"I WANT TO BE UNIQUE IN THE INDUSTRY"
His name is Ivan and he hails from Russia. That seems appropriate for someone named Ivan. His blinding web site presents nothing but half-naked-girls holding movie cameras. This unconventional camera show struck a chord with the users of Internet forum www.filmshooting.com. They linked to www.IamIvan.com, where a porno film director takes photos of his actresses holiding Super 8 cameras. We wanted to know who was behind the site, but first we discovered that our friend Ivan is really named Slava. He actually does come from Russia, though ...
Small Format Magazine
What was your path into filmmaking?
My original career plans were to be an artist or cartoonist. But in my first college when I took a Video Production class I fell in love with filmmaking. I graduated with a Commercial Art Diploma then spent two years at a Local Junior College taking Film Theory and History courses. After that I attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA where I got my Bachelors Degree in Cinematography and Motion Picture. From that point on I have been doing Independent Horror movies, it's been 11 years now of Horror movie making.
When did you choose to go into the Adult business?
The reason I decided to get into Adult was first for the pay check and creative freedom. I worked in Television for about 4 years when a porn company (Extreme Associates and Evolution Erotica) approached me to shoot behind the scenes for them. At first I thought this would be a short stint for me. But when I noticed some of the directors really not knowing their own craft, I asked my boss to give me a chance. And after a while they just let me run with whatever I wanted to shoot. Now it's been over 5 years.
What are the differences between normal film shoots and porn shoots?
The one common thing between both is the small crew and family type atmosphere. I used to work on small budget mainstream movies with small crews and our Adult movies are the same way. Everyone does everything and trusts each other. Besides that these are two different types of movie making. With Adult it's more of personal thing as there are people having sex in front of you. And in adult there are very unique and sometimes fragile personalities on set. So sometimes you play many roles as a director ... a confidant, psychiatrist, a support system, brother and so forth. You have to make people loose and comfortable so they can relax and give you a good performance. I used to work with a director who would snap at every little thing resulting in stressful sets and uncomfortable situations. In mainstream people are more to themselves doing their own jobs. There is a lot of baby-sitting on adult sets.
You are a collector of Double 8 and Super 8 cameras. What is so fascinating about them?
It's funny that everyone asks me that. I love filmmaking! I live for filmmaking. All I think is filmmaking. And I have this crazy infatuation with Super-8 cameras. They have such unique look to them and each one has a story to it's own and personality. When I hold one I think about the families from the past shooting their home movies on them. Or film students shooting their first projects on them. These cameras represent history to me and filmmaking at it's chore. I love girls and I love my cameras, so 5 years ago I decided to mix the two together and that's where "Girls with Cameras" originated from.
What kind of cameras do you love most?
I love all my cameras, but I do appreciate the three turret ones the most. I think having three different lenses on each camera is pretty creative and as a filmmaker opens up for you to get more creative. Plus they do look pretty cool on my camera mantel. They are like a really cute three eyed girl.
How big is your collection?
I have at least 30 film cameras and about 6 old projectors and yes some really fun Super 8 editing splicers. I plan on buying an extra big case for my house and making a fancy display of them.
Do you also work with Super 8 - perhaps just for fun?
Yes I love working with Super 8 film. It's a little more difficult to use then 16mm when it comes to lighting and exposure. But the look you get from it is terrific. We recently shot a short horror film like the old Silent films. It was called Bite of the Spider Woman, shot in black and white and made to look like Nosfurato and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I had a lot of fun lighting and shooting that. And we did all in-camera editing which made it very difficult but a great challenge. It turned out great. I have also shot some adult stuff with my Super 8 cameras and am planning more elaborate Super 8 adult productions in the future.
There are so many photos showing the girls of your porn productions with small format cameras. Why do you shoot these photos?
I love girls and I love my cameras. Plus I wanted to be unique in the industry. Most porn people are clueless about film and the cameras. To me it's my true love, so I like to show it off. I get girls emailing me asking to be in my "Girls with Cameras" pictures. It just makes our productions that much more fun.
What do the girls think about these crazy little old "toys"?
It's funny many of the girls are confused and some are so young they don't even realize that these are film cameras. They didn't know that these were the home movie cameras back in the day. They do enjoy the pictures. The girls do their own creative posses. You can actually tell which girls were into the picture taking by the galleries. If the gallery has a big variety of pictures then the girl was into it and had fun. If the gallery is small that means most likely the girl was simply going through the motions.
What is your personal backgrund? Where do you come from and where are you living today?
My background is a bit different. I was born in the Soviet Union and came out here during the Cold War in 1979. We lived in Austria for a month and half above a Whore house then in Italy for three months. It was a crazy culture shock for me with every country we traveled to. Once here in the United State I began drawing and working towards a life in the arts. These days I live in Hollywood, CA with my cat Ruffles. My cat doesn't really know how to use my cameras.