This week In The Spotlight we have a very special interview that we couldn’t be more excited about. Gail Harris, founder and CEO of Falcon Foto has given us an interview! Gail has been involved in the adult industry for over ten years and heads up one of the largest content producing companies out there often known for niche photos including (in Gail’s words) barely legal, fatties, public flashing, the very, very old and the ridiculously busty.This week In The Spotlight we have a very special interview that we couldn’t be more excited about. Gail Harris, founder and CEO of Falcon Foto has given us an interview! Gail has been involved in the adult industry for over ten years and heads up one of the largest content producing companies out there often known for niche photos including (in Gail’s words) barely legal, fatties, public flashing, the very, very old and the ridiculously busty.
LAJ: Great to have you with us this week Gail! As CEO of Falcon Foto, what do you do over there?
Gail: Everything from bugging Webmasters to buy content, to removing the models’ pussy piercings.
LAJ: Hahaha… A “hands-on” CEO. Looks like this interview is off to a good start!
What is your company’s mission?
Gail: To provide the best adult content to satisfy the niche fantasy of every perv on the Internet… as long as it’s legal!
LAJ: Give us some background and history on Falcon. Your archives must be huge. As well, you were operating before the adult Internet took off…
Gail: We have the largest library of its kind in the world with over one million images and 300 videos. If you’re looking for something, we probably have it online and if not, we can pull it out of our scan database.
Our content is mostly shot for the magazines, not the grab a digital quickie with your friend’s girlfriend. Our shoots all have a specific niche fantasy in mind, with a lot of preparation including wardrobe, makeup – we have an actual budget!
We own probably half of all the layouts you see in magazines on the newsstands. Most people are under the misconception that the magazines own the photos, but they don’t – we do. So, you can actually license layouts that have been published in magazines such as Penthouse, High Society, Leg Show, Barely Legal, UK Playboy, Hustler’s Busty Beauties… just about all of them.
Each layout takes a lot of effort to get the right girl, photographer, clothes, poses and overall atmosphere for that niche. For instance, a leg shoot is not just a girl with nice legs. A typical leg fetish shoot may include authentic 1950s lingerie with original Cuban heal stockings, 6” heels made to order out of London, a two hour makeover and very specific camera angles to accentuate the toes, feet and legs. To shoot solely for our content site would be cost prohibitive but we can afford to make this effort in production as we recoup the budget in the print medium.
LAJ: It almost sounds like you created the concept of niche!
Gail: Yes, we were the first to shoot a granny and the first to create an entire magazine devoted to young girls. We created Hustler’s Barely Legal, Hometown Girls and Virgins magazines.
We also take videos of many of the girls we shoot for Barely Legal, Busty Beauties, Hometown Girls, 40+, Plumpers and the other magazines. Now we’re having a blast shooting reality videos. Jerry Springer meets Temptation Island! Getting them off and making them laugh at the same time.
LAJ: You know… I would honestly have to say that my first exposure to some of the more, shall we say, obscure content online belonged to Falcon back when I first started surfing around.
How do you protect yourself legally with so much content? What problems have you run into?
Gail: I say sue the content stealing bastards! No really, we have to protect our copyrights from those that blatantly steal. It’s only fair to protect our paying customers. But on the other hand, we understand the business and are willing to exploit select content to propagate our brand or for use by others in controlled viral marketing or more extensive marketing campaigns.
As content producers, it is important that we take care of all the legalities on the shooting and record keeping so that our clients don’t need to be concerned with that. Everything from the models’ tax information, 2257 reporting, age documentation, health tests, releases, etc. We keep double IDs on every model as well as an extensive model release. We have to be on call as custodian of records in case our clients ever need to prove a girl’s age. I know we have clients that feel more comfortable licensing content from us because they know we own our own copyrights instead of agenting content. Plus having been around so long, chances are we’ll still be in business if they have a query, years down the road. We are going on over ten years now.
LAJ: What about on the website end?
Gail: On the website end: copyrights, patents and community standards. Unfortunately, the adult Internet industry comes with several liabilities that we all have to be concerned with and often these laws are open to interpretation. I’d say the most important thing is to get a good attorney on your side that understands this business and keep him informed on everything you’re doing. I must say I feel lucky to be in an industry where everyone seems to bond together when there is a litigious claim that affects our industry.
LAJ: What drew you to the industry and tell us about what it was like getting started.
Gail: I had a photographer friend who cleaned out his studio and threw some old photos in the trash. I fished them out, got the rights from him, took a trip to a newsstand to look for potential buyers and sold them three days later. I wish it was still so easy! First time I heard about the Internet was when Ron Levy showed up to license photos for a new thing called a website. The hardest thing for us has been preparing our mountain of images for the Web.
LAJ: Where are you from originally?
Gail: I grew up in Yorkshire, in the north of England and was a pre-med student of veterinary medicine until I opted for a more diverse career.
LAJ: What type of work did you opt for before the adult Industry?
Gail: I was a fashion model in the U.K. when I came over to the U.S.
LAJ: Any humiliating gigs?
Gail: Most humiliating has to be as an actress on Baywatch. Sitting in the freezing cold water for six hours straight is not as glamorous as it looks!
LAJ: Any funny industry stories?
Gail: I had some model come to the office recently to do test shots. I don’t usually do the Polaroids but all the girls were out, so I picked up the camera and went in the back. She had great boobs but was a bit weird about dropping her skirt. She handed me a poem about butterflies transforming or something. I asked if she had a penis. She answered “Yes, but that’s not the main thing. You’re really attractive, do you mind that I have a boner?”
LAJ: [Spitting coffee all over the place] That’s too damn funny.
Okay, on a more serious note, what changes would you like to see made in the adult Internet industry? Any specific areas that need to be improved?
Gail: I hate to see the way the outside world always views us as sleazy back alley scumbags. How many interviews do you see about how the adult Internet has shaped the way we do business on the Web, headed by some porn mud-slinging slogan?
Within the industry I would like to see more uniformity in (honest) affiliate payouts, less free stuff put out there, less trick-the-surfer pay sites, another Visa alternative would be good, and obviously more Webmasters buying content.
Webmasters should agree on the concept of putting out less free content to advertise pay sites, but should have an alternative to making more money. We are now working with Playa Solutions to wrap content using digital rights management (DRM) and let it be free with a catch. Also, our new state-of-the-art content site just launched at www.falconfoto.net and we’re releasing images from top brand magazines such as Leg Show, Barely Legal, Busty Beauties and giving away awesome deals.
LAJ: What do you love most about our industry?
Gail: Several things…
You can make money while you sleep.
You can work from anywhere, anytime.
You get almost instant feedback.
We can share ideas, business models, technologies, traffic and anything else you might need.
I love being surrounded by smart men.
I love going to Vegas and staying up for five nights straight… not!
Our industry is one that takes risks, cultivates innovation, allows creativity, pioneers technology and thrives on the basic concept of helping one another.
LAJ: Sounds like you have a great attitude and a favorable outlook. Any additional insight for the future?
Gail: The Internet continues to grow at an amazing rate, especially from overseas, so our customer base continues to grow too. On the other hand we face new challenges; billing restrictions, consumer fraud, over-saturation, freeloaders and so on and I’m sure there’s a whole new set of problems coming down the pipeline too. However, this industry has always adapted to change and developed new business models in the face of obstacles. So, I think the way we do business on the Web may change slightly… but we’ll always find ways to make money.
I believe we should concentrate on our largest growing consumer base, the foreign sector, and learn not only to adapt our sites into appropriate languages but also to really understand their cultures and what works for them. What type of content they like, what type of sales pitch they’ll accept and what type of billing mechanism they are most comfortable with.
At home we need to concentrate on giving the consumers more bang for their buck, more specific content, new material, different material and an overall more valuable experience.
Mainstream companies are finally looking to the adult industry with respect to find solutions for their own companies and I believe that the line between mainstream and adult will be crossed a little more.
On the content side I think with the advent of DRM software there will be more control over where and how content is ultimately displayed and this will bring more opportunities to monetize the way surfers view content.
LAJ: Do you have any newbie advice?
Gail: Come up with something new – new content, a new angle, a new business model, but make it something you personally like, get off on, or really know something about. Innovation and creativity thrives in this medium. Then spend some of your advertising dollars taking Webmasters out on the town. Relationships are the key to success in this business.
Let’s get into some fun questions here! What activities and hobbies are you into?
Gail: Horse show jumping. I love to go fast and jump big fences and used to compete at skydiving but now I get enough adrenalin at the office. I still act in the odd action movie – you could call that a hobby now.
I also like cuddling in front of a good movie, a hot oil massage, pistachio ice cream and content orders in my inbox!
LAJ: Describe yourself in five adjectives.
Gail: Friendly (Don’t believe anyone who says I’m unapproachable and make men sweat!)
Pushover (Will always cut you a good deal on content)
Empathic (I try to understand the strange fantasies men have)
Sober (Most of the time – thought this was unusual enough to mention)
Female (Boobs, hips, likes attention, romantic mushy stuff, etc.)
LAJ: Finish this sentence… “If I wasn’t in the adult Internet…”
Gail: I’d probably be a veterinarian sitting in a field with my hand up a cow’s butt.
LAJ: And on that note we’ll close this out in the same manner as we brought it in LOL… Thanks very much for your time this week and for a great interview Gail.
Check out Falcon Foto today!
Do you know a Webmaster with a great story to tell? Someone innovative, unique or perhaps even entertaining? Tell us about this person for future consideration to be “In The Spotlight” here at YNOTNews!