Moyst - The Movie
2003-09-12 11:39:34

I chat with Hart Williams, a journalist and screenwriter in porn from 1977-87.

In 1983, he had an idea for a porn movie that he eventually shot in 1997 (two additional scenes in 2001) and is now ready to release at www.moyst.org.

Hart: "I was looking through my old notebooks. I had sketched out the idea for this movie in 1983 but none of the technology was available. When we started this in 1997, I thought it was, but it wasn't.

"I started out to make this cute Alice in Cartoonland, and we ended up with Fantasia."

Luke: "Why did it take so long to bring out?"

Hart: "I had to wait on the technology. Alpha is the first entirely synthetic character in X. She is a 3-D person with a synthesized voice. Alpha started out as my producer holding her nose and trying to sound like a computer.

"People come and go quickly in the business. I wanted to have this film released while people were still alive."

The movie stars Randy Storm, Candy Hill (cameo), Cassidy, Ice, Emily, Krisztina from Eastern Europe, Zensa Raggi (Euro star), George (Emily's Significant Other at the time, a big Russian guy walking around in cowboy boots), Red, Peir (European), Brian Surewood.

Moyst was mainly shot in Los Angeles in 1997 over three days. The movie features five sex scenes of 15 minutes each, except the last one which runs 20 minutes.

Hart, who edited the movie: "All the software I started the movie with is not the software I finished the movie with. When we started, there were no animation possibilities. There's at least 15 minutes of animation in the film.

"Back in the Silver Age (mid eighties), I wrote 32-produced screenplays and a bunch more that were bought and never produced. I watched patiently as filmmaker after filmmaker turned my pretty little scripts into sh-t. The big problem I've always had with porn is that they don't do any post-production at all. The music is stolen out of an elevator. The stuff is slapped together. Just once I wanted to see a film where somebody took some time and did some post-production work. When digital technology came along, it was finally viable."

Luke: "How did you finally get distribution?"

Hart: "For now, I'm just distributing it off the website www.moyst.org."

Luke: "What do you think about the review you got from AVN?"

Hart: "When he read it, it was obvious he had no idea what to do with it. And that's what I wanted - something that nobody had ever seen before. There's one scene where the couple turns into smoke. I got to the fifth sequence and realized I had to do something to top myself. I thought, What would Esther Williams (famous for her swimming pool scenes) do? It is seriously advised that when you watch the fifth scene, you do not have any liquids around. People have been snorting beer and milk out through their nose when they see it. I had a feel that women would laugh harder at the fifth scene than men would.

"The genesis of this is that many years ago, I had dinner with many old high school friends in Santa Fe, NM. They all knew I'd been in Hollywood working for Hustler, Adam, Velvet, Oui... They all said, We like to rent these tapes. How come they all suck? I asked them, What is it about these tapes that suck? They made a whole laundry list. That jibed with what I'd felt for a long time. That is, if you're in the business long enough, you lose your sense of smell. What is a turn-on to civilians, is no longer interesting to you. Because of the peer nature of the business, it turns into a freak show. How many people in the gangbang? How many people in the bukkake? Oh, she takes double penetration five times. That's interesting to people in the business but people outside the business are grossed out. A lot of Moyst was going back to first principles.

"That's the biggest problem the AVN reviewers had. It has a different sensibility than classical porn. I stay within format. I worked within magazines way too long to want to jettison format. Formula is a big part of the business but I subverted the format every chance I got. People like each other in this movie. They kiss. They engage in foreplay. Nothing goes in any holes that weren't designed for it. There's no threeways or girl-on-girl. It's just boys and girls doing what boys and girls do with attention paid to all the little things go into it. The difference between the porn experience of sex and what you actually experience when you have sex. Lots of boys and girls rent these movies and think they're a primer for how it is supposed to go. The cum shot has become a minor fetish in America. I remember thinking back in the '70s, nobody has sex in this way. The positions that are good for the camera are terrible for sex. And all the porn actors and actresses I knew admitted that they never have sex in their personal lives the way they do on screen."

Luke: "But isn't the point of porn fantasy?"

Hart: "That's the point. This is a totally literalistic field. Take the orgasm. Look. Cum shot. The most subversive thing I do in this movie is to take it back to metaphor. It's one of the reasons there are no condoms in it. I'm all in favor of safe sex. I don't think anybody wants to watch it with a condom. Nobody slaps anybody around. We had this hard and fast rule with the actors - I don't want to see you jerking off. If we want to watch people jerking off, we'll buy gay solo films. We're not paying you to have fun. We're paying you to act out fantasy.

"All of the action takes place in a virtual world - one of the things that [AVN reviewer Mark Kernes] really hated.

"One of the things you hate about porn films is that it is obvious they shot it in somebody's hotel room. I've seen that painting. That instantly takes all the fantasy out of the situation. One of the fun things I did when I got bored was to create another virtual world. This was all done entirely on a Pentium three, which I built myself."

Luke: "After listening to many of the things you said, let me give you what will be a common criticism of the movie - you made it for yourself, not for the viewer."

Hart: "I didn't make it for raincoaters. I made it for the huge audience out there that would like something they relate to. This was based on market research. Over the years, people I know kept saying, This is what we want. If I had made it just for myself, I wouldn't have told the agent, Go ahead and cast it. Everybody has a different thing that turns them on. I wanted to get as wide a sense of tastes as possible. For instance, I don't like blondes. But we have blondes in the film.

"The videogame market out there makes more money than films and records, and 60% of those people are over the age of 18. Nobody has ever tapped that market [for porn]. The things I did for me were production things. I wanted to see some special effects like solarization. When normal people see monster shots in natural colors, it looks gross, but when you see it solarized, it looks beautiful. If this was the first porn you ever saw, I think you'd have a positive experience."

Luke: "You were out of porn for almost ten years, what was it like getting back in?"

Hart: "It's like riding a bicycle. Once you've developed the filters, it doesn't affect you any more than back in the day when I was on a different set every week. You get used to every porn set having a funky smell. Very quickly when you're in the business, you don't smell it any more."

Luke: "That's so true. That so happened to me."

Hart: "Because I've been out, I've been able to go back to the place where I had a sense of smell and I'm able to say, how does the normal person react? People in porn don't make movies for the audience. They make movies for each other. That's why every press release boasts about setting new gangbang records, or DP records, or anal records... That's not something the average consumer cares about. I've had housewife after housewife say, Lesbian scenes gross me out. So I decided not to put any in there. This movie was put together based on what the audience asks for.

"I've been a writer for 30 years. I found the process of authoring a movie a lot like authoring a book, you've just got more to do. For instance, you always want to end a chapter with a cliffhanger. This was the same way.

"Doing a story in X is totally different. You can't just spotweld a story onto it and interrupt it for sex scene. Because you have these 15 minute gaps, you have to rethink the whole process of narrative and make the scenes push the story forward. And make sure the story isn't too complicated. You only have 10-15 minutes of narrative in a [porn] film.

"Some people try to do these utopian 1970s tracts. They want to show people how swinging is great. Take The Devil In Miss Jones. The basis of the story is - how come I didn't do this when I was alive. It was a tract for the swinging '70s.

"When I saw the first Emmanuelle (starring Sylvia Krystel), directed by Just Jaeckin, I thought it was a brilliant tongue-in-cheek parody on the Casteņeda's 'Don Juan' books. I laughed all the way through it. Only later did I find out it wasn't meant to be a comedy. They were serious."

Luke: "Did you try to go through the normal distribution outlets?"

Hart: "I started to make the effort but I haven't pushed it hard. There have been all these [technical] issues with mastering. We need to get some cash flow going. When I have everything in hand, I will go to all the companies and see if they are interested. A big part of the problem is, I'm aiming at audiences they've never tried aiming at. If they try to stick this through normal distribution channels, you're going to get reactions like you got from AVN. I know I will be successful when the straight porn world hates it. I made a movie you can't watch with your finger on the fast forward button.

"The difference between a reviewer and a civilian - the reviewer fast forwards through the sex scenes and the civilian fast forwards through the drama scenes."

Luke: "So how's life?"

Hart: "Life is good. I am so happy that I don't get up every morning and this movie isn't laying on me. It was intellectually the most difficult thing I've ever done.

"One thing that reviewers are not going to get is that the guy who is the hero is a videogame critic. I've been a critic for major newspapers for 30 years, so I'm poking fun at myself."


Reviewed by Mark Kernes
Published in AVN September 2003
Category: Alternative
Content Rating: NOT RATED
Company: Brown Bag Productions
Length: 109 Min.
Director: Hart Williams
Available Formats: VHS
Cast: Randi Storm, Krisztina, Candy TK*, Emily, Ice, Austin Towers, Zenza Raggi, Red, George, Peir, Brian Surewood; Richard O'Steele (Non-Sex Role)

Review: It's not clear exactly what the objective of Moyst (the video, not the game within) is. If it's to turn on the viewer, it's only marginally successful, what with all the sex scenes having been shot against a green-screen, with computer graphics added later as backgrounds plus solarizing and other video effects overlaid directly on the performers, who admittedly do their thing with some passion - all of which is subdued by an
obviously overdubbed soundtrack.

If, on the other hand, the objective is to create a more-or-less mainstream sci-fi tale, featuring the computer-generated nude Alpha (a decent accomplishment in its own right) to guide computer game reviewer Richard O'Steele through a series of sex scenes to accomplish the game's goal, then it's moderately successful, and always somewhat interesting to watch - if one's expectations are well below the capabilities of, say, Industrial Light & Magic.