SAN DIEGO — When Homegrown Video launched in 1982, it ushered in the amateur porn market. Thirty years later, the pioneering studio remains at the forefront of one of adult’s most lucrative and proven genres.
Brothers Farrell and Moffitt Timlake own Homegrown Video and operate it with the same enthusiasm and passion they had when first acquiring the company in 1993 from founder Greg Swaim.
The secret to their success is no secret at all; they produce the genuine article, no-frills hardcore featuring natural beauties, as well as the plain Janes and average Joes that could very well be our friends and neighbors.
XBIZ caught up with Homeboy Farrell Timlake to discuss Homegrown Video's milestone anniversary, the current state of amateur porn and why a naturally endowed woman is like a free-range chicken.
How does it feel to turn 30?
Turning 30 in this business feels, not like the "new 20", but more like breaking 100, surviving so long that it feels like a full centennial of changes has occurred. Homegrown Video existed before the age of the internet and has weathered vast upheaval in the way our industry evolved. Remember, before Homegrown came along, there was no such thing as "amateur porn" but now the term "homegrown" means the same thing in any language when it comes to amateur sex videos. That is why Penthouse once termed us "the Granddaddy of amateur porn".
How different is producing amateur content today than when you first started?
Today, real amateur content is still very much like it was when Homegrown started albeit the cameras have improved. The thing that makes true amateur special, that "X" factor of real emotional connection, is still what makes it unique. Many try to copy but few ever duplicate that quality because the market seems focused mainly on producing stuff that is actually "pro-am". We have recently been turning away from our pro-am content acquisitions and going back to our roots, authentic amateur content.
When people get sick of the pro-am stuff that all starts to look and sound the same, then they arrive at Homegrown, thirsty for the essence of real amateur porn. Today, the power of the internet makes it possible for us to connect with the types of amateurs that make what we look for easier than ever. More importantly, we can connect the producers of our content directly with the fans that love them better than ever before.
In what ways has the internet made business better and in which ways worse for Homegrown?
The internet has made business better for Homegrown in terms of helping us deliver our brand to a much wider audience. We have some of the most popular tube clips out there, viewed by well over 30 million people in some cases. That is reaching more people than watch even very popular TV shows. The problem we still face is defining how we are unique from the gazillion other programs that claim to be offering "amateur". Fortunately, once fans experience the difference then we usually don't have a hard time keeping them on board.
It’s famously noted that before you owned Homegrown Video, you and your wife were swingers who submitted sex videos to the company to score money to purchase Grateful Dead tickets. Today, with the economy as it is, do you find more people making submissions to Homegrown?
I started making Homegrown Videos as a way to see more Grateful Dead concerts and while there may not be "the Grateful Dead" around, there are still many bands playing that music and the scene is alive and well. By the same token, there are still plenty of wild and willing students in the same boat I was in that look at amateur porn as a fun way to get their groove on, stay groovy with a bit of extra bread and take a trip to the wild side by making a Homegrown Video.
Do people’s motivation for submitting sex tapes matter when selecting which footage to purchase?
We do look at people's motivation for making a video. We are looking for a particular quality that you don't see in videos where it is obvious the people involved are just there for the cash and could care less. I have always said "sex is food and people have to eat"; so we are looking for the "organic" and "natural". The girls may not have the big crazy pumped up and plumped up breasts so it is like the difference between a free range chicken and one that is factory farm produced. It may not look as pretty at times... but it sure tastes better!
Now that it's all growns up, what will Homegrown do next?
Homegrown has had 30 years to figure out how to stay in business, but we look at the next decade and think where can we go from here? The answer is in growing our community and bringing in more ways to make us the destination for people into what our sexual culture is all about.