Harry Sparks and Anna Claire Clouds discuss The Visitor.

Podcast: Anna Claire Clouds & Harry Sparks Talk ‘The Visitor’

Like its title character, The Visitor is not easily characterized.

On the surface, it’s a science-fiction movie about an alien who lands on Earth. But it’s also a touching romance about two lost souls, a playful comedy with subtle physical byplay, and a government conspiracy thriller. “Plus, there’s a lot of really good sex,” jokes its leading actor. The movie’s director, Harry Sparks, is a true student of film, drawing from an array of influences to produce Elegant Angel’s first feature porn movie in over a decade. Helping him bring his vision to life is Anna Claire Clouds, a performer whose acting talents are surpassed only by her skills in the bedroom. We chatted with Clouds and Sparks in two in-depth interviews to delve into the making of The Visitor.

Listen to the podcast on your favorite platform, watch the video version below or on Adult Empire YouTube, and check out the full topic index and transcript.

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Interview topics and transcript

The Anna Claire Clouds and Harry Sparks podcast interviews cover the following topics (select dropdown arrow for transcript):

Anna Claire Clouds

Storyline of The Visitor

The Visitor is basically about an alien who is finds himself in a small town with a lot of people that have different takes on it. I’m the one of them that is open to getting to know him and hiding him. And then there’s other people that want to find him, like the CIA. So it’s just it’s a wonderful, funny, thrilling, sci-fi movie that just fully encompasses everything that you could want in a good sci-fi movie. Plus, there’s a lot of really good sex.

Science fiction fandom

I used to be more into sci-fi. I’ve read a couple books recently, that are really good sci-fi books. A few of them are just super great. And a fan actually give me a book that was really really nice. It’s Leviathan Wakes by James a Corey, which is really good. I’m more of a sci-fi reader, I guess, than I am the watcher.

Clouds’ previous sci-fi projects

I’ve done an old movie, which I don’t know if this is technically sci-fi but it kind of is. I did a not porn movie, like a regular movie, called Videoverse on — I think it’s on TV and Amazon Prime and stuff like that. But that was a sci-fi movie about getting stuck in an old ’80s VHS recorder and having to find our way out and I was in that movie.

Working with Alex Jones

Love Alex! Alex is not only an incredible talent in general, but he’s just a really nice person, too. He’s really easy to have sex with and have lunch — with which you do both while you’re on important set. So also I found out through this movie is a really wonderful actor. So it was really great just capturing what we could on camera acting and really having fun with our characters. Just really having a lot of fun.

Best porn scripts

Recently I was in a movie where I was a character who was a seemingly kind girl, but there’s quite a few twists and turns of my character — I don’t want to give anything away. It’s not come out yet. But it’s really a wonderful movie. And I was really excited about the role — a lot of hidden meaning, foreshadowing in my character, a lot of foreshadowing, like characters that I’d have to show through what I was doing, which was really fun to be able to play around with.

Finding her character in The Visitor

I really read the script. Harry Sparks is incredibly good at describing exactly what he wants the character to be like. He will even pull from other movies, scenes from other movies, saying this is kind of how I want this to feel, if you’re wondering, or this is how I want your character to elevate throughout. This is the level I want you to get. And the Harry made it really just so easy to want, you know, to be exactly what I needed to be.

Influences: Euphoria and Starman
[Harry Sparks] pulled some clips from Euphoria. There were some other really good clips that he pulled, too. [ . . . ] Starman, he pulled a clip from that, which was really, really good that I really enjoyed. And yeah, he pulled clips from a bunch of things to really show us exactly what do you want from the role. And I think that’s great.

Gonzo versus feature porn

There’s a bunch of different types of porn nowadays, feature movies, and story-based porn is a huge process. So there, a lot of the times actors will be put into categories. The other one is gonzo, which it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s gonzo, it’s being involved. It’s documentary style, in the motion and the action. I don’t know what all I’m allowed to say! So I’m kind of tripping over my words a little bit, but they’re in it. So there’s those really those two different styles.

And a lot of the time actors get into those two separate, very separate, categories. So you either have a lot of acting experience, or you’re really, really, really good at gonzo. Nowadays, I find that there’s a lot of actors that are transcending into both roles, where they aren’t just going to go to set and fuck and then leave. But they also are able to memorize lines and really dedicate to a character, understand what needs to be done as far as camera and lighting. So a lot of the times, it can be where acting isn’t the forefront of what somebody is doing.

But I wasn’t sure if that was the case. for Alex. I only shot a lot of gonzo with him. But he is one of the performers that transcend into being able to do not only one but the other. And that’s great. I am also a performer that likes shooting both styles of content. I really like the variety of what I can do with my career, because a lot of it is very acting-based and sometimes it’s nice to just go and then leave. Sometimes that’s nice, too.

On the set of The Visitor

Harry made an effort to make sure that that was something that we would be able to do. And also all the actors, every single actor that was on this movie, they’re incredibly professional. So they came in knowing their lines — it’s not like any of us came in not knowing what we already thought we would be doing with the role. We all came in knowing our lines, we all came in, we just kind of needed to block it and just polish it to what exactly what Harry needed for the shot.

Nathan Bronson as the boyfriend

He’s funny. He’s great. He stayed in character. He was rocking it out for almost half the day, which I think is the funniest thing. He’d come out of it and say, I’m so sorry. But he stayed in character. For me, I find that when I’m acting, I am really having a fun imagination and playing make believe. So when everybody else is playing their part, it’s really not hard to imagine that this is Nathan, this is Nathan right now. Because even when the cameras are cut, he’s still ad-libbing and stuff that he thinks his character would say. And it’s he’s he’s just so funny that even when he’s being mean, it’s kind of funny. There’s a few things that got cut out of the movie where he’d say something, and the whole crew would just crack up. We just couldn’t! It’s supposed to be mean. And it is mean. But it’s coming from Nathan. So there were a few parts that we would have to cut out. Because he’s just so funny, but onscreen, it was easy to play make-believe with him and just pretend that’s who he was. Because in that moment, it was.

Improvisation on set

There wasn’t a large amount of improv, no. But if there were portions of the script that anybody felt like their character wouldn’t say, we were open. You know, we could say that to Harry at any point. There were a few scenes. Like the funny scene with Alex, where we’re running around the table, there was a little bit of improv and there’s a few little bits and pieces where you can see that there is a little bit of improvisation, but we really tried to stick to exactly what Harry was looking for. And if we wanted to change anything, he was very open to that.

Previous scenes with Alex Jones

The first thing that I did with Alex, I want to say it was a blind date scene. So I go, and he goes, and we don’t see each other. And we have an interview style conversation with a sheet between us. And then they reveal each other, and we have sex. So our initial sexual encounter, it was very charged, like there was quite a bit of teasing. It was not normal, and I couldn’t see him, it was not super normal [compared to] another porn. So our initial sexual encounter was very passionate as well.

But over time, we’ve really under gotten to know each other’s body through the years of working with each other on different sets. And this, that and the other thing, I feel like it’s gotten better — personal opinion. But we were passionate from the jump. I don’t know if it’s just the circumstance of that, that initial shoot that we were doing, or what, but from the very start, Alex and I have always had very good passion for every single scene. Very lucky for that first initial scene that created that timeline of passion throughout.

Working with Nicole Doshi

I love her so much. She’s such a silly, fun, authentic individual, she is so authentically, Nicole, all the time. She’s just so great. And she’s another one of those people that I wasn’t sure if she liked acting or not. I’ve just seen her really, really do well at gonzo scenes. But I didn’t even know if [acting] was something that she’s into. She’s great at it. She is so good, great facial expressions, knows her lines and just passionate sexually as well. So working with Nicole was just an absolute dream. I just absolutely it this was one of the longer projects that I’ve worked on her with. So multiple days instead of just one day. And it everyday she was just fun to be around. She’s literally a hoot. One of the funniest people, Nathan and Nicole together, hilarious actually — it made the set very good.

Harry Sparks: director

He is kind. And I think the thing about Harry is, he is just so creatively dedicated to the project. Disrespecting that is that’s not something that any of us would want to do that. Disrespected that, in my opinion, in everyone’s opinion, would just be one of the greater forms of disrespect. So he didn’t really have to be stern. That’s why we had fun — because we all understood the task at hand. And we all understood that we had a limited amount of time to do it. So Harry allowed us to be ourselves and to really enjoy things. When it was time to work, it was time to work. So yeah, he doesn’t really get stirred. He is a very gentle and kind individual that is just creatively driven rather than anything else. His first few projects, he added days — he was so dedicated to working on getting exactly what he wants out of the project and creating something that’s more than what people are expecting from a porn.

The Visitor as fish-out-of-water and coming-of-age story

I am a Southern belle that happened to turn into a pornstar. And this isn’t a character. I am 100% me. I know a lot of people have this character that they play online. And this is 100% me. I’ve always kind of been a fish out of water, but I like it. I’m breathing just fine. So I love a good fish out of water story. I love a good comfortably uncomfortable story. I love a coming of age story. I feel like for me as my character I’m growing out of her relationship with the shitty boyfriend. Alex is growing as an alien. And it is really a coming of age story, too. I definitely agree with that. But life is kind of a coming of age story. So I can yeah, there’s both of those things definitely pertain to me.

Anna: an authentic personality

I’m going to be a goofy goober and then switch to sexy immediately whenever I want. I’m very intellectual when I want to be — all of these. I’m a mixed bag of a person. So it is what, but online, I don’t know what strangers think online, though. To be honest, they might [think it’s a persona]. But when they meet me, they’ll realize right away, oh, this is not this is a fake. This is very real.

Visual effects in The Visitor

Personally, I have a lot of fun with it. Like I said, I’m playing make believe. I’m playing it. I have a very incredible imagination. I think that’s a big part of  — side note, I think that’s a big part of being a pervert is having a great imagination, because you have to have sexual imagination, along with having an imagination in general with life. So I imagined that everything that Harry said was there in my head was there and that’s exactly what I thought. As silly as that sounds. That’s what I did. I fully roleplayed and imagined and just got into whatever I was doing, and whatever Harry was saying. There was nothing that we had to do like 22 or 30 times. We didn’t have to do anything like a multitude of times. So maybe if I had to do it that many times, it might start to get a little bit weird, but we got the shot within the first few takes.

Southern roots

I think a lot of it is just my family, to be honest, I’m very close with them. And I’m very down to earth and very humble because of them. And I understand my roots and where I come from and where a lot of people in my town that I came from, to understand where what can happen with a lot of people. In my town, I’m very grateful for the outcome with me and the outcome of my family and the outcome of everything. We came from a good place, but being in the South, there’s not much there. You know, there’s not much to aspire to. And everyone in my family has really turned out wonderful with just great, great success stories. And, yeah, that’s probably what shaped me to be the person that I am today.

How Clouds became a pornstar

I started modeling. And I was doing a lot of modeling and music videos in country music videos and stuff like that. And I became friends with somebody who hired me to do comedy work with them, actually on Vine. And some of it was a little bit more adult-based. But I was okay with that. Because I was very comfortable in my body. And I’m very, very open when it comes to anything like that, and always have been. So I was comfortable with that. I thought it was very funny. And he had a Snapchat that he had sold. And he recommended that I make one. And I thought about it for quite a long time. I came up with a marketing plan. And I dropped it around my birthday. And the first day I made like well over $20,000. And then I stopped everything that I was doing — eventually stopped everything else I was doing and just switched full gears and went into full marketing in the adult arena online. And it was great. It was absolutely wonderful, and quite a bit safer modeling. Nothing wrong with modeling. But I’d rather be in the adult industry than modeling any day. I can be whatever way I want. And I’m always in the same situation and everything is always like they’re always catering to me. But with modeling, it was a little bit different.

Porn as a safe, welcoming space

Every single day they ask me what I want for lunch and get me a robe and bring me water. And if my nails aren’t the right color for the scene, they paint my nails. I really do enjoy my job.  And whatever stigma behind it — because if that’s what you got to have to feel good about masturbating to it that’s on you, man. That’s fine, but I’m good. I’m educated, happy.

Attitude toward masturbation

I love masturbating. Active masturbator. Active imagination. So, sometimes I don’t watch porn. Sometimes I do. Depends on my mood and if my phone’s in reach. But yeah, I still mess with definitely every single day. And I think that it’s for me, personally, I think that it’s healthy. For me, I might pop a blood vessel, from stress or something if I didn’t masturbate at least once a day.

The virtues of story-oriented porn

Love yourself a little more, man. You’ve got more time. You’ve got a little bit more time. You can you give yourself five or 10 more minutes to watch a really, really well done scene from some people that you can go their Twitter, and you can ask them a question about how it was to shoot that and they will actually respond. Just give yourself a little bit more time to watch it. And I think you’ll find that it’s very, very good. It’s just a lot of people dedicate a certain amount of time to sex or to masturbation or things like that. So I can understand why a viewer might not watch the beginning. But give yourself a little bit more time. That’s my pitch. You say you have five minutes. You’re worth 15! Give yourself 15 minutes watch the full scene. Because you can, you know what I mean? You can do that.

Working with Julia Ann for Sweetheart Video [watch this scene]

Julie is great. She’s just so nice. I came in and it was just such an easy, wonderful fun day on set. And I knew she was a legend, of course, absolutely smoke show of a woman and I knew that it was going to be a wonderful sexual experience as well. But well, she’s Julia Ann for a reason. She’s really wonderful. And just so good when you’re watching the scene, you can tell you’re like, man, that was real. She is so, so good. I really liked fucking her. I really, really, really like fucking her. So yeah, love that scene. And it was great working with her. She was super knowledgeable. She was wonderful. Very open, honest down to earth, just fun to be around, joked around. Yeah, just a normal person, just the most normal kind person, like somebody that would talk to you at a grocery store, and you have a random giggle, and walk away from the conversation and be like, “Huh, I’m going to think about that for the rest of the day. That was really nice. What a great person.” She’s that person. But also, just a fucking absolute legend. So Julia Ann’s great. I could I could go on.

Career mentors

I asked a lot of questions. Just I love asking questions. To be honest, it would be really, really hard to name one. Yeah, any single person, I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk to in the industry has been very open and honest with their experience. And tips and tricks — like my full ability to do anal is because of women in the industry. You would think it’d be the men, but it’s the ladies. They’re the ones who taught me how to do this. And I absolutely love the ability to do that, like learning something new in your adult life, a new sexual experience in your adult life is kind of hard to do as a pornstar, a little hard. So yeah, it was at a lot. Just almost every portion of my career, I have probably asked somebody a question and I’ve gotten a very honest answer.

So it’d be hard to name just one, to name all the women in the industry, as I said, because they truly are such just amazing and giving people. They will give you information. At 12 midnight, if I need to know something, I could text three girls and all three of them would text me back. Even if I hadn’t spoken to them in like a year. This industry is great at helping. It’s really, really good at helping with information.

Anal onscreen and in her personal life

I tried it a little bit in my personal life. It happened great whenever I was drinking tequila, but that that doesn’t count. So, I just didn’t think that it would ever be something that I could do. To be honest, I always thought that my body just didn’t react well to it. And you can’t do anything like that on set ever in a million years. You could never drink tequila on set. I was like, well, I can’t do it. You know, it’s out for me.

And then finally, I spoke to a few girls that were really really good at doing anal. Alexis Tae, Maddy May, Jane Wilde — who else? There’s so many other girls that I spoke to do. I’m going to feel bad for not naming all of them. But there’s so many women that they basically taught me how to do it on my own comfortably. And eventually, after doing it on my own for so long, I thought, oh, yeah, I would like to do this with another person. I definitely think I want to do this with another person. And I practiced a little bit in my personal life and then eventually did on camera. So that’s really what it was. But it’s really because of the women in the industry, they taught me how to do any of it, which I was doing all wrong. I kind of just thought that you use a lot of lube and you hope for the best with anal. And that is not the case. That is absolutely after years of knowledge. Now, that is absolutely not the case. So I have my own routine, and it works out great.

Anal tips

It’s a muscle. This is crazy — I know girls that can just squat and think about her asshole opening, and then it opens up. So it is a muscle that you train. So let’s say you’re taking the biggest dick in the world tomorrow, and you only have one day to get ready for that. That’s not going to work. But if you over a long period of time, like I did, just practice, get used to knowing what it feels like in your brain for those muscles to be engaged in that way. And then, using that muscle memory, whenever you’re actually having sex — I’m not going to say everyone’s body can do this. But I will say if you can do that, you have a much higher likelihood of one being able to and to really enjoying it. Because for me, personally, my body, my muscle memory of doing that was not a thing. That wasn’t a thing. But after lots of practice, I had a lot of muscle memory. And now it just kind of happens. It’s great. It’s wonderful. So that would be my best advice. Don’t practice to stretch. Practice for muscle memory.

Being a Spiegler Girl

When I first signed with them, I’d already been established in the industry when I first started with them, so I wasn’t new signing with them. I had already been established, and then features and this, and I’d done several things. So when I spoke to them, I asked them what they would want to do with my career but had the opportunity. And I didn’t tell them what I wanted. I just kind of wanted to hear — a little bit of a test. And at this time, I just left my other agent. And I just kind of wanted to see what other people would say. So I was interviewing a few people. And their response was to the T exactly what I wanted to do without me even giving them any prior knowledge of that.

So that is what it’s like being with George and Spiegler and being a part of Spiegler girls. It is like being people that already know what you want to do with your career. And you don’t even really have to tell them. Yeah, so I really do enjoy being a part of people that really do believe in me, they truly do believe in me and understand my talents and abilities and they see it as what it is and something that deserves to be showcase, which I think is great. That’s hard to find within any industry in entertainment. And within mine for sure. So lucky and super grateful for them, beyond grateful.

The misconception that women don’t really like sex

Isn’t that crazy? I mean, I think if you really think back, I think it all stems from — just like anything else — it’s religion. But old-timey religion, this burn her at the stake [thing]. So let’s go over that first. But I think a lot of it stems from a lot of shame, from whatever it might be, whether it’s religious or sexual, just identity from femininity in general or identity within a woman in her sexual femininity. For me, personally, I have more questions about why you continue would continue to try to have sex with women in general, if you don’t think they enjoy that. That is more a question for the people that think that, you know what I mean? They’re straight men trying to have sex with women. And they don’t think that they enjoy it. So I don’t know. But my chemicals in my brain work just as good as yours. So yeah, I feel urges and sensations, just like anybody else might. And I love a serotonin and dopamine boost. If you have a girlfriend and she gets excited, you bring her home, a little drink, little treat. She probably likes sex too. It’s serotonin. We just love feeling good. So if you think women don’t like feeling good, you might need to meet a few more women.

Working with Stormy Daniels on Hysteria

Hysteria was really a fun experience. It was really great. And I loved the concept of the movie — it’s kind of playing on the fact that they were just talking about that women that enjoy sex are crazy and go crazy for sex. And that’s all they could do if they enjoy sex, but didn’t know they could just have some other things going on, if she’s going crazy and into sex at the same time. But working with Stormy was great. I loved working with her.

Remember the white-out eyes that I had when I was in the dead version of myself? Yeah, those eyes I put in the beginning of the day. And I couldn’t see through them at all. Only shadows and you saw the scene. It was in a very dark, dark place. There was not a lot of light. So very few shadows with those contacts and those white-colored contacts in and I had those in for like, eight or nine hours. During the day, I had a designated person walking me around to make sure that I didn’t run into anything. Yeah, walking me around places. So I was really in character that day. But there’s one thing that was cut from the movie, where I’m walking from one door to the other in that hallway, I’m walking from door to door and instead of making it to the door, I’m run straight into a wall headfirst. And I just the whole crew just busted out laughing. They’re like you were doing really good. It was really serious and you ran right into the wall. So yeah, that’s a good. That’s a good memory from that movie for sure. And we had to get a lot of clips with me in those white-colored contacts. So I was absolutely okay with having them in all day. But it was definitely a weird experience. And Stormy — I thought that I didn’t need somebody walking around with me. Personally, I had a lot of faith in my ability to walk around with no vision, but they didn’t think it was a good idea. So they designated me a person for the whole day. That helped me with everything that I needed to do.

Award wins

I’ll say I’m really proud of all of them. Really, genuinely, I’m really proud of all of them. Because I have so many memories with all some, just so many days with all these people, not only the individuals that I’m having sex with, but the people that are cast and crew. I’m just so so so proud to be a part of these projects that are getting any form of recognition. For all of our hard work, the Girl Girl Performer of the Year award that I just won, I’m extremely proud of because of all the women that I’ve gotten the chance to work with, you know, again, really lucky to work with such incredible performers. I really have super lucked out when it comes to the talent that I’m paired with.

And so I’m really proud of all of them. It’s so hard to pinpoint, because it kind of envelops the memories that I have with all of these people. So all of them for sure. And what I would like to get in what I’m gunning for, for either this year, hopefully this next upcoming year, or the next few years, some of the bigger awards at ANN, and XBIZ, was Performer of the Year. Some awards that I’m hoping to come out and a few other a few other things that I would like for sure. I’m trying to not trying to say too much, because I’ve got a few things cooking up over here. But yeah, I have a few things that I’m definitely gunning for this year. But regardless of receiving those or not, I am so, so, so, so proud of every individual that I get the chance to work with. And whoever gets it out, whoever gets anything every year always deserved it. So I’m freaking excited to see.

Upcoming projects

I couldn’t just name just one project right now. I have so many incredible projects coming up. [ . . . ] And I really, I could fuck I could plug a ton of other things, but I really just want everybody to go watch The Visitor. That is what I want everyone to watch so badly right now. We’ve worked so hard on this movie. And I’m really excited to see it. Every single bit of content I’ve received, teasers and trailers and stuff that I’m not allowed to post right this second but I’m dying to post. It has been so fucking good. Please watch the video with me. It’s going to be good. I’m watching it when you guys are watching it. So don’t you worry. I’ll be seeing it as a viewer, too. And I’m fucking raring to go. I’m so excited! So just watch The Visitor. That’s all that I want.

Harry Sparks

Storyline of The Visitor

“It’s about this character named Kate. And she’s in a relationship not really going that great. She has her boyfriend Chad that lives with her. But she’s not really getting everything that that she needs from him. It just so happens that one night she sees something in the sky like a shooting star, which is almost like a wish, like a wish upon a star kind of thing, where this alien named David crashes to earth. And he eventually makes his makes his way to meeting Kate, and everything starts rolling from there. But unfortunately, of course, there are others involved that are interested in this alien race and finding out what what the deal is. And it unrolls from there. I think it’s very much inspired by tales or movies that came out in the ’80s.”

The influence of Steven Spielberg

Well, Close Encounters and especially E.T. — movies that spoke to me on a personal level when I was when I was a kid seeing them for the first time. Probably his work influenced me the most as far as wanting to become a filmmaker. So it’s kind of like I made it as a as an homage to those films in his work, but also but it’s also a fish out of water tale.

And I think that’s kind of the way I felt often in my life, especially growing up and I think a lot of people can identify, like when they come to a new town or when they come to a new school. Feel alone maybe.

The origin of the idea

I’ve always had in mind that this story about an alien it comes to earth and how humans and how other people would react. And that always fascinated me. I was interested in seeing how that will play out in a
dramatic kind of way [and] an erotic kind of way. I was interested in seeing how that would work.

The development of the story

It is pretty much the way I imagined it [at the beginning]. Of course, once you sit down as you start writing it, story and the characters, they develop a life of their own and lead you the writers in the right way. I mean, I knew what the ending that I wanted. I knew what the end would be. I knew what the beginning would be, but it always fascinates me how characters interact and how people interact.

Surprising aspects

I think for the characters, it surprised me that they’re not really any bad guys or villains in the movie.And it was interesting writing to see how the basic human kindness would come out of all the characters here at the end.

It surprised me personally that for years I’ve kind of avoided like, if you’ve gone through a divorce or ended up relationship you you kind of or some people, especially me, or either avoid being in relationships for a while or cut yourself off and so writing this actually surprisingly, I felt like it gave me hope you know, for I just know that there are good people in this world.

Casting

The main character, play by Anna Claire Clouds, I’ve worked with her a couple of times before in smaller roles. And I always felt that she had the talent and she’s a great actress.

And that’s something I noticed right away. I think the first time I’ve worked with her, I asked her if I asked her if she’d done acting in the past, because I told her that she should do more of those procedures. She’s great. She felt this character because she makes the part real, you know, she’s not your typical star. I mean, she’s an actress. She’s someone that people can relate to. And so, she was my first choice.

The alien played by Alex Jones — he seemed to be someone that was very likable. He was a good actor, is a good actor. And he knew right on set, he knew how to portray this character. I didn’t really have to give him a lot of direction on how to do his character. He sort of knew it. And that was a big relief.

And Alex Coal, I’ve worked with her before. She always gives a great performance. And I think she fit the role perfectly. And same for Isaiah Maxwell, I’ve worked with him before. And I think he’s a really good actor and doesn’t always necessarily get the credit or goes unnoticed, but he’s really a good actor, in addition to being a good performer.

And this is also my first time working with Danny Steele. He surprised me how really good he was. I mean, he’s terrific in this movie. He plays one of the FBI agents. And then there’s Nathan Bronson, who was really good. This is my first time working with him. But I had heard amazing things about him. And he’s actually pretty funny as well. There are a lot of takes in the film that I write that I have to hold back from laughing to avoid ruining a take because he’s so good at improvising. “I didn’t write that!” But it made the character so much better. So we had a really good cast.

Alex Jones as the alien

I’m happy to have him on this film. And we gave him a wig. But other than that, it’s really him and his performance. And he has a good chemistry with Anna Claire Clouds.

Did the casting draw inspiration from specific mainstream actors?

I think what I had in my head was just very generic, generic characters. Because the guys from the FBI, you would just imagine them having dark sunglasses, you know, wearing suits, but I had no idea what their personalities would be like.

Balancing sex and story

That’s always a big challenge. I mean, because I think this story has to come first, what the story needs, everything else, the characters. And otherwise, it’s like saying you’ll have a good night have a good scene, but it won’t really fit. So I was trying to make sure that any type of scene will fit into with with the rest of the movie. It makes the scene better, because, you know, there was a Michelle from American Pie who said that you have to make sure that you turn the oven on before you put in the turkey. And I think that’s true, because it makes everything more balanced. Because if it’s out of balance, it was too much, then it doesn’t really work.

The influence of classic sex comedies (American Pie, Porky’s) on his work

“Oh, yeah, I’d say the biggest influences is the humor, the sense of humor. But also, it’s [that] those movies often explored coming of age and things like peer pressure. And just because that was a time that I guess I grew up on, but also movies like an American Pie that were influenced by those. But it’s mostly about the humor and the feeling, again, of there is always a character in that is coming of age and trying to deal with all the pressures of becoming an adult.”

Alex Jones and Nicole Doshi’s chemistry

And there’s a lot of humor that can be drawn from being innocent and not understanding the customs of another place where where you are kind of a fish out of water, not quite understanding. Like there’s a scene that I love that’s between Alex and Nicole there. She was trying to explain, you know, what she does for work [exotic dancing]. It’s probably better [that] she just shows shows him.

But also, I think back when I was a kid, I was on a trip with my family, and we stopped at a motel or something. I forgot why I was doing it. But I was looking in the mirror and I saw my dad. And I was like, making faces and then he he would copy everything that I did. And so that, for some reason, that kind of stuck with me.

The shooting schedule

Total shooting days were for about five days total. I think that time allowed us to really focus on performances and get really good performances. I think if the schedule is too short, then you don’t have the opportunity to really make the performance is a priority as much as the sex scenes.

Directing actors

I think I tried to offer suggestions. But I was really trying to see what would an actor brings to it first. I have them run this scene through, and then if I’m still not getting it, then I’ll try to find something about them that they can maybe recall or relate to, in their own life to bring to the scene. And usually, we don’t go more than three or four takes because if you’re not getting it by then you probably won’t get it. But I think most of the time, you usually get it.

Usually people are getting tired. And again, most of the time it’s usually on the first or second take that it happens. Usually the second or third take you’re just refining, just making small adjustments to what they’re already doing. But I think with this cast, I think their instincts about how a scene should play were right on. That this is also my first time working with Nicole [Doshi] and she’s another one who might not get a whole lot of opportunities for acting roles, but she’s amazingly good. I mean, she’s great.

Working with Nicole Doshi

She’s great. And then she’s always positive and fun on set. And I think a lot that, that’s her personality.

The biggest challenge of shooting The Visitor

It’s a very emotional movie, but that was one of the big challenges, too, to bring that emotion across. But a lot of cases, when you’re making a science fiction film, or you’re asking your performers or actors to look at something that’s not quite there. And it was like, they all got it, they all understood it. And that was one of the things I was concerned with, before shooting is like, are we going to pull this off, I think. There’s always the challenge of getting everything done within a short amount, relatively short amount of time. And it’s not easy to shoot a feature in five days, but I think we managed to do it.

Actors using their imagination for VFX shots

I didn’t have any paintings or drawings to show them what it will look like. And it had to depend on them the use their imagination, and it had to depend on myself to explain what was happening. But all of them took the direction very well. And so I think it’s pretty convincing. When I was putting it together, when I was editing it together, I was surprised. I was actually surprised. Wow, this show actually works. Well, it was such a relief.

The best sex scene in The Visitor

I would say probably that is the scene between Alex Jones and Anna Claire Clouds, I think. Because it’s more of a sort of a slower, more romantic kind of scene. It starts out that way at least and then it sort of grows in intensity. I was really concerned about that scene before we shot it because it’s a different kind of scene. Now the question is are people are fans going to be into it or not, but I felt it was important because it’s more romantic, and it has to be. The relationship is the core, the soul in the movie.

Expectations versus audience reaction

I made a movie called the Seventh Kind I was really into. So it was kind of a dark movie. It’s kind of weird. I was proud of it — it didn’t get a lot of attention. But yeah, I think I have made movies like Beauty and the Beast, which was a tale that I’ve always wanted to tell. And I think most people got it. It’s still like one of my bestselling movies. And I hope people will get it. I think for the most part people have gotten it. You never know. All you can do is really is make a movie that you hope that people will like, you make a movie that you’d like, and you hope that there’s at least at least one other person out there that gets it.

Experimentation and creativity in adult cinema

There’s so many different tastes for many different audiences. There’s hopefully something out there for for everyone. And yeah, whereas with mainstream, they’re very risk adverse. So it’s very hard for these executives that are under a lot of pressure to have a big hit movie. But don’t get me wrong, because also the pressure in adult, because if you don’t make a profit on your film, it’s hard to make another winner because of that wide variety of tastes in adult, there is more of an opportunity to experiment and do a wide variety of subject matter and to experiments, especially if you’re financing on your own.

Harry Sparks: man without a niche?

It’s hard to be pigeonholed or put in a box because I have different interests that I like to explore, different genres and different subject matters. So I don’t really like being put into a box like he only does horror or he only does sci-fi, only does this. Yeah, I mean, I want to explore different genres because it’s more challenging. Yeah, in general, I always have trouble writing my bio, even my bio on social media. I have trouble explaining myself.

Becoming a director

I went to film school. But before that, even in high school, I was making mainstream-type genre movies on Super 8. But then after film school, I thought maybe I’ll be like a computer animator. So I learned everything I could about, like AfterEffects and special effects.

I made two mainstream features, which were independent films, but they had a erotic kind of horror vibe to them. Then I think, as I saw, I was at home once or one night, just watching TV. And this news flash came on about this adult film being screened on campus. And I’m like, “What?” So I stayed up watching the 11 o’clock news, and it was a news report about Pirates. I just found it fascinating that this movie, you know, had special effects and these costumes and these high production values, but it also had the erotic side. And so I was interested in exploring that. And I think that eventually led to where I am now.

Adult classics that inspired him

I think it’s all the classics like Debbie Does Dallas. There was Beyond the Green Door and even some films I think in Italian cinema intrigued me.

Influential adult directors

Well, there’s a few that I have always admired, like Robby D, who just passed away unfortunately, recently. I always liked what he did with Digital Playground. I always liked some of the film that came out from Elegant Angel in 2010, 2011. I always like Portrait of a Call Girl, directed by [Graham Travis.]

Mainstream directing versus adult directing

I think the qualities are really the same. I think it helps to have a vision of what you want. I think it’s important to know your craft, and how to tell how to how to tell a story. And I mean, when I know there’s some features that are more story-based than others, but I think it’s important for everything to have a beginning, middle, and end. And if you’re able to tell the story, that’s probably the most important thing I think. Even in adult, I think that’s, that’s important.

Technical pet peeves

I have a background in art and photography. So I think composition is important. I think how a scene is staged — I think lighting is very important for me. I think those are important, but I guess I’m really particular about a script,  trying to make the script as good as it can be before even shooting because I think it’s a big part in how your higher movie comes out.

Revenge of the Petites

I’m pretty proud of that movie. We shot the whole thing in seven days, but I think it was one day of pickups, so maybe a total of eight days. And we had a pretty large cast. I think the movie was like an adult version of American Pie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High where it’s touching on a lot of themes that people could identify with. I haven’t watched it in a few years. But I think it’s one of my favorites.

Re-watching previous work

Yes, it’s kind of hard watching your older stuff. Because you’re thinking God, I can do so much better now. That’s feeling I think most filmmakers have, because you always learn something new on each project. And sometimes it’s hard to go back and watch your older stuff. And sometimes you’ll say, Oh, my God, I can do so much better.

Proudest achievements

I think this one, The Visitor is probably the one I’m most proud of, because it feels more personal. So I’ll always look fondly on Petites, because that was my first big movie. And I look back fondly on being Beauty and the Beast because I think that was a movie that he came out close to what I had envisioned.

Beauty and the Beast

I think I was heavily influenced by Pan’s Labyrinth. Basically, telling you a fairy tale in my head [as an adult story]. Yeah, but I’d say there’s probably more [of] just my visions in my head, that feeling of how the story should turn out.

Upcoming projects

I really don’t have any ideas for future projects at the moment, but I’m sure if I sat and thought about it for a while, something would come up. I guess it would just be a project that was very epic in scale, but also very, very personal. I can’t put my finger on exactly what that would be.

Do budgetary restrictions force you to be more creative?

Yeah, that’s always been the case. Even on the ones that I’ve had a larger budget on, it never seems to be enough. And so it’s always about problem solving, how to how to solve this problem. I think it forces you to be more inventive, or more creative. That’s always fascinated me, because the problems are solving subjects like math. When I’m doing a lot of problem solving, is I think, taking something that you’ve written on the page and then putting on film —  that’s problem solving. That’s how to do it and how to do it within, you know, basically a small amount of money and then make it effective to make it work.

The Visitor: Part Two?

I think it’s a situation like at Starman, or Cocoon — well, Cocoon had a sequel! [Laughs] But it’s kind of meant to be like a once-in-a-lifetime story about this alien that comes into this girl’s life. And to have her experience, something that she hasn’t experienced before. And to give her hope, and that’s it. For her to go on with her life, no matter how painful it might be. So I don’t know if a sequel would work. I think it would probably hurt the original, or maybe, because it’s more about the experience and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So a sequel probably wouldn’t work.

Harry Sparks image courtesy artist’s X (Twitter) profile

For more, check out Elegant Angel’s Anna Claire Clouds interview:

Anna Claire Clouds- The Intergalactic Interview

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