High Definition Doesn’t Scare Porn Stars

Tidbits from the Adult Entertainment Expo, which took place next door to CES 2007.


While chatting with a porn impresario recently, I concluded that high definition can be a very bad thing.

“People, especially who have never seen high definition, are blown away by it.” said Joone (that's the whole name), founder of Digital Playground, a producer of some of the more cinematically rich adult entertainment titles. “With adult material, when people are having sex in high definition, it feels like they're in your living room, close to the action.”

That makes me very uncomfortable. I wonder how the porn stars feel.

I managed to interview some of them at January's Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) in Las Vegas, held just next door to the International Consumer Electronics Show (below). 

This year, savvy movie-makers were promoting their new HD DVD titles, hot off the presses. (Nary a Blu-ray backer in sight, by the way, but that's another story.)

I did not manage a glimpse at any of the HD fare, but with all those actors milling about, I was already — as Joone would say — close to the action.

No HD Worries

Adult video watchers who prefer to stay somewhat removed from the eye-popping onscreen action have little to fear. Thankfully, most of the so-called high-def DVDs from the porn industry are barely that, according to HighDefXXX founder Tom Funk, a videophile who rivals the geekiest in our industry. 

“Most of the people who say they're shooting in HD are using [inadequate] $3,000 cameras,” he says. “After all of the processing, the video ends up looking like crap.”

High-def clarity doesn't scare Funk, who founded his company expressly to create HD films. “A good filmmaker will enhance the actors' appearance with some tricks of the trade. You can take special care in lighting, use a slower frame rate, maybe stylize the shot,” he explains.
Even so, Funk admits, “I do take care to find better-looking actors.”

From the Mouths of Babes

Digital Playground and Wicked Pictures were among the first to ship HD DVD titles. I asked some of the stars how they felt about the new format:

“We were the very first company to bring out a title in HD. Some people maybe have some concerns, but I'm extremely comfortable in HD. … It actually makes them [actors] look more human. I don't mind seeing a wrinkle or two.”

— Jessica Drake, Wicked Pictures

“It's kind of an unforgiving medium. If you have a blemish, it kind of jumps right out at you. … The final product is so sharp and vivid. It's crystal clear.”

— Randy Spears, Wicked Pictures

“You have to be a little more self-conscious. You see every little flaw. … I think it makes women more comfortable because they can see that nobody's perfect. … We don't necessarily wear more makeup, but we make sure to drink lots of water to keep skin clear.”

— Jesse Jane, Digital Playground

“I'm not really self-conscious because I'm so focused on my lines.” 

— Kaylani Lei, Wicked Pictures


About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson