Oct 022009

>Recalling his shocked dismay upon learning of all the governmental regulations around filmic depictions of sex, we’d like to think that director Joe Swanberg‘s participation in our SXSW panel, The Porn Police: Know The Rules, may have finally inspired him to cover his, um, ass.

In any case, we’re very intrigued by the revolutionary technology he’s utilizing on his new movie, Birthday Suit, an amazing advance that allows him to create the illusion of graphic sexual content. “If anybody, for even a split second, realizes that it’s a digital erection, then we have failed,” says Joe.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes report from the set:

Aug 282009

Vote for my PanelPicker Idea!

We recently submitted a couple of proposals on topics we’d like to present at the next SXSW festival–and we’d love your thumbs-up support on either or both if you’re so inclined.

Both proposals have been included in the SXSW 2010 PanelPicker, the rather sadomasochistic tool that the event uses to help determine which topics will ultimately be included… your “yes” votes and comments can definitely make a difference!

#1 – The Porn Police Are STILL at the Door
Not just for pornographers, the notion for this panel grew out of our work curating CineKink, as we noticed that entries submitted by filmmakers from the adult sphere typically included notice that federal record-keeping requirements for sexually explicit material had been properly met, while those coming from the independent film world did not. (If you’re thinking “2257, huh?” that could probably be you!) Making matters worse, the regulations have recently been expanded to cover not just actual or documentary depictions of sex, but simulated situations—ie fiction—as well.

Yikes, you say? Pick this panel!

#2 – Was It Something I Said? TOS And Content
Meanwhile, this panel was inspired by the frustrations we’ve experienced over the years trying to position and promote a sex-related endeavor on the internet–from finding a web host and sending email blasts, to processing ticket sales and donations, to creating an identity in social marketing and getting our videos placed on popular sites. Seemingly the old adage–“I’ll know it when I see it”–flourishes online, where murky definitions of what content is and is not allowed abound. One gatekeeper’s “inappropriate” is another’s “adult” is another’s “offensive, obscene and/or pornographic.” How are we affected as users and creators–and is there any recourse?

Wanna find out? Pick this panel!

Mar 262008

>Going from CineKink to SXSW to Dark Odyssey has been a bit of a gauntlet – a gauntlet of pleasure, to be sure, but now that we’re at the end of it, our body, sensing a respite, seems to be flirting heavily with what is generally known as the common cold. But, dammit, not before we get out this too-long-delayed SXSW recap, even through a Nyquil haze…

You can take a listen to the podcast here, but our panel, The Porn Police: Know The Rules, went off well and we managed to cram a ridiculous amount of somewhat tedious 2257 detail into our alloted hour. In addition toyours truly, the speakers included Violet Blue, deftly illustrating how the regulations play out in the real world and the problems they present for artists on both sides of the camera, attorney Alan Levy, keeping us on track with which part of the law stipulates what – and what that might actually mean in the day-to-day – and director Joe Swanberg seeming to grow increasingly consternated with the realization of how the rules could well apply to his own, er, body of work. (Lascivious display of nudity, anyone?!)

Bottom line – for all media makers working with depictions of sexual conduct, both actual and simulated (what’s that?), it represents another area of calculated risk – one that will warrant further discussion in the months ahead. While the danger is probably slim for most, it’s still critical to know the rules rather than blithely plowing ahead and hoping for the best.

And in other sex matters at SXSW:

Violet Blue also tackled and spurred further online discussion of a tricky subject with her lively panel, Sexual Privacy Online.

Cory Silverberg facilitated a discussion on Sexual Ethics, Interactivity and Virtual Worlds

Twanna a. Hines took on Adult Conversations: Sex, Intimacy & Online Relationships.

Elizabeth Wood and Lux Alptraum led the core conversation Pink Ghetto Blasters: Destigmatizing Sex, then Lux gave us a 20×2 rumination on the differences between porn and erotica:

Film offerings we managed to catch included Bi The Way, a look at the sexual inclinations of the so-called “whatever generation,” Obscene, a documentary profile of the colorful Grove Press publisher, Barney Rosset, and the superb Sex Positive, exploring the life of activist Richard Berkowitz and his critical role in the now taken-for-granted concept of safe sex.

And, not quite sex, but about as close as you can get armed only with a Handywipe, we enjoyed reprised BBQ revelations at Iron Works and – well worth the trek out to Driftwood – Salt Lick!

Once again, we’d like to thank SXSW for their sex-positive inclusivity – along with Matt Dentler, Hugh Forrest and their respective crews for making it all happen.

Mar 132008

>One delayed flight and some much needed sleep later, we’re back from our SXSW adventures.

We’ll have more to report once we’ve had a chance to recombobulate, but meantime, many congratulations to our fellow Porn Police panelist, Joe Swanberg, whose Nights and Weekends was picked up for distribution by IFC.

While much of our panel discussion centered around the dry – and vague – legal particulars of what might be deemed lascivious or even explicit, the film is a beautiful example of sexuality utlized in the service of story and artistic expression – and why such arguments are so vital in the first place.

Mar 082008

>As part of SXSW, CineKink’s co-founder and director, Lisa Vandever, will moderate a panel about the various regulations on sexually explicit content and how they may apply to all types of media producers.

Saturday, March 8 – 5-6 pm

It may seem like sex is everywhere in film, television and online, but sexual portrayals are surprisingly restricted – and getting more so everyday. Already draconian federal regulations on the depiction of sexually explicit conduct were recently expanded and signed into law by President Bush, and now apply to an even wider class of media makers. Not just pornographers, but anyone creating and working with explicit imagery of even simulated sexual conduct – bloggers, webmasters, narrative filmmakers, documentarians – needs to know the rules and the risks.
This session will touch upon:
* Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2257 & 2257A record-keeping requirements for actual and simulated sexually explicit material
* New wrinkles introduced by online access/distribution of materials
* Resources for additional information and advocacy support

Violet Blue
Tony Comstock
Alan Levy, Esq.
Joe Swanberg

If you’re around, come on by!