FILM / Britporn: a vice little earner

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The Independent Culture
Like the 'bankrupt stock' barrow boys and the official receivers, pornographers are one profession doing nicely out of the Nineties. 'We've had a few calls recently from young couples who got into debt with loan sharks and were then forced to make pornographic films,' Rachel Wingfield of the Campaign Against Pornography says. 'And a lot of women who contact us are in abusive relationships with their husbands and boyfriends who force them into doing it.

'But most illegal hardcore in Britain is made by pimps. There's a very strong link between prostitution and pornography.' Cap has also heard of pimps hanging round homes for young people in care.

There are other primrose paths to 'adult' stardom. One free magazine in London contains seven ads for 'models'. 'I don't make movies about people killing each other, so I'll never get an Oscar,' said the brash chap who answered one of the numbers. He claimed to produce 'tasteful Mayfair-style glamour' sold mainly in America, but later also admitted to 'open-leg, explicit nude work'.

The ad promised a fee of ' pounds 200 plus' a day - 'this is the easiest way you're ever gonna make any money' - although the photographer could earn as much as pounds 2,000 for his commission. This was as far as your reporter was prepared to go in pursuit of her story, but the definite impression was that opportunities were there.

Unless you are in the Ginger Lynn league (and even she admits that much has changed since her salad days), you're unlikely to enter a glamorous world. The soft 'porno-chic' of the early Seventies, like Emmanuelle, is long gone. Most adult films are now shot on video, and budgets have plunged. One director claims that a film can be polished off in three days' shooting and two days' post-production.

The other big change is the 'privatisation' of porn. 'It's a very lucrative market ever since the great fear of Aids,' said an importer of adult films, in the French magazine CinemAction. 'People have become voyeurs rather than consumers. It has done the porn business a lot of good.'

Almost all the dank cinemas have disappeared and porn has entered the living room. According to the French importer, 'it is likely that 80 per cent of American middle-class adults have watched one or two porn cassettes at home', a view that Ginger Lynn shares. The next step is computer bulletin boards and phone- lines, which will cut out even the need to peer under the counter in video stores and make surrogate sex a wholly secret, 'guilt- free' experience.