Blog Frabrik.The Digital Porn Revolution: Interview with Noel Alejandro

What was your first experience with porn?
Noel: Like everybody else at that age, I was attracted to porn. I remember I did not talk about other things at school with my colleagues, and discovering porn was one of the highlights of childhood. It’s something that no generation has escaped from. No matter that now we have more access to it, discovering porn is something that happens to everyone, always even before of puberty. So discovering something so delightful is how sex came to me as something pleasant and probably I thought „Ok, so this is it: this is what gives meaning to life. Finally got it!“

Do you remember if your first porn you ever watched? Was on video tape or on the www?
Noel:  It was on videotape, of course. I can’t remember how old I was, but at that time we did not have internet yet. But chances to be caught were still notorious. We were actually caught because tapes need to be rewound to the point you found them.

Pornography has changed so much over the last 20 years. Do you think the internet killed the classic porn movie and also porn stars?
Noel: I’m not sure if I lived in the time when a porn star had been considered as a classic porn star. When I was a teenager I knew nothing about porn stars. Today, following and communicating with them is as simple as having a Twitter account. We have a healthy saturation of them, I would say. Porn has definitely changed with the internet; today you don’t need to deliver a 90 min film with five or six scenes if you want to be in the XXX video club. The format has been adapted for online distribution and a simpler scene can be sold easily, which I do. But the industrialised process that porn has suffered since it became an industry made the producers not care about the context of the story or about the plot. Who wants to watch two bad actors talking nonsense in a badly directed film? So it’s up to us, the new directors, to change this, to believe in what we do.

With all the porn diversity we can now find online, how do you do to stand out among other productions?
Noel: I offer a completely different product than other producers. I firmly believe in myself as a filmmaker. Sadly, I’m one of the only directors in porn who does this. Most directors only think in terms of money when they film. Some others may just love filming sex, but to me it is absolutely necessary once I grab a camera to imagine why those characters are having sex. I firmly need to add a context to what I’m filming: Are they having sex at home? Are they a couple? Did they just meet? Who are they? What were they doing before this and what will they do afterwards? How do they deal with their problems?
I’m not afraid of experimenting with music, situations, and I’m not afraid of showing the sex encounter as it is, not skipping little beautiful details.

Is the porn revolution in our digital age bringing new life to porn?
Noel: As we all know today, the digital area allows people to create and distribute any kind of content by themselves. Big budgets and distribution companies are not needed anymore in order to reach your audience; if you know how to play your cards right, you can be very successful. Cold is full of people wanting to buy your stuff – you only need to make them discover you. If you are perseverant enough, sooner or later they will know you.

Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders said. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable, for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.” What are your thoughts about this?
Noel: We are all humans. We feel and will always feel an attraction to sex in many kinds of forms. Having free and deliberate access to all that could bring us joy, but also obsession, it’s up to us to be with the tools that modern science has given us. We will survive digital porn era.

Sometimes I have the feeling that every gay or straight guy has done porn, has published a video on Xtube or Tumblr. How easy is it in our social media time to find the right models for your movies? How many emails do you get from guys who want to be in one of your films?
Noel: Sometimes I’ve had trouble to find the right people, and sometimes not. I receive plenty of emails and messages from people every week who are very interested in being filmed, and I’m mostly interested in those who don’t look like porn actors. Valentin Braun and Pierre Ëmo, both playing in Call me a Ghost, are not what you used to find in mainstream porn, which was dominated by hyper-muscled guys with a particular haircut and tattoos all around their bodies. But they have an enormous sensitivity, knowledge and ambition for exploring their sexuality through a film, both in spiritual and physical ways.

As an independent film maker, how important is social media for you?
Noel: Porn films are usually kept completely out of the mainstream cinema circuit, so they cannot be promoted massively, but we do have the internet. Social media is the tool we use to keep constant communication with our audience. We need to remind people regularly that we are there so that we aren’t forgotten. It’s one of the problems of the digital era: there are so many creators wanting to be heard.

Facebook, Instagram and others are banning everything related to porn – even sexy guys without underwear are a problem. Do you have an explanation why our society is so against porn, but everybody is watching it?
Noel: I read that it all begins with the app store and their age restrictions, in order to protect children from sexual content. But there is a huge range of what sexual behaviour is, and it can be confused with artistic nude exhibition, so there we have the mess. But once my device knows that I’m an adult, why can’t I watch all the dicks I want? We need to keep pressing hard and doing activism in order to transform our society. Sex is not wrong and pornography is not for perverts. The real way to achieve the complete acceptance is being active and being seen.

I grew up in a time when porn was not easy to get. Nowadays porn is everywhere. Do you think that we are overdosing on porn? And how will the digital porn revolution change our sex lives?
Noel:  We are overdosing on porn, but still no cinema directors want to give their own vision of what a porn film can be. We need more creators! A good porn film can be the perfect foreplay for couples. Wouldn’t it be nice for all the porn studios today to dare and add plots to their films? To use their imagination in order to tell stories instead of boringly going straight to the sex? Would it be such a disaster? Maybe we need porn directors not scared of taking themselves so seriously… I encourage to all porn studios to leave the comfort zone!

All images courtesy of Noel Alejandro, Illustration Header by Nicolas Simoneau

To keep the conservation going:
www.noelalejandrofilms.com

Text: Nicolas Simoneau. KALTBLUT Magazine.

Leave a comment