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Guest blog: interview with Shine Louise Houston

I’ve wanted to write about porn for a while, and when Shine Louise Houston got in touch about Snapshot – her latest crowdfunded erotic film, I thought it’d be an excellent excuse. So instead of a guest blog this week, Shine Louise was kind enough to answer some questions about her latest project: a feature-length erotic thriller.

If you pick up a newspaper – in the UK media at least – you’re likely to find that any discussion on porn is centered around a view of the porn industry as a homogenous whole. Big-name studios with questionable practices churning out easy, identikit films for a primarily straight male audience. This by no means an accurate picture. The general narrative that ‘porn is damaging/exploitative/bad/degrading’ is changing, albeit slowly – independent producers who make fairtrade porn, feminist porn, queer porn, and other films that don’t fit the stereotype – are getting more attention.

Since I started writing this blog, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting (and working with) brilliant porn producers like Pandora Blake and Petra Joy, and in turn they’ve recommended other porn producers who are creating unique and amazing films. One of these people is Shine Louise Houston, who founded Pink and White Productions – the company that produces the CrashPad Series (the Crash Pad is a secret apartment in San Francisco dedicated to hot, queer sex).

Let’s chat…

For people who’ve not come across your work before, could you give them a brief summary of your style?

I produce queer adult movies. My biggest influences are Radley Metzger and Alfred Hitchcock. I try and give my movies that golden age of porn look and feel.

The mechanics of the business are also very important to me so we give talent a great deal of autonomy on set. For the feature films, like Snapshot my latest film, I might write the script but its the talent that works out what happens in the sex scenes. This is so everyone is comfortable and consenting to whats happening on set and that makes for a great scene.
So, on to Snapshot, which Shine Louise describes as ‘a different kind of coming out story.’ Here’s the synopsis from the Indiegogo page:
“The story is set in San Francisco, where our young lead, Charlie, discovers that she may have accidentally photographed a murderer. Her pursuit of the mysterious figure in her photo causes her to meet Danny, an older Butch, setting into motion an odd romance. Though it may sound like a murder mystery, SNAPSHOT is really a coming out story — but not the kind you’d think. The traditional narrative usually involves a younger protagonist coming into maturity or sexual revelation, however it is our older character, Danny, who embraces a new way of being as a result of meeting Charlie and being exposed to her unfamiliar desires.”

In your funding video, you mention how there are threads of your own coming out story within Snapshot – what would you like people to take away from your story?

I’d like to affirm that people can change at any time in their life. That change can be scary but triumphing over ones fears is the stuff of life. And queers getting happy endings. I can’t get enough of that.

What are the benefits and challenges unique to creating a feature-length film?

Consider Snapshot a movie with sex in it along the same lines as Short Bus and Blue is the Warmest Color.

I’ve been working on this script for about 4 years on and off and I think it’s finally presentable. I strive for what Hitchcock describes as pure cinema. Most of the talent I work with have very little acting experience so I write minimal but precise dialogue and film in a way that lets the editing do the acting.

How do you think people’s attitude towards porn has changed over the last few years?

I think slowly but surely there are more views that are aware of the diversity in porn that available today. But I still think there is a pervasive notion that all porn is bad and the adult industry is inherently evil. In any industry there are going to be people with good working practices and others with poor practices. It’s unfortunate that larger press still focuses on slices of the industry with questionable practices and claim that that’s true for the whole of the adult industry.

I love the quote on your CrashPad page about porn being ‘the perfect place to become political.’ What are the key things that you’d like to see change within the adult industry?

I’d like to see the adult industry recognized as a legitimate self regulating industry. I’d also like to see more unification between the many areas of the industry. I fully support APAC [The Adult Performers Advocacy Committee] and all the work they do and I’d like to see studios support and keep each other accountable.

There’s lots more to be said about porn and politics, and I would love to feature more guest blogs from porn producers and performers – please get in touch if you fancy writing a guest blog. And if you’d like to donate to Snapshot, click here to visit the Indiegogo page, and follow @shinelouise on Twitter. 

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