RAW! UNCUT! VIDEO!
Raw! Uncut! Video! (working title) is a feature-length documentary about Palm Drive Video – a boutique gay porn studio created by famed leatherman Jack Fritscher and his husband Mark Hemry – which promoted kink as an integral form of safe sex during the height of the AIDS epidemic. From 1985 to 1997, this homegrown mail-order company released over 100 fetish videos focusing on everything from bears and cowboys to medical torture and vomit. Hand-picked from small-town bars, rodeos, county fairgrounds, body-building contests, construction sites, and back alleys, the rough-and-tumble ‘stars’ of Palm Drive offered brave new worlds of gay sexuality to a ravenous fan base, and helped battle a devastating health crisis by expanding the boundaries of sexual exploration. With unlimited access to the Fritscher-Hemry archive, intimate observational footage of Jack and Mark today, and interviews with other legendary experts on gay fetish, Raw! Uncut! Video! reconstructs an erotic underground of hot men and wild sex that paved the way for sex-positive activism and a proliferation of LGBTQ community-building around niche sexualities.
In the 1970s, Jack Fritscher was more interested in street trade than disco clones and used ‘gonzo journalism’ to report on the latest sexual trends coming out of America’s bathhouses and cruising bars. As the founding San Francisco Editor-in-Chief of Drummer Magazine, he promoted some of the first high-profile imagery and writings on gay fetish, including giving photographer Robert Mapplethorpe his first magazine cover. When the AIDS epidemic swept through San Francisco in the early 1980s, Jack and his long-time partner Mark headed north of the Golden Gate Bridge to begin a new venture. Inspired by innovations in home video technologies that offered unlimited opportunities for producing low-budget erotica, and looking to combat the rise of AIDS motivated sex-negativity, Jack and Mark turned a rural ranch in Sonoma County into a thriving independent porn studio. Because fetish does not inherently require an exchange of bodily fluids, Palm Drive was founded as a safe-sex service that offered viewers new options for exploring fantasies and queer possibilities in an age of plague.
Directed by Ryan White & Alex Clausen
Produced by Todd Verow, Charles Lum and Paul Lee
All images © 1985-1995 Palm Drive Video - jackfritscher.com
Ryan White - Director/Producer
Born in Big Sur, California, Ryan White is a Canadian-American filmmaker whose award-winning documentaries have screened around the world. He spent four years in Hanoi, Vietnam working as Film Advisor for the World Wildlife Fund’s Greater Mekong Program, then relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, where he produced and directed two documentary features, Camp Unity (2010) and Mondo Banana (2013). Other documentary credits include producing The Organic Life (2013) and associate producing Out Run (2016). Ryan also teaches documentary production as a Lecturer in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University.
Alex Clausen - Director/Producer
Alex Clausen is an artist that lives and works in Guerneville, California. He uses sculpture and photography to investigate visual and personal relationships that exist within domestic and work spaces. Clausen earned a bachelors’ degree in Art and Physics from University of California, Davis, and a graduate degree from the California College of the Arts. He was awarded a Graduate Fellowship at the Headlands Center for the Arts for the 2006-2007 year. Clausen has exhibited work at Rena Bransten Gallery, the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Kala Art Institute, the Exploratorium and is part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco collection. He is currently an active collaborator and board member of an arts non-profit Earthbound Moon.
Todd Verow - Producer
Todd Verow attended the Rhode Island School of Design and the AFI Conservatory. He made short experimental films and worked as a cinematographer before making his feature film debut with Frisk in 1996 (Sundance, Berlin & Toronto). Starting his own production company Bangor Films, Todd has directed over twenty-five features and numerous shorts, establishing himself as the most prolific auteur emeritus of the New Queer Cinema.
Charles Lum - Producer
Charles Lum, aka clublum, received his MFA in Photography from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, after 25 years scouting and managing locations for TV commercials and classic feature films like Wall Street, Fatal Attraction and Sid & Nancy. His short videos have screened internationally in museum, art and film venues.
Paul Lee - Producer
Based in Toronto, Paul Lee has produced, co-produced, and associate-produced over 50 films - more than half of which have been award-winning LGBTQ films. LGBTQ productions include San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson’s Berlin-premiered Blue Diary and Sundance-premiered The Joy of Life, and the Berlin-premiered Below the Belt by Toronto filmmakers Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert. Since 1991, Paul has organized, programmed, and curated film festivals in 25 countries around the world. His own films, Thick Lips Thin Lips (1994), These Shoes Weren’t Made for Walking (1995), and The Offering (1999) have screened at hundreds of film festivals and won numerous international awards.
Join us on March 23 at Mr. S Leather in San Francisco and help us finish Raw! Uncut! Video!. We’ll be premiering our trailer and screening a sample of iconic Palm Drive films – followed by a Q&A with legendary leathermen Jack Fritscher and Mark Hemry (the creators of Palm Drive Video). The evening will also include interactive performances by SF Baloney, live fetish demonstrations, and music by DJ John Fucking Cartwright. Plus, don’t miss your chance to grab one of our brand new exclusive t-shirts designed by ButchDick!
All money raised will go towards funding our final shoots in Spring 2018 and to kick-off our post-production.
See you there!