TRANSPARENCY

June 16, 2019



Recently you see the same words and labels circulating - words like, ethical or feminist can be easy buzzwords to look for, especially in relation to porn because (despite what they might say) I believe that some people watching really do care about how porn films are made and the people in them. I know this because I get to read the messages of support you send and the questions you ask.
 
We don't and haven't ever chosen use these words in relation to the Four Chambers project (despite the fact that it might improve some SEO or google positioning or other branding stuff that I'm not very good at) I'd like to think that everyone making porn or creating anything that's self directed thinks they're doing it "ethically" - but that's exactly it, ethics are essentially subjective - there's no universal definition on GOOD or BAD, it's all based in our own moral values, culture and perspective. 
 
Just putting a label of ethical/honest/feminist on something without a clear idea of what that label means in reality for the people its meant to protect is just advertising, plain and simple.
 
That's maybe more complicated and potentially dangerous than it initially seems. When we take these definitions at face value we might not be look beyond them and push to ask the important questions about what's actually goes on. It can mean that it plays into ideas about divisive respectability politics, adding more shame and layers of heirachy to an already stigmatised community.
 
So we don't reject these labels because we don't care about ethics or we think they're not ideas or issues worth talking about, it's exactly because they're so important that we refuse to reduce them to advertising buzzwords.
 
So let's talk about them.
 
We thought about it and honestly the best way to decide if something is worth your attention and funding is to have the information about how the project runs behind the scenes and on set, so that you have what you need to make your own informed decision.
 
When we began making films as Four Chambers we started with the idea of a co-op or an art project, the aim is and has always been to centre transparency as much as possible as a priority. Talk is cheap and language and buzzwords means nothing without actions. We often reject labels for our project and performers, we don't want to brand ourselves one thing or another when what really matters is just what we actually do on the ground.

This is not to say this is the objectively or universally correct or best way, this is just what feels right for us and our project. We think it’s important to know what kind of project you’re supporting and potentially funding and where that money goes.

So that's what we're aiming for in this post, so that it can be reference point for potential and current project supporters, performers and collaborators. I tried to write about what I would want to know. Thanks for reading.


THE PROJECT

Four Chambers is mostly just 2 people. Based out of the North in the UK, hello.

Vex works full time on the project amongst other online sex work and has a partner (who has to remains anonymous because of what they do) who works part time around another full time job. 

All the films, camera work, the editing, the photography, graphic design, merch design, writing and maintenance is by Vex and her partner unless otherwise stated.

The site is built and maintained by Matt (@matthooks) and the site design is by Vex with help and tweaks by Matt.

Vex has an assistant, Peg (@paegward), one day a week to help with some social media, emails and merch orders.

The music in the films is sourced from sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud and then we pay to license the track from the artist for use in our films. The cost varies from artist to artist but we are currently looking to license for approx $500 a track. We won't pay more to license a track to be a film than the performers were paid to be in the film.

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Performer pay is a priority for us. Porn performers take on the most risk in a society that unfairly stigmatises putting sex on screen. We have always paid a flat rate to all performers regardless of gender, physical characteristics, “fame”, experience or acts taking place. The rate for a full scene is currently $1100 per shoot.

This rate has increased as the project has grown. Some of the very first films back in 2014 were shot for content trade (where all parties share the rights to sell the content) and since then we have paid between $200 - 1100) through the years as we have grown. Since mid 2017 the rate has been constant at $1100 at the peak of our Patreon fund. When we lost our fund and were removed from the Patreon site maintaining this fee for performers was a top priority. 

This fee is not fixed and will increase if the money we collect for the project increases and we work to build our fund back to where it was on our own site. If the project grows, this rate will continue to grow too. 

In lieu of royalties we run an affiliate scheme for performers. This means that performers promoting the films and the site can receive a percentage of the profits for any person that signs up through their promotion. We share 40% of the profit with performers using this scheme.

Prospective performers can contact us at any time before their shoot for an update on the current revenue of the project so that they're able to make sure the compensation we're offering as a shoot fee feels correct and fair.


Performers are prepared for our intentions for a shoot and for who their scene partner/s will be before the shoot date.

Performers provide a list of what they do and don’t want to happen on camera and what their likes and dislikes are for shooting sex and any physical limitations we should be aware of. This is then recounted and corroborated with an in person conversation with everyone involved on the shoot date before shooting begins.

Performers get the chance to eat before the shoot and/or have food provided throughout the shoot provided by us. 

We aim to make sure shoots last no longer than half a day maximum from start to finish.

Performers are able to specify the level of barrier protection (or not) they wish to use in a film without question and before a shoot date and on the day.

All performers, even if performing with a regular sex partner, come to set with a STI test within 2 weeks of the shoot date. Tests are shared with us beforehand and everyone performing can see the tests of their partners on the day before shooting begins.

If performers wish to bring a chaperone to set they’re welcome to do so, this is agreed prior to the shoot date so everyone involved on set will be able informed (and can negotiate on) who will be on set during their shoot.

If a shoot is cancelled last minute by us for some reason any costs incurred by performers (testing etc.) will be reimbursed.

There is no requirement from us to performers for orgasms (fake or otherwise), particular positions or acts unless directly negotiated beforehand with performers in line with the concept of a film. We try to “script” the sex as little as possible and in conjunction with input from performers beforehand and on the day. Everything is up for negotiation.

Performers get the chance to review their film before it’s released. They have the opportunity to veto any clips or shots they might be unhappy with for any reason and have them swapped out or changed.


SUPPORTERS

Our aim is to keep the Four Chambers project as financially accessible as possible, we keep the cost of supporting the project as low as we can to be sustainable but we understand that for some marginalised people on very low or no income, any cost may be a luxury that's not affordable. In this case we offer the potential for a skills exchange for site access.

We aim to release a new film every 1-2 months, all other films are available to view at all times.

Supporters can cancel a pledge at any time and they will still have access to the site for the whole month they've already supported for, no instant access revokes which means you don't have to remember to cancel on a particular day to make the most of your pledge.

We don't publicly use labels or many descriptors for our films, we try to include information about the films and things like references and content notes in our blog write ups. We understand that for the information and sometimes the safety of the viewer they might want more information about a film before watching. If you there is specific information or questions you'd like answers for supporters (and potential supporters!) are always welcome to get in touch with us and we'll try help and advise.

For any further questions about the project you’re more than welcome to contact hello@afourchamberedheart.com

Thank you for reading and supporting, and making all this possible.

Vex + 4C

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