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What constitutes "good set etiquette" in the porn industry?
July 2, 2013 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I've been invited by a pornographer friend to watch the production of a porn movie on-set; the director told my friend they'd be happy to have me, provided we "have good set etiquette" and are generally not creepy or horrible. Which I can totally do! :) But I'm worried about the "good set etiquette" part. I assume most of it is commonsense, like "don't get in the way of people who are there to do their jobs," but is there anything special I should know about good set etiquette in the porn industry specifically? Anything that might not be immediately obvious? The last thing I'd want to do is make either my friend or the director regret the invitation.
posted by Televangelist to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Keep your phone (and the camera attached to it) in your pocket or your car so nobody thinks you're sneaking photos. That's true on a lot of sets, and also photo shoots with less-than-dressed people.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:52 AM on July 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am not in the industry, but I would imagine it would include treating the actors & actresses with respect and proper boundaries - just cuz they're nekkid doesn't mean they're public property. Don't stare unless the cameras are rolling, stay professional and don't get all worked up no matter what they're doing on camera, if you're reporting then ask intelligent questions etc. Check your judgments at the door (no bibles). I'd bring some props to make me look inquisitive and not pervy - paper and pen? Books by established people in the industry? No cel phones. That kind of thing. Oh and have a good "line" about why you are there and what you hope to accomplish by watching (over and above "just curious!" since they're not animals in a zoo!) since people will of course notice someone different and ask why you're there. Also ask your friend for tips.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:52 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know the porn side of this, but on a regular set:

- Phone and any other beepy electronic stuff silenced.

- Absolute silence when the camera is rolling. as in, don't laugh, don't cough, maybe don't even walk around.

- Don't bother people. This includes not trying to talk to the actors, director (though it sounds like this is your friend?), and other "important" people on set.

- Cooperate with the shooting crew. For example, you might be standing in a certain spot which, after a camera move, is now going to be in frame. Someone is going to tell you to move. They probably won't graciously come over and say, "Excuse me sir, but you are now in the path of the camera and will appear in the shot. Would you mind moving?" It will probably be more like a frantic hand motion or maybe a "Psssssst! You're in frame!"

- Don't be in the way. Not sure about porn, but often on a regular film set, there'll be a tight location shot where only the actors, director, camera, and a sound person can fit in the room. As much as you might like to watch this scene, just stay out of it. If there's a little more room than that, but it's still crowded, do the same -- chances there there's a crew member who needs to be in there more than you do.

- Feel free to watch through the monitors, but make sure to stand so that everyone else can see, too.

Re the porn aspect, yeah, if it were me I would be very careful not to stare, not to get visibly aroused, and of course not to try to take any pictures.
posted by Sara C. at 8:01 AM on July 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Erections. Do not have them.
posted by bilabial at 8:21 AM on July 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


Why don't you ask your friend?
posted by apricot at 8:33 AM on July 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


To add to what bilabial said, no sexual behavior of any kind on your part, no moans and groans, no oohs and aahs, no leering, no drooling, no touching of yourself or of anyone else.
posted by mareli at 8:35 AM on July 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stay way out of the way.
Be quiet.
Don't gawk.
Don't stare.
Do as you're told.
Don't try to engage in conversation with any of the actors/crew/etc., unless spoken to first.
Don't be a fan.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:52 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sasha Grey's Pet Peeves
Adult film productions are not as scheduled as "regular" films--there's no real set schedule, with ADs shouting about Next and Moving On and Released, so things may be a bit more haphazard. Also, you'll probably be in someone one's home, rather than a sound stage. Don't trip over the cables (electrical cords.)
posted by Ideefixe at 9:02 AM on July 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Don't *EVER* walk between the director and the actors/set, even when they're not filming. Always walk around, behind him/her. Also, if you leave the room for any reason, don't ever come back in unless you're totally sure that they're not filming.
posted by jasper411 at 9:23 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I worked on a porn set once, and I was shocked by how relaxed everyone was. (And by relaxed, I mean sloppy and unprofessional. Cables everywhere, no schedule, set was a mess. Whatever). I mean, be quiet, turn your phone off, and hang toward the back of the room (behind everyone who is actually working), and no boners.

Just pretend like you've seen all this eighty million times before and it's not a big deal.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:08 AM on July 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't *EVER* walk between the director and the actors/set, even when they're not filming. Always walk around, behind him/her.

FWIW, I've actually been the assistant to a director before (not an AD, the director's personal assistant) and have never heard of this. I guess it's a factor if you're on set with Scorsese or something, and maybe it's a huge deal in porn specifically, but I think the main takeaway is to give ALL the crew members and talent a very wide berth. Never get in anyone's way. Never be standing in front of someone who is trying to see something or get somewhere or talk to somebody.

Just give everyone a wide berth and you'll be fine.

Oh, and I thought of another general "set etiquette" thing, along the lines of what Ideefixe said. Be respectful of the set itself. Both as a location (somebody's home) and also to an eye to the fact that, in an hour, the camera might be turned around and the chair you're sitting in right now might be part of the set. Don't sit on a freshly made bed. Don't leave soda cans on the coffee table. Don't move around small objects that look like they've been carefully placed in a specific spot.

Sometimes in people's homes, there'll be a request that people take off their shoes or walk only in specific areas to protect the floors. Be respectful of this even if you see others flouting it.
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Former porn video set guy here.

It will be a strange experience, and any illusions you may have about porn or how porn is made will likely be shattered.

As far as etiquette or how to behave, the best thing you can do is prepare for an unusual experience. Try to be nonchalant about what's going on. It may be a little startling or odd to see people having sex in front of you. And you may feel disgusted/amused/turned on/whatever, or you may not have any particular feelings about what's going on. Your instinct might be to look away or feel embarrassed, but it's not a big deal. Don't feel weird about watching or looking.

The only other thing I can think of is what others already mentioned, which is being quiet on the set. Obviously this applies when they are shooting, but even between scenes, I'd gauge the mood of the room before chiming in with any comments. Most of the time the environment is light-hearted and fun but it can get intense if the actors have any trouble with their scenes.

Enjoy what is likely to be a unique experience!
posted by averageamateur at 11:00 AM on July 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Don't eat the snacks. Those are there for the people who are working.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:31 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the excellent advice, all. :)
posted by Televangelist at 3:54 PM on July 3, 2013


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