Skin Flicks

Dan Savage On How To Make A Crowd-Pleasing NSFW Video

dan-savageWhen Dan Savage is not busy tempting Republicans with oral sex offers, he is watching the best–and worst–of amateur porn, sometimes for 10 straight hours. That’s because for the last 12 years, Savage and his team at Seattle’s The Stranger newspaper have been curating Hump!, an indie film festival showcasing sexy and quirky short movies that are most definitely NSFW.

Starting this month, Savage is bringing the best of Hump! submissions on tour to sex-positive cinemas all over the country. The films are only shown in theaters and are never made available online to ensure that filmmakers and actors are able to fully express every inch of themselves, without the stigma of having “done porn.”

The featured selections run the gamut. While a few of the films go the traditional porn-erotica route and include explicit acts of non-simulated intercourse, others are more jovial and light-hearted. Animated movies about how silly our genitals look, musicals about kinky fetishes and faux documentaries about being sexually attracted to centaurs have been crowd-pleasers in Hump! festival past.

This year, “Glory Hole,” a documentary about an elderly couple who met at a cruising spot and one of Savage’s favorite submissions, was an unexpected emotional hit when it was originally screened in Seattle and Portland about how lasting relationship can surface in even the most unlikely places.

We spoke to Savage and got him to dish out a few tips on how we can make our best Hump!-worthy porn debuts…

11017828_1007894689243625_5622982770172872961_nFollow you fetish: “The best films are made by people doing what they love and are really personal,” Savage said. “We want the festival to be diverse in gender expression and representation. Queer and straight and trans and cis and kinky and vanilla.”

No 50 Shades of Grey parodies: “We have this strange thing happen every year, like something is in the water and we’ll get lots of film that are very similar,” Savage said. “One year we got five different James Bond parodies. And they were all really good, but we can’t put five James Bond parodies in the show. Two years after that we got all these films with lesbian and bi women all of which incorporated fruits and vegetables. We had a lot of zombie porn the first few years.”

Don’t imitate commercial pornography: “What sets us apart from mainstream porn is that the people making the films are sharing their turn-ons and they’re doing something they’re passionate about,” Savage said. “People who hate to watch commercial porn because they think it’s dehumanizing, love Hump.” 

Don’t worry about production value: “You don’t have to be a filmmaker, you don’t have to have a professional crew you just have to have something interesting and beautiful and funny and hot that really speaks to you and that you want to share with people. There are films that have been literally shot on people’s iPhones and they are grainy without much lighting or much sound quality but they’re great.”

Be open to straight folks watching your movie: At the Hump screenings we have straight guys watching hardcore gay porn and you have gay boys watching lesbian cunnilingus on the giant silver screen. At first all anybody can see are the differences: what’s not their turn-on, what’s not the plumbing they want in their own beds. After 15 minutes in, everyone is cheering and laughing and people start to see what’s the same: the passion, the lust, the sense of humor, the vulnerability, the desire. Everything that’s going on underneath the different plumbing.

The Hump! film festival is currently on tour in select cities across the country.

Oscar Raymundo is the creator of Confessions of a Boy Toy.