This is probably our funniest episode ever!
Francois Clousot is a veteran director and cameraman with decades of experience in the industry. Both he and I are the main producers for Twistys.com, and he’s very well respected in the industry. He’s also got a great sense of humor so I’ve been trying to get him on my podcast for a while. When I ran into him at the AVN show in Vegas, he suggested that I also have Mike Quasar on. Mike is a good friend of mine, and we actually met for this first time when I had him on my podcast as one of my first guests about a year and a half ago. (If you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and do so, it’s incredibly funny and one of my favorites.) So I thought, perfect! I’ll have two veteran directors on, two guys who have been in the industry as long as I have (if not longer), and we’ll talk shop and have a lot of fun doing it. I knew that these two liked to really rib each other so I knew the episode would probably go off on some uncontrollable tangents at times, and boy was I right.
Though it was absolutely impossible to go more than a few minutes without one of them taking a jab at the other (all in good fun of course), we did cover some pretty educational topics. I loved discussing different cinema styles with them, as well as camera preferences and how the technology has changed over the last few years. I was truly impressed (and a little envious) at how much Francois seems to love his job— he said he really likes being on set, he looks forward to going to work, and he gets bored if he goes on vacation. This is in stark contrast to Mike, who admitted that he “has one goal when I arrive to set… to go home as soon as possible.” Mike has long played the role of the disgruntled pornographer who hates his job, but I do know that he secretly enjoys it sometimes, and to be honest it’s much funnier to talk about hating your job than loving it. And we all know that Mike is, if anything, very funny. He did acknowledge though that he has another motivation to move quickly and efficiently on set— sometimes performers will give him a break on their rates because he gets them in and out in a very short time span. I’ve heard this from many performers, that they love working with Mike because their days on set are so short. I’ve heard numbers like they go home only two hours after arriving on set— compare that to a standard day on set with me or Francois— which can be anywhere from 8 to 12 hours and beyond— and you can see why they’d accept a lower rate. And to be fair, both Francois and I work for companies that expect a high quality production, and there’s a lot of little minute details and very specific shots that we must get. But we also get to (usually) work with higher budgets than Mike has, so in the end I think it all makes sense.
We also talk about the importance of consent and a model’s comfort level on set. With the current climate of many girls coming out about their boundaries being crossed while shooting, as well as highly inappropriate behavior by some directors, it interests me how male directors feel about all of this, and if it makes them nervous in any way. Both Francois and Mike have stellar reputations about being professional on set, I’ve never heard even a whisper of anything inappropriate happening, but it has to be something they think about. And they do: Francois says that especially if a girl is new, he tries to never be alone with her on set. Both Mike and Francois work on sets with several other crew members around— a (almost always) female makeup artist, a PA, sometimes a gaffer, second cameraman, sound guy, photographer, so they usually don’t find themselves in a situation that they could even be alone with the model on set. But still, they are cautious about it. But basically it seems to boil down to human decency— both men care about the girls they work with, and both men want them to have a good experience where they feel safe. They reference the situation with Jimmy Lifestyles and Emma Hix, and though it’s impossible not to make leprechaun jokes (as it was a St. Paddy’s day shoot and Jimmy was dressed as one) , they did acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and commended Emma for having the bravery to come forward about it. Since then 15 other girls have come forward about Jimmy’s unprofessional behavior, which speaks to a troublesome, wider issue of why girls feel they can’t speak up about such unprofessional conduct, and how this guy was allowed to operate in such a way for such a long time.
Speaking of predatory men, it shocked me to find out that Francois got his start working for Max Hardcore. Max was well known to produce incredibly degrading and aggressive scenes with his costars, to the point where he would make them puke and cry. He eventually went to jail for obscenity, and has been fairly obscure since (though he is spotted at random industry events at times). Just listen to my recent podcast with Briana Banks, describing her first scene with Max. It was clear that Francois was young at the time and just starting out, and he said he often felt a duty to protect the models from Max. After a time, he was disgusted by what he was shooting, and he stopped working for Max. After that he moved onto shooting big features for companies such as Wicked Pictures, which is where he really cut his teeth on shooting big porn features.
Francois also raises an interesting point. We often talk about the “golden age” of porn being in the 70s, or the 80s. He argues that the golden age of porn is now. With the new technology, a more diverse pool of performers with a strong sense of professionalism in their career choice, and the ground-breaking erotic films that are being made, that now is the golden age of porn. Always one to remind us all that the proliferation of free porn has been the industry’s downfall, Mike chimes in and says “There’s no arguement that the porn you are stealing is much higher quality than before.”
We also discuss the new trends in technology: how 3D went nowhere, and why both Francois and Mike don’t believe VR will be the future of porn either. They also do a quick rundown of some of their favorite performers— the winner of the best “brand new” girl for the both of them seemed to be the redhead Lacy Lennon. Mike also has a “no” list, or what he calls “DTM”, which stands for “Dead To Me”— girls he definitely doesn’t ever want to work with again. Of course, he won’t name them out loud.
There’s so many more funny stories, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear them all! Listen on iTunes here or search any podcast platform for “Holly Randall Unfiltered” and find it there!