After a busy summer involving lots of travelling while back home my workload stacked ever higher, I was ready for an autumn of quiet industry in London, battening down the hatches and tackling the backlog. I was even looking forward to it. But the universe had other ideas.
I got an email from Ms Naughty telling us that our collaborative feminist porn film Instructed - her edit of which she had submitted to the Berlin Porn Film Festival - had been accepted, and would be shown on the big screen in front of a cinema full of people!
I realised that out of four festivals my films have been submitted to so far - Bikesmut in 2012, the Feminist Porn Awards and Cinekink in 2014, and now Berlin - the only one where none of my work was screened was also the only one I've been to. Bikesmut and Cinekink, as US festivals, were a little harder for me to get to. But Berlin is only a train ride away. Really, there was no excuse.
So it was that I found myself emailing the organisers to find out that I would be granted a free filmmakers entry to the festival... and started the somewhat intimidating process of sorting out accommodation and transport with only a month's notice.
I feel intimidated, delighted and a bit overwhelmed by the havoc this will wreak on my carefully-worked-out October budget. (If anyone feels moved to help me get there, please consider booking a 121 spanking session - or ask me for my Playpal address...) But mostly I'm excited. It will be wonderful to see all the friends I made at the Feminist Porn Awards this year again - all the queer porn stars, Zahra Stardust and Ms Naughty, Jennifer Lyon Bell and another feminist porn director whom I was overjoyed to meet when she visited London this summer, Gala Vanting.
It's also going to be a totally new experience to watch my work on the big screen... particularly given that Instructed is my most explicit film to date. If watching you finger yourself at the cinema in high-definition closeup isn't a porn performer's baptism of fire, I don't know what is. I don't know if I'm going to be surprised, embarrassed or hiding behind my program, but I think it will definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime excuse for a selfie!
A part of me is sad that I missed the deadline to submit any of my own film productions to Berlin this year. Ms Naughty was kind enough to list me as a co-director and collaborator on her edit of Instructed, but it's still her version of the film - and the only reason hers is being included rather than mine is that I didn't send them anything. I had the deadline in my calendar, but I would have wanted to edit a tighter, shorter cut of anything I submitted, and I simply didn't have time. Which makes me all the more determined to manage to submit my own freshly edited work to Cinekink and the FPA next year, as well as the other 2015 porn festivals. But it's also, perhaps, a good thing that my work as a video editor won't be up for scrutiny this year. Appearing on on screen as the solo performer is, perhaps, exposure enough without the vulnerability of being judged on my editing technique as well. There is always time for me to take that particular plunge later...
So I'm going to Berlin - and so is Dreams of Spanking. I'm not currently planning any shoots there - I don't have the space in my budget - but perhaps if some more trade or collaboration opportunities present themselves, I might fit something in. As a method of working, it seems to have been pretty successful so far!