Los Angeles – Reflecting the perpetual student interest in sexy cinema, the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts will hold a panel discussion/Q&A on the adult film industry Thursday April 4th on the USC campus (900 W. 34th St., L.A. 90089-2211). Participating in the event will be Vivid Entertainment founder/co-chairman Steven Hirsch, award-winning actress Allie Haze and legendary porn actor Ron Jeremy.
Mike Dillon, a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and organizer of “An Evening with the Adult Film Industry,” said the discussion will “focus on a range of topics befitting our academic environment: cultural attitudes toward sexual representations, business practices of the adult industry, legal frameworks (including the recently-passed Measure B), the myths vs. realities of the industry, etc.” He said he anticipates a “very interesting and informative conversation for our film students.” There is no admission cost for the event.
The event starts at 7 pm with a screening of the documentary Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, followed by footage from Star Wars XXX: A Porn Parody, recently named best-selling and best-renting adult film of the year at the AVN Awards. A humorous send-up from FunnyOrDie.com on Measure B, the law passed in November by Los Angeles voters that mandates condom usage in porn films, will also be screened. The panel will be moderated by David Lerner, Ph.D, whose academic expertise includes the histories of non-mainstream film genres that show how they relate to issues of censorship or broader cultural attitudes.
Panelist Hirsch launched Vivid in 1984. According to Paul Fishbein, founder of Adult Video News, Hirsch “single-handedly has moved adult entertainment into the mainstream.” His studio has won more awards than any other in the history of the adult entertainment business and in 2012 Hirsch was honored with AVN’s first Visionary Award.
Nicknamed “The Hedgehog,” Jeremy was ranked number one in the AVN “50 Top Porn Stars of All Time” list. He has acted in hundreds of adult films as well as several non-pornographic films such as The Chase, Orgazmo, Girls Gone Dead and 54.
Haze is a former Vivid contract actress who was signed by the studio shortly after she was named XRCO’s Best New Starlet. XCritic.com, a leading news and review site for adult movies, named her the “Female Performer of the Year” for 2012. She played Princess Leia in Star Wars XXX parody and under the screen name Brittany Joy played the lead in the mainstream movie Emmanuelle last year.
Among the subjects to be discussed by the panel are the impact of wider availability of adult entertainment, how cultural attitudes toward porn have changed over time, how different presidential administrations have impacted the cultural climate around pornography, how a major company like Vivid contends with the proliferation of online competition, what constitutes the Vivid “brand” amid all of these options, and what has spurred the recent trend toward adult parodies of mainstream films. Haze and Jeremy will be asked to discuss the differences between being a contract star and working independently, issues surrounding a performer’s longevity, differing standards between men and women in pay scale and work schedules, and how the nature of the business differs from what a star such as Haze expected when she started.