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” My Date With James Deen”: Behind The Scenes of “Saving Humanity”

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Ele Boddie writes on – When I was asked to interview James Deen while hanging out on the set of “Saving Humanity,” I had no idea what to expect.

Certainly, in my opinion, the adult entertainment industry is a slightly controversial subject in regular conversation. However, the popularity of erotic novels such as “Fifty Shades of Grey” has made sex and S&M less taboo.

Perhaps the world might be coming round to films of an adult content as well? Perhaps I should open my mind up just a little and take the opportunity to see what really happens on a professional porn set… especially one that James Deen is on. So, I graciously accepted my assignment, and spent a quiet Monday afternoon in Canoga Hills.

When owner of, Kim Nielsen, explained his idea for his latest feature, I was surprised to say the least. While showing me around the set, the experienced porn producer shared with me his intent to make “Saving Humanity” a cross between porn and mainstream film.

I suppose the majority of negative beliefs associated with watching porn or the adult entertainment industry as a whole stem from media-perpetuated stereotypes.

I mean, how many of us have actually met a porn star that shared tales of horror? We’ve all seen “The Girl Next Door” haven’t we? Elisha Cuthbert’s porn star life certainly didn’t look too glamorous. I was half-expecting the set to be a small boxy room with a couple of sofas and honestly when I was approaching the set in Canoga Park, I was slightly nervous about what to expect from its cast and crew. Boy was I wrong.

The film set is just as professional, efficient and hard working as any other in Hollywood, if not more so. When first looking behind the scenes and watching recordings on camera, it was impossible to tell that I was in fact on an adult entertainment set… well until one lady took her dressing gown off!

The stars hang out in a vacant lot next door, chatting away; doing their hair and make-up like any other Hollywood entertainment set, and were more than accommodating when I interviewed them.

James Deen, himself needs no introduction. Harnessing his “guy-next-door” essence and hustling his way into the porn industry, he has earned thousands of credits and amassed an impressive fan-base through talent and hard-work.

He is self-assured about the industry and chats animatedly when I raise the subject of L.A County’s Measure B (the enforcing of all male porn stars to wear condoms, which Deen condemns as breaking the first amendment) and about his enjoyment of his work.

Deen prides himself and those he has worked with on their professionalism and efficiency, from the very beginning process of casting right down to being on set. Explaining the importance of behaving as a professional and having respect for ones’ working environment, Deen concluded that a sense of comfort is not an added bonus but pivotal to the “realness” of the end result within any pornographic film.

We touch briefly upon the subject of his acting in “The Canyons”, (the soon-to-be-released film starring Lindsay Lohan directed by Paul Schrader) and Deen is quick to underline his passion for porn and dismisses any idea of moving into mainstream acting. His affection for porn and longing to work in the adult entertainment industry started at a young age and has continued every since. He did however concede that if the right project came along he would consider any opportunity with an open mind.

Out back I chatted with Stavia Verte, an exotic model who in this film is one of its actresses. She’s fabulous and gutsy and very clued up as to the “business” side of the industry. I suppose that’s what shocked me so much, everyone on the set really understood how his or her industry worked and were certainly not going to allow anyone to take them for a ride.

In an industry where women have the lesser hand, Nielsen is quick to explain how important it is to have positive female characters in this film. I watch a demo scene of a futuristic earth, one where Deen’s character- President Weinstein (a Jewish President… impossible!)- has imposed a ban on sexual activity. We see two female scientists who are in charge of time-travel. Nielsen explains he wants couples to be drawn to the film, not just regular porn fans.

It will also have some impressive digital effects, courtesy of Digital Dave, and having seen the camera equipment (valued at a $200,000) the picture is just as clean and defined as any other moving picture, just with a slightly lesser budget and more skin.

I walked away from the set completely blown-away by the way the adult entertainment industry works. For most, they see the job as a job and go back to their regular lives after wrapping. They don’t appear to be any different from any other working actor in Hollywood, the only difference being they have sex for a living.


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