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February 21, 2019

KAY BRANDT-BRINGING PORN WITH MAINSTREAM SENSIBILITIES

By itchysilk In ITCHYSILKLIVE
Kay Brandt

In our second look at women behind the camera in porn, we talk to award winning writer/director and bestselling author, Kay Brandt. For those who have watched porn the old joke about the plumber visiting a woman’s house to fix her ‘plumbing’ has layers. Double entendre aside it’s a joke that alludes to the prevalence of poor or non-existent plots in porn. Any semblance of a plot are generally thin and quickly lead to a woman or a man on the floor with a dick in the mouth.

But, Kay Brandt, with her background in mainstream film-making, brings a brand of porn which sits neatly in its own niche of seriously plot driven hardcore sex. Having adapted eight erotic books into films, Kay Brandt’s type of adult-filmmaking is growing exponentially in popularity.

We got a bit of time to talk to Kay Brandt about her beginnings in mainstream film-making, making films in the adult industry and of course her new film Unfolding.

An itchysilk obligatory question-how did childhood perhaps impact on your decision to be a porn director?

I had a crazy childhood. I’ve always been drawn to the arts and I went to an experimental elementary school where I was encouraged to make films and write scripts and stories. In fourth grade, I made my first short movie on a Hi-8 camera, which was state-of-the-art back in the late 1970’s. I continued writing short stories, books and screenplays and in the 1990’s I launched a theatre company where I wrote/directed/produced seventeen stage plays. They were mostly erotic in nature and I realized that there was a deep, creative part of me drawn to adult content and sexual stories and so I focused on honing that skill. 

You went into the adult world quite early on then?

No, not until much later in life. I was in my late 30’s when I wrote/directed my first adult film. I’d worked in the mainstream film business before “crossing over” into adult film, but it was difficult to maintain a regular career as a writer and director particularly as a woman in the mainstream. There wasn’t enough work to keep me going and justify the many sacrifices I had been making in my life to pursue a lifelong dream. I don’t get the whole struggling artists thing and it gets old quick, especially when real-world responsibilities smack you in the face. I got fed up with the bullshit games studios play and the lack of vision and follow-through.

In 2009, I answered an ad on a mainstream entertainment employment website for a female writer/director for a film company specializing in lesbian content. I had experience with that genre and had written and produced a hit play in Los Angeles called, Kiss Me Twisted about a lesbian relationship, so, I felt qualified to submit myself for the job. At the time, however, I had no idea it was a XXX company. When that fact became known, I did some soul searching to see if I could handle it, and if I even wanted to go down that creative path and venture into the “forbidden” side of the film business–the side filled with stigma, judgment and a very unknown business landscape in general. Something in me wanted to try it out, though, and I took a leap of faith.

Kay Brandt

So, you found out what you were going to direct at the interview.

Exactly. I must admit after meeting with the owner I wasn’t sure I wanted to create the type of content they wanted. It was a very strange reality to be in a company where everyone knows they are making XXX content. I eventually agreed because I was offered the stability of a regular income and that alone was a welcome relief. It was a crossroads in my life. There was this new path filled with promise, good pay for my work, consistency and instant gratification-I would write and then directing in a short space of time. With mainstream you could write something and wait months or even years to direct it and even then, it was not guaranteed to be released.

So how did you get used to directing porn as you seemed quite reticent.

Initially I would go to sets and direct all the dialogue and all the action leading up to the actual sex and then I would make a good excuse for why I had to go. I could not get my mind around the fact that I would be in the same room while others were having sex and then telling them what to do was even more bizarre. It went on that way until the owner of the company basically said I had to say and direct all the way through otherwise he couldn’t see me progressing with the company.

Directing that first sex scene was incredibly intense work, liberating, scary and wildly exciting. I couldn’t help but wonder what my family would think if they found out. I took the stand of not telling anyone about it. Eventually, I got to the point where I had to admit that I was not just doing this work because of the money but in fact, I really enjoyed the work. I found that it reminded me a lot of directing live stage where the scenes were erotic. I love that feeling.


People might not realize it, but a healthy collective of females work in the industry….. Business/company owners camerawomen, female directors -and we’re here to stay.

We spoke to the VP of xHamster who is helping to push women directors. We wondered if like in mainstream women behind the cameras are a rarity.

It was a rarity when I broke into the business in 2009 but not anymore. I don’t think it even matters what the director’s gender is at this point. The industry wouldn’t fall apart if there were no females directing films. Maybe certain viewers want to see a woman directing a movie because they see it is a novelty or perhaps more sensual than male-directed content? Perhaps viewers who prefer female direction are entertained or tantalized by the fact that there is a woman dictating an adult movie rather than a male? There’s a mystique around what I do. I get so many people on social media amazed by my films and like the fact that I show my face and post a lot of behind-the-scenes from my projects. I show that I’m proud of my work and not standing being a facade.

People might not realize it, but a healthy collective of females work in the industry in many different facets beyond performing. Business/company owners and leaders, camerawomen, female directors — and we’re here to stay. When I got into the industry ten years ago there were very few female directors like there were less than five. Now, there is a dozen.

If there is so much competition, then how do you ensure you are unique?

I love creating a story around a sexual encounter. I don’t ever make movies that are just sex without a solid and believable context surrounding the physical act. I entered this business with decades of experience. I didn’t just take a job directing porn without having a strong idea of what I was doing and how it was all going to be accomplished. I also brought a mainstream sensibility to my films and a passion for the art of erotica, for long, sexy, sensual seductions and real orgasms from the women in my movies. Most importantly, I brought my dedication to the art and craft of creative filmmaking and continuously delivered beautiful content.

Lastly tell us about your film “Unfolding” which is out now?

Unfolding is the fourth book-based movie collaboration with New York Times best-selling author Selena Kitt. It marks the seventh book adaptation I have brought to life for Adam&Eve Pictures-the film division of the mega-novelty company. Unfolding is quite a movie–three and a half hours long with seven gorgeous sex scenes and a powerful, romantic storyline- I think this is the best movie I have ever made, honestly. The performers I cast in the film and how they created these characters with me and worked so closely with me, was magical. It is one of those special projects that every filmmaker dreams of experiencing (mainstream or adult) in their career. We knew we were making something special and the way it’s just taken off straight out of the gates now that it’s available for purchase says it all.

KAY BRANDT//INSTAGRAM