Many adult distributors are picking up on the fact that yes, there IS a market for porn for women and they want a piece of the cake. When I was looking for investors to create my films I was told that porn for women would not sell. Now that companies that porn for women does actually sell. So the offers to distribute or sell my films have started to flood in.
A couple of months ago I had an offer for distribution of my films in Spain. Every time an offer comes my heart beats faster because a potential income will help to pay off the loan I took out to make “Female Fantasies” and if I might even make a profit, that could help to finance the new film.
The offer sounded good at first – they wanted to distribute female friendly porn only and I was glad to be one of the chosen directors. But they asked for a lot: The rights to print unlimited DVD’s, The TV rights, internet streaming and mobile phone rights. For seven years.
The amount offered was – brace yourself – £1000 per film. I could not believe it. Yes, I could really do with £1000, but I would make the same amount I sold 500 DVDs wholesale.
I was told by the distributors that this is a “take it or leave it” offer and that other big names have signed up to the same deal. When I phoned some of the other directors they told me that their fee was substantially bigger than what I was offered.
I did not sign the deal. To think that for seven years both of my films could be screened, streamed, sold and resold without restriction in two countries without me knowing where the material would go frightened me. Somebody would have made a lot of money and it would not have been me.
If I saw my films just as a product and would not care about the way they are presented, marketed or re-used, I could make a lot of money.
But I do care. I care that my message gets across and I stay true to myself and everybody who was involved in the making of this film.
I am not willing to compromise what my films are about to get the quick buck.
I almost had a distribution for the soft-core version of my film. I was very excited as I would like to see the films widely available to women and men who do not shop at licensed sex shops. It would be great to sell a soft version legally over the internet and at retail outlets.
But that bubble has burst for now.
Even though I agreed to an inflated production price and a minimal licence fee for myself, in the end the company pulled out of the distribution deal.
Their reason was that they want to be “fast and efficient” in their production cycle and think that they will not be able to work in this way with my films as they realised that I would like to be involved, rather than just signing the project off without having any input. They said time is money and my involvement in the process will be too time consuming and therefore cost them money.
The cracks between the co-operation began to show when they emailed me their favourite DVD packaging: a single woman with silicon boobs, her face airbrushed to the extreme against a white background. It was the typical high key porn look that the Americans tend to create for the blokes to enjoy. The kind of image I would use when I do a porn parody (like the one pictured here). When I explained that I would like them to use my stills on the cover of my films and that the image should show a couple or a hunky man rather than artificially enhanced porn star, they pulled the plug.
All I asked for was having input in the cover design of my own movie and an approval of the final, soft cut.
Am I asking too much?
It is strange that the big players in the industry seem to get excited by the idea of “female friendly porn” and then assume that they can package and sell it in the same old ways to maximise their profit.
For me it comes down to a choice between profit and creative freedom. And I can not imagine to let go of the creative control in order to make some money. To whitewash my films so that they fit into the mainstream marketing concepts would mean to dilute and distort them. And I am not prepared to do that.
I do believe in the films and I do believe that eventually I will make the money back I invested into them. But the films have to remain the genuine thing – erotic art from a woman with women in mind, rather than an average film with a tits-and-ass cover and the marketing catchphrase “porn for women” printed on the box.