Today marks the fourth anniversary of this blog. From the first post:
My name is Tony Comstock, I am a filmmaker, and this is my blog.
I make films about sex. I work with straight people, gay people, lesbian people. I don’t really care who sticks what where. I do care whether or not the people I work with are actually enjoying being with each other and being on camera. I’m not a good enough filmmaker to create the illusion of people enjoying themselves, I can only hope to capture it when it happens. To that end I work exclusively with people who have sexual relationships with each other when they’re off camera.
Some people call what I do porn. I pay people to have sex while I film them, so I suppose it is not an inaccurate description. Still, it’s a label I’m uncomforatble with. As a woman we worked with last weekend said, “Porn is so degrading to sex.” I couldn’t agree more, and I’d add that porn degrades filmmaking. I’m trying the best I can not to be degrading to sex or filmmaking.
When I made that first post, we had released one film, MARIE AND JACK: A HARDCORE LOVE STORY. It was carried by a handful of sexuality boutiques, but regarded by most people as a unmarketable oddity.
Today MARIE AND JACK is still selling well, and we’ve released five more titles: XANA AND DAX; DAMON AND HUNTER; MATT AND KHYM; ASHLEY AND KISHA; and BILL AND DESIREE. These titles have become best sellers at sexuality boutiques, but our films are also available at places like Barnes and Noble, Blockbuster, and Amazon.
A few other things that have happened along the way, in no particular order:
- Peggy and I had another daughter. Before her arrival I felt like we were a married couple who had a child. Now it feels like we’re a family.
- I had a film banned by a liberal, western democracy; not once, but twice. If it had been Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or even Malaysia… But Australia? There’s a part of me that’s still can’t quite believe it.
- I lived out a life-long dream of going on an extended sailboat trip.
- I got to see my name or the names of my films in a few magazines.
Despite the considerable pride I take in having made the films I’ve made, a lot of what’s allowed things to work out as well as they have has just been dumb luck. Being at the right place at the right time; getting a tip or a hint on how to do things from someone who really had no reason to help; or having someone say something nice about my film when there were a dozen others she might have mentioned.
As the saying goes, it’s better to be lucky than good; and more than anything else, I’ve been very very lucky that people have been willing to look past all that my films aren’t to see what these films are trying to be. What success these films have had suggests they attract a generous and indulgent audience, and I am forever grateful.
If it is the Winter of my discontent, well mostly that’s because they’re all Winters of my discontent. I like sunshine and warm water; and probably suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder to boot. But there is also a sense that the world is not the same place that is was in June of 2001 when we shot MARIE & JACK, or even the same as it was in January of 2005 when I made the first post on this blog. I’m not the same either, and I’m unsure what the future holds. To everything turn turn turn…
In any event, thank you very much for reading; thank you more if you’ve linked to anything you’ve read here; and thank you most of all if you’ve bought one of our films, watched it, and thought your time and money well-spent. I hope you’re here a year from now, still reading, still linking, and still watching and enjoying our films!