How many people can you name who work in adult filmmaking?
Maybe you've heard of Jenna Jameson or Ron Jeremy. After watching this video PSA, you know a few more.
Those here that willingly associate their names and faces with adult films are actors and directors. The crew behind the camera, the ones writing (yes, writing does happen), shooting, and editing an adult movie, are all but unknown.
Produced by the Free Speech Coalition, this PSA asserts that the cost of illegal downloads is not only lost revenue to this $10 billion industry, but lost jobs for regular people. It’s a common message promoted zealously by the MPAA and other organizations that put faces on the credits at the end of every movie. These workers are regular people who have jobs, kids, and mortgages like everyone else.
These regular people are affected by the business practices of mainstream Hollywood studios, which regularly move films out-of-state (or country) to lower production costs. As a result, film workers are left with fewer opportunities to earn money to support themselves and their families.
An estimated 10,000-20,000 people worked on adult films in 1999. Roughly 5,000 of film crew personnel in Los Angeles who usually work on Hollywood studio films have regularly taken jobs on adult films because of the lack of studio jobs. Porn offers consistent work and decent (albeit not great) pay. What’s more, porn movies don’t tend to relocate production. Operating at very low budgets (porn movie costs usually run in the thousands, rather than millions, of dollars), it doesn’t make sense for these productions to relocate out-of-state; they likely wouldn’t qualify for tax incentive benefits, and they probably wouldn’t be very welcome either.
“Respectable” film organizations name their crew in PSAs: in the “Stop Piracy in NYC” campaign, Kay Denmark is a boom mic operator and Kenny Gaskins is a transportation captain. It is striking that the Free Speech Coalition video does not name crew members, instead focusing on well-known actors and directors in the industry (most of whom usually use pseudonyms). Porn film crew members are not featured here, in large part because many don’t want their names or faces associated with an industry that might damage their reputation with mainstream studios. They don’t want to be the face of film labor. They just want to make a living like everybody else.