By Erika Icon
LOS ANGELES – Harry Sparks is porn’s answer to Quentin Tarantino. The way he writes, directs, edits and produces films speaks to a larger, thoroughly uncommon, aesthetic — undoubtedly a product of his mainstream indie-horror past.
Sparks’ newest title, The Vampire Mistress, is set to debut in early May. Fans reportedly are eager to see how Sparks will top quirky Revenge of the Petites (AMKingdom, 2012).
YNOT attempted to get inside the mind of a benign renegade whose stated goal is to obliterate the gap between mainstream and adult movies.
YNOT: Tell us a little about yourself.
Harry Sparks: Well, I was born in Maryland and have lived in Arkansas, Japan, Ohio, Florida and California. I grew up loving movies, and ever since I was about 12 or 13 years old, I knew I wanted to be a director. So, I bought film books and began making my own short films on up through high school, and by the time I got to college, I had a sense that I made the right choice.
I formed my company, Sparks Entertainment, to help me achieve my goals and dreams. One thing I have learned is that life can sometimes throw obstacles in your way and there will always be people that will try to discourage you, but you have to stay focused and determined to bring your dreams to reality.
Why did you make the leap from mainstream to adult? Will you ever go back to non-adult, erotic-type movies like All Hallow’s Eve (Sparks Entertainment, 2007) and Rotkappchen: The Blood of Red Riding Hood (Sparks Entertainment, 2009)?
I’ve always been interested in adult, and I thought that if I took the filmmaking techniques that I used in mainstream and applied them to adult, the results could be really interesting. My goal is to change how adult is perceived by mainstream, so that one day people will feel just as comfortable watching an adult film as they do a mainstream one. I find that challenge to be very exciting. I wouldn’t rule out going back to making a non-adult film, but right now I am enjoying this challenge.
You wrote, directed, edited and produced AMKingdom’s Revenge of the Petites. Most people focus on only one of those feats. Why did you wear so many hats for this movie?
I think I feel most comfortable when I am wearing all of those hats, because that is how I started out. There are writer-directors such as Quentin Tarrantino, and then there are directors for hire. A writer-director’s films usually tend to feel more personal, and I think that is the category I fall into.
I wrote, directed and edited my very first short when I was a kid, and I continued with that process all through film school and professionally. When I write a script, I envision the characters and what they look like and where to put the camera. When I’m directing, I “shoot for the edit,” which means I know exactly how I want to cut it and put the film together. On the rare occasions that I have written a script that I did not direct, the finished product was not what I envisioned.
Were you at all surprised by how successful the movie became in terms of sales, award nominations and wins?
Yes, I was. It’s very gratifying to see something you worked so hard on become embraced by the fans and the public, and the awards and nominations it received were very humbling. They say it’s an honor just to be nominated, and it really is.
Instead of hot, young girls coming of age, your upcoming The Vampire Mistress depicts hot, young girls playing vampires. Have you always been a fan of horror and vampires?
The Vampire Mistress deals with some of the same themes as Revenge of the Petites, including peer pressure, the feeling of being an outcast and trying to fit in. I’ve always loved horror and I’ve loved the thrill of being scared while watching a movie, ever since I saw the original Jaws in a theater when I was six or seven years old. I also love vampires and superheroes, so the idea of a female vampire that can kick ass was very appealing to me.
What makes vampires sexy?
I think vampires are sexy because they represent something we all crave or secretly crave, which is to be desired and lusted after by someone who wants to drink your blood and turn you into what they are — a creature that will never grow old and can live forever.
You have some big names in the movie, like Dani Daniels and Lily LaBeau. Was it hard to convince them to sign on?
No, not at all. In fact, they were both very excited and enthusiastic about being in it, and that showed throughout the shoot.
If you could remake any classic horror or mainstream film as an adult production, which would you choose?
I’m usually not a big fan of remakes, but I would love to see an epic adult production of Cleopatra. I always felt that story would make an interesting adult project.
What’s in the future for Harry Sparks? Are you working on anything new right now?
As a matter of fact, I am. I have several projects in development, so you can expect some pretty exciting things in the near future.