Home-grown Talent: REAL Productions

“It's much more exciting to watch someone you know have sex than a complete stranger,” states Jason Danilak, president of Alberta-based adult film company REAL Productions. With this simple premise, REAL has grown from Danilak’s original idea of a small mail-order business into an active, thriving production company with 200 films and 4 cable television series under their belt. “From the start our goal has been to give audiences more than just a viewing experience,” Danilak explains. “We realized early on that guys don't fantasize about watching adult movies—they fantasize about being in them. By giving ordinary guys the opportunity to appear in our movies we've made this fantasy a reality. Simultaneously, our TV series have endeavored to give audiences a glimpse into the real lives of our performers.”

Offering a line-up of releases that feature “ordinary women doing the extraordinary” REAL Productions is responsible for titles such as Real Canadian Babes, Josie Jenatto’s First Time, The Erotic Adventures of Boy Nexxxt Door and many, many others. They have also produced the cable television reality series Make Me a Porn Star and the upcoming Tight—the story of an all-girl, porn star rock band. REAL was granted Canada’s first adult cable television network, Northern Peaks, in 2008. Meant as a destination for REAL’s own productions, the network is currently on hold.

In establishing REAL, it is the idea of “realness” that drives Damilak. “Audiences constantly demand new performers. I think it is a bigger turn-on watching a girl's first adult scene than her 100th. There is a sense with amateur performers than these are real girls you could actually have a chance with yourself rather than an unobtainable starlet in California.” For Canadian audiences, this may very be true. REAL has shot films across Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver, and everywhere in between. Jason notes that people are always surprised at the success they’ve had finding beautiful performers in small centres, such as Regina and Saskatoon.

From a business perspective, it seems Canadian girls are just the ticket. “While our movies are sold all over the world we've always sold exceptionally well in Canada because audiences want to see local girls they could meet at the local night club,” reveals Danilak. “Elsewhere, audiences enjoy watching Canadian girls because they're exotic, open-minded and attractive. Let's face it, Canadian girls are sexy.”

As one of the very few porn production companies in Canada, REAL enjoys some distinct advantages and endures some disadvantages. “Canada is much more open-minded about adult movies than the U.S. Few people know it but it's actually illegal to shoot porn in any state except California. In Canada it is legal in every province. The primary advantage to shooting in Canada is an almost total lack of competition.” Shooting in Canada also qualifies their content as CanCon by the CRTC, making it much easier to sell content to Canadian cable companies.

However, as one of the only companies here, there is no established industry, so REAL often finds itself doing things on their own. A lack of a network of adult film producers means REAL has to find crew and performers for shoots. “In L.A., for example, if you want to find a girl you just pick up the phone and call a casting agent and you can have her delivered to your location in a couple hours.” Danilak has had the opportunity to work with many of the large American productions companies, including Playboy, Vivid, Hustler, Red Light District, XPlay and most recently Adam & Eve. "I've always enjoyed the work of Rodney Moore because he had a knack for shooting really hardcore stuff but still making it fun which is something I've tried to do too. Some directors I admire are Will Ryder, James Avalon, Juan Cuba, Eric John and David Lord, all of whom I had the chance to work with this past spring while shooting Tight."

While REAL concentrates on their various productions, Northern Peaks remains in limbo. "When we applied for the license we were in a situation where we couldn't sell to cable companies directly, we had to use a distributor." However, as their repuation grew as a production house, REAL began establishing relationships with the cable companies. WIth the growth of those relationships, they now sell directly to those companies. "We may look at it again in future but currently we're enjoying the ability to sell to all the cable companies at once."