Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Review: DIY Porn Handbook, a how-to guide to Documenting Our Own Sexual Revolution


I have no shame in admitting that I bought this book knowing nothing more than the title and the author. I love feminist, alternative, queer, and independently produced pornography. A resource that helps bring more of that into the world is one I need on my shelf.
 


"DIY Porn Handbook: A How-To Guide to Documenting Our Own Sexual Revolution" by Madison Young was published in August of 2016. I am familiar with the author's work. As for books, I reviewed "Daddy: A memoir" (2013) and I have in my possession Young's 2016 title, "The Ultimate Guide to Sex Through Pregnancy and Motherhood: Passionate Practical Advice for Moms," which I will read and review in the future. As for the "DIY Porn Handbook," the writing is a beautiful blend of the author's personal voice and professional presentation of her expertise.
 


With chapters that cover screenwriting/dialogue, world building, resources, locations, casting, taxes, production flow, budget, camera angles, editing, distribution, and marketing/promotion, this book is a great guide about how a film is put together. Chapters that discuss individual mission statements, history and impact of independent porn, communication, empowerment, and space for inspiration, this book also provides a wonderful overview on the ethics, values, and vision of feminist porn.
 


The book tackles these topics in the scope of a true DIY producer. Whether you are planning to film sexuality for just yourself to consume or planning to unleash your vision to a wider audience, Young's advice and practical information will help you execute your vision.
 


As an erotica writer (and a fan of alternative porn) I've always had the idea in the back of my mind to write a porn script. But I didn't know where to even begin. I can say that I am now leaps and bounds ahead of the game having read this book.
 


Of course, this book is an introductory guide. If you're going to get in there and make a porn film, you will have to look into further resources regarding film making, writing/direction, production, marketing, distribution, law, and accounting. But this book is a strong foundation for pointing you in the right direction, and will likely be the soul of your further research.
 


This book is not just for directors, writers, and performers. If you have any skill, I almost guarantee it can be used in a porn film. Camera crew, tech people, production assistants. Musicians, visual artists, editors. Costuming, locations, fund raising. Distribution, graphic design, accounting. The list goes on. So if you have a passion for feminist/independent porn and want to contribute, you most certainly can. This book gives an overview to how the whole process works: find where you fit in and go for it!
 

I also love that this book includes interludes by feminist porn creators including Jiz Lee, Zahra Stardust, and Maria Llopis. There's tax information for film production from the Tax Domme and even a contribution from Shanna Katz about disability inclusiveness in porn. These add a great flavor of expertise to the overall book and I loved all the contributions.

This book is a great addition to my library to help people get the conversation going about porn. Having the power to document your own sexual revolution and showcase perspectives that are important to you is such a fantastic contribution to the current dialogue around sexual expression. If you're ready to get down, dirty, and real with pornography, this book is the place to begin. 

I can't wait to see what readers of this book will create!

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