(Translator's note: This post is a continuation of a previous entry.)
Wotopi: I've always assumed that production work requires a lot of stamina thus sets consisted mostly of men. Can women endure working in this type of environment?
Bon Andou: On one hand working everyday on set may be tiring for some women, but it's still doable since most gigs rarely last longer than a day. Women on set can actually be a big help. In fact, most makeup artists on AV sets are women. Male makeup artists are rare as it has sometimes led to issues with the actresses. The makeup room is one of the few bastions of privacy an actress has so being holed up there with a kind someone of the same gender can lead to an even better vibe on set.
WO: So women do have places on the set after all?
BA: Yes, and some even can work as ADs. They'll know better than anyone the best type of snacks to buy to make the day go by faster. I recall a female assistant director who wrote a heartfelt note wishing the actress the best of luck in her performance. She affixed it to her bento box and I think it really helped her out because the pressures on set as an actress can be immense. Thus, female staff on set can be a lifesaver in ensuring vibes stay happy which leads to a smoother and trouble-free shoot.
People from various walks of life have an interest in trying out as an assistant director. In the regular film world, assistant directors generally learn by observation without getting their hands as nearly as dirty as Japanese AV AD's. However, the fastest way to start directing adult video is to begin at the bottom as an AD so this type of job attracts its fair share of applicants. It can also be rather independent for those who work freelance and really put in the effort. They have a lot of options as to when and where to work in a way that best suits their schedules and not the other way around. They also get paid right away. A hard-working AD might make 30,000 yen from a day's work (this may sound nice until you release a day's work usually means well over 12 hours of hard work). If the work 20 days a month, they'd make 600,000 yen (approximately $5000USD). That's sometimes more than a director's salary!
WO: What does an AD do exactly?
BA: A Japanese AV AD will do things such as moving luggage and set pieces, making bento runs, and even mixing up fake sperm. The last may sound surprising, but even the best actors can only cum so many times in a single shoot so fake sperm is sometimes needed. It's usually made by mixing egg whites and condensed milk. Sometimes a bit of cocoa is also added to give it a bit more color. Good assistant directors can mix up very realistic-looking sperm. It'll be put into a dropper and handed to the actor at the opportune time. This job requires a lot of attention so it's a good fit for women.
By Yumi Kihara
(Translator's note: AD = hell is something we have covered many a time. It's somewhat surprising how Bon Andou glazes over it in spite of this line of work being so demanding. Becoming an AD is easy. If you're a foreigner who speaks a bit of Japanese, has an appropriate visa or lucks out by finding a company that simply doesn't care, and is willing to work 12-hour days minimum, then consider applying to be one. Who knows...you could end up directing Japanese AV one day!)
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