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Shooting porn as a parent

It's hard to believe that it's been three years since the last duo shoot for Dreams of Spanking. By duo shoot, I mean a film with two people in front of the camera and one person behind it. 

That shoot was with Mike Pain and Danielle K. where we shot Even Teachers Make Mistakes and In Big Trouble. Those were both customs and I'm incredibly happy with the results.

But now, three years have passed and in the intervening time, the only shooting I've done has been solo scenes at home. 

There are two very good reasons for that - I had a baby, and there’s a pandemic. Even at that last custom shoot, Dreams of Spanking wasn't updating regularly. That only restarted in 2019, when I started updating once a month. I'm really pleased that at the end of 2020, we're updating three times a month and considering going up to four times a month or even more because we've got bags of content! The only thing slowing us down is finding the time it takes to create all of the images, trailers and promotional material.

This blog post is about what goes into a shoot - and my renewed appreciation for actually how much it takes now that I'm trying to fit it around being a parent. We’re shooting with Lana Moon on Friday, so I’m going to use that as a case study.

Let’s start with pre-production. I’ve already spent half a day preparing the scenarios, negotiating with Lana to find out what she’s comfortable with, emailing her and our cameraman David Oak to find a date, and researching COVID-safe workplace practises. I could write more about that last point, but in the meantime here’s a link to the UKAP Producer’s Guide on the topic which I found very helpful. Then, I’ll be spending my entire working day on Thursday preparing. I've got to find camera chargers, charge cameras, pack cameras and tripods and lights. I need to find all the clothes I'm going to be performing in, the clothes I'm lending to Lana and any implements and props we're planning to use, and pack those too. I'm going to have to either prepare or buy food for lunch, hitting the cashpoint on the way to take out money to pay everyone. I need to empty memory cards and pack my microphone. Then there's the printing: my kit list to check off as I pack things, the call sheets with the schedule for the day and the treatments for each scene, and the release forms for Lana and Dave. And I'll need to shower, shave, and give myself a lockdown haircut.

Then comes Friday - the day of the shoot. I’m going to be out of the house 9am-6pm, which will be the longest I’ve ever been away from my child. I'm quite nervous about it. We've got our wonderful childcare provider coming, and I'm confident that the munchkin is going to be in good hands with them. But although the small one is 16 months old, we are doing extended breastfeeding and they and I are very closely bonded. They don't rely on breastfeeding for nutritution -  they eat three solid meals with us and have snacks in between, and they love drinking water and herbal tea. But they also have one or two breastfeeds during the day and that's often how they'll have their nap; by feeding to sleep with me. And this week they had a bit of a raised temperature and have been extra clingy. So tomorrow they'll need to skip their usual daytime feeds and nap with our childcare provider. It has happened before, but usually I would be around at least once during the day for a cuddle and reassurance. 

Let’s say Friday comes and the munchkin is settled and I’m ready to go. In order to start shooting at 10am I'll need to be there at 9:30am. It's a half hour drive, so I need to leave at 9am. Before I go either me or my partner needs to collect our childminder from the station, which is a half hour drive. So I need to have my makeup on and the car loaded by 8.30am.

We’re shooting six scenes. Each video will be about 12 minutes long in the final edit, and we usually spend an hour shooting each video. The actual filming often only takes 15-20 minutes: we very rarely have lots of cuts as we tend to let the cameras roll once the performers get warmed up, but it takes time between each film to set up, get changed, have a cup of tea and move the lights. So with six different storylines and characters, the fastest we can go is one hour per 12 minute movie. I always like to coordinate shoots with plenty of space in them, so there's time for breaks and downtime, including an hour-long lunch break. I find it's more fun when there's no time pressure and it feels relaxed. If everything going smoothly, we’ll get six scenes out of our seven-hour shoot. So we're scheduled to finish shooting at 5pm, after which we'll need 30 minutes to pack up, and I'll be home at 6pm. 

And that's before we've even started the post-production!

My partner Felix and I both work part time from home. We both run businesses and we split childcare equally. We use Toggl Track to record how much time we work, and every so often we check the record and whoever's not had as much lately gets extra work time. When it's just the two of us juggling work and toddler time, we usually manage to work around three and a half hours a day each, with the rest of the time going on childcare, cooking, tidying, and all the other household chores.

I've been doing more work than Felix lately because of getting the new custom spanking films website launched - which I'm really excited about. We're starting to get orders in already and I can't wait to bring people's ideas to life. So I'm already ahead - and my shoot day is going to put me way ahead. It means I basically have to borrow work time from next week make up for being out of the house fo 8 hours. That affects everything else, including the post-production and promotion .. and before long you can start to see why I have a lot of unreleased content!

I'm really, really excited to be getting back to production and to shooting duo scenes for Dreams of Spanking. I'm obsessed with all the scenarios: we've got a nice mixture of entertaining and dramatic scenes for you including a period piece (my favourite). They are written in creative collaboration with Lana and I can't wait to discover what our chemistry is like on camera.

I love performing. It's my favourite thing about this job, and I’m dying to get back in front of the camera. Before I was a parent, I'd schedule a single day in my calendar for a full day's shoot. I might plan to be a little tired the next day, but otherwise I'd fill my calendar before and after. Now that I'm very aware of what it takes me away from, I'm appreciating that a day shoot isn't just a day shoot. There's actually a lot more that goes into it as well.

Comments

Roll mama, roll

I loved reading tthese insights into your extraordinary/ordinary life. x

Thank you! I'm glad it was interesting :)

Takes me back

Lovely layout of the workings of a day's shoot which reminds me of some of the management of films I made in the 90s. But without worrying about pandemic safety. Also, I didn't have the knowledgeable partner, as she was oblivious to to my "other" work.
I miss it now as I'm older, no longer purely a top and locked down. But I can wish you all the best and look forward to your vids coming out.
Col

Oh wow, it sounds like you were making naughty films too? How wonderful! It must have been nerve-wracking though. I don't know how I'd cope without the support of my partner. I'm so grateful for them.

It feels like I've spent all week preparing for this shoot. I had to postpone the original date last week as my toddler was poorly and I needed to stay with them. I'm now packed and ready to go tomorrow morning, but worried that something else will go wrong last minute!

Thanks for the good wishes - hopefully it will all be a dream and I'll have some gorgeous videos to share very soon.

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