Currently staying up till 5 or 6am each day (after coming home from work) editing THE EROTIC COUCH in time for the midnight theatrical premiere on October 16-17 (DVDs will ship the same day for those of you who can’t make it out). What started out as just a joke turned into one of the most time-consuming projects I have undertaken since we did our feature-length back in 2007. Never before have I written a film, shot it completely, then gone back to re-write and re-shoot the ending. I have been steadily adding more to the movie since the initial weekend we filmed, including a topless dance sequence that accompanies the opening titles. I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences making this movie. While I’m no stranger to photographing people without their clothes on, this is the first movie I’ve made to feature this much bare flesh, and to center completely around sex.
That said, it’s not a porn, it’s not even soft porn. And the way everyone was shot, no explicit nudity is shown. My feeling was and has always been, at least in terms of the movies I make with my friends, once you show someone’s junk then it’s all over. You can’t go back from that. The mystery is gone. I remember over a decade ago when Craig Hosoda’s “The Bare Facts Video Guide” came out, I was fascinated by it until I actually started seeing the nude scenes cataloged in the book. It was always anti-climatic, and it had nothing to do with what their bodies looked like without clothes. You can show someone almost naked a million times and it’s always going to be thrilling, but once you reveal all, there is a tangible loss. Not everyone feels this way, that’s cool with me, but we’re talking about the movies I make here. And this is how it’s going to be played.
What I enjoyed most about making this film was how easily and comfortably I directed and photographed scenes where the women interact with the Erotic Couch and each other. I grew up with cable TV, and we were definitely going for an old school sex movie vibe with this one, so I quickly realized all those years of watching cheesy T&A comedies paid off. That’s not to say this is the kind of film we made either; I took all the sex scenes very seriously, and made sure everyone looked as good as they would if I were shooting still photos of them. But there’s so much non-verbal to this thing, it really was a change for me. The ten-page script yielded a movie that’s nearly 40 minutes long. That means there’s a lot of ACTION, man. I’m proud of how it came out, and I think everyone else will too.
Some truly incredible things have happened as a result of this project. I’m not talking about getting banned from Facebook or figuring out how to make 3-D (see embedded clip below). There are a small handful of first-time actors in this movie, and a couple of them were people I had only been friends with for a couple of weeks when we started shooting. I take a great amount of care in how images of women are portrayed in the stuff Gonzoriffic produces, and that went double for this project because these women were going to be either half or completely naked in front of my camera. So when not one but two of them told me that working on this project and seeing the footage actually improved their self-image, I thought I might cry. I want art to have power, I don’t want to do shit that means nothing. Just as I want the characters in a story to be transformed from who they were at the beginning, I would also like those involved to undergo some kind of change (hopefully for the better). No one here is going on a diet to appear thinner on screen, no one is denied a role based on how they look. If I had to name one thing I want to do with my creativity, it is destroy that type of bullshit, or at least be the exception to it.
I had so much fun making this movie. People think Gonzoriffic is just a low budget horror outfit, but I have always known us to be much more than that. Not a single horror film will be shown at our next midnight event. We’ve made a variety of movies and I want it to reflect our other areas of expertise, particularly our sex-themed work. Along with the premiere of EROTIC COUCH, the show will feature a gallery of my photography that has never been seen anywhere (and will never be available online or for purchase). I look forward to how it will feel to watch people react to this stuff who think they know me, who think they know us. But mostly I look forward to what kind of things we feel free to dream up next as a result of how successful we were at pulling off this sort of movie.
To the future.