Thanks to porn, people afraid to live out this fantasy in real life can live vicariously through performers. But there is more to creating this fantasy for consumers than simply finding a location, culling through the who’s who of exhibitionist talent, and rolling camera. Andre Madness, director for Adam & Eve says it takes a special type of personality for it to work right.
“Talent that are true exhibitionists often feed off the excitement of shooting outdoor scenes,” he tells XBIZ. “When the conditions are right — good weather and practical scene location — outdoor scenes are some of the biggest turn-ons with some fantastic scenery.”
Kristofer Weston, director for COLT Studio Group, says talent he works with likes to do it because they don’t get a chance to do it very often in real-life.
“It can be liberating,” he says. “Most models really enjoy it because they don’t get a chance to very often. COLT shoots the majority of its scenes outdoors, recently, ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Hawaii.’ There is just something about seeing naked men against a clear blue sky that is so sexy.”
Shylar Cobi, executive producer of Vivid Entertainment, told XBIZ the thrill factor for the talent involved depends on the situation.
“I guess if you’re going to shoot guerilla style with no permit in the view of the public it must be a thrill and exciting for the talent,” he said. “But just shooting outdoors in someone’s back yard is just another day at the office for the talent and crew.”
A shoot outdoors can get tough since the environment can’t be controlled. Cobi points out many problems can happen when shooting outside — weather, insects, and lighting can become issues. Weston says while it does cost less to shoot indoors it can be worth it in the end.
“You can control your main source of light and get it finished quicker,” he explains. “Outdoors it is a constant negotiation with the sun and requires more equipment. One of my favorite all outdoor shoots was on Lake Powell for ‘Manly Heat Scorched and Quenched.’ We rented two 75-foot power boats and shot in the middle of nowhere. That shoot required a lot of logistical planning, but really paid off in the end.”
Jonathan Morgan, an exclusive director for Wicked Pictures, points out other things that can ruin an outdoor scene and leaves him questioning if it’s even worth it.
“I’m not a big advocate of shooting outdoors. There’s too many ‘I hopes,’” he told XBIZ. “I hope it’s not too hot or too cold; I hope we get the right clouds and sunlight; I hope the microphone doesn’t pick up some unwanted noises. I like everything in a controlled situation because we don’t have a lot of time to get these movies done. Mainstream Hollywood has the luxury to re-shoot another day if a scene doesn’t work, we [in the adult industry] do not.”
These outdoor variables are chalked up to things the crew can laugh about in hindsight according to Adam & Eve’s Andre Madness.
“Insects do love hot summer nights under movie lights,” he says. “I’ve been eaten alive and seen talent smack each other and themselves to clear bugs out of the scene. It’s funny in retrospect, but not so funny at the time.”
Madness said Adam & Eve’s new feature, “Raw Hide 2,” was shot predominantly outdoors on the set of three large movie ranches in Los Angeles County.
“A handful of commercial scenes will be shot outdoors, in barns, valleys and near large bodies of water,” he explains. “A few preparations for shooting outdoors include knowing your sunrise and sunset times, weather conditions, and factoring enough time for getting the shots needed for that particular time of day in the script. Also, plenty of water, sun screen, porta-potties, and designated shaded areas for everyone not in front of the action.”
Another major factor that resonated with each person XBIZ spoke with for this article was that any sex act captured on camera must be done incognito and only after filing the necessary permits for filming.
“If you don’t have a permit and get caught shooting sex in public, its likely you’ll go to jail and/or have your equipment confiscated,” Madness continues. “But that’s being caught in the act. Otherwise, it’d have to be a landmark, trademark or blatant obscenity offense that gets you busted.”
Morgan says it isn’t worth trying to shoot without the permits and said that he learned his lesson the hard way.
“In early 1994 we were shooting this little reality based gonzo flick [Wicked Sex Party] where a lot of it was shot by the seat of our pants,” he says. “We were in a limo with this girl during the interview process and she mentioned always wanting to have sex outside. So we pulled off the road to an area where no one could see. While shooting, this guy jogs up out of nowhere with horrid gold shorts, black socks and sandals and asks if he can watch. We of course told him to get lost. We finished the scene and while we were wrapping up, 14 squad cars and a police helicopter rushed in.”
Morgan says they were able to work everything out with the authorities, but he learned a valuable lesson.
“We always joke now and say if we were to shoot outside and someone creepy stumbles upon us asking if they can watch the scene we will of course answer yes so they don’t go back and call the cops!”
Morgan recommends anyone in the industry, regardless of the size of the company’s budget to take the necessary steps and file the proper paperwork for outdoor shoots.
“Let’s say I went out and shot without a permit,” he continues. “You’re going to get fined for not shooting with a permit, then you have the public indecency laws you can get hit with as well as other things they tack onto it. I’m not saying you’ll go to jail, but you’re going to get fined quite possibly up to the six-digit range. All it takes is one wrong set of eyes to see you for things to get stopped really quickly.”
Weston echoes this and says anytime a location is somewhere that requires a permit, COLT will get one.
“Normally our outdoor shoots are on private property in the middle of nowhere so we aren’t required to,” he says. “If we are shooting in Los Angeles or another city of that size, we will apply for the necessary permits and get them pretty easily.”
So how does one go about getting the necessary permits to start filming outdoors?
In Los Angeles, the mainstream and adult entertainment capital of the world, Film L.A., a non-profit organization, exists to answer questions and assist in the permit filing process. Todd Lindgren, V.P. of Communications for Film L.A. assures XBIZ the content of what is being shot is not a factor when it comes to approving a permit.
“We do not frown on filmmakers because of the content they are shooting,” he says. “We just help ensure these movies — mainstream or adult — are done legitimately. There is no moral judgment on our part and honestly there isn’t a lot of hassle in the long run just to get the permits.”
Lindgren also shares that it is a lot cheaper to get a film permit than suffer losing a day of shooting or legal repercussions.
“Typically you don’t want to lose a day of shooting, that is costing you money,” he continues. “We don’t access any extra fines, that is up to the L.A.P.D. Once the police have informed us that a company has done a shoot without the permits, we do keep a closer eye on them in the future.”
On FilmLA.com filmmakers and producers can find answers to just about any question they may have in regards to the cost of filing a permit, insurance requirements, community outreach efforts and more. Lindgren also says any additional information can be obtained by calling Production Planning at (213) 977-8600. Film L.A. will even direct inquiries that fall outside of its Los Angeles jurisdiction to the proper film permit authorities.
I guess knowing all this ruins my plans to buy a video camera and go get a permit just so I can get laid by a tree. But God bless the folks who go to the trouble to bring the fantasy home to others who enjoy watching it.