For a feature on storytelling in the adult industry that ran in the April 2014 issue of AVN magazine, reporter Jason Lyon interviewed a dozen big names in the business, including veteran adult director B. Skow. AVN is posting longer versions of the interviews as separate stories online. Click here to see the digital print edition; see bottom of article for links to individual interviews online.
Director B. Skow then takes Dan O’Connell’s chair for my second interview in the Girlfriends Films booth. I begin by asking him if there is something inherent in sex that inspires a good story. Like others I interviewed, Skow sees it from the opposite perspective.
“I think the events in your life inspire great sex. And I think making a movie about what is your worst time, is your worst fucking day, and the worst thing that can happen to you—if you’re fucking, you’re happy—or it brings you out of it. So I think that’s my way of coming at an idea for a movie, is how do I get out of this pain or perversions, what would I like to do, and then build around that.”
I ask Skow about bringing personal experiences into his films.
“It’s 100 percent personal. It’s your imagination. You know, you’re living out your imagination with other people. So it definitely has to be something you can relate to, or that you can read about and relate to, or study and relate to. If you don’t relate to it, you usually don’t make a good movie.”
As we talk about expressing emotions in adult that cannot be expressed through other forms of storytelling, Skow lands on a theme that will then punctuate the rest of the interview: his love for his work.
“You’re making a porn, making adult. You can have the greatest story in the world, but a very limited amount of time to tell your story. My whole theory of it is I love what I do. I love making a porno. So it’s easy for me to think about a story that has fucking in it, rather than try to figure out how to get my two-hour dream story down to ten minutes and then throw my sex scenes in. So I never forget that I’m a pornographer. Never. And I want to be a pornographer … I want to do what I’m doing. Because I’m comfortable doing it. It’s a way of expressing yourself that most people are completely embarrassed to do—embarrassed or ashamed to express it in films.”
I ask Skow if it is ever difficult to work the conventional four or five sex scenes into his stories.
“I’ve shot three or four hundred movies or more, probably way more. So it’s always about the sex, it’s about what do I think the guys want to look at or what’s going to lead someone into jerking off by watching what I’m doing. … You know, I always start with that. Like I said, if you’re going to be successful or you’re going to make good movies, you have to accept what you’re doing and do it the right way.”
Adding that the goal of some directors is to make mainstream-style movie, Skow comments, “I think it’s a cool thing. You know, I think it’s a great thing. But I’d rather be doing it illegal somewhere and making some filthy film for a smaller group of people, you know what I mean? In an ultimate situation where it would be more artistic and more creative.”
“The industry seems to be going back in a way of making good product,” says Skow. Describing the thousands of scenes that are available online—some which are many years old—Skow compares them to hearing the same stupid songs repeated endlessly on the radio. But then, he says: “Suddenly you see Steven Tyler on American Idol and now people are buying Aerosmith! So you have to be exposed to something,” concludes Skow. “Girlfriends is like that. Dan created this, I mean, really odd sort of way of making a movie. It really is a unique way that he shoots these movies. And he stuck with it, he loved it.”
Skow adds: “Dan said: ‘Make something. Make something, and bring fans to you. Make something and bring them in.’ That’s what we’re trying to do there.”
When I ask B. Skow to describe the feeling of seeing his finished product on screen, he replies, “Oh, it’s the best. It’s the best feeling. … Just having a conversation about a movie that you made with someone that understood it is amazing. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Links to other interviews:
Wicked Pictures directors Brad Armstrong, Stormy Daniels and Jessica Drake
Actresses Jesse Jane and Veronica Hart
New Sensations director Jacky St. James
Girlfriends Films founder Dan O'Connell