iPORNOGRAPHY: an Interview with iPhone Pornographer The Madame

iPHone Porn iPornography Keyhole Sessions The Madame

A few years ago, the idea of shooting a high-quality porn film on your cellphone would have been impossible. Flash forward to 2013, and a movie called Because I Want You To Watch is recognized by the Feminist Porn Awards‘ Golden Beaver Award for Canadian Content. Directed by Keyhole Sessions visionary The Madame, the video pushed the DIY porn genre deep into the technium. Spurred by its success, The Madame produced two more: Drips, Clicks, Squirts and No Artificial Sweeteners. At the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, the later won the competitive honor as Best Short. We interviewed The Madame to learn more about what we’ll dub her “iPornography” and any tips she may have for budding iPornographers.


Did you work in video before filming with your iPhone?

I had only worked on smaller graphic details for video projects when I was an design agency Art Director, but had never produced anything myself. I love film and video projects, and had always wanted to try my hand at it. Phone cameras made that possible, accessible.


How has The Keyhole Sessions and photography informed and inspired your iPhone porn?

I’ve always been a great admirer of photography, especially of the human form. I wish I had the head to understand all the aspects of shooting with a real camera, especially one that uses film, because I love the tactility of it. Sometimes I wish I had gone to film school to become a cinematographer or editor, instead of design school. But you know what they say about hindsight.

I had wanted to experiment in erotic video after being surrounded by amazingly talented photographers at our Girls on Film events. But since I don’t have a proper camera, I considered hiring someone to shoot for me. Getting all the logistics of that together was just too daunting. I wanted the right rapport with the person, and because I’m extremely particular, I was afraid my vision wasn’t going to come through someone else’s lens.

I figured I would just experiment with my own iPhone camera. I’m pretty good at finding ways to mask poor camera quality with editing programs and apps, so my first trial was with an iPhone 3GS and a 8mm app that added grain to the film. That became the Drips, Click, Squirts series. And it looks like old school 8mm: kinda shitty, but kinda cute.

Knowing that phone cameras and apps would only get better, I just kept using my phone as my main tool because I like the portable nature of it, and how intimate I can get with performers.

No Artificial Sweeteners

What is the biggest tip you have for someone using their phone to film porn?

Daylight is your best friend. Phones aren’t that great in low-light, and the quality is greatly affected. I always ensure I’m shooting with as much available daylight as possible. And it makes skin look great.


What apps, lens attachments, and editing programs do you recommend?

I use a desktop editing program called Adobe After Effects. I got so used that for my design projects, that I just stuck with it, but I would like to move over to FinalCut Pro.

There are simpler editing apps out there, but for a more robust edit, I prefer desktop.

As for attachments, I could go overboard on accumulating them. There are great options for extra lenses for phones, like Ollo, and Moment Lens. I stay away from the PhotoJoJo online store because I would buy all the things, breaking my already low budget for shooting.

So my kit is pretty simple. Just my phone, an extension cord, and my Smoothee, which is the phone version of Steadicam. Great for moving around my subjects, but it takes a bit to get used to balancing it.

How do the different iPhone camera/video qualities stack up? Have you upgraded to the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? (Have you ever tried filming with the iPad?)

The leap from iPhone 3 to 5 was massive. I shot Drips, Clicks, Squirts on a 3GS and it was pretty muddy. I skipped the 4 and grabbed the 5 and the difference is phenomenal. When people see my films, they’re amazed that they’re shot on a phone. I love hearing the audible gasp from the audience when the credit “Shot completely on iPhone 5” appears.

I haven’t shot with an iPad. I find them too cumbersome. The small footprint of the phone in my hand makes shooting very easy.

I would love to upgrade to a 6 because it offers shooting at a high frame rate for slow motion. I’m a sucker for slow motion and would love to shoot porn with it. Once I can afford the upgrade, I’ll grab it. There are slo-mo apps, but they’re not quite where I’d like them to be.

Related PinkLabel Posts: 

The Madame will present a 2 day Workshop on DIY Porn with Toronto sex shop Good for Her,  November 1st-2nd. (She is joined by short workshops with Shine Louise Houston, Jiz Lee, Tobi Hill-Meyer, and the folks behind KRUTCH film, Clark Matthews and Mia Gimp.) Learn more about The Madame online at thekeyholesessions.com. You can also follow her on Twitter. Watch her Keyhole Sessions films on PinkLabel.tv!

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