I have a concern about HUMP!, which now has a national tour component. Specifically, are you living up to your promise a performer in HUMP! can "be a porn star for a weekend—not for life"?
As a performer in a HUMP! film (with my face clearly visible), I feel like I have standing to raise these concerns. I'm in the process of adopting a kid, I work at a university, and I'm a parent, all of which make me particularly sensitive. So I would like you to please answer the following questions: Do you still have a copy of my film, Don't Call Me Missy? If so, are you planning on showing it at a "best of" or on the tour? (It was runner up in the "Best Kink category.) And when specifically did you change policies and start retaining films after the festival was over?
I'm not sure that the new model effects me. But even if not, I think these new policies are bad for HUMP! itself. I think the wider geographical distribution, and even more importantly, the retention of films beyond the original two-week run, will scare off potential performers. It is one thing to put on a show for friendly locals, then have the films destroyed two weeks later. It's quite another to allow your film to be shown more widely, and also kept across time. Surely down the years employees with access to these retained HUMP! films will come and go, and with a drawer full of brilliant porn right there, it would be tempting to take a copy when leaving. HUMP! can not survive a leak. Not even one.
Hope to hear from you.
We haven't changed anything about HUMP! There are no new policies. We have never retained copies of the films that appear in HUMP! after the festival is over and we have no plans to start retaining copies. And we are still honoring our promise to do all we can to make sure that the people who perform in HUMP! are porn stars for a couple of weekends and not for the rest of their lives. All the films being shown as a part of the HUMP! Tour were resubmitted by filmmakers and performers who wanted their films to go on tour.
In answer to your specific Qs…
1. We don't have a copy of Don't Call Me Missy.
2. Don't Call Me Missy is not being shown on the tour. The only films being shown in the tour are, again, films that were resubmitted by the filmmakers and performers who wanted their films to be a part of the tour.
3. We haven't changed our policies! We still destroy our only copies after the films after the final screenings in Seattle in and Portland. So when we decided to do a tour we had to go out and find the filmmakers again—and that wasn't easy because we also destroy all the paperwork (contact info, model releases) after the festival is over. We literally had to hunt people down whose films we wanted to include. Some folks we contacted were excited about their films being part of the tour, some folks didn't want their films to go on tour. (The creators of a recent Best In Show winner—a film we really, really wanted to have in the tour—thought about it for a couple of weeks and then declined. We totally respected their decision!) People who did want their films to tour had to resubmit them along with new releases and new paperwork.
We do have one new policy: Starting with HUMP! 2014, folks submitting films to the festival will have the option of indicating in advance if they would like their films considered for a future tour.
I agree with you: We can not have leaks at HUMP! So cell phones are barred at all tour screenings and we have security guards at every theater to enforce that ban—just like we do at screenings in Seattle and Portland. And staffers from the Stranger and the Portland Mercury (all HUMP! veterans) are traveling with the tour. That means the films are always in our possession and the same rules apply on tour as in Seattle and Portland: No cell phones, no assholes. I'm personally going to as many of the cities on the tour as I can. We made the short film, above, to play in cities that I can't make it to. All the same HUMP! rules are in force!
Thanks for your letter and I hope this response alleviates your concerns. Once again: There is no drawer full of HUMP! films at the office.
P.S. Good luck with your adoption!
This email exchange was posted with Missy's permission.