Interview - Viv Thomas
Have you ever thought that you’d become a Pornographic Producer?
No I came into it quite by accident – literally! I was convalescing after a car crash and my brother lent me a a few books on photography. My wife was pretty hot (and still is!) so I began to experiment on her. I loved it and soon I was shooting calendars in the South African bush and flying top British girls over for shoots to South Africa for the local girlie mag: Scope Magazine.
Did you have other dreams? What were the ones that you couldn’t accomplish?
I always wanted to be a pro golfer. I was a 6 handicap once and the dream was to go on circuit. I still play golf as often as I can though. I love the game and have instituted a yearly golf tournament with friends and business partners. It’s been going like clockwork since 2008.
Do you feel like you’re still missing something in your movies? That you still need to accomplish something?
Absolutely. I feel we have so much potential to create incredibly compelling adult content with real loving sex. Most of the porn out there is either fake or boring or both. We have just finished shooting a film that we believe is going to turn the tables once again and catapult the brand to a new level.
Do you feel like, being a producer, you could have a work on the subject matter “sexual education”?
Yes, I do and in a way we are already achieving that goal. Our best selling title “The Art of Sex” was not a film about sexual technique, but it exhibited those sexual techniques on film with really beautiful models. It is a showcase for how to have incredible sex but it flows so well…. you don’t feel like you’re watching a text book “paint-by-numbers” style of film.
How many different nationalities actresses’ have you worked with? I’ve read an interview where you say you prefer Hungarian girls, although, don’t you like American girls too?
We found the Hungarian girls in the late 90’s after I got fed up with the attitude of some of the British porn stars. They were unreliable and difficult to work with. Someone suggested a trip to Hungary and we couldn’t believe how many stunning girls there were all very keen to work. The Hungarians were really easy to work with and it gelled really well. We discovered Sandy, Sandra Shine, Peaches, Sophie Moone and many others who went on to build very successful careers in the industry.
We would love to work with American girls but it is not always practical to fly them over for one shoot. We have done a trip to America in 2006 which resulted in a great title called “In the Family”. We’re trying some British girls again as it’s easier for them to act in English, and they seem a lot more professional these days.
Since you work in Portugal, haven’t you ever wanted to pick Portuguese girls for your movies?
Certainly, we would love to shoot Portuguese girls, but the reality of the fact is that we make pornographic films and many of the girls here are only interested in doing soft Playboy style work. If you know of any willing Portuguese girls, we would be interested to have a look.
What did you like the most about Portugal to live here?
The lifestyle is fantastic: the weather, the food, the golf, the people. Personally I feel I have integrated fairly well (although my Portuguese is not good) but I play golf regularly with a group of local Portuguese businessmen and that has opened many doors for us. I also make my own Piri Piri oil which is naturally an incredible Portuguese invention!
Do you have any international actress that you wanted to work with and never accomplished that?
No not really, although I do regret not working more with Jenna Jameson. I did a few sets with her a long time ago in London which are still on our web site http://www.vivthomas.com/model/1197/Jenna+Jameson . I would also like to work with Stormy Daniels – that is one seriously beautiful woman.
From all the actresses and actors with whom you’ve worked with, have any of them disappointed you in some way? Did you have any that stood out the most?
Yes, quite a few have let us down at the last minute! It’s tough because we used to book flights for them and then we have a whole crew and a location ready to shoot and no models. Sometimes it has been incredibly difficult but we have adapted. I would prefer not to mention any names.
Have you ever watched a movie that surprised you negatively and that you’d like to change?
A movie of ours? Sometimes I have had to step in and tell the guys to re-edit a project as it hasn’t come quite up to scratch but that has happened extremely rarely. We have a great team and the guys we have at the moment are all from a mainstream film and advertising background which really helps on set and in the editing room.
Have you ever watched any Portuguese porn movie? What is your opinion about it and in what way should we make it better?
I’m sorry I haven’t, but if you send me one I will watch it :) I have heard about the parody on the architect from Lisbon, who used to do all his female clients from Cascais in his office. It would be interesting to see that.
What’s your opinion, in general, about american porn movies? Are they well developed? Do they have good directors and actors?
In general I think the Americans have a certain style (as do the English) of portraying porn as something dirty and tend to go as extreme as possible (i.e. Fisting, gaping and all manner of things which they seem to invent every day). On the other hand, these days there are a lot of production houses which are springing up and making great content.
My policy has always been to try and display real loving sex on camera. There is something exquisitely beautiful about the act of making love between two people and we will always try to capture that sensuality, bearing in mind our customers also have certain requirements and at times we can spice things up a little too.
You know your movies are out on the internet, right? So, have you ever tried to fix this leak problem? Why do you think this happens? Do you think there can be a way to prevent piracy?
Yes we know our movies are being pirated and for years we have contracted so called “Take Down Piracy” companies to try and decrease the flood of pirated content. It’s an ongoing battle that I don’t think we will ever win, however we need to try and do our bit to fight it.
I firmly believe that the only way to stop piracy is to make it easier to buy the product than it is to steal it. However, in practice that is very expensive and difficult to do. Steve Jobs managed to do a great job with the music industry but the film industry and porn is a more difficult nut to crack. We need to work on it collectively and there are many initiatives which the adult industry is coming up with to attempt to stop piracy. Trust me, it really affects our business and therefore our ability to make more great films.
Interview by Pedro Marques
Translation and correction by Sílvia Dias