Thursday, March 10, 2011
Interview With Dave Naz
Check out Dave Naz on Twitter and on DaveNaz.com.
Danny: So you started out as a still photographer in the adult industry?
Dave: Not really as a still photographer, but shooting editorial stuff for Barely Legal, and Taboo, Legworld, and Leg Show. That's where I started in 2002.
Danny: And now you also direct adult films?
Dave: I was until the economy turned, and now I'm not. But I would.
Danny: When did you start doing that?
Dave: Eon Mckai [founder of Vivid Alt] asked me to direct a movie in 2006, Skater Girl Fever.
I directed my last movie for Private at the beginning of the year. And I did one for Good Vibes too.
Danny: How many adult films would you say you've directed in your career?
Dave: I'd say eleven. I think it's somewhere around there, ten or eleven.
Danny: And in 2009 you actually won an AVN award for one of your films, House of Sex and Domination?
Dave: Yeah, and I guess the equivalent in Spain. I forget what the name is.
Danny: Have you been awarded or nominated for anything else during your career in adult?
Dave: Currently, for best soundtrack for Circa '82, and also right now for Turbo Rock. But I haven't won either of those. And I think maybe one other thing, but I can't remember.
But nothing with my actual name on it. I do own that AVN Award. So it's like, “Cool, I won something.”
Danny: Can you tell me a little bit about the type of movies you like to make, or even the type of pictures you like to take?
Dave: I like natural girls for the most part, although I've shot a few girls with fake breasts. But typically, I like just natural with very little makeup, just the makeup to enhance their features instead of paint their face.
When it comes to movies, I like to incorporate genres I'm interested in like punk rock or 70's blacksploitation, which have been the two themes in a few of mine.
Danny: With the movies you've directed, do you actually plan out the sexual acts you want to take place?
Dave: It's funny, because when I did the first movie for Eon, he kind of taught me what to do. He was like, “Don't worry, we'll put all the right people in place and it will get done right. It's not like you're just going into it and trying to figure it out yourself.” Which was very helpful, because I didn't really know what I was doing.
But when I wrote the description for him, it was every little detail. I was very meticulous about every sexual act. I was like, “Oh cool, I can do these kind of like perverse things that I'm into and kind of script them out.” But as you know, it doesn't always work out that way. You're just like, “Okay, leave us alone.”
But it was still fun. And yeah, I still like to get a few things in, and if I find that the people aren't willing to do it, I just don't hire them.
Danny: So do you tell the people [what you want them to do] before hand or when they get to set, or what?
Dave: Before. And I've had a few instances where people wouldn't do what I wanted them to do. It was either an issue with the agent giving out information to them, or them kind of chickening out. Not that I want anybody to get hanged by hooks or anything, but there's stuff that people feel uncomfortable doing.
I'm definitely not out to make people feel uncomfortable, but I also want to make the movie I want to make.
Danny: Can you tell me about one of your favorite or most memorable directed scenes?
Dave: For all the movies I've done for Private, they're fetish movies. So as far as sexual acts go, I think those are the most interesting because usually it's like fetishizing something. And there's some pretty fun hardcore stuff...
I think the scene with Flower and Mr. Marcus is really intense in House of Sex and Domination. And also, Prisoners of Sodomy, which is probably my favorite of the fetish movies. There's just some really intense scenes. And just the way Octavio [aka Winky Tiki] edited it for me. It's just one of the ones I'm most proud of.
Now, as far as the look of the movie, the stuff I've done with Eon [McKai], where I get like complete control of the movie... I really loved Sugartown and Circa '82, which you were in. I really like that. It's more fun. It's a relaxed atmosphere.
Whereas with Private, it's a fifteen hour day, and I'm stressing out if I didn't get anything. Like, I had to shoot condom versions of the movie. It was a complete stressful nightmare to do, but it was rewarded.
Danny: Is there anything on the box cover or website that lets consumers know they're getting a certain kind of product, or a different kind of product so to speak?
Dave: In the Vivid Alt movies, yeah. But in the Private movies... The last one I did for Private, they wanted me to do an Alt movie.
They're maybe a day late to the party over there. But I said sure. And I got Andy San Dimas, and Bobbi Starr, and the movie's great. It's really funny. And I got music by The Lamps, which are this kind of obscure band that my friend's label put out.
It came out great, and it's totally funny. But they don't let me have final approval on titles, and the kind of control I had when I worked for Eon. The movie's called Fuck Me Indie Ass, which is just as stupid as can be. They don't get any stupider than that, title wise.
Then they put the one girl in the movie, Andy San Dimas, who doesn't do anal. So, “The good news is you're on the cover. The bad news is that people are gonna buy it for the wrong reason.” I explained that to them, and also, I apologized to her. I don't think she has any resentment towards me. It was not my fault. But I hate to see that kind of thing happen.
And when it comes to, like, the Vivid Alt movies, it's sad that that's kind of come and gone. I feel like it was just a very fun time to have creative control.
Danny: What do you see that differentiates this on the box for your Vivid Alt stuff?
Dave: You know, it's funny because I've sent movies to friends of mine who aren't in porn. And they're like, “Whoa, it doesn't look like a porn movie. Like, I've got to be careful that my kid doesn't take it off the shelf.”
It doesn't look like a typical porn movie. Alaska [graphic designer] did the graphics, and it fits the look of the movie. If it's Hospital, it has that different look. It looks like it could be just any indie film that you would buy.
Like Sugartown looks like a Pam Grier movie. It looks like a '70's blacksploitation movie. And Circa '82 is just some obscure references. I mean the movie is just kind of fun. But the artwork and the cover is very intricate, and stuff that you would have to know, like “This is the band's logo, and your name's written that way.” There's a lot of creative control.
Danny: How do you go about finding or casting talent for your productions?
Dave: With the Vivid Alt movies, if the people fit the look. Like, I remember when I cast you and James Deen. I was like, “Oh cool, these guys look like they could be in a Larry Clark movie. They don't have any tattoos all over them,” which is the problem with a lot of porn dudes. They have a lot of tattoos.
So for me, the kind of interesting part was casting the guys. If you're getting a fetish movie and you get this burly dude to come in and plow the girl, you're like, “Hmm, that kind of works.” But to me, it's a little more interesting to have it be just a normal guy that maybe would be in a regular movie. It's kind of unsuspecting.
And the scenes are just as intense. But it's a different look that way.
Danny: So have you ever had instances where performers didn't want to work with each other?
Dave: Yeah, many times.
Danny: So what do you do in these situations?
Dave: Usually, one person doesn't get to be in the movie.
Usually, beforehand... I didn't know all this until I booked for my first movie, and I was like, “Oh cool, I want to cast so and so with so and so.” And I called them up because I knew them just from shooting for magazines. And they're like, “I won't work with that bitch,” you know.
And I had one guy who I knew did great scenes, and he was like, “Oh, I can't work with her. She looks like my daughter.” And I'm like, “Uh, okay.”
And I had this other guy, who shall remain nameless, who I wanted to put in a movie, and he said, “Well, I'm not gonna be in town but can you shoot the movie two weeks later?” I was thinking, “Are you for real?”
Guys are kind of expendable. It's nice to have them. But I wasn't going to cancel my whole day of shooting to shoot him two days later. “Great. The answer's, 'No.'”
Danny: Would it be safe to say you've filmed pornographic scenes that would be considered rough or even violent?
Dave: Yeah, the fetish movies. They're not violent. It's fantasy and no one's getting hurt, but yeah, there's some rough scenes. And typically, the girls that I've booked for those scenes enjoy that kind of thing, and get off on it. You can tell in the movie. It's all very consensual.
Danny: So what are some of the acts you've filmed that you would say were rough?
Dave: I did an abduction thing in Prisoners of Sodomy with Chelsea Rae. She's tied up and told to do stuff. And of course, because of the laws, you have to then untie them and have them [have sex].
Danny: Can you talk about those laws briefly?
Dave: On video that is, no sex while bound. I know Kink.com allows it. But for Private, they have a lot of restrictions. And they're very strict about enforcing them.
But when it comes to shooting for, like, Taboo magazine, they only want the girl bound and fucked.
Danny: So can you give any other specific examples of acts you shoot that would be considered rough?
Dave: I like gagging a lot, so there's a lot of rough blow job, and then a lot of ATM's [ass-to-mouth]. I know a lot of companies don't allow that. But it's rough, like the guy's pounding the girl in the ass, and then grabs her head and... (mimicks pushing a girl's mouth down on his crotch).
Danny: So did you ever feel like you were degrading or taking advantage of a perfomer?
Dave: No, I haven't.
Danny: Did you ever witness a performer being degraded on any of the sets you've been on?
Dave: I've only been on the sets of my movies. Well, one of Octavio's and one of Eon's, but those are pretty tame.
But on DVD, I've seen people get taken advantage of clearly.
I mean, like, Meatholes is a good example of a company where the girl might not know exactly what she's in for. You know, she's getting choked... and it's more about breaking them down mentally.
Danny: When you watch a movie like that, how can you tell clearly that someone is being degraded?
Dave: Well, in the case of Ashley [Blue], her scene is kind of infamous, and it's also written about in her book, Girlvert.
She'll tell you more about it, but she gets choked out, and she goes unconscious, and starts crying, and it's pretty intense. Clearly she didn't know where she was, and they got off on it, because that's what [the director] Khan Tusion does.
Danny: Have you ever felt taken advantage of outside the role of performer on a set?
Dave: Yeah, I do feel like I've been taken advantage of when somebody comes to set and they don't want to do what I want them to do. Yeah, I feel taken advantage of. I've had people flake out on me, and yeah, I definitely have felt taken advantage of. It adds about three hours to the day, and it makes everyone hate you even though they understand what's happening.
It's a drag.
Danny: What is your policy with drugs and alcohol on set? Mainly, do you think a performer who has had a few drinks or is under the influence of marijuana can still act with informed consent?
Dave: I've never seen anyone get wasted on my shoots, but yeah, they probably can. I mean, if I can tell that someone is not in control of what they're doing, I would not shoot the scene.
Danny: What about with harder drugs like methamphetamines or cocaine? Do you think that makes a difference?
Dave: Well, that would pretty much take out a lot of the porn industry because a lot of people do coke. It's actually only been in still photography that I've sent people home.
But yeah, they go in the bathroom and they come out and they're just so jacked that every photo I get looks like they're gonna bite their tongue off. And I've told them, “You're too high. This won't work.”
I've sent people home.
Danny: From your experience, how common do you think drug and alcohol abuse is in this industry?
Dave: Abuse? I don't know. I don't do drugs anymore. But that depends how you define abuse.
Everybody I've shot, for the most part, hasn't been high. There's a couple people who I could tell had maybe had a couple of drinks. But a lot of times, if you're doing an anal scene, it probably helps to drink a beer. It probably loosens the girl up, I would think. And that's probably why they do it.
Cocaine - on the other hand- I wouldn't think would help that much. Maybe it would. I don't know. But if I saw that someone was high, I wouldn't shoot them.
Having said that, I've seen movies where people are super fucking high.
Danny: In your personal sex life, do you typically take on a dominant, submissive, or neutral role?
Dave: Probably more neutral.
Danny: Do you ever enjoy being called a cunt, whore, slut, bitch, or any other derogatory term during sex?
Dave: I don't actually. I don't really get off on that. Ori and I don't really do any kind of role play. We do kinky stuff, but it's more interesting when... Like, if we think of something really perverse, we'll usually shoot it. We'll make it a part of our art.
Cause we're not swingers. But we recently did a book called Anal Sex Love. The title doesn't really describe the book, but it's an editors thing. That was a three year project that Ori and I did. And we hired guys, and I even tried to get you, but you were busy with school at the time.
But for three years, we hired guys. And there's no vag. It's all anal, and it's all rough looking. It's all stills. They were pretty intense. A lot of it had to do with the clothing and the locations. It was kind of a labor of love, because it cost us a lot of money to get in three years, and it was during a recession so... It was interesting to do, and now it's in book form.
So we've done little things like that. Like, little projects. And we've done a few other projects too where we'll shoot something perverse, even like people pissing in Ori's mouth. Just like really kind of sick stuff, and then photograph it. And even during that process - Ori for example testing, and preparing, and doing enemas - I would shoot all of that.
I had this photojournalism-type study of that, that we wanted to incorporate in that book originally. But the editor, of course, nixed that and turned it into his own book. But whatever.
Danny: So you come up with a lot of these concepts together and then practice them...
Dave: Yeah, we'll come up with these concepts together, and then get into it. And it becomes fun. We kind of work off each other.
Danny: Do you ever enjoy calling Ori by any of these names? Like cunt, slut, bitch, etc...?
Dave: I don't. I don't really get off on it. I don't really have a problem with those words at all, but I don't really get off on it.
Danny: Is there anything that you would never call Ori, or anyone else, or that you would never want to be called?
Dave: I would never call her a cunt. It's just not my style. If I call someone a cunt, they really deserve it. It's not really a word I care for. I don't take offense to it the way some people do, but I typically don't call girls bitches or cunts or whores. There's enough people in porn doing that.
Danny: That was actually my next question. Do you ever call performers on set any of the above?
Dave: You know what, that was another argument I had with Private. They didn't have a title for one of my movies. And I would always give them a bunch of titles, and they would always fuck them up completely, and just make them into the worst possible title. Thankfully, I've gotten away with it until the last movie. The title they wanted is the title they used.
But one of them they wanted to call Hollywood Slut Machines, and I'm like, “I don't want the word slut in my movie.” I don't have a problem with the word slut, and I don't have a problem with someone calling someone a slut in a movie, or even a whore.
But it's just not my style. I'm just not into that kind of degradation. I'm into degradation if like a guy pisses on the floor and makes the girl lick it up. That's kind of hot to me. Or if the girl's licking the guy's ass - more often than not the guy will be more insecure about having that happen than the girl. That kind of degradation to me is interesting and hot. But when it comes to name calling, I'm not into it, so I don't want it associated with my name.
Danny: So is it just that it doesn't turn you on and you don't want it associated with your name, or do you think there's a real difference with those types of degradation?
Dave: Maybe there isn't a difference. But yeah, I just don't want it associated with me. Verbal humiliation is a pretty popular fetish. I can see where that could be a popular fantasy. So I don't really think it's that much different. I just don't want to associate it with my name.
Danny: What are your feelings on condom use on the straight side of the industry? Do you think it should be presented as an option, or do you have any feelings about it?
Dave: I mean, the studios that do it are Wicked and Vivid?
Danny: I think Vivid is condom optional.
Dave: Yeah, that's fine for the companies that it works for. Personally, it wouldn't work for my movies. I think it takes away from the sexuality of it.
Danny: Can you explain why?
Dave: Being someone who's used condoms, as I'm sure we all have, it doesn't feel as good.
So the movie's about the fantasy. And to be quite honest, if you're throat fucking someone, there's a lot of fluid going in areas here. And a lot of little cuts that are happening. And while it's unlikely to catch HIV orally, I don't know, what are you gonna do?
If you say, “Mandatory condoms,” are you gonna say no cum shots? What if it goes in your eye? What if it goes in your ear? There's a lot of areas it could go, and I'm sure the risk is lower in certain areas, but I don't know. I'm not in favor of it.
But I'm in favor of testing, and maybe even testing more. But I also wouldn't want to talk someone into doing a scene without a condom in one of my movies because I wouldn't want to make somebody feel uncomfortable.
And even Ori, like when we did this book, there's no condoms in this book, and it's all anal. But we would look. And if the person had, like, a twenty-nine day test, we just went, “Eh.” And then we wouldn't do it.
And the last movie - Turbo Rock - there's a lot of anal with Ori. We paid for the performers to be tested two days before. I think those things kind of minimize the risk. And you're also able to have a movie that people can also jerk off to.
Danny: You mentioned that you had to shoot some condom stuff for some of your Private movies.
Dave: Yeah, it was totally a nightmare.
It's funny because it's kind of a joke the way they do it. It was shot for Private which is a Spanish company. They had a deal with a French company. I have no idea who they are, but they said, “Hey, we need a condom version of the movie.” And they paid me more, and I paid the performers more to do it.
It was a lot more time and a lot more rubbing. Because I know there's a lot of friction there, and people get sore. You, being in the industry - I'm sure you can imagine what a nightmare that would be. Even if, like, you're taking Viagra. Man, that's not easy to do that kind of scene.
The way I did it was like this: I knew the most important thing to shoot was the normal sex without the condom. I did that first with no pop shot. Then I shot the condom stuff. And typically people would just get soft.
A couple people shot their dicks, I'm assuming - though I didn't see it. But they had less of a problem. Cause it was basically just a rod going there. But everybody else had a problem.
It took a long time. It took sixteen hours for the three-scene-day. And a lot of worry on my part.
And a lot of the companies that use condoms, I know for a fact, they would cut the tip off the condom so that they would feel sensation. But they had to have the condom. I know people have done that too. Obviously, both performers are aware of it, and no one's trying to hide anything other than to the viewer.
But it's hard to get through those kind of scenes. I had good people on my movie like Byron Long and Mr. Marcus, you know, big name guys. And it wasn't easy.
Danny: How does a porn director, such as yourself, ensure the consent of the performers other than by their physical presence on set?
Dave: Typically, if someone has a problem, they just stop.
I had someone in one of my movies - they were supposed to do an anal scene, and it was all up front. I wasn't trying to hide anything. Of course, right before the scene... and she's the one they wanted in the movie the most. Right before the scene, she says, “I can't do anal. My ass is bleeding.”
I'm thinking, “Oh, great.” This is fucking me up. I can't exactly get on the phone to Spain to ask them, “Well, what should I do? I've got this performer, the one you want the most, who is refusing to do anal. Should I send her home, or should I continue to shoot her?”
I ended up shooting her, and it ended up being the right call. But again, I felt like she was taking advantage of me a bit there. I think what happened was she just wanted to hit me with that last minute after I'd shot these other two scenes.
Danny: Do you think a consumer who's watching a porn film should always assume the performers are providing full consent to the activities performed on camera?
Dave: I guess it depends on the movie. For the most part, yeah. Some companies are rougher than others. Like JM, the company Ashley was contracted with. They're rough.
So if you're going into one of their movies - and I know a lot of people stop half way through the movie. They stop, they can't handle it, and then they leave. And that's what they should do. Because they shouldn't be traumatized, and never want to shoot a movie again. Because not every company is like that.
Like, if Max Hardcore hires you, maybe while he's pissing in your mouth and choking you... Actually he doesn't really choke, but he does a lot of piss and other stuff people aren't comfortable with... Personally I think piss is great. I don't know why it's illegal. But I don't have a problem with it. And I don't have a problem with Max Hardcore, by the way.
But I think if someone finds themselves in that situation, they need to just leave. I think it's the agent's responsibility to tell them, to make sure they're able to do that.
Danny: Do you believe that content that depicts rough or violent sex should be held to higher standards in terms of conveying consent? Some companies for example, like Kink.com, record interviews pre and post sex. Do you think companies that shoot rougher content should be held to higher standards in terms of conveying consent with interviews or something like that?
Dave: I don't know about a full-on interview. I think it's just important to let the performer know what's gonna happen, that it's gonna be a rough blow job. You know, “Choke. Let the spit come pouring out. If you throw up, it's okay.”
However you're going to explain it to them, you should. You shouldn't try to hide it, because once they get going then it will be pretty clear what's happening. And if you don't, I guess they'll find out in about two minutes what the scene's all about. And if they're not comfortable, leave.
But I think it's important to let them know. But I don't know that a full interview that would be okayed by... Like, let the performer think about it for a day? You know, something to that degree? No. I don't think it's that important.
Danny: If you were to watch something like a staged rape scenario, is there anything other than an interview that would make you feel comfortable watching it? Or would you be comfortable anyways?
Dave: First of all, you don't know what the performer's been told before this scene, especially if you're the consumer. But again, some of the Kink.com stuff is pretty intense... And I don't have a problem with any of that. I wouldn't have a problem as long as the performer knew.
If they were actually getting raped? But you've got camera people there.
And I think a lot of the job is the agent who should let them know they can stop at any time.
I don't have a problem as long as they know what's happening. But if you look at them and it looks like they're being hurt or something, I wouldn't be comfortable with that.
Rape is like a common fantasy. It's not really a fantasy of mine, but it can be kind of hot.
Danny: So I guess my point is if you're watching this rape scenario and the girl doesn't appear to be enjoying herself, and you don't see any transparency, any disclaimer on the box, you would feel comfortable watching it? Or would you feel comfortable because it's a porn, this girl's most likely okay?
Dave: Yeah. The closest thing I've seen is the Slave movies, the JM movies. I mean they get the girl, and it's brutal. They don't even call her by name. They call her slave. And there's two guys, and they're just degrading the girl and doing stuff.
It doesn't really turn me on. It is kind of interesting to see. But those that I've seen, they don't bother me. Because I don't feel like the person's being hurt. But if I felt like the girl was getting choked too much, or something like that. There are little things that you can see that would bother me. A little choking's fine. Some girls are totally into it. But if I felt like they were crossing that line, and it is judgment. You kind of have to look and see. It's not a black and white thing.
Danny: Do you think there's anything other than rape or the depiction of minors that should never be filmed?
Dave: For example?
Danny: Well, like scat porn or something like that?
Dave: I think enema expulsion is cool. I shoot it all the time. But scat, as in full on turd in the mouth? Actually, I don't really have a problem with it. I don't want to shoot it because I think it would probably reek. But I do shoot a lot of enema stuff, and I think it's hot. And if that enemas being expelled on a guy's face, or on a girl's face, I'm not gonna lie. It's pretty hot. And even guy's pissing on girls, or girls pissing on guys. Or even two guys pissing on each other or two girls pissing on each other. I think piss is cool. Like, no one's getting hurt.
Maybe if someone's getting a finger taken off, they shouldn't be showing that. Like violent acts, if someone's being physically injured. You know, something someone could really regret one day. Granted, if you get a turd in the mouth... If the family sees that, you're gonna be disowned. But in reality, no one's really getting hurt. As long as you have your Hepatitis shots, which I do. And AIM has them.