‘Hot Girls Wanted’ Ep. 1 Lends Insight into Director Holly Randall

Hot Girls Wanted was hardly a favorite of the porn industry when it debuted in 2015. Viewed by most insiders as an anti-porn polemic, the movie was slammed in editorials by stars like Aria Alexander, Rachael Madori, Kate England and more. The documentary is now back, this time in the form of a six-part series, and it’s striking a more diplomatic tone about pornography. The first episode is entitled “Women on Top” and looks at the influence of female directors in porn, viewed through the lens of Holly Randall and Erika Lust.

It was a conscious decision by the filmmakers to take a more moderate stance than the first film did. “Some people felt totally enlightened by it, and some people felt it stigmatized the business and the industry. I know that was not our intention. In the new series, we wanted to show that there are many stories in the porn industry,” producer Rashida Jones told Rolling Stone. “We wanted to show where there was dark, there was also light.”

The stories of Randall and Lust jumped out as examples of the latter category. As the episode opens, Randall discusses her signature style and also the ways she’s had to modify it over the years. “I’m known for fabulous hair and makeup, great wardrobe, great locations, good posing, beautiful girls — just high-quality glamour work,” she notes. “All those little details that you put into something I think bring the production value up.” Behind the scenes footage from both Digital Playground‘s Quest as well as Adult Empire‘s own True Erotica provide a glimpse into Randall’s working methods. (They’re contrasted with those of Lust, which are glamorous but more political in nature. The Los Angeles Times described the juxtaposition of the two as “representing respectively the death of the old ways and the birth of the new.”)

Randall also touches on the effect of piracy. “Because so many people watch porn for free, shooting those high-end productions is very difficult,” she says. At one point, she thumbs through the stills of an older movie, an eight-girl orgy directed by Suze Randall (Holly’s mother and a famous photographer in her own right), and muses that films of that type and budget level are now a thing of the past. She’s also found that she’s increasingly asked to direct pornography from edgier taboo genres. (Porn movies featuring the “swirly” are a definite no-no, Randall says.)

At the close of the episode, Randall finds herself contemplating the possibility of a career change, with mother Suze Randall prodding her along. Lisa Ann also makes an appearance, noting that piracy has changed the business model for the adult industry. Will the current porn climate push Randall out the door? “Women on Top” leaves it as an open question.

Browse Holly Randall’s directorial filmography here.

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