Courtney Trouble and I didn’t mean to have a drunken online chat; it just happened. I’d been meaning to email them my traditional interview questions and receive tidy paragraphs in response, but fuck that — this was a lot more fun. And informative.
Read part one here, part two here, and part three here. In this part, Courtney and I discuss Bordello, working with Eon McKai, and movie-like pornos.
Courtney: i have to tell you… it doesn’t do me any good financially to say this because i get paid a flat amount each movie i make, but bordello… is the beginning. Courtney: it’s really different from anything that i’ve made, or anything in queer porn, or any porn really. there’s a suspenseful twist, it’s only an hour long so you can actually sit through it, and also, there’s a montage, 3 sex scenes in one, which is very different. Epiphora: i’ve definitely noticed progress watching these chronologically Courtney: the rest is fun sex work, but bordello is precious to me in a very, very intense way. that set blew me away. Epiphora: yeah it’s really fabulous Courtney: there’s definitely a progression. i’ll tell you this, i didn’t know how to shoot or edit film when i made the first roulette. it’s amazing to see not only queer people being documented but also, i’m documenting my own education in film making Epiphora: i noticed the bad bathroom lighting in seven minutes was rectified in seven minutes 2 Courtney: basically what i’m trying to say is that they gave a novice a ton of money to make her dreams come true, and this is what happens. it’s like project runway haha Courtney: hahahah yeah i learned how to light a bathroom!!! i happen to think that the first bathroom scene sex-wise with carson and tina was hotter than #2 Epiphora: i think you’re right about that. but i’m a sucker for good lighting Courtney: hahaha! i’m a sucker for good sex. i guess that’s my weakness. Epiphora: OH tell me how it was working with eon mckai on bordello! Courtney: GAAAH!! i know he won’t appreciate it because he’s so fucking cool and humble, but basically, i got to HIRE my MENTOR to work for me. i got to bring a straight, alt porn DUDE into my queer, genderfucking, trans-loving, squirting, fisting world, and he was so APPRECIATIVE. he kept thanking me for letting him shoot queer sex as though it was all he ever wanted to do. keeping in mind that neu wave hookers was the first porn i’d ever fucked to, and he is a major inspiration… it was incredible. i was so flabbergasted and he was so kind and sweet and enthusiastic about the project… it was hands-down the perfect collaboration. i would start a company with that man.
Epiphora: dude, that is so awesome to hear. did he do all the camera work, or what? Courtney: he did. he did ALL of the camera work. which allowed me to excel at my first love, photography. he shot the video. i shot the photos. we made the best movie EVER, holding hands. Epiphora: and you were like “hi, shoot all my movies please” Courtney: i really can’t wait for people to see it, it’s honestly the best thing i’ve ever done and probably the best thing i will ever do, i just don’t know if i can top that kind of perfection — the two days on-set changed my life and i edited that movie as if it were the definition of all of my work. Epiphora: i’m sure you will top it at some point, silly Courtney: it really was a culmination, the climax, of everything i have ever wanted to achieve, it’s artistic, it’s not “pushy,” it’s accessible, you could go up and hug it and it would hug you back, and yet, there are so many great queer things… it’s the new era. it feels above and beyond me. Epiphora: do you like making the “movie”-like pornos the best? Courtney: i like making the “movie” pornos the best because i do get to put a little bit of my own processing into it. i’m a little high on seven minutes in heaven 3 right now since i shot it today, but ask me any other day and i will tell you, i am a certified high school drama geek. and any chance to mix art with porn, make a storyline that will keep people watching — wait — confession, i don’t care if people watch it. the whole consumer aspect of making porn just doesn’t fucking matter to me AT ALL when i’m on a porn set. my job is to somehow facilitate real sex between lovers and friends. the storyline is awesome, but it’s not about “softening” the movie — in fact all of my storyline pornos have been deeper and darker than the reality ones.
Epiphora: yeah, i usually don’t like storylines or plots. but i feel like they’re done so badly most of the time in porn Courtney: exactly. porn actors are not always screen actors, and vice versa. and porn writers are not always screen writers. but… for me, speakeasy, nostalgia, and bordello are more like opportunities to humanize the performers, to see them outside of their sex roles, and also, most noticeable with nostalgia — to actually put my own love, troubles, and feelings into my art. Epiphora: that’s a good way of looking at it Courtney: nostalgiawith all of its crossfades, overlay compositions, and horrible editing, really is the base of my heart. the scenes i recreated/queered in that movie were the first porn scenes i ever saw in my whole life. Courtney: oh man. i need to deal with reality and go to bed. Epiphora: me too probably Courtney: i am SO SO SO SO excited about an honest review of every title i’ve done, because deep down i know they got better with each release, and to put out fucking 8 movies in one year is crazy and i am crazy Epiphora: you really are Epiphora: go to bed and drink some water! Courtney: hahaha yes mama! sorry i’ve been crazy all week, AVN and vegas got me NUTS, currently dealing with it. Courtney: it was really nice to chat with you, and please, i’d love it if you would print some of this really close/honest stuff as well as your honestness… our conversation was pretty amazing in my humble opinion. Epiphora: i will certainly be printing it 🙂 i’ll cut it down so it’s not a novel, but i enjoyed it very much too Courtney: haha yeah 3 hours of gchat… e.d.i.t! Epiphora: muahaha Epiphora: sleep tight! Courtney: night night