I continued to watch my list of documentaries last night and came across the award winning documentary called ‘Hot Girls Wanted’.
The documentary has an in sight into the porn industry, following a small group of amateur porn stars who live in a house with their agent. At the beginning of the film we’re set out believing that this was a positive documentary about girls who wanted this career, who were empowered, free and rolling in cash. Which is all true really, the girls can choose what they do and what jobs they accept. There’s nothing weird going on in their little home, their male agent is there to take them to and from shoots and that’s all – and he only takes 10% of their profits! They have a dog, get on and live a pretty average life. However as we continue to watch we find out that even when it’s a dream job it’s still a shitty job to have. In 2015, when the documentary was made, there was a rise in the form of porn called ‘Facial Abuse’ which is another way of saying “Forced Oral Sex”. A lot of the girls admitted to begin with they took part in this to begin with, but hated it and weren’t always told if the jobs they accepted were featuring them. Other downsides to the career seem to be porn’s lack of interest in the woman’s pleasure, and how it’s all about the interest of the male. A lot of the girls commented on the fact how in the amateur industry a lot of the videos they take part in has story lines based on virginity and taking advantage of innocent girls. In the end, a lot of the girls left the industry after 6 months because that’s the sell by date of amateur porn stars.
What the documentary has taught me is that even when it’s a choice, and everything about it goes right. You have the fame, the followers, the money and success – it’s still a complicated job. You can say this about any job but I think without films like this, despite what you think about the industry before hand, these people are still human and even in the courage these women portray (the fear of friends/family finding out, contracting diseases – to name a few issues they face.) it’s still an incredibly hard job!
I feel like this is worth mentioning because of the struggle I’ve had in my mind on what I wanted to music video to base itself on. Originally I wanted to present the strength in women, which I’m still open to doing, but I was conflicted with the ease of creating visual imagery that was a bit more gross and gritty. I guess watching this film has confirmed to me that I can portray both sides because it’s all the same sides in a way.
These thoughts continued when I watched the films follow up: “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” which is a series, and follows the same paths but focuses on porn in the digital age. Two episodes stick out in my mind: Episode 2 follows the same plot almost as the original film. Except this time it follows female recruiter Bailey, who started her career in the industry on webcam. Again, everything is perfectly safe, the girls create their own content and are completely in control. She recruits porn star Bonnie Kinz/Kylie Page who seems full of promise, completely confident and really wants to make a name for herself in the industry. Everything seems to be going well until all of a sudden… it doesn’t. Kylie becomes dependant on drugs and partying to cope. Bailey does her best to help Kylie out but ultimately just leaves her to struggle on her own, knowing the industries turn over is massive. This particular episode is relative too, as it seems to be a common thing that the girls use drugs to cope with their job. It’s something I’m struggling to work with in terms of visual imagery right now but I would like to incorporate it as it provides realistic narrative. A couple of days ago I watched another documentary on Netflix called ‘Heroin(e)’ – about women who work with those who take heroin. Even when the documentary was on drugs, the topic of sex work came up several times. Again, in the documentary series ‘Dope’ too.
I want to talk about the first episode in the series too. The episode introduces us to Swedish pornographic film maker Erika Lust, who is bashing down the industries stereotypes. Following up from the first film, her short films focus on the female’s perspective of porn. I didn’t get to see a lot of her work from the programme, the makers tend to not actually focus on the naked body or the actual pornographic material, which is good because I don’t think I’m focusing on that myself necessarily. I don’t want to force sex into the eyes of our listeners. But what I did see of Erika’s work is the bizarre, metaphorical, romantic atmospheres in which she films in. From what I gathered from her work it’s about fantasy, a lot of her works are based on submissions of ideas people have had for porn and she just recreates around them. It’s a bit more fine art! High end type of productions. It’s something to think about if I’m stuck for imagery anyway.
Finally, a bit of what I wanted my video was sitting directly in front of my face!
The opening credits for the show is sort of what I’m aiming for with this project. Its an example of how we can see a narrative/overall jist of a topic through basic imagery and short clips. The intro shows pictures relative to women, to love and to sex. For example, there’s a bottle spinning, which is a representation of spin the bottle. In films, experiences like spin the bottle are usually teen characters first sexual encounters. There’s emphasis on words like love etc. I think, so far in my head if we can combine this type of narrative with the visual impact of Ruffmercy’s work, we might be onto a winner!