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Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story

  • Michael Stabile, Director/Producer

About the Project

In 1971, Chuck Holmes moved to San Francisco to sell real estate: the sexual revolution was in full swing and the city was known as the 'Smut Capital of the United States.' In a year, his real estate job was replaced by a few hardcore 'loops' and a mailing list; in ten years, the mailing list had become a studio, Falcon; in twenty, the studio would became a revolution; in thirty, a political powerhouse.

It's a profoundly American story: one generation's scandal is another's lion. Like a gay Rockefeller, Chuck Holmes used his money to move from pornographer to philanthropist and political force.

Against a backdrop of obscenity prosecutions and homophobia, Chuck took a hobbyists' industry and modernized it. The gay aesthetic that Chuck championed changed the way gay men saw themselves, revolutionized the industry and made him a multi-millionaire. The legacy changed the way the adult industry did business, and the money helped Chuck become a political force both in San Francisco and nationally. He was one of the founders of Human Rights Campaign, and a fundraiser for Democratic politicians, only to find that while his money was always welcome, he often wasn't.