Bringing Sexy Back
ORINDA RESIDENT Julie Rubio thinks that today’s movies aren’t quite sexy enough. So she went out and shot one of her own.“Sex is so boring in movies today, and it’s always being portrayed as this really bad thing,” says Rubio, 37. “I was interested in bringing some healthy sex back into movies and having some fun exploring people’s fantasies.
”The filmmaker is putting the finishing touches on Six Sex Scenes and a Murder, an independent film she shot in the East Bay. She hopes to find a distributor and release the film in theaters later this year.
Six Sex Scenes tells the story of a nightclub murder and the subsequent investigation. A half-dozen suspects are interviewed; each provides an erotic alibi shown in flashback. “A friend said it’s like Rashômon meets 9 1/2 Weeks,” says Rubio, adding that the film contains no pornographic content and very little nudity.
Rubio worked on the screenplay for three years and took a sabbatical from her job teaching yoga at Lafayette’s Oakwood Athletic Club to shoot the movie last November—after a stroke of luck enabled her to secure financing. While meeting with filmmakers in a San Francisco hotel café, a business conference in the hotel’s ballroom recessed. Rubio found herself surrounded by entrepreneurs, struck up some conversations, and pitched her project on the fly. This led to a $200,000 investment, budget enough for Rubio to hire a handful of Hollywood actors, including Richard Crenna Jr. and Kristen Minter (ER), as well as cinematographer Marty Rosenberg, an Industrial Lights and Magic vet with Saving Private Ryan and Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith on his résumé.
She also employed dozens of East Bay volunteers as extras, crew members, and caterers, and filmed in a multitude of local spots, including Oakland’s Uptown Club and Orinda locations La Cocina restaurant, Entourage Spa, and several homes. Rubio says that local businesses were extraordinarily generous in helping her project—for the most part.
“We had permission to shoot a scene in an office park in San Ramon in which a character was supposed to go into an abortion clinic. She needed to cross a line of about 20 extras with protest signs. Before we could start shooting, I got a call saying we had to leave immediately because there’s an ob-gyn office in the building, and they wanted to know where these antiabortion activists came from,” Rubio (pictured above) says, laughing. “We had to scramble, call the manager of another building, and ask if we could come over and film right away. Fortunately they didn’t have an ob-gyn in that building, and we were able to make