MindBrowse Spotlights 'Minx' Creators at XBIZ LA, Session Now Streaming

MindBrowse Spotlights 'Minx' Creators at XBIZ LA, Session Now Streaming

LOS ANGELES — Mindbrowse and Sssh.com have made available for streaming the full-length recording of “The Making of 'Minx' – Comedy, Culture, and Fictionalized Porn,” a discussion panel held at XBIZ LA in January.

Moderated by Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals and produced by Sssh.com founder Angie Rowntree, the panel included members of the creative team behind the hit Starz TV series “Minx” – creator, showrunner and executive producer Ellen Rapoport and Rachel Lee Goldenberg, who has directed several episodes of the series.

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, "Minx" is a fictional account of a young feminist who collaborates with a low-budget publisher to create the first-ever erotic magazine for women. It is a story filled with resonance for Rowntree, the founder of pioneering porn-for-women website Sssh.com, which marks its 25th anniversary this year.

Tibbals noted during the session that Mindbrowse events are "opportunities to discuss wider cultural and social happenings impacting our community." As a hit mainstream show depicting a bygone era of the adult industry, albeit in a fictional manner, "Minx" fits that description.

When asked where the idea for "Minx" came from, Rapoport explained that her inspiration largely came from reading an oral history of Playgirl magazine. Recounting her own first encounter with Playgirl, which came when she was catsitting for a neighbor, Rapoport remembered the event as her “first exposure to a penis,” which came in a “kind of cheesy skin mag.”

“And then when I started to read about Playgirl, I learned that it was, in fact, trying to be a feminist magazine, which I thought was really interesting, because I hadn’t realized that at the time,” Rapoport added. “Because it was an oral history, there were all these people’s stories about working in this environment. One thing that really struck me was that in the mid-'70s, the entire staff at Hustler came over to work at Playgirl, because Hustler moved to Ohio and they didn’t want to move.”

Rapoport also saw potential for a comedy show in which there would be “a bunch of feminists and a bunch of pornographers, working together to make this thing happen.”

Asked by Tibbals what guided artistic decisions, especially when portraying “sensitive or controversial topics in the framework of a mainstream television series,” Goldenberg talked about conquering the learning curve that the show’s theme and storyline presented her with as a director.

“I had my own kind of joyous journey with this,” Goldenberg said, noting that she has “directed some sex scenes but hadn’t directed a ton of nudity.”

Observing that for an audience at an adult industry event like XBIZ, the questions she faced might be met with a shrug — “Whatever, this happens all the time” — for the director of a mainstream comedy program, it is an entirely different story.

“For me, it was like ‘Oh my god, we have to make sure people feel comfortable when they’re nude,’” Goldenberg shared.

The pilot episode for "Minx" presented one such challenge immediately, Goldenberg said.

“They’re auditioning to be centerfolds and there’s this montage of like 18 different dicks,” Goldenberg explained. “Eighteen guys and a montage of them showing off their dicks.”

The scene required Goldenberg to have a series of conversations with the show’s intimacy coordinator and casting director, working on strategies to make the scene easier for all involved.

“One of our things was, ideally, to have people who were already adult performers,” Goldenberg said. “I believe for that montage, there were only one or two guys who hadn’t already been fully nude on camera, and I remember one was really nervous, and it did make it a little trickier. So it was very helpful to have people who were more experienced than me at this, because I was like, ‘Hey, I just want to make sure you’re comfortable,’ and they were like ‘Yeah, we get it, it’s fine.’”

"I really enjoyed the chance to meet and work with Ellen and Rachel," said Rowntree of the panel session. "I was thrilled when they both agreed to be guests on MindBrowse and share their knowledge, humor and on-set anecdotes. The Mindbrowse conversation was fascinating. I strongly encourage everyone to watch it — and to dive into both seasons of 'Minx' on Starz."

“The Making of 'Minx' – Comedy, Culture, and Fictionalized Porn” panel is now streaming on MindBrowse.com, Sssh.com and XBIZ.tv.

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