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9to5: Days in Porn trailer online

9to5DaysinPorn.jpg9to5: Days in Porn is a documentary that is sure to raise a lot of controversy, a lot more than a Darwin film about creationism versus religion. It's a documentary that took about five years work to create and after one and a half years filming had a rough cut of around four hours long.

The film follows several people who are involved in the porn industry through their everyday lives, nothing hyped up for the cameras, nothing glorified, skewed or deliberately made degrading or distasteful, just their lives as it is, day after day, and tries to show the truth of who these people are and demystifies their jobs.

Here's the official blurb for which presents the documentary really well:

"Where does a girl who hasn't gone to college or even finished high school make more money than a doctor? Porn!" - Mark Spiegler, Agent

A teenager, who can't wait to turn eighteen and become a porn star. An agent, who knows the industry like the back of his hand but is "not in it for the money". A student, who gives up her political science studies to pursue a career in American adult entertainment. A married couple, that performs, produces and directs hardcore pornographic movies. A caring mother and wife, who is an idol among porn actors and consumers for her extreme sex scenes. And a former punk, who has played with the same band for the last twenty years and is known as the busiest man in the valley.

Who are these people that earn their money having sex for the cameras? What motivates them? Is it just a job or a way of life?

The film depicts the stories of several characters behind this multi-billion industry from Prague to San Fernando Valley. It unveils moments, from glamorous to grotesque, strange to fascinating, with offensive, absurd and sometimes funny moments happening all at once.

Filmed over a period of more than a year and structured like an episodic movie, the stories weave together. Each of them is different - unadorned and authentic, without glorification or prejudice. Disturbingly close and intimately moving, it delivers deep insight into the protagonists' lives in - and outside - of the adult entertainment industry.

I have to admit that after receiving the link I was sceptical, and sniggering jokes aside, I went through the site to make sure that it was a genuine documentary that had merit, and the more I read the more intrigued I became. Particularly about the film-makers themselves and their work on the film.

You can see the trailer [QT:S:M:L] for the film, which does not have any sexual acts in it but would probably be best not viewed at work, over at the official site, and there are some additional scenes over on the official film blog which give you more of a feel for the film.

The documentary has not attempted to hide any of the sex that goes on during the filming. Most documentaries and crews would turn away at this point and hide the content, and yet it is an integral part of these people's lives, and it's all part of what makes them work in the industry, how they deal with the stigma surrounding it, and what type of people they really are.

From the film-makers comments on the official site we get some interesting insight into the film. Jens Hoffman, the director, says:

The idea for this project came about because we asked ourselves a question: who are the people who make those movies that everybody has seen but nobody admits to owning?...

...at the end of the day, somebody has to do the job and have sex in front of the cameras. Who are these people? What is their motivation and how long can they do this job? How does it affect their personalities and their private lives? Pornography puts one of the highest moral goods of society, i.e. love, in its physical form. How do the protagonists deal with it when personal values such as love, friendship and sex are put into new relationships?

Hoffman then goes on to talk about what they were trying to do in the film and some of the hard facts of the filming itself, and the figures they come back with are rather surprising.

What we were going for in the movie was to neither glorify nor confirm preconceived opinions or expectations by promoting clichés. We searched for closeness by creating an honest approach to the subjects with the thought that through personal portraits, we could offer the audience the chance to identify with our protagonists...

...When we started filming, it was the plan to work with about 15 people as protagonists but to have only a third of them in the movie. After almost 1.5 years of filming we knew there was much more to it than the original 5. But the first rough cut was around 4 hours long. So we ended up deleting a lot and deciding on 11 main characters.

Cleonice Comino, the producer, reveals just how small the frontline production became and confirms that this wasn't a hastily thought through or intentionally shocking documentary:

When Jens decided he wanted to film this primarily on 16mm and complete it with a big HD-Cam as the supporting video-format, I saw trouble ahead. On the one hand, we wanted to be invisible or at least unrecognizable as the 'documentary-people', which is just possible with a very small or no crew at all. On the other hand, we had two cameras and all of the sound equipment. The only solution was that I would learn to run a sound-mixer and the rest of the audio gear and be the 'sound girl' while organizing the entire production; and Jens would run two cameras at the same time while directing and being the go-to person. And this is how we did it!...

...through all 18 months of filming...A laptop with all the script work was stolen in Barcelona (no back up of course); promised financial support was cancelled numerous times (always at the last second); and on top of all that, the entire 16mm camera kit was stolen in Prague...

...Shooting around 170 hours of footage was one thing. Getting it edited was a whole other story.
Starting in May 2007, we transcribed and logged the material, ending with more then 90 scenes edited into a rough cut. By the end of the year, the first screened and edited version was 5 hours long. This meant deleting entire characters and two thirds of the possible scenes.

Altogether it was a year of post-production.

I was really surprised reading all the film-makers write ups on the site and on the blog, and my initial thoughts about this being a different way of getting a pornographic film made were gone. This looks and sounds as though it has been a lot more thought through and might provide some genuine insight into people and their motives and thoughts at being in an industry that carries so much outspoken negativity from the public, but is enjoyed by a mostly silent audience.

One final quote caught my eye, because it really all is very interesting to read, and that's around what they began to find when the film was screened, because you can imagine the negative reaction that a film featuring footage of pornographic filming would garner.

...very surprising things happened during the test screenings: girls seemed to handle the movie better than their male counterparts; some viewers were deeply disturbed by things they thought they saw, but never happened.

You can read more on the official blog and on the official site, both of which I would suggest not checking at your work just because there area few topless shots here and there, and do have a look at the trailer.

For those in the know, some of the figures followed include Belladonna, Sasha Grey, Roxy Deville, Mia Rose, Audrey Hollander, Katja Kassin, Otto Bauer, Mark Spiegler, Jim Powers and John Stagliano, with some other appearances by Nina Hartley, Alicia Angel, Ashley Blue, Cindy Crawford, and more.

I'm certainly not one of these people that scream at the mere mention of pornography, but I do think that when it has been presented to a mainstream film audience it's either been for titillation or it comes with a biased agenda from the opening credits. This film looks like it might actually do neither and try to show a balanced and fair view of the actual people behind the scenes of an industry that carries such a taboo.

The real question is will people accept this as a documentary? Well with a screening at the Montréal Film Festival in August it's going straight to DVD, will it join those secret stashes of DVD's or will it become to be viewed as something more, perhaps getting the same type of attention that Inside Deep Throat received.





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Comments

I think this looks interesting... and was that a porn awards ceremony??

Hi Richard,

thanks for the article! The next screening of "9to5 Days in Porn" will be at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and at Raindance in London, so you are more than welcome to come:

Wednesday 8 October 22:00 The Rex Cinema, 21 Rupert Street, W1V 7FE

Cheers, Cleo

I'm not sure about that Billy, but there definitely is an awards ceremony scene in there as the credits on the site mention it.

Cleo, I would love to, but I'm not sure if I'd make the London screening due to lack of holidays this year and I'd definitely not make the Rio screening, more's the shame!

Let me know how it goes though, good luck with the screenings.

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