We are thrilled to feature an interview with someone who has left her mark on the adult industry behind the camera. Holly Randall has a portfolio of images that has garnered praise and recognition within the industry. Her work has been featured in countless films and magazines. Holly has stepped in front of the camera and shown that her talents extend to modeling (as you can see further down). We got a chance to talk with Holly about her work, the future of adult film and erotic photography as well as the potential benefits of incorporating adult film into a healthy sexual relationship.
Porn viewership is huge we know ("30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn") but in your blog post The Emergence of Erotic Art, you wrote:
"A new market for artsy, beautifully shot porn is emerging. Cinematic intros, romantic, intimate couplings. Videos you'd watch with your wife or girlfriend, dare I say even "female friendly" porn. New sites such as X-Art, SexArt, and Babes are garnering plenty of attention and signups, while on the flip side there seems to be a culling of the herd going on. Studios are going out of business "
From an economic sense it makes sense to build a product that caters to 51% of the population that currently goes largely unserved. Do you see what is commonly referred to as "feminist porn" beginning to take hold? Do you consider yourself a producer of feminist porn?
“Feminist porn” is a term I kind of avoid because it is so vague and means different things to different people. If feminist porn means shooting girls in the best possible light, casting them in strong roles, and giving them a safe and comfortable environment in to express their sexuality— then yes I guess I do.
You went on to write: "The bar has definitely been raised. I find myself now competing with some seriously talented artists out there, which just makes me work harder...!" Who are some of these artists? How have you changed your perspective or approach to compete or distinguish yourself? Are there elements you try to include now that you may not have?
Well I think directors like Brad Armstrong, Stormy Daniels, Greg Lansky, Jacky St James— these are all serious directors who know their stuff, and have done movie projects on a way bigger scale than me. I come from a photo background, I feel like I’m still learning directing and video. Honestly I think that what I’ve done more than change my style is stick to it, and not compromise quality. Budgets have been cut dramatically, but somehow I’m still able to pull some rabbits out of a hat and produce some good quality content on a much smaller budget than in previous years.
What are your thoughts regarding the new Netflix documentary produced by Rashida Jones entitled "Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On". Please describe your thoughts on what the producers got right or wrong as well as their approach to the issue of porn.
Well I participated in their follow up documentary, so this was obviously something I thought long and hard about. Though I didn’t think Hot Girls Wanted was inaccurate, I do think that it was a piece on a very small part of the adult industry, and it was presented to a naive audience as a representation of the entire adult industry. That’s what I think most of the adult industry took issue with. When Rashida told me she wanted to do a follow up anthology, and wanted to cover me for the episode on female empowerment/feminism in the adult industry, I couldn’t say no. Firstly because they seemed earnest to really give a broader, multi-faceted view on the industry, and because I felt that I had a responsibility to provide a different side to the industry, a contrast to what the audience had previously seen with the first Hot Girls Wanted.
As a quick follow-up, porn is a subject that divides feminists. Some see it as demeaning, objectifying and subjugating women whereas a vocal group (Nina Hartley, Jacky St. James) regard it as wholly consistent with the overall progressive goals often associated with feminism such as equality and empowerment. In your own words can you explain your views on pornography vis a vis its role in relationships, its effect on society, its potential influence on feminism.
I find that there is an inherent sexism to those who are against porn in general. People automatically cast and assume the women are victims, like they aren’t capable of making their own decisions. While of course there is a dark side to the industry, there are also a lot of good people who see it as a viable career and have a lot of fun doing it. And though it’s not for everyone, it’s been a really empowering platform for a lot of women, who have been able to support themselves and really carve out a niche for themselves in pop culture. I think that if we truly view women and men as equals, both should feel free to express themselves sexually in whatever manner they so wish. (I’d like to point out you never see anyone campaigning for the poor victimized men in porn.)
What do you see as the potential benefits or advantages which erotic films deliver to the individual, couples, etc.?
I think it can encourage shy and insecure men and women to come out of their shell and learn to love their bodies and embrace their sexuality. Porn is the one industry that really embraces all kinds of body types— there’s an entire fan base for BBW women, for mature women… you can’t say that for the fashion industry, or the mainstream entertainment industry.
Have you ever been approached by amateur couples to shoot them?
I have shot glamour nudes on wives for husbands, and for Playboy TV I had a show called Adult Film School where I shot amateur couples together.
Who are some of your favorite models with whom to work? Why?
I love working with Dani Daniels because she is one of my closest friends, and because she loves her job and it shows. I also love working with Madison Ivy, Jenna Sativa— basically anyone who is a good model and who shows up to set with a positive attitude and loves sex!
What are your views on the future of Virtual Reality in porn?
I think VR definitely has a big place in the future of porn.
What would be tips to anyone who might want to spice up their bedroom activities by making a home movie?
Try role-play! Costumes and little themes can make sex fun and exciting. Or try some light bondage. You’d be surprised what you might like, don’t knock it until you try it!