Believe it or not the distribution for “Feeling it!” is still not sorted. I have had a few small wholesellers placing orders only to promptly follow them with not-so-nice emails, suspecting me of selling the film to other dealers at a better price. But of course I charge everyone the same price. What has happened is that some of these small whole sellers offered the film to the women’s sex shops below my list price. This is a confusing practice spreading rumours and suspicion. I don’t know why they are selling the DVDs on for such low prices, often just earning 2 Euros per film (in contrast to the shop owners who are able to sell to retail). The only explanation that I have is that it’s a clever way of getting new customers who will buy also other products from them.
I never had any idea how bad the competition between the small wholesellers is and my ears are burning from all the bad mouthing about the competing companies I was told. It is so hard to know who to trust and which comments to believe in. At the end of the day I just want my films to be in the shops so that the retail customers have a choice to buy “Feeling it!” or other porn.
I really wish I did not have to deal with distribution side of production and could just focus all my energy into my creativity. That is my strength and I feel if I am the one wheeling and dealing I get easily disillusioned which dampens my spirit of excitement and optimism for future film projects.
I am still waiting to hear from a big wholeseller to see if they will take on “Feeling it!”. There was a meeting two weeks ago and now all I can do is wait. Please keep your fingers crossed for me as this deal could help to clear my loan for the last production. I need a big order to be able to continue on my path.
Last night Violetta came over. We had an Easter roast and knocked back a bottle of red Russian Krim champagne. I am so blessed that most of the performers of my films have become such good friends that we regularly socialise.
Violetta and I were both very excited; just in time for a lovely Easter surprise a package had arrived from New York: Candida Royalle, a true pioneer of female friendly porn, sent us her latest films. We watched “Aphrodite Superstar” the first film of Candida’s new line “Femme Chocolat” showing mainly gorgeous coloured men and women enjoying passionate sex.
We really like this film – the beautiful colours, funky editing and very erotic and beautifully shot sex scenes were a pleasure to watch and there were many moments where we did not just view the film with our professional, analytical eyes but got turned on as well. That usually means it’s a great film! Thanks to Candida for having become such an interesting, entertaining and supportive pen-friend of mine, as well as being a supplier of exciting porn for women. More information on Candida: www.candidaroyalle.com
Violetta and I also had fun doing a photo shoot with burlesque portraits of her – just for a laugh. I love those free time creativity projects most as there are no outlines or deadlines. This way we often get the most creative results. The picture you can see here shows Violetta catching a rare ray of spring sunshine and wearing nothing but pearls and blossoms from my garden.
Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet another female “pornographer” in Cologne’s café Orlando, Nicole Rüdiger one of the editors of the “Jungsheft” – a magazine that shows ordinary guys nude and with hard ons. It is meant as porn for women as the editors Elke Kuhlen and Nicole Rüdiger realised a long time ago that there are hardly any naked, hot men for women to look at. The magazine was launched 2 years ago and is published twice a year. The editions of 2000 copies are sold out and have become a collector’s item in Germany. The magazine is financed independently and the creation of it is a true labour of love with both editors being involved in all stages of the production. Nicole and Elke, just like me, had offers to sell out and trade money for freedom and creative control and I am pleased to announce that they stayed true to themselves and will remain independent. They have now also launched a booklet featuring girls for guys to look at and are going from strength to strength. We hope to be able to support each other – Nicole recommending guys who have previously modelled for their magazine and me supplying photos and possibly also writing a little bit about such taboo subjects as female to male anal penetration.
It was refreshing meeting 21 year old Nicole. It makes me happy to see that there are now many generations of female pornographers all over the world expressing women’s sexual desires : American women like Annie Sprinkle and Candida Royalle and Maria Beatty who set out over a decade ago to visualize female sexual desires. And there is the new wave of European women like Natasha Meredith, Nicole Rüdiger and many more carrying the torch for female oriented porn. The best part of it is to meet and network via emails or over a glass of bubbly. We inspire each other and can support each other with difficult aspects of our work such as financing or distributing independent female designed porn. More information on the erotic cult magazines: www.jungsheft.de
It has been 18 months since my last film came out so I am keen to provide more food for thought for the many women and men who enjoyed my first two films, but things are not looking good right now.
It is about now that my new film “Feeling it!” should be reviewed in trade magazines and it should also hit the shops. I should be in high spirits as this should a time of replenishing creatively and also financially. Having worked the past 6 months on this film I have only had expenses and no income whatsoever. My hope was to recover the substantial investment swiftly. I need to pay the bills and ultimately if there is a profit left, would like to invest in my next film which I can already see clearly in my imagination.
But this is not a good day. Today various wholesale buyers rejected my new film simply on the grounds that it is priced slightly higher than “Female Fantasies”. “Feeling it!” is my longest film yet and the shoot and postproduction cost me an arm and a leg. We also produced a four page booklet to go with the film which was expensive to create. But these buyers do not seem to be interested. They currently sell my first two films for around 6 times as much as they buy them for. They want my new film but only if they get it for the same or a lower price than “Female Fantasies”. Many wholesale buyers are not interested in the content or style of a new film but focus on the pricing alone. Even if the film is amazing, if the price is not right, they will not buy it. I know that there are a lot of people out there who would like to get their hands on my new film but they will struggle to find a shop that will stock it. This is so frustrating.
It’s a catch 22. The porn industry insists that porn for women does not sell. But it does not sell simply because in most shops it is not even available for customers to choose. There is a self censorship in the porn industry and it is motivated by the blind desire to maximise profit. This is short-sighted and does not allow this industry to grow, expand and embrace new products and customers which ultimately could prove to be profitable. I know that whenever my films are on offer, they do sell. But to get them into the shops is such a struggle. What this means for me is that I have to get a day job for the at least the next 6 months or so before I even start thinking of shooting another film.
To top it all off, I also had a mail from a trade magazine that previously featured my work. I was hopeful that they would do a feature on “Feeling it!” because there is no erotic film like it on the market. The journalist loves my new film and wanted to review it as “tip of the month”. But the editor told the journalist that my work will not be featured in the magazine anymore, unless I pay for an advertorial contract. Without buying the editorials, there will be no more write-ups of my work. I am gob-smacked.
I understand that a magazine finances itself with adverts and that the companies who pay for adverts are a priority for the features. However I did not realise that if an independant producer can not afford the advertising, they simply will not be featured. Maybe I am naïve, I perceive it as the duty of journalists to inform the readers about new ideas – especially if they vary from the mainstream. How can the readers take a magazine seriously if all the reviews of films were bought and have nothing to do with the quality of the film? I am beginning to understand why the adult industry struggles to evolve. It is about profit rather than innovation. And that is very disheartening for someone trying to create something completely new even if it means losing money on it. Right now I am waiting for a miracle.
I am grateful to my loyal customers who have placed their orders and will be the first to sell the film: Lust und Liebe and Sexclusiviateten. I hope others will follow and realise: you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.