Great American Porn Script
To the male viewer, scripted porn is penile kryptonite. Guys don't want excessive dialogue and complicated plot setups in their movies. Getting laid in real life is hard enough. Guys want to see porn where the girls are sex crazed and easy. It's that simple. Show me the money shot.
Women are different. Women need mental stimulation. They don't want to watch a DP scene just for the sake of watching something kinky. Women want to know why the DP is happening. Why is the girl taking two penises in her orifices at the same time? Is she trying to get her groove back?
Does she love both men? Or, does she love one more than the other? Unlike men, who salivate like Pavlov's dog at the sight of breasts, women need a back story to accompany their fantasies.
"Women are more cerebral than men," says Cash Markman, writer of Hustler Video's epic feature, "Aphrodisiac." "They get turned on by characters and situation. The more risk involved, the better. A good story keeps women in the room."
This doesn't mean that women are the primary audience for feature porn. Statistics show that males rent or buy the majority of all adult films, including features. Features, often referred to as "couples movies," are made for men attempting to expose their girlfriends and wives to new and exciting sexual practices. Another way of putting it is that plot-driven porn is for women and the men who want to fuck them.
"Gonzo can be too mean spirited," Markman says. "Features are more sensual and erotic. That turns women on. It makes them want to jump your bones right there on the couch. Spread the word about that and we'll always have job security."
Anyone who has ever attended a creative writing class in college will remember the adage — write what you know. But what do men know about sex? I know it means listening to Sade and pretending to like cats and Julia Robert movies in an attempt to attain it. But that's not very dramatic. That is why I often turn to the world at large for inspiration. It's not always easy. While thousands of Catholics took the day off to protest "The Da Vinci Code" outside their local cineplex, I sat inside the theater for three grueling hours trying to figure out a sequel to Hustler Video's most successful feature to date, and my most recent parody, "The Da Vinci Load."
Once you've poured your heart and soul into creating your own "Black Cock Down" or "Starfish Troopers," it's time to share it with the masses. It helps if you know someone in the business. But if you don't, then get to know someone. Familiarize yourself with a director's work. Take note of their strengths and weaknesses.
I once collected a handful of bad reviews a particular director had received from various adult magazines. One reviewer described this director's work at the time as "boring and ineptly written vanilla turds." I approached the director with these reviews and said to him, "You may need a new writer. Oh, and by the way, I'm a writer." Two months later, I turned in my first script to him.
But no matter how great your script is, a director is going to want to put his stink on it. So be prepared to make changes. Go a step further and request ideas and suggestions from directors when soliciting work. The only thing bigger than the dicks and tits in this industry are the egos. So massage them.
"Feature makers are, almost to a one, disappointed mainstream movie hopefuls," points out retired pornscribe Rebecca Gray.
Gray's "Seven Deadly Sins" won the AVN award for best screenplay in 2000. She wrote the script from an idea director Ren Savant had formulated in his mind but not committed to page. "It's hard to take credit for something that was really a creation of Ren Savant's," Gray says, "but I did write it."
Award-winning "Heart of Darkness" writer Raven Touchstone adds,"Directors don't want to go into a script cold. It's always a good idea to submit a treatment and get the director involved with the writing process."
The Money Shot
The recent success of Digital Playground's "Pirates" has rekindled interest in story-driven porn. Companies such as Hustler and Sex Z Pictures are embracing the feature. Studios such as Vivid and Wicked have lucrative cable deals that call for story porn. Gonzo may be king on the street, but you just won't see "Cum Shitters #2" on Playboy TV.
"I see a big future for story-based movies," says Jeff Mullen, president of X-Play and writer/creator of the hugely popular Britney Rears series. "With the advent of satellite delivery platforms, there are more opportunities to have your movie viewed by somebody outside of the "raincoater" audience. Allsex movies are great, but now we have a chance to deliver a quality product with a nice and swift story line to an ever-expanding audience."
This can mean more work for the porno writer, but does it mean more money?
"Up until the early 1990s, adult movies were story driven with 30- to 40-page scripts," Markman reflects. "You had time to develop characters and plot. And it paid well. Now, people want 15-page scripts at a fraction of the old pay. It's rare when you can create something like 'Aphrodisiac,' a 50-page script with toys and extravagant locations, and see it handled with enthusiasm and respect. Very rare."
Hmm. Maybe it's time to look into directing.