"It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men"
~ Mae West (1933)
Mind Caviar, Vol. 2 Summer Issue, 2001
Now for my story.
I was born in North Carolina and lived there for my whole youth. I made my first "film", Self-Perception, when I was a senior in high school. It was mediocre and so was I when I was in high school. I was scared of a lot of things. I graduated and went to Israel for a year, which was a mistake. Then I went to Brown University, where I started drawing comics and making more videos. I offended my classmates regularly by showcasing too freely the things that were inside of me. I also smoked a shitload of pot when I was at that school. After a while, I was completely inarticulate, scared to complete sentences, and was only happy spending afternoons recording my phone conversations and masturbating into a huge blue comforter. College was, in retrospect, gay.
Finally I graduated and moved out to Santa Cruz. I was dedicated to the idea of "being an artist" but didn't have much of a clue how to do it and pay the bills at the same time. I needed to support myself. I wanted to BE A MAN. So I took a job on an organic farm for a season. It was great but unfortunately they paid Mexican-style wages. Also I was not writing, drawing, or making videos, so I was anxious and at least partially unhappy all the time. So in December of 1999, I quit, and began to plot.
How can I, I mused, my brow furrowed jewishly, make a living in an ARTISTIC way? I had self-published a comic book back in my senior year and realized that was no way to make a buck. I liked writing but wan't going to be turning out a novel any time soon, and I sure as shit didn't want to be stuck freelancing articles about the San Jose Sharks, or spitting out advertising copy. THAT, I thought, wasn't ART. Art was what happened when you spit out what was INSIDE of you.
And then it hit me. Porn. PORN!
There were so many PORNOS being made out there! FUCK FLICKS! And ninety-nine percent of them were thoughtless garbage. (I knew. I watched them.) Yet, still, they sold. "I could do that," I thought, "I could do that and I could do it better. . . " But don't misunderstand me: I wasn't just interested because of the earning potential. I figured I would get laid, too.
The rest is history. I bought a G4 and stole Final Cut Pro from Brown and began thinking about shooting. I didn't know what I would do with the films. I had a vague idea I could sell them on Ebay. I didn't know what I wanted to accomplish with them, either. My porns, I reasoned, had to be DIFFERENT than the other stuff out there. Not only was I going to edit them with some skill, and use good music, I was gonna record faithfully what went on during the scene. If someone farted in front of my camera, I was gonna put it in the final tape. If a guy was going to take Viagra to give him an erection, then I was going to show him swallowing the pill. I was going to pay my ladies on camera, give lectures on the evils of genetically engineered foods as I got my cock sucked, pick up whores in San Francisco and spend 24 straight hours in a locked motel room with them. I figured, in my slightly lethargic, still-in-a-haze kind of way (this was Santa Cruz, for god's sake, where weed was invented, I think; as many times as I tried to quit, there would be my lovable 40 year old burner housemate with a packed pipe and a patient, glassy-eyed smile), that I would figure it out as I went along. What I wanted was EXPERIENCE. I wanted to create weird situations, record them, fashion a movie out of the event, and sell it. I wanted to be a pornographer- but one with a brain. One with a heart.
I'm coming up on the one year anniversary of the filming of We Always Want - my first video. I've made seven other vids since then, and I still haven't turned a profit. My business acumen is for shit. I hate advertising and I'm not that good at web design.
I do have faith in my ability to make good videos, and my overall message that I want to get out to my people.
AND WHAT IS THAT MESSAGE?
Well, to sum it up, I think it's that IT'S OKAY to showcase someone's BRAIN at the same time that you show off their body. There are so many films out there that just show people FUCKING. You never get a clear picture of who the people are that are involved, or WHY exactly they're doing what they're doing. Some people, of course, would argue that they don't exactly CARE who the folks are; they just want to see them go about their business (so that they can go about their own; jacking off into a sock, a towel, a fistful of kleenex, or the orifice of another person). And that's fair. But I am not sure that those folks would enjoy my movies.
And THAT'S OKAY.
I've learned in my short time in this business, that we are very specific as to what we like and dislike when it comes to sex (and sex films). Porn producers have told me that it's a good idea to develop a "niche" for your films: make younger porn, or foot fetish porn, or fat chick porn, or interracial fag porn, they tell me with a smile. I love porn producers.
My niche, then, is THINKING PORN. I don't WANT viewers to turn their brains off when they start watching my videos. I take steps so that they can't, in fact. Perhaps this distances them from the sexual action that is going on in front of their eyes. I would rather, though, err in the direction of the cerebral than the boring old run-of-the-mill shit that everyone and his brutal stepbrother in the valley is producing. I am, despite attempts to cover it up, a nerd. I'm hoping there are enough nerds out there who are interested in porn that I'll be able to continue making smart smut films. I'm hoping that someday, people will watch my videos not just to get off, but because they want to see a cool film.
Enough of this. I've gotten boring and made a lecture out of the whole thing. I'm not sure that anyone gives a damn About the Filmmaker, anyway: most people who visit my web site are horny males who want to see a young jewish cheerleader spread wide open. And I'm not saying that that's bad! I AM that guy, in fact! But there are those of us who want that, and MORE.
There will be more, more updates later. I just moved down to LA. Hopes are high. I have not smoked marijuana in a month. There will be production, movement, energy. My web site will change. I will change. Feel free to email me about the future of pornography and your theories about how it should change.
Copyright © 2001 Sam
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