Can you tell us a little about your background? How did you get your start in this line of work?
My life behind the camera started at the tender age of 13, when I got a job with the local newspaper, being paid the princely sum of five dollars per picture. Ever since then, I’ve always found the camera my passport, my reason to be in the room, and as I’ve grown older and dare I say wiser, I started to examine what I’m seeing – as opposed to just witnessing it.
In terms of porn or “naughtiness” as I like to call it, I was originally creating promotional photos for exotic models/dancers in Vancouver as a hobby, but found they often did not show up or have the money to pay for pictures. So, I got the idea of asking them if I could turn it around, hire them, and post their photos online for custom work. It was 1996 and the orders blew up.
At the time, there were a lot of young and successful website operators with very deep pockets that had tried to call all the big adult brands with no luck. So, when they found me they became amazing customers.
What are your strengths as an artist? What are your weaknesses? How do you overcome them?
I think my biggest strengths are motivating other artists, working in a collaborative sense, and not being able to hold down a normal job even if I tried.
I think my biggest weaknesses are probably staying motivated, staying interested in something, and staying focused. ADD much?
The only way you can overcome these things is just to understand that all things, including time itself comes in waves. Sometimes you’re just down in the trough, well below sea level, but you have to keep knowing that the wave will surely build once more and as it does you will get to ride it again.
Are you a lifestyler as well? If so, how does this impact your work?
Yes, I’ve always been involved in the BDSM lifestyle. However, I was too in the heteronormative world or male-dominated / female submission realm, and didn’t really understand the full scope and beauty of Kink until I started filming my documentary “tOuch”
What is the biggest challenge that comes with working in the Kink, Fetish, and BDSM Communities?
The same challenge I had to face in myself, having this notion that there somehow is one way of doing it, the way that you’re familiar with, and that other people are somehow doing it wrong.
It’s like that old joke “if you’re doing less than me you are vanilla; if you’re doing more than me then you’re a sick pervert.”
What is the greatest joy that comes from your work?
I think the greatest joy is having the work resonate with people and bring some pleasure on a larger scale. Also, just getting to do what I love. I find that people who are open about sex and BDSM are just more genuine and interesting to be around. They are allowing themselves to live a truly authentic life, which makes them more thrilling to engage with..
What new projects are you currently working on?
I’ve been working on the same documentary for the last three years, “tOuch BDSM.” It’s about the secrets of kink revealed by following four interesting people for the last three years.
When I was young my parents were shy when it came to talking about sex. They actually handed me a VHS videotape to explain it for them. My movie is the “tape” I plan to hand back to them to explain my world and love of BDSM.
What would you say is your overall goal? How does your work help to accomplish this?
My main goal is, and I think all good art has the same goal, is to try and open peoples’ minds a little bit. To facilitate understanding and/or tolerance.
I love helping people become more open and realize that they are more than they thought.
What is the most exciting thing about filmmaking?
Starting a film and finishing a film.
Just kidding. I suppose it’s the adventure of meeting new people, going new places, and learning new things. It goes back to that idea of a camera being like a passport to new worlds
What is the most common misconception about how porn is made?
Probably the most common misconception is that somehow women are forced into it and are not doing it out of free will.
It’s true that there is an economic influence, and many people are doing it for purely economic reasons, but so many people do jobs for the money!
It’s just a shameless judgement society makes when people say sex work is not real work and/or is immoral in some way. Sorry, but building bombs is inherently more immoral than anything else.
What would you say is the overarching message that you want people to receive when viewing your work?
If you’re talking about porn I think it’s that there’s nothing dirty about sex, unless of course, you want it to be dirty. Then let it be dirty, dirty as hell!
If you’re talking about BDSM it is …
What drives you to continue to make art?
I’m actually just a very curious soul. I love to explore, to play. I love to get paid to think about things and make things up. It’s just some sort of fundamental need I have. I guess I never grew up and do not want too.
What advice can you give to someone that wants to enter into this line of work?
If you want to be a filmmaker, a porn director, or whatever, don’t do it for the money; those days are long gone.
You have to figure out what drives you, what makes you happy. Forget about the money because if you worry about the money, your whole life will lose any chance of being happy. Money may indeed lubricate things, but it is not The Thing. Remember that. Otherwise, you end up with lots of lube and nothing and no one to play with.
What is the most fulfilling thing(s) about your job?
Getting to do what I truly love to do-well, most of the time. Often it feels like I get to live several lives, which for me is wonderful feeling.
Any closing words?
Help! It’s a tough road to hoe, making a documentary that is. It is expensive and time-consuming. Please sign up for my newsletter and/or feel free to write me encouragement if you feel inclined. I am in the final editing stages and some days the notes from the community are the wind in my sails.
Max Candy is a Dom, photographer, documentarian, multi-award winning erotic/porn film producer/director and, a generally curious soul.
He is currently consulting for Whiplr.com to assist with the development of their app for the Kink Community and filming a mainstream, no not erotica this time, BDSM-positive, documentary film for worldwide cable T.V. release.
Boisterous, adventurous, and unapologetic, he believes, life should be a work of art, and good art should be about inspiration born from constantly questioning and challenging the world around you, free from the suffocating worries of always being liked or trying to fit in all the time. This is why he loves the Kink Community- for its so many lovely and often misunderstood kindred spirits.