One year and thirty-something movies into his deal to be an exclusive director for Girlfriends Films, B. Skow believes he’s just getting warmed up.
Skow last October took Girlfriends Films to a place where it had never gone before—hardcore boy/girl porn—with the release of “Voila.” He has since released five more boy/girl features under the “Skow for Girlfriends Films” banner as the lesbian porn heavyweight broadens its range in support of Skow’s vision.
I’ve had the most fun shooting in the last year than I’ve had in my 20 years in the business. —B. Skow, director, Girlfriends Films
The seasoned photographer/director is also shooting some of Girlfriend’s trademark lesbian-themed films. In the past year he started four different series, “Secret Lesbian Diaries,” “Lesbian Love Stories,” “Sisters” and “Bad Lesbians,” each of which he not only shoots but also writes. And he’s already helmed 24 lesbian titles for Girlfriends Films in his first year with the company.
“I’ve had the most fun shooting in the last year than I’ve had in my 20 years in the business,” Skow told XBIZ.
A native of Elizabeth, N.J., with more than 27 years of experience behind a camera, the former mainstream photographer captured everything from high-profile ad campaigns to numerous celebrities before he began making a name for himself in adult entertainment. He directed more than 120 movies and shot several hundred box covers during his tenure at Vivid before moving on from the company in May 2012, when he launched his own studio Skow Digital. His list of credits also includes a year of shooting covers for Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine.
“I was a photographer and when I started making movies I had a love for it. I loved the creativity of it so much and how quickly I could have an idea and turn it into something,” Skow said.
He traced his interest in taking pictures back to when he was learning how to develop black-and-white film for his highschool photography class at 16.
“That’s how I got caught up in photography,” Skow said.
Now in addition to being the only person shooting hardcore boy/girl scenes for Girlfriends Films, he is also taking calculated risks with unconventional storylines and provocative material in the process. His most recent production to hit the streets in late September was “Daddy’s Girls,” which explores controversial themes such as incest, rape and suicide. The main character played by Maddy O’Reilly is blind.
Skow said he is inspired by material that pushes boundaries and challenges viewers’ perceptions of eroticism.
“I try to stay away from stuff that is generic, like a generic love story or something you’d see on Lifetime,” he said. “I like making the kind of movies you want to watch in your basement — something that you may feel guilty watching. That’s kind of what I really get into when I’m writing stories and shooting them the best I can. That’s my goal. And I think little by little, I’m getting closer to creating what’s in my head.”
Skow sets out to convey the psychology behind the sexual encounter, insuring the sex act always advances the dramatic element of his features.
“Our movies are more about why this is happening, why are they fucking like this? What’s causing it and what happens from it?” he said. “What are the consequences of fucking a blind girl and how does it destroy a family? That’s our new movie.”
So far his approach is not only impacting the feature porn genre, it’s also boosting Girlfriends Films’ bottom line.
“He’s an animal,” said Moose, vice president and head of sales for Girlfriends Films. “Sales are through the roof. I’ve never seen such energy and such passion from someone about a project. I’ve never seen a guy step up to the plate and hit the grand slams that’s he’s hitting. It’s an honor to be a part of.”
Skow’s movie “What Do You Want Me to Say?” — released in July — follows a couple testing the strength of their relationship after a string of infidelities.
In the film “Homecoming” that was released in June, Skow created an emotional story of a dysfunctional family in turmoil. With principal characters that included an oldest daughter who is an adulteress, a cross-dressing, sex-addicted son and a sexually confused, youngest daughter, Skow built his film on a message of love through acceptance.
The director’s March feature, “Truth Be Told,” followed a sadistic Hollywood actor as he faces blackmail from a mysterious young woman who knows about his attempt to murder someone dear to her 18 years ago.
Meanwhile, Skow’s “Paint,” the second boy/girl feature for GFF that he released in January, followed an aspiring female artist involved in a passionate romance with her female mentor, a celebrated painter. Matters become complicated when the young artist sleeps with a Hollywood hotshot who promises to take her career to new heights.
“Every week I come in I never know what he’s going to bring me or show me,” Moose said. “And it’s like keep going man, keep doing it. Eventually we’re just going to own our own category and he’s just getting started. I love that when I see something from him I have no idea who that character is. Every character is original. When he brought ‘Paint’ in, with all the different locations and all the different shots and setups, I said this is a real feature.”
Skow, who splits his feature writing with longtime friend and collaborator, David Stanley, said that the industry seems to have cycled back to where it was when he started out in the early ’90s.
“It was a race to make a good feature with a good story when they were just starting to use different cameras to shoot better sex,” Skow recalled. “Like features with better sex in ’91–92 — that was a big thing. Then that disappeared. Now it seems like everything you look at, everything you see, people are trying to do that again. You see at least one a month now. Companies are popping up just doing that now.”
He continued, “Now we’re using cameras that look cinematic and it’s coming around again, doing what it was in the ’70s and ’80s. Beautiful shots, cinematic looks, out-of-focus backgrounds. Concentrating on the feeling of the fucking, rather than just — let me capture the craziest shit. The top movies, that’s what they’re doing. It’s back to people liking that stuff.”
Skow mines more new ground in his next big boy/girl feature, “Southern Hospitality,” which delves into polygamy and the illegal moonshining racket with a backwoods family. It will be released on Oct. 18. He also soon will unveil a lesbian feature called “Conjoined” that centers on the sex lives of twin sisters who literally are attached at the hip.
“[B. Skow] can do anything, but the best is when you just let him do what comes to his mind,” Moose said.
Skow will take Girlfriends Films into yet another genre it has yet to tap in December, when he releases the first of what will be the company’s own distinct style of boy/girl gonzo movies called “Sexually Explicit.”
“It’s going to be everything you’d expect from a gonzo movie, but I think the tease is shot a little different than your typical gonzo movie,” Skow said. “The lead-up is very visual. We’re not taking away from what the viewer wants to see, but out of respect for Girlfriends, I didn’t want to do what you can already get. We’ll be using all the top girls and really cool locations. All the stuff you’d expect from top gonzo movies.”