Kevin Moore: Student of the Game
“I actually had a legit career working on mainframe UNIX systems in the mid to late ’90’s right when the whole Internet revolution was taking shape. It was fairly fascinating to be right in the mix of this major change to how information was being disseminated,” Moore recalls. “But my real interest was always shooting porn.”
The Boston native, who worked at an adult shop when he was 18, eventually moved to L.A. and started StunningCurves.com, a news site that launched in 1999 and was focused on the female talent.
“I wanted to model a site after the video-game sites or tech sites I often read that just had interesting daily news about the industry,” Moore said. “That helped me really get my foot in the door and meet lots of people in the industry.”
Moore’s dedication to craft and hustle took him from there. Now more than a decade later, he has become well established as a photographer, producer and director who works with some of the most reputable people and companies in the industry.
In this exclusive Director’s Chair interview, we asked Moore about his views on shooting, his influences and his accomplishments to this point.
XBIZ: How did you learn about photography/videography?
KEVIN MOORE: I originally went to college for music. I was a classical musician all my life, focusing on percussion and the battery of an orchestra.
However, by my third year I severely injured my wrists and was unable to finish my music degree. So I moved into the field of photography, because that was my next major interest outside music. I didn’t have the ability to attend a true film school. Instead I pursued a minor in film at a liberal arts college (UMass). I think it also greatly helped learning photography shooting actual film. I spent literally all the money I had shooting on chrome (slide film) in order to really learn how to shoot. Print film (C-41) is somewhat forgiving. Digital is incredibly forgiving. But chrome (E-6) was really unforgiving. Shooting repeatedly on E-6 really taught me a great deal about shooting. I honestly put myself into the poor house learning how to shoot.
XBIZ: What role did Joey Silvera play in your development?
KM: It is almost impossible for me to answer that. I mean in many ways he taught me everything. Really importantly he taught me just about the structure of the industry. Joey is extremely good at adapting. On staying relevant. There is that funny sketch from SNL, where the late Phil Hartman is playing Ronald Reagan and in the sketch Hartman makes the case that Reagan gave off this illusion like he didn’t know much, but secretly controlled and knew everything. That’s Joey. Joey really gets it on so many levels. The most important thing Joey did for me was allow me to be completely cool with being a pervert. That is what I am, but I often would hide it or keep it to myself. Joey, in his own way, showed me how to embrace it and just run with it. To use that in a creative sense. There’s a million other things Joey gave me, including my first real video camera. Another important thing Joey pushed me to do was perform. Just like you become a better shooter by being an editor, I think you become a better pornographer when you understand what performers have to go through. It’s a very brutal experience the first time you’re in front of the camera. I’m really glad Joey pushed me in that direction. It taught me a great deal.
XBIZ: How did you begin working with John Leslie?
KM: I met John through Joey. The two of them were best friends and John wanted to try out a different photographer so Joey suggested me. That was how I began working for John.
XBIZ: What were the various roles you had in working with John Leslie?
KM: I first started just shooting photos for him. Then over time I began just sort of becoming his assistant in all aspects. He parted ways with his production manager at one point, so then I started doing that as well as doing the photos. Then he needed some things shot and entrusted me to shoot it all, under his direction. I became real close to John and his passing is a real personal blow to me. It really won’t be the same without him.
XBIZ: How would you describe your style? What kind of porn do you like to shoot?
KM: I have extremes on what I like to shoot. I enjoy heavy dialogue due to just the fun of shooting technically interesting or challenging scenes. With dialogue, you have much more control. You can’t shoot sex the way you shoot dialogue. It simply doesn’t work that way. The sex will be extremely sterile and bland. With dialogue you can do a combination of focusing on aspects of lighting and depth of field for certain looks and also actually directing the talent in their dialogue.
On the other side of the coin and this is more to do with my whole pervert side, I really love POV porn. I believe that POV is in many ways the raincoaters last vestige for raw porn. In the end, the consumer is watching that porn scene putting themselves in the role of the male performer. In my opinion you can’t achieve that completely unless the male performer is truly and completely ‘invisible.’ I think so many interesting things can be done with POV, even involving plots.
To me POV porn was always the truest form of gonzo, where the camera is actively part of the scene and acknowledged by the performer.
XBIZ: What movie or movies are your favorites that you’ve been a part of whether you were shooting, directing or otherwise, and why?
KM: I shoot several series for Reality Junkies. I think the ‘Couples Seeking Teens’ and ‘Babysitter Diaries’ are particularly strong and they are both up for some AVN Awards. ‘Secretary’s Day #3’ and the ‘Divorcee,’ both from Smash Pictures, I was also real happy with how they came out. I think ‘Secretary’s Day #3’ is a really strong title with a killer cast. ‘The Divorcee’ was fun because of having to get the court room set built and having to get a bunch of extras to fill the court room.
There was a great scene in that movie from Phoenix Marie and Toni Ribas. For POV releases I think ‘Nasty Talk POV,’ which was put out by Hellhouse/Pure Play was pretty strong. I actually still get comments from fans on that release. The cast was very strong and I loved some of the setups in the scene.
In terms of interesting experiences to be a part of, without a doubt working on several of John Leslie’s movies stands out. I got to shoot with John when he did an entire movie around Naomi. That was real special and Naomi in that movie was on another level. John and I also did a whole movie around Rachel Starr, called ‘Rachel’s Choice.’ That stood out to me mostly because Rachel was just stunning in that movie. Then, finally working on John’s last feature which was focused on Brianna Love. I learned a great deal from John on that movie. It was an amazing experience.
Other amazing experiences were working with John Stagliano on the second ‘Fashionistas.’ I was a huge fan of Buttman and experiencing a true orgy with the top performers in the industry (and also Sasha Grey’s first scene) was truly unique. Last year and this year I finally got to work for Rocco Siffredi. I can honestly say Rocco has truly taught me the most in recent time. Rocco is simply on another level when it comes to the way he drives himself. He and his cousin Gabriel pushed me hard and though at times it can be very stressful, I learned so much from the two of them. I understand now why Rocco is so successful with what he does.
XBIZ: Could you describe a typical work day?
KM: What I love about this job is that it is never typical. Some days I’m simply a photographer on set. Several times in the year I’m just the producer and do nothing but putting the entire production together. The rest of the year I’m shooting movies. The only thing that makes my days typical is that I’m typically on set mostly.
XBIZ: What is the most challenging part of your job?
KM: I think staying relevant and always evolving. Styles and looks and the things companies want are always changing and each company is different from the next company on what they want. Trying to please production companies can be fairly stressful. Some companies like a saturated, hyper fantasy look. Some companies like more a muted, realistic look. You really have to be able to adapt. I find that the hardest element. If you have too much of an ego or you’re hooked to one style, this industry can be difficult to survive in.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
KM: I love working with the performers. The female talent is really what makes this job the most enjoyable. It is the whole reason fans watch this stuff and at the end of the day it is why I wanted to do this. It can be kind of amazing the things you get to shoot and the performances you pull from these performers if you work hard enough. It is also nice to hear from people when they like something you shot. I tend to live inside my head, so when I get someone who emails me or contacts me and tells me how they liked this scene or like this concept I’m sort of surprised.
XBIZ: What is a project you are currently working on?
KM: I always figured John and I had many years left before he retired. Now that John’s memorial is behind us I’m going to be editing the remaining movies of John’s. At the same time I’m in production right now for the next ‘Babysitter Diaries’ for Reality Junkies/Mile High. On somewhat of a bittersweet note, my first personal release from Evil Angel/Buttman’s Choice comes out in January right after AEE. My first release is ‘PantyPops.’ It has a pretty killer cast. I have a leggings/spandex project in the works called ‘Spandex Loads.’
XBIZ: What are your plans for 2011 and beyond?
KM: I hopefully will be putting out many titles of mine in ’11 under Evil Angel/Buttman’s Choice. I will be expanding the current PantyPops website, adding new scenes and adding more niche sites that are in the same vein as PantyPops. I hope to shoot many more movies for Reality Junkies and the other studios I shoot for. Even though the industry is contracting, I hope to continue doing what I love and maybe even expanding a little. I’d really love to shoot my own feature. Something I’ve been itching to do for some time now. Maybe 2011 will finally give me that chance.
Visit KevinMooreOnline.com or follow him on Twitter @kevinm00re.