Porn Pros Weigh In on Possible Exodus to Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — Porn pros weighed in on the possibility of the industry making a major move to Las Vegas in light of the Measure B crackdown in an article in the Las Vegas Sun.
Girlfriends Films' Dan O’Connel, performer Joanna Angel, LA Direct’s Derkek Hay and Evil Angel director Kevin Moore all talked the pros and cons of an industry-wide migration to Sin City.
Some things that would tempt porn to Vegas are lower productions costs, cost of living (no state taxes), and the proximity to the L.A. hub.
Regarding locations, O’Connel said the lower cost per hour to rent a house in Vegas is appealing and could benefit struggling locals. “If somebody’s losing a house, they can probably rent it out for two days a month (to us) and keep that house,” he said. “We don’t rent just any house; it has to be nicely furnished, good-sized rooms, no clutter and so on. Just very plain, average houses. So in this market, that would be huge.”
The article also pointed out that both producers and talent could benefit from no corporate income tax, no unitary tax and room tax abatement after 30 days (a plus for commuting talent).
Angel agreed. She said, “From strictly a production standpoint, it probably makes even more sense to be in Vegas than L.A. because everything is so expensive in L.A. and things are getting kind of difficult — living, renting out a studio, getting a film permit, production insurance, getting anything.”
But don’t expect Vegas to be the mecca of porn just yet.
Some downsides include the lack of Hollywood mainstream crews who often service adult who are not about to move from L.A.’s studio central. Angel noted, “People forget that there’s a lot more to porn than just people having sex and somebody shooting it.”
And although Measure B has become an annoyance, it is still legal to shoot porn in L.A. Producing real sex for film everywhere else — including Vegas — is a crapshoot.
“We could move to Vegas, but there is a chance that they could come after you in the same way back in the ’80s they went after a lot of producers, which is trying to charge them with pandering or prostitution,” Moore told the Journal. “Whether or not that would happen, I don’t know. Obviously porn is shot in other states and it’s never been an issue. But it’s different when you’re doing this and you’re trying to do it in a legitimate sense. That hanging over you is never a good thing.”
And then there’s the lifeblood of the business — talent — and the inherent challenges they present.
LA Direct’s Hay noted that talent follows the opportunities and he doesn’t see the majority of performers and support crews abandoning L.A. even if Measure B were enforced.
“There will always be a large number of studios here. People forget that there’s so much work that either does not involve sex at all or is not centered around (intercourse) between males and females,” he said. “And as long as that’s the case, there will always be a porn industry in L.A.”