Joybear is a rapidly growing and award-winning British porn production company. They shoot scenes that are both sexy and clever, working with natural actors and scripts that will pique the interest of women, men and couples. I had the pleasure of interviewing Joybear’s founder, Justin Ribeiro dos Santos, who tells us how he started the company from scratch and stuck to his vision of porn.
How did you start Joybear?
I went on a Playboy reality TV show back in 2002 called Head to Head. Playboy were looking for a new film director. It was also a competition involving newbies making a porn film from scratch. We were given eight thousand pounds and three weeks in which to do it. All this with a camera crew following our every move. I won the competition. As my name was read out a good friend of mine, who had come to support me (and who had done very well since leaving school), leant over and said “I’ll lend you some cash if you want to start your own company”. The rest is history.
What was your vision for the project?
When I first started Joybear I knew very little about the industry. However, I was clear about the road I didn’t want to go down. I wanted to avoid all the porn cliches and try to marry up my love of film with my passion for porn. Eleven years on and that’s still our mantra.
Joybear counts on several female directors, was that an important aspect of the project for you?
Whilst we have a female director on our team two of our directors shoot under female pseudonyms. We don’t do this to try and sneak under the feminist radar. If Joybear films appeal to women and we have been accepted by the feminist community I would like to think it is down to our productions as a whole and not the director’s gender. Our films are designed to be enjoyed by women and men. In order to achieve this female creative input plays a vital role in our process. That said, if someone shares our vision and can bring something to the table we would love to hear from them. Female or male.
You won a feminist porn award last year, what makes Joybear a source of feminist porn?
We won best soft feature. I would like to think it’s the overall look and feel of our films that resonates with a feminist audience. Just as Pixar don’t set out to make films only for kids we don’t actively try and make our films feminist. We are a group of creative people who think porn with lots of kissing, dynamic female characters in control and a generous dollop of female pleasure is standard. We are also focused on making our movies as filmy as possible without compromising on the porn bit. I think a lot of women appreciate that.
Several people told me they liked how natural the porn stars look in your films, have you been getting this feedback often? What is the most common comment you get from viewers?
That is very kind as finding natural looking performers is the next biggest challenge. Our head of production, Vanessa (and yes that is her real name), does a fantastic job with quite a small pool of talent. I think their spontaneousness is enhanced by the way we shoot. We don’t always get it right but when we do the result is electric. A lot of viewers also comment on the everyday scenarios that our films are based on. We leave the slightly far fetched ideas to other production companies.
How is Joybear going to evolve in the next few years?
We now have the team in place to improve on the quality whilst simultaneously cranking up the number of productions we make. I know people appreciate what we do. It’s now time to give them a little more.
Watch on Joybear.com!