is waiting around and then waiting some more . . .

Someone once said a porn shoot is waiting around and then waiting some more . . .

*          *         *

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.

 

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Daddy’s Girl 95, Part Two: To Be a Good Girl Again

by Rich Moreland, September, 2015

With the Daddy’s Girls series, B Skow employs his Progressive Porn framework to explore a well-scripted vision of irony and self-deception. By weaving the story around psychological dynamics, he examines a sexual fetish that is often quickly labeled without being well understood. Skow succeeds by focusing on the allure of the daddy complex that draws men into relationships with willing younger women. The results can disrupt and restructure families, changing the interactions of step relatives and opening up an array of sexual options that challenge our definition of what is acceptable.

Having said that, here’s the summary of my interpretation of the Daddy’s Girls saga as it stands now. This analysis is only one way to look at these intriguing films and I encourage you to watch them and reach your own conclusions.

*          *          *

The director at work. Photo courtesy of AVN

B Skow
Photo courtesy of AVN

The Illusion

Quincy is bedeviled by her identity and her own fetishes. Emotionally crippled by her daddy complex, she compensates by being a faux prostitute while denying such a label would ever describe her.

Before her sex scene with Marla, Quincy screams “Why?” in a self-indictment that begs her to be a “good girl again.”

Quincy’s conundrum shows up repeatedly. She loses her Goodneighbor51 customer when Samantha’s father Dale passes away. With a dose of  twisted irony, Skow tells us Dale was Quincy’s real father who masturbated to his daughter’s naked performances.

Later Quincy learns that Mr. Jefferies is also an online voyeur, another “daddy” customer, and offers him sex under the auspices of doing it for Bob. As we have seen, it becomes a threesome in which Marla, the true angel of the tale, quiets Quincy’s demons by also giving herself to the boss.

And don’t forget the unethical Tom, who uses his profession to “persuade” Quincy to act out her daddy desires with him. Just put his name on the list.

At no time until the final minutes of the film does Quincy actually stare down her internal torment, her longing for sex with Bob. Lost in a morass of daddies, the real perversion is Quincy’s forced sex with her own father, Dale, in the first film. It’s done through her own volition, a deliberately controlled moment in which Quincy bullies every metaphorical “father” who has left her fetish wanting.

Quincy

Quincy

In effect, Skow tells us Quincy’s behavior is really self-loathing generated by her inability to control her demons.

Because Quincy refuses motel sex with Goodneighbor51 and the prostitute label that goes with it, she violates Samantha in response to his demand for a show. Captured on her cellphone, it’s her own sister Quincy unknowingly ravages for her father’s entertainment. It’s Dale’s family, not Bob’s, that is plagued by the incestuous carnality of the narrative.

In the end, Quincy wears her own mask. How do we know? She pleads with herself “to be a good girl again.”

The illusion of Daddy’s Girls 2 collapses in that instance. Quincy, who has traded a Biblical “eye for an eye” with Samantha–the sadly misguided righteous angel at the end of the first film–finally seeks genuine redemption.

What confronts Quincy is a harpy in an orange prison jumpsuit, a blind girl incarcerated for her own evil deeds, that stands between her and peace. The irony? It’s Quincy’s own sibling that tortures her, a part of herself revealed in a creepy hand dawn picture in a bedroom that now seems so far away.

Siblings in better times.

Siblings in better times.

Like school girls on a playground, Samantha taunts Quincy with a repeated chorus of “you fucked your father,” the never to be forgiven sin.

The Real Daddy’s Girls

So a story that began in contrast, ends with similarity. Quincy is partially blinded and Sam has no vision. The bright airy colors of the first film that stood for hope and happiness are gone in the second.

Are Sam and Quincy the real daddy’s girls after all, sisters now devoid of a father?

Not quite, because Daddy’s Girls 2 offers up a positive message.

The prostitutes Marla and Oralee, honest and caring, are the real Daddy’s girls, metaphorical “sisters” and professional fuck buddies in their own right. To put it another way, whoredom holds no deception. It hasn’t throughout history and it doesn’t here. As mentioned earlier, Marla and Oralee serve as the Greek chorus, commenting through their actions and words on the truth behind the façade Bob structures to excuse his Lolita fascinations.

Quincy’s redemption is to join them one day, at least in the spirit of their humanity.

Quincy becomes one.

Quincy becomes one with Marla and Oralee.

The Dance of Deception

The Daddy’s Girls saga exists on several levels.

First we have the biological sisters of Samantha and Quincy, both fathered by Dale.

Marla and Oralee represent a second level. They are Bob’s prostitutes, sympathetic figures in serving his perversions albeit for pay. Unlike Samantha and Quincy, they “see” the truth and aren’t afraid to express it, as we have noted.

On a third level, Daddy’s Girls is about younger women and older men, the May-December duality. Skow’s comment on these arrangements is terse. Sometimes they are a forbidden test of faux incest that can be exciting if acted out in the manner Quincy seeks. At other times, the pay-as-you go arrangement Bob establishes with his hookers serves up the sexual menu.

And, don’t forget to include Marla and Quincy in the mix. As step relations in a dysfunctional family, they lend some legitimacy to the combination of mother/daughter and as age contemporaries, a pairing of sisters. Are they the real daddy’s girls, after all?

Closely related to the age play is simple lechery illustrated by two power players: Mr. Jeffries, the boss whose fantasies are fed via webcam and Tom the therapist jacking off before screwing his patient . Oh yes, remember Dale, DaddysGirl95 customer? He joins the group.

indexAll things considered, B Skow leaves the viewer with a final level. Everything sexual is a fantasy. We conjure up whatever amuses our personal fetishes.

Simply put, deception dances everywhere and everyone wears a domino mask just like Carnival party goers centuries ago.

*          *          *

As I did with the first film, I have waited until the final installment of Daddy’s Girls 2 to salute the performers who brought the script to life.

Riley Reid, Maddy O’Reilly, and Alec Knight reprised their roles as Quincy, Samantha, and Bob.

Capri Cavanni is marvelous as Marla as is Kassondra Raine as Oralee. They are the unsung performers in the film.

Anthony Rosano (Tom) and Ryan McLane (Mr. Jeffries) are widely recognized in adult entertainment for their acting acumen, reliability, and on-screen adaptability . . . true veterans in every sense.

A final nod goes to B Skow for elevating these films to art. Unfortunately the original Daddy’s Girls made in 2013 was not recognized with industry awards. Here’s hoping the sequel avoids that fate.

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