Most porn shoot locations are similar: a rented house in Chatsworth or some other Valley burg, or a warehouse next to a glass-strewn lot. But Wicked Pictures usually does things in a big way, so for the final shoot day of director Brad Armstrong's Coming Home, the location was a small rancho just inside the entrance to the Angeles National Forest.
Sycamore trees, oaks, century plants, scrub jays and woodpeckers were everywhere, and it was hard to believe that a major metro area was a short drive down the hill.
Armstrong and assistant director Jessica Drake were having some breakfast as the crew prepped for the next shot and greeted reporters as they pulled into the driveway.
"I've been planning this with Kirsten [Price] for a long time," said Armstrong, who also plays a major role in the movie. "Originally, this was supposed to be a little three or four-day movie, but it kept getting bigger and better and more involved."
Drake, who also performs in the movie, said of her expanded duties, "I've been the A.D. on this movie. I've been doing a lot of that for Brad lately. And I've been doing a lot of writing and art direction and I'm getting ready to start directing...but I want to learn everything from the ground up. So this is our sixth day on the shoot and we've been on a lot of remote locations...we're here in the middle of the Angeles National Forest and nobody's got a cell phone that works!"
Armstrong, in keeping with his character's military status, has shaved his head for the part. Drake explained, "We did two days here to get the continuity right after the haircut. We were all a little nervous about the haircut. Nobody knew if he had a decent-looking head under his hair because he never shaved his head before."
Drake directed the haircut scene, because, as she said, "Brad was in the chair and couldn't move, so I directed that scene. I was scared. There was so much pressure. It's hair. Once it's gone, it's gone for that scene."
Kirsten Price, about to get into character and recite some dialogue talked about the movie, "It's an amazing war movie that we're shooting. I do a lot of reading letters because my man is in Iraq. It's very sad. It's a very emotional movie."
Price's real-life man Barrett Blade is also in Coming Home, and he explained some of the movie's emotions. "There's the big fight scene I'm doing today," said Blade. "The script called for Brad to take a baseball bat to my character's car, but I suggested that he should take a bat to me because I think that would make it more dramatic."
Blade also talked about a particularly uncomfortable scene that was shot earlier in the week. "I had sex with my wife Kristen," he said. "On a log in the middle of a swamp. It was one of those things where you think, 'Damn. This'll look good, but it's going to suck working on that.'"
And with that, a driver arrived to carry the cast across a ravine to the actual location and the dramatic magic began.
Coming Home will be released by Wicked Pictures later this year.