Tag Archives: Chad White

Sexual Harassment: Old Hollywood and Modern Porn

by Rich Moreland, February 2019

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Sexual Harassment is a Hard Art production starring a bevy of porn performers with Niki Snow, Robby Echo, and James Bartholet playing pivotal roles.

Directed by Sally Forth and co-directed by Jake Jacobs, the film features a musical score by Archie Brunswick. Misty Stone’s voice graces the theme song.

The premise of the story is a long-standing Hollywood trope. Lucille Le Seur, played by Niki Snow, leaves her Iowa hometown to venture westward for a career in film. Once she arrives in Tinseltown, roles are hard to come by, as we  might expect. To pay the rent Lucille turns to the easy money (if there is such a thing) offered by filmed sex. From there the story moves into a commentary on the #MeToo Movement.

Overall, the narrative is well-paced with a comedic touch to keep the viewer engaged. In other words, there is never a dull moment.

The Old Days

Much of Sexual Harassment is as throwback to the old days of porn when good shooting was at a minimum. For example, during sex scenes the verbal soundtrack of grunts, moans, and sighs was often out of sync with the lip movements of the performers. And don’t forget the cheesy background music that seemed an afterthought to the action on-screen.

Both were frequently looped (repeated) as the sex progressed. Needless to say, it was all very amateurish and not at all a problem. Porn in those days was hardly Hollywood.

And, there is more. The cinematographer’s lens concentrated on closeups of the penetration shots as if every shoot was a gynecological or oral exam. The camera was remiss in framing bodies equally on-screen, a direct contrast to modern directors who prefer to show the sex as human interaction. The result? Gonzo techniques, often attributed to Evil Angel’s John Stagliano, took over the industry.

Director Sally Forth is well aware of these shortcomings and cultivates the old days with humor. By the way, she throws in the “no-no” of modern porn during the film’s second sex scene. Claudia Fox reminds us of the past when she glances at the camera while doing her oral duty.

It’s worth a comment that Sexual Harassment’s fifth sex scene highlights the journey porn shooters have taken into modern times. It’s a three-way between Allessa Von Camp, Brad Sterling, and Niki Snow who walks into the boy/girl action as the French Maid, another old porn trope. The bodies are shown in their entirety with an emphasis on pleasure. This is the best carnal scene of the film.

There’s More

Sexual Harassment mixes its porn time periods with tongue (yes, just tongue) firmly planted in cheek. When Lucille is looking for work, she picks up a newspaper similar to the still-in-print LA Xpress. Also, a cordless phone circa last century graces a couple of scenes to remind the viewers that we’re visiting the past.

But modernity is always close at hand. By the time Forth’s narrative reaches its final act, LCD computer monitors appear in Herb Weinsteins’ Hollywood offices. Technology, like the porn act, has been updated.

Oh yes, a couple of things to spice up the viewer’s interest need mentioning. After she makes her mark in porn, Lucille drops in an adult book store and sorts through DVDs of her movies. The DVD came out in the late 1990s and it’s a good bet that had old video tape box covers been available for the scene, they would have found a place in the director’s heart.

Also, when a cross over opportunity knocks for Lucille, she takes a shot at B picture fame in another Hollywood stereotype, the horror-gore flick. We get a quick glance at the feature performer, the “Chainsaw Man,” who cuts his way through his cameo moment wearing a mask.

There’s some history there that dates to the second year of the Porno Chic era when the Bryanston Production Company distributed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The company ran into trouble when its producer, mobster Anthony Peraino, faced obscenity charges resulting from his involvement with Deep Throat, the film that began the modern adult industry in 1972.

Of course, the mask concept recalls another old stereotype that shows up the stags of yore when men donned only in black socks concealed their identities.

Give Some Head

As the film winds down, Lucille makes an impression on Hollywood mogul, Herb Weinstein (played by James Bartholet who, by the way, is Sexual Harassment’s executive producer).

Lucille’s encounter is set up by Herb’s “interview” with a new intern (Destiny Love). Yielding to Herb’s insistence, she hears, “If you want to get ahead, you have to give some head . . . suck like your career depends on it.” Not exactly original dialogue, but it fills the bill nicely. Herb pops on a photo of Lucille who is next on his harassment list while an ignored Destiny quickly vacates the room.

As you might expect, Sexual Harassment has a Harvey Weinstein ending. From that perspective, Sally Forth’s production is imbued with strong female empowerment. In fact, Lucille is in control of her career from the very start and that in itself is a welcome update on Porn Valley’s checkered past. To underscore her point, director Forth can’t resist throwing in Lucille’s snarky indictment of “Mr. Limp Dick” who can’t get it up for their scene. Oh, those pre-Viagara days!

All Over Your Body

There is an abundance of sex scenes in Sexual Harassment that feature the following performers: Jesse Bunyan, Claudia Fox, Black Ken, Robby Echo, Payton St Clair, Jay Crew, Jayde Symz, Chad White, Vanessa Cage, an uncredited female performer, and the already mentioned Niki Snow, Allessa Von Camp, Brad Sterling, and Destiny Love.

Pay close attention to the abrupt ending of Chad and Jayde’s scene. It’s a nod to rising adult writer and director, Bree Mills of Pure Taboo fame.

There is much to love about Sexual Harassment. It is cleverly written and sharply filmed. For example, when Lucille shows up for her test stills early in the story. The photographer Bernie Hyman (maybe hymen with an “e” is more accurate because Lucille, who is no virgin, is being primed for the porn camera and has to be initiated into sex for pay) is played by AINews managing editor Steve Nelson.

Steve is skilled with the camera and it shows in the scene. He offers up an amusing line when he pulls down her top to free her boobs and lifts her skirt for the treasures “down there.” Lucille is caught off guard. To ease her mood, Steve says with a chuckle, “skin’s good, skin’s good . . . it’s all over your body.”

And at film’s end, Herb’s mug shots will stand in vivid contrast to Lucille’s test photos in this scene.

Like in the old Hollywood production  A Star is Born, Lucille’s name will be dropped in favor of something a bit catchier. “Helen Bedd” becomes her stage moniker and another kind of “star” is popularized.

Ray

There is also a love element in Sexual Harassment. Robby Echo plays Ray, a writer and Lucille’s newly found off-camera romance. Their sex scene is sweet and make no mistake, Niki Snow is easy on the eyes. At one point Ray says, “We’re both trying to become something.” That something is unclear, but their satisfaction is heightened when they later see the #Metoo images on TV that reinforce Herb’s arrest.

There are other characters in this film that are worth a look. There is Lucille’s caustic female agent, the cleanup crew who takes a moment out of their task to have a jolly encounter, Herb’s obese secretary, and Donnie Rock’s cameo as a film editor.

In fact, for an adult film there are perhaps too many personalities on-screen because the viewer never gets to know any of them well.

Who is Lucille?

For the porn fan who might miss the film’s ingenious nod to cinema history, allow me to fill you in.

Writer/director Sally Forth pulls off a coup with Lucille Le Seur. You see, in the 1920s in old Hollywood a young woman by that name became a star in silent film and moved into talkies with aplomb. Eventually, she became a Hollywood legend, winning an Oscar in 1947.

But the rumor persisted (and still does today) that this real-life Lucille shot stags, the earliest of porn films. Nothing was ever verified, no films ever emerged, but the story always hung over her. By the way, Lucille’s sleeping around with both men and women honed her reputation for a prolific sexual appetite among the Hollywood crowd. Thus, she was “hell in bed,” just as Sally Forth tells us with her version of Lucille.

So, what was the stage name for this real-life Hollywood icon? Joan Crawford.

A Final Word

Bright, sassy, and whimsical, Sally Forth is a quality filmmaker whose sense of movie history permeates Sexual Harassment. I’m certain her future work will be equally as engaging.

There is one thing, however.

The good folks at Hard Art have got to clean up their print editing. The cast is overly large and this may have led to occasional sloppiness regarding proper documentation. Some names are misspelled on the box cover while other names are left out entirely, particularly an uncredited female performer who gives her all in her sex scene. Remember that directors, cinematographers, and performers consider adult film to be their art. Let’s not short change them.

That said, I highly recommend Sexual Harassment, a film that shows us how we got from there to here in a business that is often vilified and dismissed as culturally irrelevant.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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