Out of Fantasia last year came one of the most interesting films I’d seen in quite some time. It explores themes of sexuality and humanity in a no-holds-barred, very real way. That film is Ben Hozie’s PVT CHAT. I was able to get a glimpse into the goings-on behind the scenes of one of my favorite films of this year and last after talking to director Ben Hozie and producer Oliver David. We had a fun time on Zoom…yes that can happen. I really hope that after reading my review and reading this interview and my interview with star Peter Vack, that you will immediately watch this movie. It’s just so damn good. I hope you agree, but in the meantime, here’s my chat with Ben and Oliver.
Ben, how do you think being in a band and directing a film are similar? (Ben is in an awesome band called BODEGA, check them out)
Hozie: When we were making PVT CHAT I definitely treated it a little bit like a band. Because it was a small group of us shooting every day. Probably like six or seven so it felt really band-y. On big film shoots, everyone has one role. It’s like, “I’m the gaffer, I only do gaff things,” or whatever. In a movie like this, we gotta paint the apartment, it doesn’t matter what your role is, you’re gonna pick up a brush and start painting the apartment, you know? That’s what being in a band is like.
“…I definitely treated it a little bit like a band.”
This is a question for both of you. What do you guys find most interesting about the dynamic between cam girls and their clients?
Oliver David: When I first saw the script, I didn’t actually know that much about camming. For me, it was really the way that so many of our interactions on social media are in some ways commodified. We do things for likes or for some personal reward or personal branding exercise. Although it’s about a very specific thing and the film tries to be very real about camming, it’s also relevant to so much of our interactions online.
Yeah, Instagram is that way for sure. I’m a little bit too old for Tiktok so maybe it’s like that there, but definitely Instagram for sure.
Hozie: I thought that was a very interesting question. What I would say about it, for me, in the beginning, when I was way younger and experimenting with cam sites. What I found out about cam sites is it’s the same thing as directing. In that, you put up the budget, you put in your twenty bucks and say, “What I’d really like you do is to turn this way.” Hit your mark, say these lines. You even give them dialogue, you know. “I really want you to tell me what a worthless piece of sh*t I am as you look this way.” Then they repeat your script, and you’re the audience. There are so many cinematic metaphors you could draw out of it.