Industry News

Spunk L Davis of Viv Thomas- Exclusive Interview- Part 1

Interview with Spunk L Davis aka Lewis Thomas

by Jon

In AVN Magazine’s July 2008 article, ‘The New Wave of Lesbian Erotica’, Viv Thomas was praised for making films that have an actual story line and using gorgeous girls that have great chemistry. Viv is a South African Glamour photographer that started his company in the early 1990’s. He wanted to make high quality movies so he hired a team of flim school graduates , including , the present Director of Production , Lewis Thomas aka Spunk L Davis. Viv has filmed top Eastern European performers such as Sandy, Sandra Shine, Nelly, Peaches, Sophie Moon and Eve Angel. He also worked with Penny Flame. Spunk is hoping to film in America again and Ariel X is just one of the performers he has on his list. His great Lesbian films like the Pink Velvet Series, the Unfaithful Series, Office Girls and Sirens remain at the top of the best selling lists.He’s had several AVN Award nominations and one award for Leg Sex Dream. Although Viv is still his company’s Managing Director he only shoots occasionally. It’s Spunk and the team who do all of the work now.

Can you tell us about yourself, Lewis Thomas, before he joined Viv Thomas?
I’m from a working class background and I grew up in South Wales. As a kid I was obsessed with movies. While other kids collected toys and watched cartoons I had massive Robocop and Predator posters on my wall that I’d begged the local video store to give me. When I was 12 my favourite movie was Taxi Driver. My family are pretty liberal and they decided to teach me that violence and sex in films is created rather than just censor me from those movies, so I developed a deep love and understanding of film and it quickly became a big part of my life.  When I was 13 we got our first family video camera and I spent all my time recreating scenes from my favourite movies with my friends. They’d go home covered in fake blood after doing amateur re-enactments from movies like Reservoir Dogs and they’d never be allowed to come around to our house again. When I was 18 I left for London to study Film at University. I accidentally fell into this business after I graduated at 21. I missed my graduation because I went to do my first shoot in Budapest literally a couple of months after my course finished.

What was it like working with Viv and what are some of the most important lessons you learned from him?
It was great. Although he’s always been my boss Viv and I became close buddies and he was also a father figure for me because I was still fairly young and away from home. I spent a lot of time with him in the early days, eating in nice restaurants, drinking great wines, going to rugby games, he really made sure I was looked after. I really learned a lot from him and did a huge amount of growing up during that time. Viv taught me a lot about work ethics, about how to conduct myself in business and on-set, he taught me about professionalism. He also taught me early on about the kind of movies he wanted our company to be associated with. From the beginning it never felt like we were making anything offensive or shameful. It was porn but it never felt like that, we were making a lot of soft programs for Playboy TV and Viv always wanted to generate a good feeling on-set so girls would have fun working with us, we’d always be really professional and get the work done properly and we’d never push girls to do anything they were not 100% comfortable doing. Viv’s wife and daughter worked for the company too, some of my closest friends also came on board. It was a really great, positive environment.

Why the change of name from Lewis Thomas to Spunk L Davis?
I started using pseudonyms because it was just fun and no one cared who I was back then. We have a brand and its “Viv Thomas.” I used so many, Fiery Pirez, Robinson Cleft, Spunk L. Davis kind of stuck after a while. I got the name from a character in one of my favourite books – “Money” by Martin Amis.

You seem to have been involved in every part of the process of making a video. Is there one particular task you like more than most and why?
Not really, I enjoy every part. That’s one thing I love about what I do here is that I can come up with an idea, realise it on-set, then see it come together in the edit suite, and all the way through I have the freedom to do it as I want to. There aren’t many places of work you can do that.



What’s your role in the company now and what part does Viv play in it since his retirement?
I’m the Director of Productions. I make a lot of the movies but we have a small crew involved doing sound, sometimes camerawork, photography, behind the scenes and editing. I’m in charge of a team of guys who I can delegate work too. Everything is in-house, so there are always guys editing or preparing programs for various platforms, it can get pretty hectic because we’re not a major studio and there is often a lot of work going on. Since his retirement Viv still enjoys being on-set, he still comes into the office everyday and he is still heavily involved in the business side of things. Basically, the boss is still here and very much active. As much as he’d like to, I think it’s very difficult for guys like Viv to fully retire. He’ll always be busy doing something.

Why is the company now based in Portugal?
Weather. Golf. Standard of living. Plus we used to come here three or four times every year to shoot anyway. Viv wanted to live here, and we wanted to come along for the ride.

What do you like about filming in Budapest?
It’s a change of scene for us I guess, but I’ve been going to Budapest six times a year for the last eight years so it’s kind of lost it’s charm if I’m honest. It’s good because a lot of the girls we use live there, so in that sense when things go wrong we can always keep working.

Can you say where the company fits into the story of the rise of a new wave of lesbian erotica?
I think we were the first to do certain things. But perhaps it’s not for me to analyse. I’d like to remain humble and just say that I love making these movies and I love getting a reaction and a response from people. We’re not into imitating what’s already out there so we’re continually trying to make original movies and trying to evolve the perception people generally have of porn. If we fit anywhere “in the rise of a new wave of lesbian erotica,” cool.

Watch for part 2

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