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Anna Span's Biography
 
  >> Anna Span on Censorship
>> TV and Publishing Appearances

Anna Span (37) started shooting porn films after graduating from Central St Martin's School of Art with a BA Hons in Fine Art (Film & Video) in 1998. It was there that she wrote her dissertation 'Towards A New Pornography' in which she looked at what a female perspective on porn would look like, as well as what an excellent genre porn is. She saw it as one of the last underdeveloped/explored areas left in film.

In 1998 she started a full-length porn feature, which she tried to finance herself, in collaboration with Ben Westwood, son of Vivienne on the styling. Unfortunately she didn't know a thing about how to actually shoot it, so she lost all her money, about 4,500 pounds which kept her in painting and decorating for the next year, in order to pay off the debt. During this time several projects were offered by several unscrupulous producers which all ended up to be hot air. It was at this time that she started her 'Interviews With Men' series in which she asked naked men about their fantasies.

Eventually Anna got a break at Television X with her first ever commercially released programme 'Eat Me/Keep Me' starring Nadia and Majella posing as two art school friends of hers whom she interviewed about their stripping experiences outside of college. The show was an immediate success, leading to a complete series and then others were to follow, totalling around 75 shows in just under three years. She has now shot over 250 scenes to date (Oct 2009)

At this time Anna was also working at the TVX offices as an editor, originally full time - that's 35 hours of watching porn a week as well as shooting programmes at weekends. She managed to keep her sanity (just about.) During this time she watched several hundred porn films and programmes, often, ironically, having to make the censorious legal cuts that our dear friends the ITC believe are necessary to keep society from completely changing their sexuality and turning into raving paedophiles. She learnt the exact point at which a shot becomes illegal and she used this experience to make her softcore films exactly as hard as the guidelines would allow, rather than prioritising the hardcore camera and making the soft a poorer option as is often the case, Anna originally decided to focus on developing her skills in the softcore area where she had a definite market and which, due to censorship, required more skill to make sexy as you can't rely on the explicitness of the image. This experience was invaluable when she eventually started to shoot hardcore as well.

After many films and way too much experience, Anna wrote and photographed her first book, 'Erotic Home Video,' which was released in March 2003 by Carlton Publishing, a manual to guide couples in the art of home porn film making. The book has now been retitled 'Shoot Your Own Adult Home Movies' by the publisher. She has also released over 25 DVDs which can be found at www.annaspansdiary.com

Previously considered careers include Barrister (has GCSE and A Level Law), Psychologist (has A Level Psychology), Actress (has A Level Theatre Studies) Painter (has A Level Art) Singer (tried desperately to train her stray singing voice) and Philosopher. She has 6 GCSE's, 1 AS level, 3 A levels, 1 National Diploma in Foundation Studies and 1 BA Hons and an MA in Philosophy from Birkbeck.

Anna is liberal and open-minded and politically she is a proud member of The Liberal Democrat Party. Anna lives in Kent with husband and dogs.

Privately, Anna has been into all sorts of things including the contemporary arts, film, music, philosophy, photography, travelling (in early twenties she travelled around U.S.A, Cuba, Jamaica, Israel, Egypt, Europe, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe,) reading, fashion, music, shopping - and porn, porn, porn!!!

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Anna Span on Censorship:

Originally, Anna was anti-porn, believing it to be an area in which men were given free reign to subjugate the woman for thier own needs. This was the late 80's in the height of the 'ban the top shelf' campaign led by Clare Short in the UK. But then she had 'a moment of truth' walking down Old Compton Street in the red light district of Soho, London. She deconstructed her feeling of anger, asked herself why she felt this way and the honest answer was she was jealous. She was jealous that men had their Soho. The society that we lived in said that a man's desires were worth investing money in to cater for. She felt that what was missing was the equivalent (but very different in content/style) for women. Why shouldn't a woman have the subconscious confidence that even if she doesn't personally want to use porn, she knows that the world in which she lives, recognises that she might want to and recognises her right to do so.

Anna has been a member of Feminists Against Censorship, a campaigning group who proclaims that to be a woman who strongly believes in equal rights between the sexes does not necessarily mean they must believe the way forward is to restrict and censor the rights of the individual. With the idea that censorship only proves to change direction of the censored thoughts, not eliminate them and that open is better than hidden. She believes that to sexually objectify, that is to fleetingly view a person's sexual attractiveness separately from their personality/person, is a natural human experience NOT just a male one, as traditionally depicted.

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TV and Publishing Appearances:

Bravo TV - 'Bravado' - Spring 2000
5 min expert slot on how to make home porn.

Channel 5 - 'X-Certificate' - Spring 2000
5 min slot on new directing talent.

Guardian International Television Festival, Edinburgh - August 2000
Anna Span as guest speaker.

Channel 4 - 'The Other Side' - September 2000
30 min documentary about Anna's work.

ITV - 'Nightlife' - Autumn 2000
5 min slot on Anna's work in London.

The Living Channel - 'Women Talk Sex' - Spring 2001

Forum Magazine - May 2001
Main feature about Anna's work.

Real Magazine - September 2001
Main feature about Anna's work.

ITV Sky - 'Lorraine' - October 2001
10 min live interview with Lorraine Kelly talking about porn and sex shops at 9.05 am!!

BBC - 'Esther' - November 2001
Anna called in as an 'expert' on a show about losing your virginity.

M Magazine - November 2001
Wild Women interview.

New Woman Magazine - November 2001
Article about making your own porn.

TVX - Ben Dover Interview - NYE 2001
Interviewed by the big man of British porn.

ITV - 'Big Screen X Certificate' - February 2002
5 minute feature about Anna's work.

Canadian TV - ? 2002
Documentary about the Sex Workers Union in the UK.

M Magazine (Saturday Mirror) - November 2002
Main article about Anna's work.

Forum Magazine Vol 37 - March 2003
Review of 'Erotic Home Video'.

Cosmopolitan Magazine - March 2003
Review of 'Erotic Home Video'.

Daily Star Newspaper - 6th April 2003
2 page review of 'Erotic Home Video'.

BBC Devon Radio - Douglas Mounce Programme - 7th April 2003
Live 15 min interview about 'Erotic Home Video'.

Daily Mirror Newspaper - 8th April 2003
3 page review of 'Erotic Home Video'.

Spin 1038 Radio, Ireland - 11th April 2003
10 minute live interview about 'Erotic Home Video'.

Dr Pam Programme, LBC Radio - 16th April 2003
5 min live interview about 'Erotic Home Video'.

Sunday Sport - 20th April 2003
Review of 'Erotic Home Video'.

Loaded Magazine - June 2003
Review of 'Erotic Home Video' - Book of the month.

Desire Magazine - July 2003
Main article.

Mayfair Magazine - July 2003
Book review.

The Observer Magazine - 20th July 2003
Part of main feature on female pioneers in the British sex industry. (Anna's photo on front of newspaper!)

Best Magazine - November 2003
Article

Arena Magazine - January 2004
One page article

Marie Claire Magazine - January 2004
Article

Channel 5 - To be broadcast in the near future!
1 hour documentary about Anna's work.

2009 update- In recent years press highlights include: The Telegraph, The Times, The Sun, The Mirror, Psychology Magazine, German Cosmopolitan, The Daily Sport (regular article,) Woman's Hour, Radio One and on TV, This Morning.

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