A lot of our work is focused on hot, heavy fantasies: reluctant bottoms taking a harsh punishment, hardy brats weathering severe beatings. We love to explore the endurance and resilience of spankees, and many of the scenarios we depict are about anticipation and nervousness and fear.
Sometimes, though, spanking play isn’t like that. Spanking-as-sensation is an important part of the kink: a chance to really dig into the way things feel, to explore what we can take and what makes us feel the best. It’s a fantastic way for play partners to connect with each other, and for both tops and bottoms to communicate well and learn how the other person works.
In this week’s newly-released scene, David and Pandora aren’t really playing characters or depicting a specific fantastical scenario. This is more like a real-life spanking, showing two people who want to explore a beating for the sheer pleasure of it - and, when it’s done this well, what a pleasure it can be.
There are a great many ways to be submissive. Some subs and bottoms are eager to please, keen to do anything their dominant partner might enjoy; others are mischievous or bratty or even reluctant, misbehaving on purpose or feigning ignorance of their misdeeds. Most inhabit all of these roles at some time or another, according to mood or circumstances or desire.
Carlos Green’s character in this week’s release is treading the line between bottom and brat, both craving a spanked backside and not wanting to give in to a punishment he’s not sure he deserves. And in the end, that’s a winning strategy for him - because he not only gets himself rosy and paddled, but also leaves with the promise of further punishment once he’s shown some repentance.
I reckon he’ll come round in the end, of course. Who wouldn’t, if it earned them another spanking from Pandora Blake?
We release a lot of behind the scenes content here at Dreams, but one thing we don’t often get to see is our performers simply being themselves. Most of the time, when the camera’s on a performer is in one of two modes: either they’re inhabiting the role they’ve taken on for the shoot, or they’ve got their ‘work head’ on as they figure out practicalities and navigate comfort zones.
This week’s film is a lovely chance to see a side of Pandora that doesn’t often make it into our content, and to meet Richard in a mode other than the ones he’s played in our recent releases. There’s a chatty, conversational tone throughout this spanking, and somehow that makes it all the hotter. The two performers have had a long day to get comfortable with each other, and now they’re having a chance to explore their likes and dislikes in a more relaxed, intimate setting.
This is a fun, sexy little film, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be rather envious of Richard by the end - the chance to bottom for Pandora in their chilled out nurturing top mode isn’t one I’d pass up in a hurry.
I think I might be a little bit in love with Miss Kelley May. I’d not come across her till she filmed with us for some recent releases, and as a top she has a wicked gleam in her eyes that I find devastatingly compelling.
We do not get the impression, however, that the same is true for humiliated schoolboy Richard McLean in this week’s feature. Very often in our scenes there’s a sense that the character being spanked is secretly having the time of their life, or at least satisfying a long-held curiosity - not so this week, as our recalcitrant student hesitates before bending over the Headmistress’s lap and flinches under her firm, sharp strokes. Fans of reluctant spankings are in for a treat!
As ever, our performers are just playing a part when they seem like they’d rather be anywhere but there. There’s a short behind-the-scenes clip at the end of this one in which Richard discusses how he made sure he was staying within his comfort area even as things became distinctly uncomfortable in his, er, area, and there’s some more backstage content on the way with Part Two in a few weeks time.
I’ve always thought there wasn’t enough audio porn in the world.
Partly that’s down to my own particular set of, er, ‘interests’. I once came just from someone talking me into it, no physical touching required, and I’ve always harboured a deep-seated interest in submissive hypnosis - I could write an essay on the wonders of a chatty dominant!
It’s not just that, though: it’s also because audio erotica lets you get lost in your own mind like nothing else does. Much as I prefer radio soaps to their televisual counterparts (because on radio the pictures are better), aural porn is as close as it gets to a two-person solo experience.
In-ear headphones help a lot with this. They sound like the speaker’s voice is right inside my own head, and that feeling has been a powerful element of some of my most memorable sexual experiences. Even when you’re alone, with audio porn there’s no barrier between you and the fantasy at hand; there’s no bright screen to keep an eye on, no variably-formatted text to squint at on your phone. You can invite the story into your mind and let yourself get lost in it.
One of the things that makes porn difficult - both to create as a performer and to find as a consumer - is that everyone wants porn that is exactly their thing. Cis men are usually the assumed viewer, especially if one’s interests run primarily to the femdom end of the spectrum (I can’t really be the only queer female sub who wants to watch femdom stuff, can I?) - and even when that’s not a problem, most of us still want to find porn where the performers are our physical ‘type’ and the setting is one that resonates.
None of that matters with audio erotica. I’m especially fond of scenes like our recent Snake Eyes where the story is essentially a monologue; the submissive is never described, never gendered, never referred to other than as “you”. The encounter could be taking place anywhere - a dungeon, a castle, your own bedroom. Zak, with her calm, commanding voice, could be anyone you wanted to put yourself at the mercy of. This is a story of random factors and precise paddling that comes tailor-made for any subby spanking fan who listens to it.
I get that humans tend to be highly visual creatures, of course, but goddamn - sometimes, I just want someone to whisper into my ear.
I wasn’t sure how I would get on with audio porn. As a writer, part of me loves the idea because I’m all about the sexy words - but I know I can be quite fussy about audiobooks. It’s all about the person reading them, the voice giving you the words. The wrong tone and the story is ruined. With the right voice though, it can be a wonderful experience. Audio porn allows you to use your imagination while listening, and it can be a great way to really put yourself in the scene, especially with the intimacy of earphones.
I shouldn’t have worried though. Pandora Blake, who narrates most of the audio stories on Dreams of Spanking, has a lovely voice that seems perfect for audio porn. Head Girl, written by Rosie Bower, is a smart sexy story that gives a twist to traditional school punishment scenes. Head Girl Julie learns she has to punish her friends for various misdemeanours. When her friends refuse to take the threat of her punishment seriously she finds herself getting angry, and decides to make them respect her authority as Head Girl.
The anger she feels gives Julie confidence in what she is doing, and she takes total control of the situation, forcing her friends' obedience to her will. What I really like about this spanking audio story is the way Rosie Bower shows us the thoughts of each person in the scene. It gives us an insight into what makes each character tick, and delves deep into their embarrassment, humiliation, indignation and other feelings about being punished by Julie.
My favourite punishment in this story was Liam’s, the cool guy who thinks he can get away with doing whatever he wants. The story takes on an extra dimension of hotness when it's revealed that despite himself, the humiliation of the situation is arousing him. His helplessness in the face of his body's betrayal and the way Julie uses it to embarrass him further is really hot. I adored Julie’s glee when she learns how much she enjoys administering punishment. There's a moment when she has to mentally remind herself that this exercise is about teaching Liam an effective lesson, and not about her pleasure. It's delightful - and it made me think that actually it seems very much about both.
As a whole, this story is equal parts hot and discomforting. A school story in which some cool, rebellious kids have to resentfully submit to punishment from their teachers' pet friend is one that many of us might be able to put ourselves into, one way or another. The fact that this is an unwanted punishment, which they still find arousing even as they hate it, creates a delicious tension. It also raises fascinating questions for me about about the psychology of punishment and humiliation.
I have to admit that the character I find myself identifying with the most was Julie. I love the way that she reflects on past resentments and jealousies to fuel her determination to carry the punishment through to its conclusion. And of course, I love dishing out a spanking and decorating a bare bum with marks that will leave a reminder to re-enforce the lesson - and the idea of doing so to my squirming friends who thoroughly deserve it is very appealing.
So my verdict on audio porn? I found this story super hot, and I enjoyed the process of listening to it more than I expected. I enjoyed imagining the scenario and Rosie Bower creates some enticing images that will stay with me. I loved was the image of the two girls bent over the desk, and of Liam bending over clutching his ankles, naked, embarrassed and unable to constrain his erection. So sexy.
This post is illustrated with pictures from Head Girl spanking video A Taste of Their Own Medicine, starring Zoe Montana, Jimmy Holloway and Pandora Blake.
A few years ago a news story broke online which caused a stir amongst spanking enthusiasts. Doctors in Siberia had been promoting a new "whipping therapy" to treat patients suffering from addiction and depression. A 2005 article describes how "Russian scientists from the city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, made a sensational report at the international conference devoted to new methods of treatment and rehabilitation in narcology. The report was called “Methods of painful impact to treat addictive behavior.”" The idea is that addiction and depression often are caused by decreasing production of endorphins - and the pain caused by corporal punishment can stimulate endorphin receptors and rekindle the "production of happiness". The scientists recommended that consenting adults judged psychologically fit for the treatment receive a course of thirty sessions, each consisting of 60 cane strokes on the buttocks, accompanied by counselling and therapy.
Although the therapeutic effects of corporal punishment practised by enthusiasts can hardly claim clinical success, all of us who enjoy spanking know how beneficial it can be. Personally, I find that spanking - particularly caning - grounds me in my body, making me feel calm and centred. Being physically punished focusses me on my breath, in the moment, and quietens my busy mind. When you're being caned, you aren't thinking about anything else.
I find it reduces anxiety and irritability, increases my sense of my own resilience and makes me believe I have the power to tackle the things I'm struggling with, and increases my zest for life. Plus if it's done by the right person in the right way it can be very sexually exciting too.
I'm not a doctor, and it would be presumptuous for any of us to claim that our spanking practice is seriously rooted in medical science. But the idea of spanking as a form of treatment approved by the medical establishment is an appealing fantasy. Plus, it's an excuse for me to pull out my nurse uniform...
In The Russian Treatment, patient Mike Pain has admitted himself to a specialist clinic after suffering from depression and malaise. The clinic is trialling an experimental therapy which uses the application of corporal punishment, beginning with hand spanking in the first session, then - in part 2 - escalating to the strap and, finally, the cane.
The treatment has many benefits. Spanking boosts the circulation and triggers the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Patients report that it reduces anxiety, relaxes them, and improves sleep and mood. Nurse Pandora is careful to explain everything before asking Mike to sign the consent form - but it turns out that Mike doesn't take much persuading.
Lying over the nurse's knee on the bed, Mike surrenders to a firm hand spanking and deep bottom massage. He seems to take to the therapy very quickly... so quickly in fact that one can't help wondering whether this is the first time he's experienced something like this.
One week later, it's the final session of Mike's course of treatment. In the intervening time he's received daily spankings, including applications with the strap and cane; six strokes from Nurse Molly. Now, Nurse Pandora gives him another dose of the leather strap, administering ever harder strokes as Mike kneels on the wooden stool at the foot of the bed, his whole body rocked by the sharp blows.
Finally, it's time for the last caning of the treatment. On the nurse's recommendation, he receives twelve very hard strokes - a level of punishment that not every patient can endure. On all fours on the bed, Mike's upturned bottom is exposed - and his groans show that the pain is real. Still, as he breathes into each strokes, it's clear that the treatment is having the intended effect.
I really enjoyed making this two part nurse spanking film with Mike Pain and videographer Nimue Allen. It's a fun, satirical take on the Siberian medical caning story, and I think you can tell from the camp dialogue how much the set-up amused us. But there's also an authentic side to this scenario, from the genuinely hard cane strokes Mike bravely takes, to the exploration of the therapeutic benefits of spanking. If spanking for health and wellbeing interests you, you could do worse than to start with the breathing techniques advocated by Nurse Pandora in these films. Just let the pain flow through you... and remember to exhale.
This time last year, our short film Houseboy was awarded first prize in the Short Film Competition at the Porn Film Festival Berlin. Given Dreams of Spanking was offline at the time amid our struggles with ATVOD, this was a glorious fuck you to the censors, and powerful proof that porn depicting spanking that leaves marks can have cultural and artistic value. So we are beyond excited to return to this wonderful festival, now in its eleventh year.
The submission deadline was in June, before we re-opened the site; so we submitted the one film that had been shot during our ten month hiatus - Please May I Come, Mistress, the special Berlin edit of which is now available to watch online. It's a gorgeous, erotic docu-portrait of a real life BDSM dynamic, and the new edit combines the whole scene into a single short film, including intimate interviews with the performers, bondage, spanking, orgasm control, and lots and lots of love.
We're thrilled that Charlie Forrest and Zak Jane Keir's porn debut has been selected for screening, and it's lovely that Dreams of Spanking will be featured at the festival even though the site was offline during the submission period. And we're particularly pleased that the film will be opening the Fetish Porn Shorts programme. We've always felt that Fetish Porn was our spirital home in Berlin, but somehow or other our work has always been listed in other categories before. The rest of the line-up looks exciting too, including names like Ben Berlin and work by new performer-directors such as Nenetl Avril (whom we are hoping to shoot with at some point!)
Please May I Come, Mistress is screening at 00:15 on 28 October (Thursday night), and 11:15 on 29 October (Saturday morning). Pandora and Charlie will both be attending in person for a Q&A after each screening, so if you have any questions for them (or you just want to admire Charlie’s moustache in the flesh) please do come and say hi.
I love public displays of affection – when you as a stranger are treated to a little glimpse of how people are when they're alone.
After they'd shot this intimate spanking scene, Zak and Charlie sat whispering and cuddling on a sofa in the pub, and when I walked in you could see them radiate intimacy and warmth and happiness. I sidled up to Pandora and she couldn't contain her excitement: “we've just shot some amazing porn!” Then, with Zak interjecting occasionally, and Charlie 'mmm'-ing and nodding in a blissed-out state of happiness, she proceeded to tell me all about it.
So to say I've been excited to see this one is a bit of an understatement. I've known Zak and Charlie for a couple of years, having met in 2014 at Eroticon. They're both erotic writers, and so I'm more used to chatting to them about the written word than about the kind of intimate, explicit video they created that day. But there's something incredibly cool about hearing two lovely friends go over the details of the scene they've filmed – and how excited they are to share it with others.
If you want to get a sense of this feeling, you can read their blogs alongside watching the scene – Zak's Eroticon, Erotica and Porn and Charlie's 'Love, Camera, Action!' which explains how the scene came about:
Pandora Blake, having given a presentation on how to go about making your own porn, happened to mention that she was available if anyone was interested in shooting something that evening. Suddenly a few disparate thoughts coalesced and I sent a text message to the delightfully devious Zak saying, roughly, “I know this sounds a bit weird, but how do you feel about shooting a porn film?”
There are so many brilliant moments in this scene that work in exactly the same way as that public display of affection on the sofa in the pub: they show you how Charlie and Zak play in private. They are little flags of intimacy and closeness – from the way his toes curl when he's taking sharp smacks with the paddle to the murmurs and moans that Zak reads so skilfully to work out when to comfort and when to keep spanking.
If you're a fan of loving domination, and watching real BDSM play partners, then you'll adore this scene. And with two incredible people – Charlie's smart, debonair moustache contrasts so beautifully with his naked vulnerability when he presents his red bottom for a spanking. (Extra bit of behind the scenes gossip: Charlie's bright red because he was given a spanking by Pandora a little earlier in the day – it was an awesome day, I'm telling you). Zak is simultaneously controlled and eager. She uses skilled hands to work Charlie's cock into a rock-solid erection, but although her face shows that she's hungry to let him come, she holds off until he's trembling under the effort of keeping control.
It's a really subtle, flowing form of tease and denial – one which is only possible when a dominant knows a submissive so well that they can read their expressions like a book. Pandora tells me that they didn't need to cut at any point during the whole scene (of which this is just part 1 – part 2 is coming soon), as both performers just got immersed in the familiar flow of spanking, caressing, kissing, and touching.
So watch the scene, fall a little bit in love with Zak and Charlie, and then picture how they looked on the sofa when I went to meet them in the pub. Arms around each other, relaxed, happy looks on their faces, and a glowing remnant of the intimacy they'd just captured perfectly on camera.
Our new film Houseboy is a departure from the usual videos on Dreams of Spanking - and most other spanking sites. This is our first attempt at a cinematic short film, aiming for a higher standard of cinematography and storytelling than we are usually able to achieve. I wasn't planning to shoot this way from the start - it came about from a convergence of factors that created the perfect opportunity to try something new.
Casting Tai Crimson
It started last year, when I met an enthusiastically kinky and ridiculously cute young person from San Francisco. He was gorgeous, he loved spanking - he could certainly take it - and he expressed an interest in shooting for Dreams of Spanking. He wasn't old enough at that point to perform in porn, but I said that once he turned 18 I'd be very happy to work with him. We made plans to shoot together when he was next in the UK - which happened to be May 2015, less than a week after his eighteenth birthday. How's that for a coming-of-age celebration?
I normally prefer to work with kinksters who are a little older, simply because I value emotional maturity and experience in the people I shoot with. I think the common fetish for "barely 18" performers in porn is partly based on the idea that young performers are vulnerable, and so it's easier to take advantage of them and push their limits. I find this sleazy and totally unethical, and I'd always much rather work with older players who know their own minds and are able to look after themselves. It's important to me that the performers I hire can take responsibility for their own limits and communication, are experienced enough players to know their bodies and their preferences, and are secure in their decision to appear in fetish porn - because once you've done it, there's no going back.
When I met Tai, however, he exploded all of my preconceptions. Although a teenager, he has a rock solid sense of his kinky identity, and he's been exploring his interest in private for years. He is calm, confident, intelligent, self-reliant, and very emotionally mature. So at eighteen and a few days, Tai officially beats Talia Lane to the position of youngest performer on Dreams of Spanking - and yes, we do have his ID on file to prove it!
We put a date in the diary, and meanwhile Tai and I exchanged emails discussing his interests and preferences. But by March this year, when I needed to start firming up plans, I already knew that ATVOD were investigating Dreams of Spanking and that I was likely to have to stop updating the site for a duration of several months while my appeal was underway. I had lots of scenes already shot starring Fauni, Mike, Talia and David and others which I wasn't going to be able to publish, so there was absolutely no point spending money and energy shooting more material that might never see the light of day.
Towards a cinematic style
Meanwhile, I'd attended the British Fetish Film Festival in February and the Berlin Porn Film Festival last October, and I'd been thinking an awful lot about shooting styles, production values, and the budget and time constraints under which I was shooting.
Over five years I have developed a shoot style that produces one 10-15 minute spanking film per hour, in a remarkably stress free environment, with plenty of breaks. This is based on improvised scenes filmed live by one or two handheld camera operators, with perhaps some close-ups or cutaways to enhance anticipation in the build up to the spanking scenes, but otherwise shot with as few cuts as possible - unless the performers themselves need to cut. Lightweight, consumer-grade cameras make handheld shooting manageable without the camera operators getting too tired, and using auto-focus allows us to get visual variety by roaming around the scene shooting different angles, rather than stopping the action to reset each shot.
This non-disruptive shooting style allows the performers to get into an immersive scene space and stay in character, which helps the roleplay flow more smoothly, and also helps the bottom stay in their headspace and makes the spanking itself easier to take. It's a system that Nimue and I have got down to a fine art, and I was pleased that we'd reached a point where we could create nice-looking films within budget, while maintaining a relaxed and fun shoot environment for everyone involved.
The downside of this low-key shooting style is that the resulting films would never achieve the cinematic quality that I was seeing at the film festivals I was going to. I'd had a couple of films rejected from international festivals, presumably because the videography, audio quality and storytelling wasn't up to scratch. I found myself wanting to level up, and see if with a bit more money, time and effort, I could raise my production values and put Dreams of Spanking on the map as a credible producer of cinema-quality films.
So rather than hire Tai for a day shooting a number of improvised ten minute website updates, I decided to use him to do something different. I booked amazing boudoir photographer Matt Christie to help out with the videography - he'd expressed an interest in shooting video last time we shot together, he has a commercial-grade camera and he also had access to an amazing location perfect for the scenario I had in mind.
I started penning ideas for a single 10-15 minute short film. Not five films, or six films, or seven. Just one.
Developing the story
With Tai, I had an articulate and gorgeous masculine-of-center performer with a submissive streak a mile wide, who loved being spanked. I thought about the films I was seeing at festivals, and the lack of beautifully-shot female/male BDSM films shot from a female perspective, with a male submissive who is both beautiful and interesting, and not just a cipher propping up a sexually objectified female dominant. Instead of this I wanted to make Tai the lust object and protagonist of the film, focussing both the lens on his body, and the story on his character's journey.
I started with a fairly traditional plot - a young man applying for a submissive role in the household of an established mistress. I brainstormed ideas for visual storytelling, thinking about ways to focus the storyline on the tension and anticipation Tai's character feels before he takes the plunge towards fulfilling his submissive desires. I considered ways to create an interesting power dynamic between his character and mine. I quickly realised that I'd need a third performer, another submissive serving the mistress - someone to make his arrival at the house feel more formal and more intimidating.
I'd already talked to my friend Eliza Grey about having her on set as a shoot assistant, helping out behind the camera (she had planned to be with us on our shoot in November, but had sadly been unable to make it). I realised she'd be perfect for the role of a bitchy receptionist, enhancing Tai's nerves before his interview with the Madame... and once I'd cast Eliza, the rest of the story fell into place.
Writing the script
Ten days before the shoot, I was hurrying to finish the script on my laptop on the train. I'd never written lines for characters to say before, and I was finding it surprisingly difficult. I'd write a line, then agonise over it. What if Tai doesn't feel comfortable saying that? What if that's not what Eliza would say? I've always made a political point of not putting words in my performers' mouths, and suddenly that was what I was literally doing. At the same time I was all-too-aware that they were going to need to memorise their lines, and time was running out.
I closed my eyes, wrote some lines telling myself they were only placeholders, and sent it off with an apologetic email saying this was a very rough draft, and inviting them to make any changes they wanted. But my anxiety proved unfounded. In the end, bar one wording change, that script was the one we used - and Tai and Eliza rocked it.
Working with a storyboard
A week before the shoot I was on D's sofa after a fetish party, scribbling a 'storyboard' in biro on A4 paper from his printer while my friends chatted around me. After writing the screenplay I had a strong visual image in my mind's eye of what most of the shots would look like - now it was just a case of creating a visual reference so I could communicate my ideas to Matt on the day. I'd visited Matt's location a week ago, so the rooms were fresh in my mind. It was a useful exercise to think through camera angles and compose the shots, but I'm pretty sure it was the crappiest storyboard anyone has ever worked from. The most hilarious of my terrible stick figure drawings was this sketch of Eliza being spanked over my knee and feeling sad about it:
Professional production all round, innit.
The day of the shoot
The shoot day approached. I bought food and props, looked up travel options, packed suitcases, selected implements, printed scripts and release forms. Shortly before the day I realised that I'd inadvertently booked our shoot on the same day as the London Marathon, and the location we were using was only one block away from the route. That meant that not only would transport potentially be disrupted, but the exterior shots would all have a huge amount of background noise. Still, at this late stage there was nothing to be done about it. I booked an 8am taxi, the traffic at that hour was fine, and I was on set at 9am. Matt and I drank coffee and looked through the storyboard, then Tai and Eliza arrived - and it was all go.
Shooting from a script was a totally new experience for me, and a steep learning curve. I'd worked out the best shooting order, shooting the story in as close to chronological order as possible while minimising room and lighting changes. After that it was just a question of staying calm, following the callsheet and taking it one shot at a time.
I was using an external mic for the first time, and was grateful to have Eliza helping out and sharing the responsibility for making sure the mic was a) close enough, b) not in shot, and c) recording each time. She was also an absolute star helping out with moving lights, checking camera batteries and memory cards, making tea and tidying up behind us. A+++, would work with again. Plus it turned out she could seriously act...
It was a full day, perhaps a bit too full - nerves started to fray after a few hours, and everyone was feeling tired by mid-afternoon. The shoot would definitely have been easier with more camera crew or fewer scenes to fit in. After a few hours, Matt noticed a round smudge in the middle of the lens, and wiped it off - but of course there wasn't time to go back and re-shoot the shots we'd already done. By the time we came to shoot the confrontation between Tai and Eliza in the kitchen, everyone was so tired that that scene took about seven takes. Some of the shots ended up out of focus, and we got through so many cans of tonic that I was worried we'd run out!
Editing the film
Still, despite all that, when I came to look at the footage I was pleased to discover that most of it looked how I'd expected. There were a few surprises in the edit - such as that moment when I realised the reverse shot in one dialogue scene crossed the line and was therefore unusable, and was suddenly grateful that we'd shot three angles of that particular scene, even though at the time it felt like overkill. It was a monster of an edit, but satisfying too, sorting through all the footage, plugging it into place, and seeing how the scenes I'd envisioned in my mind played out on camera.
Choosing the music was another daunting prospect - I knew I wanted to avoid re-using the same creative commons soundtracks that you hear time and time again in indie porn, and that meant spending money. But how to start looking? First I worked out where music was needed - in the intro sequence, the montage, and the closing credits, which meant I needed two or three pieces in total. Then I did a rough edit of those sequences so I had a vague idea of how long the music would need to be. After that, I set a day aside to browse SoundDogs, typing in different keywords and playing pieces with my eyes closed, visualing the film, until I hit on a genre that felt right. I realised that for this story my usual taste in piano and cello-dominated classical and film score music wouldn't work - Tai's character needed something moody and masculine, guitar-led, energetic and driving. Finally I whittled down a selection, downloaded some samples and started laying them over the edit to see what worked.
Primarily, this film was intended to be screened at film festivals - which meant that the narrative would have a different structure than standard spanking films. In a film intended for someone to watch while having a wank, you need a carefully paced build-up and pay-off that sustains uninterrupted shots of climactic spanking action for long enough for the viewer to reach orgasm. In a longer film, there might be two of three of these build-ups and climaxes, separated by character-driven story. But at a film festival, the audience are watching to have their minds stimulated, not their genitals. Fast-paced editing is preferable, providing lots of new visual information with every shot. Explicit sequences need to be edited down to the bare minimum necessary to develop the characters and progress the story. So that was a new challenge: cutting the 15 minutes of high quality spanking action in, for instance, Tai's audition scene, down to the three minutes earmarked for it in the festival edit. The only way I was able to do it was by promising myself that I'd release the full, uncut scene as an extended edition on Dreams of Spanking later. But meanwhile the deadline for the Berlin Porn Film Festival was June 30th, so I had to get the shorter edit finished first...
In the end, thankfully, it was finished in time to submit to Berlin, and I'm hopeful that they'll accept it. I'll be submitting it to various other film festivals over the summer as well. I'm really happy with the finished film, and completely honoured to have been trusted with Tai and Eliza's porn debuts - and thrilled that they had a good time.
And that's a wrap!
It was a really long shoot day. We finished the scheduled shots around 7pm, 10 hours after I'd arrived on set. But then we cracked open the champagne and ended up chatting and buzzing on a total high, which led to another two hours shooting performer interviews, and even a behind the scenes caning for Tai when he confessed he still didn't think he'd been spanked enough...
By the time we finally turned the cameras off, sat down for some supper and tidied everything away, the sun had gone down - and it was 11pm before I finally got into a cab. Matt and I had been on set for fourteen hours, Tai and Eliza for thirteen. I am so grateful to the three of them for their enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism. It was a long fucking shoot and everyone put in so much energy and creativity it was kind of overwhelming. Overall, this production cost ten times as much as an average Dreams of Spanking video, but even so I still came away feeling like I hadn't paid people enough for the amount of work they'd put in.
Overall, this was a very satisfying project, and I'm really happy to have it under my belt. But it also taught me a lot about the trade-off that arises when you move towards a more cinematic shooting style. My previous method gave my performers more breaks, less stress and a much more satisfying kink experience. Shooting Houseboy, we did the bare minimum of spanking needed to get the shots I wanted - and stopping to move the camera, check the focus and lighting, consult the storyboard every few seconds made it hard to get immersed into a satisfying spanking headspace. I'm glad I hadn't scripted any particularly hard spanking scenes, because I think severe corporal punishment would be much more emotionally and physically challenging to take in this context.
I hadn't realised it before, but shooting in a more amateur style results in a much more rewarding experience for the performers - with more opportunity for top and bottom to develop an in-scene chemistry, focus on each other rather than the camera, and time for the bottom to sink into a yummy submissive headspace, without constant distractions.
So what can I take away from this? Well, I've learned that shooting in a cinematic style is something I can do, and that's good to know. I've learned that it's hard work, at least ten times as expensive as my usual shooting style, and considerably more time-consuming to produce and edit. It's also exhilarating, exhausting, and very creatively satisfying. I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a go, and I'm hopeful that the finished film will be screened in Berlin this year. But I've also learned that I don't want to start shooting this way every time. Perhaps I might be able to put out one cinematic film a year, but this experiment has restored my faith in my usual low-key way of shooting, which it turns out is preferable experience for me and my performers - and a much better environment to ask people to take hard spankings in. Our standard Dreams of Spanking shoots emphasise process over product, and trying something new has re-affirmed my faith in that process.
You can watch the long-play trailer for Houseboy below - and if you're a site member, please watch the full film and tell me what you think - and make sure you also check out the extended editions of Tai's and Eliza's spanking scenes, performer interviews and Tai's off-the-cuff behind the scenes caning.