Jacky St. James Interview

Captain Jack interviews Jacky St. James

Jacky St. James is the award winning director at New Sensations. She produced, directed and wrote the award winning The Submission of Emma Marx in 2013 and has continued directing some fantastic stories this year. She has a perverted view on life and that’s why I love her. I had the chance to talk with her a little bit about some of her recent releases and I hope you enjoy this chat.

Jacky St. James

Captain Jack: First, tell me about how you grew up. Where’d you grown up. What kind of kid were you?

Jacky St. James: I grew up on the east coast and it was a very white suburban family. My parents had advanced college degrees; my sister had her PhD and my dad had his law degree. So everyone was super, super ambitious and successful and I was raised to be the same way. I was raised in a Catholic family so the profession I’m in right now doesn’t make my parents jump for joy. (laughs) Their philosophy was to always go to college and get a career, which I did, and be as successful as you can be. That’s always been my MO, I guess.

CJ: Did you have any jobs in the real world?

Jacky: After graduating from college, I got a job in corporate America and had a very successful corporate career. I was on the east coast until I was about 27 and then I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. I quickly discovered just how challenging that was from the standpoint that it’s very political. I was a very big fish in a small pond on the east coast and then when I moved here, I was nobody. It’s really hard to wrap your brain around when you are raised to be successful and to be the best you can be and then you’re in LA fighting for jobs that would never come. So I went back into corporate America when I was out here for about 4 years. I watched porn since I was 18 and I was always pretty vocal about that with my guy friends. They would always send me links to clips. Then one day, a friend sent me a link to a clip of The Wedding Day which is from the Romance Series, the second feature film from New Sensations. And this guy was a mainstream Director of Photography so he knows what quality is. And he told me, ‘You are not going to believe this is a porn.’ And I watched it and I was just blown away. So I researched who produced the content and New Sensations happened to be running a contest for writers. And he suggested I enter because I was a good writer and just see what happens. I had a successful career so my goal was never to get into the industry but I thought how cool would it be to tell my friends that I wrote porn. I researched writing pornography and found Eddie Powell on Twitter. I asked him for some advice, I got his phone number and we chatted a bit. I submitted Dear Abby for the contest and it won. And it also won the AVN that year so it was like a whirlwind for me. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me! (laughs)
Dear Abby

CJ: You said you moved out to LA to get into the entertainment industry, were you looking to be a writer for mainstream?

Jacky: No, actually, I wanted to act. That’s what my training was in , I took acting classes my whole life. I had taken some courses on directing. So I was very familiar with it and after the acting thing failed, I didn’t plan on staying in entertainment. I kept writing on the side and that’s the one constant that’s always been in my life. But I never thought I could make money at it, ever. I thought it was just a great hobby. And the fact that I can get paid for something I love is great! (laughs)

CJ: You mentioned your family before, are they ok with your career choices now or is it still hard?

Jacky: No, they’re not ok with it. It’s a tough situation to be in because when you’re raised in a family like mine where achievements are everything, and then you achieve in a field that they don’t believe in, it’s irrelevant to them. When I won my first AVN and I told my mom, she didn’t want to hear about it, she didn’t want to have anything to with it. So from that point forward, I never even talk about porn, I don’t mention anything. It’s hard because you want your family to say ‘I’m proud of you.’ And I always sort of lived for their approval and now that they completely disapprove, it’s just that I have to live for myself.

CJ: Who do you consider your influences as a director?

Jacky: I’m more of an actor’s director so that’s the approach I always take. While I appreciate the directors like Steven Spielberg who create these visually, beautiful, stunning films, I’m much more of a director that’s helping the actors along. That’s more my style. That’s why I get along so well with Eddie Powell, he’s more of a visual director and I’m more of an actor’s director.

CJ: I just saw the Submission of Emma Marx. A couple reviewers compared it to 50 Shades of Grey. I never read the book so I stayed away from the comparisons in my review. Where did you come up with the idea?
Submission of Emma Marx

Jacky: My boss was thinking of a parody of the book. So my boss asked me to read the book and I was excited simply because I love erotic fiction. So I got the book and I absolutely hated it. I thought it was horrible. And I wasn’t really interested in doing a parody of it and, fortunately, our lawyers told us it wasn’t a good idea to parody it. And actually, another studio got involved in a lawsuit because they were going to do a parody of it. So instead, he asked me to write my version of what I thought a BDSM story should be for a girl that’s just entering the BDSM world. Don’t get me wrong, there are some similarities to 50 Shades like the wealthy older man and things like that but the story is from my viewpoint had I written 50 Shades of Grey myself.

CJ: Was that one of your tougher films to shoot?

Jacky: It was the hardest film I’ve worked on in adult by a long shot, by leaps and bounds. It was the biggest nightmare of all-time. Once the script was done, that’s usually the nightmarish part for me because I’m such a perfectionist. I had written the script for Remy LaCroix and Xander Corvus and right after the script got approved, I got word that both of them had quit the business. It was a temporary departure for both of them but it was devastating to me. I always write the language for the performer and what they can do as an actor and I didn’t know anybody else who could carry that movie. We went back to the drawing board and threw out ideas but nothing seemed to work. Nobody really made sense to me. There were some really big names that we passed on. We read a few girls and Penny Pax came in. She was the last audition and she had a successful career but she just kind of had just started the parodies. And she nailed it. I loved her through and through. And now that I look back, it was a blessing because Penny is Emma Marx and she embodies her in a way that nobody else could have. And then Richie Calhoun was just a natural choice. We didn’t even audition him because he’s a good actor.

Then, after that, we scoured locations and I finally found the perfect place, booked the performers, booked the crew and then the day before we were set to shoot, the owner of the home told us he had rented out his house and we could no longer use it. Penny was traveling for like a month so it was tough to reschedule. Also, Emma Marx had 121 scenes that we had to shoot in four days. So that was brutal. And then we ran into some issues in post-production so I had to do some re-writes even after we were done shooting. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. It was an uphill battle all the way. But it won so many accolades so I guess it was all worth it in the end.

CJ: I know it was tough, but is there going to be a sequel to it?

Jacky: I love that question! I get asked that constantly. It’s the only film I’ve done that I get asked about a sequel. I honestly don’t know. I never even broached the subject. It’s not something that I would be opposed to. I would definitely need Penny and Richie back. It’s something to think about. Also, sequel are seldom as successful as the first, unless you’re Indiana Jones. (laughs) So there’s that too.

Jacky St. James

CJ: What are the rules for the rough stuff in porn. Some studios can show spitting and slapping and choking while others can’t. Why can some studios show it and some studios can’t?

Jacky: It depends on the distributor usually. So there are some distributors that carry more softer content so they tend to not want the rough stuff. On this one, there was a distributor that won’t allow a red mark on the butt after it’s spanked which is a big problem when you’re doing a BDSM movie. The other thing that was unique to this for us because we don’t do BDSM usually, the distributor said that if somebody is fully bound and penetrated at the same time which Penny was in the final scene, that they can not be gagged. They have to be able to communicate consent or non-consent. So that was the parameters for that. And if we had a different distributor, we could do a lot more crazy things and I don’t think the film need it.

CJ: I don’t either. I don’t think there’s any choking in it or any severe BDSM stuff, it as like a mind fuck. It was still hotter than hell.

Jacky: Thank you.

CJ: Lately, you have come out with a lot of incestuous themed releases. I’ll admit it, I’m an old perv. I like them. What makes those stories attractive to you?

Jacky: I think it’s the idea of what’s forbidden and off-limits. It always makes it hot. Wrong consensual sex tends to feel a lot more exciting and better. I like the idea of people venturing down a road that they have not yet traveled. These are steps, so you could have conceivably dated them in the real world. But yet they have these roles they are playing where they’re steps and where you’re not allowed to touch them. And if you’re attracted to them, it makes it even more hot. For me, that’s really why I like doing the step stories, that’s my favorite of everything.

CJ: You only do steps, you don’t do real families?

Jacky: Yes, I only do steps. You know what sucks about that, there’s this self-regulating or self-imposed “don’t do it” thing in this society. There’s a real set of twins who are gay men that are actually related and actually have real sex. I think they’re called the Peters Twins. I think if you look on TLA Raw, it’s one of their best sellers of all-time. If it’s a top seller, there’s a market for real incest. I can’t say that I want to do real incest but I wouldn’t mind doing scripted incest.

CJ: I’ve asked performers this so I’ll ask you. Do you have any favorite disks that you’ve directed?
The Friend Zone
Jacky: My favorite is The Friend Zone. I wasn’t credited as director, that’s Eddie Powell. I did acting coaching on set. I wrote it and that’s the favorite writing I’ve done. As far as overall film, it would have to be Torn which is where I befriended Steven St. Croix and Remy LaCroix. I think it’s the easiest film I ever did and I think it’s because I was working with such unique people. And it’s just one of those movies where everything fell into place. I will always think of that movie fondly because it was one of the best experiences of my career. And I think it was the first production I co-directed with Eddie Powell.

CJ: I hear you just filmed your first girl/girl scene!

Jacky: I did! My first girl/girl movie is coming out soon. I just wrapped production on it. It’s a Vignette Tabu Tales Mother-Daughter. It’s exciting to do girl/girl for once. It’s with Elexis Monroe and Dani Daniels; Julia Ann and Dakota Skye; Ariella Ferrara and Sara Luvv and Dana DeArmond and Adriana Chechik. I think it’s coming out at the beginning of August.

CJ: I read on your blog that you do a Alfred Hitchcock thing and appear in every one of your releases?

Jacky: Even the ones I wrote, I appear in. Only features, the taboo movies, I appear sometimes. But every single feature, I appear in.

CJ: When the sex starts, how much direction do you offer? Do you tell them to change positions or do you let them just go?

Jacky: I let them go at it but normally, before the scene, I tell them what I’m trying to achieve during the sex scene. And what is off limits or what is ok. If we haven’t worked together before, I have to learn what that person likes or don’t like. I don’t tell we need ‘x’ amount of positions, just have fun. Obviously, we need variety and if comes to where they’re not giving us enough, I’ll tell them that we need more positions or whatever. But I try not to interfere and let them have a good time.
CJ: What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?

Jacky: I would just say, depending on what company you want to work for, really know the demographics that they’re targeting and what they’re going after because the companies are so unique in and of itself. If you want to be a director that films the harder core stuff, then you should research the companies that focus on that. If you want more scripted, then you should look to my studio or Wicked. Know your company. Also, do it for the right reasons. Don’t enter the business because you think it’s going to be cool or exciting but make sure you have a genuine passion for it because that’s going to shine through.

CJ: What does the future hold? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Jacky: Oh my God, I had that very thought today. I don’t know. I think one of my weaknesses is that I don’t tend to look very far into the future. I tend to focus as much as possible as to what’s happening right now. I think if I would imagine my life to be, I’d want to be a successful writer in whatever capacity I’m in. And that I have a house on a lake. That’s my dream! (laughs)

CJ: Any upcoming releases that we can look forward to?

Jacky: Obviously my girl/girl release is coming soon. And I’m going to be working on a new junior line for New Sensations which are vignette erotic stories. They’re shorter, like Emma Marx but shorter. And then I have a feature I co-directed with Eddie Powell called Second Chances that stars Carter Cruise. I think it comes out on Sept. 8. Carter is great in it. It’s a funny, funny movie and if you’re a fan of Family Guy, you’ll like it.

CJ: If fans want to follow you, what’s your Twitter address or blog address?

Jacky: On Twitter, I’m @JackyStJames and I have a blog at www.missjackystjames.com

Jacky St. James

Jacky St. James Movies

Pornstars, set up an interview with Captain Jack – message him through any of his forum posts (envelope icon,) or hit him up on Twitter.

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