How to Create an Adult Movie
The time has come to do what you've always wanted. Finally! Perhaps you've had a flash of inspiration or maybe you simply want a piece of a multi-billion-dollar industry. Whatever your motivation, making an adult movie is every bit as challenging and demanding as a mainstream film — with the added bonus of stringent legal requirements, social stigma, and a dangerous amount of titillating temptation. If that sounds like fun to you, you've come to the right place! Your dreams are about to come true -- no faking it, either.
Planning Your Movie
Plan your concept.Pornos very often take their cues from existing movies, either twisting the title with double entendres, or simply going for the raunchy pun. For example, inZack and Miri Make a Porno, they decided to make a spoof ofStar Wars, calledStar Whores. What trendy piece of culture can you take from and add to?
- Other examples of pornified titles might includeJack Reach-around,Breast of Memphis,Skyball 0069, orThe Night Night Saga: Going Down. Though classy titles like "Girls with Guns" also get the message across just as well.
- Your concept does not necessarily need to be a spoof. You may decide on a single-scene vignette that focuses on an intimate moment with just one or two actors, or a more ambitious movie with an original plot, such as the classicDeep Throat.
Consider the logistics.Now that you've got your concept, what are you gonna need to bring it to fruition? What obstacles might you be able to predict popping up? Things to consider in your initial planning include:
- Market. Determine if your movie will be released as a film, DVD, or sold to an online porn distributor.
- Length of film. Depending on the concept and your market, your movie may be just 5 to 10 minutes, or a full-length movie.
- Number of actors. This will be directly related to the length of the film. While a full-length traditional movie might be made with a very small ensemble—even one or two actors, a porno needs to keep things fresh from scene to scene
- Props and set. If your movie is about aliens from outer space, you're gonna need to stockpile the green makeup and aluminum foil. What does your concept require?
Estimate your budget.Ideally, you have investors. Your producer's pockets are deep and money isn't an issue. But realistically, you have your roommate's camera and some duct tape you stole from your school's workshop. Here are a few things to consider:
- Equipment purchase or rental -- lighting, sound, editing, and music.
- Actors. If you film a couple amateurs for a single-scene shot, the budget will be fairly low. The prices for a star, quite obviously, will be significantly higher than the price for a newcomer who is just looking for an opportunity to act. Do not be tempted to hire friends, especially your male friends: porn is demanding work that requires stamina, control, and the ability to perform on cue. Fitness is very important, and for guys, size does matter.
- Location — not every neighborhood is okay with having porn filmed next door. And where can you make sure you won't be interrupted? Or, God forbid, the police drop by? Your home is an option...if you're comfortable with that.
Write a draft script.This doesn't necessarily include dialogue, but rather sketches out what will happen in each scene. Many pornos feature very little in the way of dialogue, other than specific requests regarding where to put what, when, and to what degree.
- Save money and just write it yourself, if you're up to the challenge. No one's going to blame your movie for being bad because the writing sucked. If your creative juices only flow to the tune of, "Well, how do you plan on paying for this pizza, ma'am?" don't sweat it. You could hire a writer if you'd like, but it may not be the best way to spend your money.
Sketch out a storyboard.You don't need to be an artist; stick figures will do. The idea is to show what camera angles will be used in each scene and to get an idea for how much (and what part) of the talent should fill up the frame. Experiment right now with composition because closer isn't always better. You're still making something for cinematic enjoyment, even if it's not Sundance material.
Hire actors.Hire actors. Interview them ahead of time, and make sure you have all your legal requirements covered. In some states, saying the wrong thing in a model interview can get you arrested. Make sure you're as honest with them as possible -- actors, especially when blindsided, can be quite a handful. They need to know exactly what they're in for -- from the daily schedule to the variety of sex acts desired to how those sex acts are performed. You, too, need to know what they are willing and not willing to do. There's no room to be shy here!
- You may want to look into face or body doubles. After four hours of working on the job, actors get a little, how do you say, not into it. Or sometimes actors are great but they just don't have the bodies. With a little clever camerawork and post-production editing, you could have two people playing the same part. It's a little more expensive, but it could result in higher quality work.
Keep it legal.Do an internet search for a porn attorney; they can give you the legal requirements for your adult movie and walk you through the process. They will also give you the legal releases, contracts and documents needed for your crew and adult actors. Just because it's a porno doesn't mean there aren't rules and regulations you have to adhere to.
Find your crew.General crew members should be easy to find, simply by promising them a good salary and offering anonymity. If you're operating on a budget, it's unlikely you'll have the full complement of staff that a traditional movie might enjoy (read: it'll be you and the cameraman), but you'll still want a few technical people to pull things together, if the money allows.
- The director will be responsible for realizing your vision for the movie. You may be the director, or you can hire somebody who's familiar with the process.
- The cameraman, even more than the talent (provided they're reasonably attractive and athletic), will make or break your film. They will know how to get the most out of every angle and can work with the lighting technician to get the best result.
- The lighting technician will handle all the lighting duties and work with the director and cameraman to light the scene effectively.
- The sound man will be responsible for capturing all the moans, groans, and other sounds involved. He may also help with the soundtrack.
- Many films have a stills photographer on site during filming. You can use it for your DVD, website, or as part of other marketing merch.
Plan your shoot.Work with the technical crew to plan out each scene, and the most effective order of shooting. Remember, the film doesn't have to be shot in sequence (unless it's a one-act movie), and leave time between scenes for unexpected occurrences—a scene that goes on longer than expected, an actor who doesn't go on as long as he's expected, or other situations that might arise.
Shooting Your Movie
Build or prepare your set.Before you start shooting, make sure your set is ready and everything you need is in place. From the door to the floor to the bedsheets, everything's gotta be ready to go. Create a checklist to complete before you begin shooting. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Set the temperature so that the room is not too hot or too cold.
- Lighting is set and tested so that the actors don't lose momentum when it's time to perform.
- All wires should be dressed so that they are not visible on camera, and also so they will not trip anybody. Your actors face planting on the edge of the shower isn't in the script this time.
- Test the boom mic positioning so that it is not appearing on camera. Did you see Saw V? Your film's going to be better than that.
- Make sure all props and toys are where the actors expect them so that a dramatic moment isn't ruined by a missing item. And then you'll have actors on your case, too.
- Draw the blinds and lock the doors. You don't want little Timmy from next door wandering in right in the middle of the money shot! Also not in the script. Ever.
- Keep snacks, water, soft drinks, and food available for the cast and crew. People get hungry on the set, especially after all that physical exertion. If they have particular (reasonable) requests, honoring them will go a long way towards having a team that enjoys working with you on set.
Begin filming.Take the time to gather everybody round and make sure people know where they have to be at what times. Set a schedule, including dates and times when each scene will be shot, and which actors will be on call at that time. With everything planned, stage set, and actors at the ready, it's time for that line that transcends genres: "Lights, camera,action!"
- Don't be afraid to yell "CUT!" when necessary. If the actors need additional direction, it's your job to make sure they give you what you want. And if a drop of sweat falls into that fruit bowl, even if you're halfway to town, start again. That's what the process is like and that's why you love every second of it.
- If you've hired the right actors, they'll be able to get back in position and be ready to go in very short order. Making them stop in the middle of their Oscar-winning performance is part of your job. It's not hindering filmmaking; it's making it better.
Deal with the mistakes.If you've had any level of sexual experience you'll know that failures or issues can, and do, happen. All the time. Especially before the groove has been established. Administer Viagra and lubricant where necessary to maintain the momentum, and remind your actors to smile! Even if they respond with eyes full of loathing.
- Be patient. Sometimes a specific shot will take 20 takes. Sometimes you'll need to take breaks in between. Sometimes the sun will go down and you'll still be there, filming a shot that was supposed to happen mid-afternoon. And sometimes those actors won't want to cooperate any longer. That's what makes this a job, after all. But you're the one paying them, so ha! Remind them of that and move on.
Wrap it up.When you're done shooting your film, let everybody know—even any actors that are still lingering off camera, refreshing their eye-make up or practicing their pec flexes in the mirror. Be sure to thank everybody for their efforts, and spend whatever time they would like discussing the film and thoughts they might have. Settle up the financials with anybody who is leaving the project at this point.
- Clear the set, leaving it spic and span and smelling of daisies. Then send the crew home and have a meeting with the director to review the shots. You'll need to determine which takes you think are best, and set up an editing schedule with the editor. Who is probably you, by the way. You know how to do that, right?
Creating the Final Product
Edit the film.If you want to save some serious moolah, the post-production work will be done by you. But if you've got gold bullion stashed in your bathtub, you'll be working with the director and editor to piece together the film, work out transitions between scenes, add titles, music and roll credits. The icing on the cake, really.
- If necessary, do voiceovers. It should not be needed if you were able to get good sound during filming, and you want to avoid doing so if possible. It's an exacting process that if done poorly, will be noticeable, and noticeably distracting. But sometimes it's inevitable.
- Provide the final version to your sound and add in sound effects, foley, and production music (whether original or canned). You know those cheesy porno riffs. No adult movie is complete without them. Bow chicka wow wow.
Package it for advertising and release.You won't just be emailing the JPEG file to your friends, you know. It's gotta be bundled up and made not just for enjoyment, but for purchase. What formats are you going to sell it in? How are you going to advertise?
- This is where your stills will come in handy. If you're sticking to DVDs, it won't be too hard to design a case and piece it together. Now what about Internet ads or your website page? How can you spread the word and generate need?
Market your movie.Now that you've spent a few thousand dollars to create this film, you want to make it worth the effort and expense. You could just revel in your glory and enjoy it at home, but then the world wouldn't be privy to what it's been waiting for and you'd be more broke than the actors you hired. Here are some options for getting some return on your investment:
- Sell it to a subscription website. There are a plethora of porn sites, and much of what's available is free — and the quality of the films reflects the price of entry. Paid sites offer much higher quality, and if your film is done well, may be open to licensing your film. Contact the company and see what they might offer.
- Create your own website. Much like self-publishing a book, setting up your own website will let you keep most the profits for yourself. Also like self-publishing a book, though, you will have to build an audience for your site.
- Sell it in bulk to sex shops. If you have a full-length DVD, or a DVD's worth of vignettes, you can do a duplication run of a few hundred copies, and offer it to adult stores.
- Sell it to magazines that sometimes include a free DVD on the front. Use any contact you have at this point -- maybe even find an agent to help you out.
Use it to start up your own personal brand.Boom! First movie down. It's all cake from here. With your name associated with a good-quality movie, doors can open. Start going to conventions, working on other movies, and meeting people. Low-tier adult movies can be more hassle than their worth, but if you put in the time, you can work your way up and turn it into a legitimate living.
- Now that you've seen the process, you may want to pick an aspect and zero in on it. Would you want to be a stills photog? A lighting designer? Writer? Sound op? What part of the process seemed like, well, less of a process? Or maybe you want to take your millions and invest! The world is your oyster.
QuestionHow old do you have to make an adult movie?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAs a general rule you should be an adult in whatever country, state, city, or county you would want to make the movie in (usually 18+; sometimes 17). It is illegal for anyone underage to be employed by the adult movie industry.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I join porn movies?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are 2 ways. There are the so-called "modeling" agencies for this industry. Search online for an X-rated production house. Submit the necessary documents. Go for the interview. Or, if you know a friend that wants to make a movie, inform the friend of your interest in becoming a porn star and suggest that they hire you.Thanks!
QuestionHow much should I charge for an adult movie that is 30 minutes long, is of good quality, and has original artists?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDepending on the money you spent, you should probably charge 20 to 40 dollars.Thanks!
QuestionAre the sex scenes in adult movies real?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, they usually are. However, non-explicit movies do not feature real sex.Thanks!
QuestionIf the director is a guy, how will he control his erection?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI suppose he just wears thick jeans in case he gets aroused, although he should be focused on getting the right shots, not on the actual activity.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I market my adult film?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can talk to existing adult film industries about possibly showing an ad for your video on their site. You could also use social media to promote your film.Thanks!
QuestionBefore acting in porn, do they test for HIV?Top AnswererYes, just about all porn actors and actresses have regular medical check-ups.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I create an adult movie if I have erectile dysfunction?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAs a director, erectile dysfunction will not compromise the shooting. As a star, the male is more genitalia than face, so erectile dysfunction is not wise in any production.Thanks!
QuestionHow much are adult actors paid on average?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the company they are working for, but on average it can be from ,000USD to ,000USD.Thanks!
QuestionWhat's the meaning of the FBI warning at the beginning of the film?Community AnswerOn tapes, CDs and DVDs, and sometimes on the container of the disc, the warning means the content cannot be modified, copied, distributed or otherwise used commercially without the creators' permission.Thanks!
- Don't tell your friends or loved ones what you're doing. Maybe you want to be honest, or you think it sounds exciting, but you'll never hear the end of it. Maintaining a healthy distance between your professional and your personal life can prevent a lot of headaches.
- Don't be put off by the adage "Why would anyone pay for porn when I can stream it for free?". That's much like saying "Why would I ever go to the cinema and watch a high-budget film, when I can stream YouTube home-videos for free?"
- Finding commissioned work for a subscription magazine can be a steady source of income for a burgeoning film producer.
- Don't have sex with the talent. It might be tempting, but think of it this way: if you were filming a football team, do you think they'd want you to run out and be the quarterback for a few plays?
- Keep it professional. Amateur porn is called "amateur" for a reason. Unless you're ridiculously good looking, you won't be able to make up for the lack of professional equipment, bad lighting, and parts that just aren't as attractive up close as you seem to think they are.Your movie will be doomed to being "that thing you did that you hope nobody ever finds out about."
- When choosing actors, make sure they show proof of age if they look younger than 17.
- Your crew, in particular your actors, need to know they are working in a professional and safe environment. When the camera stops rolling, treat them like you would any other professional.
- Make sure you have complied with all the legal requirements related to making an adult film. If you don't understand the legal side of making an adult film do an internet search for a porn attorney and get legal advice.
- All actors should be fully tested for STDs, even when condoms are used. No one wants to get a debilitating illness, least of all when getting infected could spell the end of a career.
- Ensure all tests are updated on a bi-monthly basis.
Things You'll Need
- Private studio ("private" meaning a quiet and non-public area)
- One or more actors
- Make-up artist and hairdresser
- Lighting technician
- Camera operator
- Sound technician
- Film editor
- Gaffer tape
- Vinyl backdrop sheets
- 200W Bulbs
- Boom (only necessary with spoken dialog)
- Film editing software
- Actor's legal releases
- Legal contracts for crew
Sources and Citations
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