This is my first blog post in a while, and for a good reason! I have been busy, busy, busy, working on my new film. It’s been crazy – casting, organising, planning, location hunting and shopping for outfits and props for months before the filming even got underway. I often get asked why I don’t bring films out more often, and I think this sums it up: I am one woman and do pretty much everything myself. From buying props to booking a performers flights, and then shooting, directing and editing – I am personally involved every step of the way. I am a perfectionist and take my time to make every one of my films as authentic, creative, exciting and unique as I can.
So after many months of interviewing potential performers, booking accommodation, finding and losing locations, mind-mapping ideas, drawing mood-boards, buying props, organising kit, crew and catering, at last a very intense week of filming began. But as so often, the course of ‘true love’ – and porn shoots produced with love and attention to detail – never does run smoothly!
When we arrived the house I’d hired for the performers to stay at, it was not the beautiful house I had seen and booked online but turned out to be cold, dirty and with no Wi-Fi connection. It took us a whole day before the cast arrived to clean the house, dress all the rooms with fresh flowers and welcome gifts, as well as doing the mother of all shops to fill up multiple fridges with food and drinks for all tastes and organising a portable Wi-Fi connection as well as carting in extra radiators. The morning after, one hour before the first performers were due to arrive from Gatwick, I got a phone call from the agency I’d booked the house with, saying we were ‘in breach of contract’ and had to leave immediately! I had done the booking under my company name and someone has obviously Googled “Petra Joy” and wrongly assumed we were going to shoot porn in the house.
As you can imagine, I freaked out. It was the worst case scenario – after months of planning and with the performers less than an hour away from arrival I suddenly found myself without anywhere to put them all up, store our equipment, do pre-production tasks such as filling in the paperwork, doing make-up and enjoy meals. I had never intended to use the house for a shoot. It was just functional and not picturesque enough to be a location. I had rented other locations such as Brighton’s fab sex shop, aptly called ‘Lust’, as locations. As far as I am concerned, we had not done anything wrong and the agency threatening us with eviction had no leg to stand on to kick us out after I had prepaid a lot of money to book this house weeks in advance. But someone heard the word “porn” and their shutters went down, business agreements went out of the window, and we got treated as if we were an illegal operation setting up a drug smuggling cartel in the house. The house was normally let out to hen nights for up to twenty tipsy and most likely randy women who would have all night parties with guys they had pulled in local clubs. Sex happens in hotels and holiday accommodations all the time but porn has a huge stigma attached to it, as if sex on camera is ‘bad’ sex or an illegal activity. A lot of businesses enter the moral high ground and don’t want to do business with me, a film producer who shoots erotica (such as the HBSC bank that refused to let me open a business account with them for my company as they “don’t do business with the adult trade”).
After a day of nail-biting and tense phone calls, the agency eventually relented and allowed us to stay. It was not a great beginning to the shoot as I was shaken to the core, rather than the happy-go-lucky director. It would have been so nice to have a producer on set who might have been able to shield me from the drama but it is a luxury I simply cannot afford.
In the end, the first performers Cora and Jes as well as my second camerawoman, Roz arrived safely from Amsterdam and Berlin, blissfully unaware that an hour ago they had nowhere to stay! After lunch, we shot a beautiful and groundbreaking scene with the gorgeous Cora Emens and the hot Jes in an amazing location. Those two had met on skype before and clicked (just as I felt they would, I DO like match-making!). But nothing had prepared us for how many sparks would fly during the shoot: With both having a background in Tantra, they were totally on the same wave-length and shared a super intense, intimate and sexy scene. We all had a wonderful time and it was a great first shoot for me. It is always wonderful when what I imagine in my mind is surpassed by what happens in reality!
It was only a couple of days before Cora and Jes flew off again and the crew and I were food shopping, cleaning bathrooms and laying out chocolates and roses on the beds to get ready for round two! The second part of the shoot was my first experience filming with (semi-) professional performers, which I never thought I would want to do. But the opportunity to be shooting with the very sexy Wolf Hudson, Jiz Lee and Liandra Dahl was what tempted me into making another movie. I have followed Jiz and Liandra’s interesting appearances in alternative porn over the years. They were heading over to London en-route to the Pornfilmfest Berlin and the opportunity was too good to be missed. I chose to shoot with them as none of them really fits the mould of what you imagine to be a ‘classic porn star’ – often surgically enhanced and faking it instead of feeling it. All of them pick and choose the projects they want to be involved in and are true individuals, living out their unique sexuality… Jiz had recommended Wolf as they had a great chemistry and really wanted to shoot with him. My gut told me that Liandra would also hit it off with Wolf and Jiz and – I was right. They all had a great chemistry and together we shot various hot and exciting scenarios. My new film will be called ‘(S)he Comes’ and may I just say she came , he came, they came – over and over again in multiple ways. So I am very happy. After Jiz, Liandra and Wolf left, I did two more shoots with real life couples and their play was magical, passionate and wild. It is always a pleasure to shoot with a real couple as everything just flows and is a privilege to capture those magic moments on film.
I have to say, I am on a roll and have one more final shoot lined up that I look forward to very, very much!!
I will be shooting with my dear friend, the wonderful Emilia who starred in my first ever erotic film, ‘Sexual Sushi’ in 2003 – ten years down the line, we are still friends and she will return for another shoot. This feels wonderful, like she, I and we have come full circle, setting out as friends having fun creating my first ever art-core film from a female perspective and now a decade later we have both changed, grown and evolved but stayed true to our initial mission. It will be a joy to have Emilia back and create a new scene together with the very gorgeous Angus. Those two have met up over drinks and based on the passionate kisses that followed both feel it will be an exciting shoot. Did I mention I like to match-make?
I’m so excited about what we’ve shot so far and think the new film(s) will be very hot because they feature authentic female fantasies, hot and varied sex and real orgasms.
And even though it wasn’t and isn’t all glamour behind the scenes, and things can and do go wrong, and I am juggling way too many balls, I know we will get there in the end. There’s still a long editing process ahead, months and months of me editing, forging hours of rushes into beautiful scenes, but I am excited to show more female fantasies and celebrate female sexuality on my new film. Here (s)he comes…! Happy Happy, joy, joy!