Posted at 18:52 on 20 Aug 2010 by Pandora / Blake
I thought, when I moved out of London with Tom to a much bigger house, that it would be easier for me to find opportunities to film for my work-in-progress spanking site. Living with my Dom, a bedroom big enough to set up a camera and lights - I was looking forward to being able to shoot more easily than when I was in London.
But so far, it hasn't turned out quite that way. I've ended up getting very involved in setting up Tom's new business, and since we moved, working on that has taken all my spare time outside paid work. At the same time, the stress of the last couple of years combined with the exhaustion of moving and starting a new enterprise has seriously compromised Tom's health, and one of the things which has been put on hold to give him a chance to recover is our sex and spanking life. It's tough, but hopefully temporary.
When Ludwig and Kaelah said they were coming to the UK and would like to come and stay, I jumped at the chance - it drove me nuts not having enough space to play host in London, and I'm revelling in the fact that our new home has a spare room. Ludwig said he would potentially be interested in filming a clip or two while they were there. Him and Kaelah's relationship is one in which they only play with one another, but since Ludwig has prior experience appearing as a switch in spanking videos, they've agreed to make an exception for filming. They've filmed one clip together at home, but Kaelah said she might be interested in sharing her first experience shooting with other people with me, Tom and Jimmy.
Well. With so flattering an offer, how could I refuse? We worked out that a "professional" shoot where I hired them, got them to sign releases etc, probably wasn't what they were looking for this time, for various reasons. So we agreed that we'd shoot some free clips for the blogs, just for fun.
On previous shoots, I've always made sure I had experienced industry people around to help me with the cameras, lighting and audio. As a producer I've been able to delegate the technical side of the day entirely, and focus on everything else. This time, since I wasn't filming commercial content which would justify the expense of a camera crew, I decided to go it alone. Jimmy (who has a lot of technical confidence, but not much experience) offered to help out behind the camera, and I decided to take the plunge, and get to grips with the equipment I bought last year but have never operated myself. I was going to have to learn at some point; I want to be able to shoot informally at home if Tom and I are in the mood, without it having to be a big production with camera crew each time.
It felt a little weird agreeing to produce blog content with Ludwig and Kaelah when I'm frustrated by not having time to shoot material for my site, but in the end it was the right decision. It removed a certain amount of pressure, and liberated us to work out the dynamics of shooting together for the first time, in a new location and without outside technical assistance, without feeling like I had to "get my money's worth" or meet any quotas.
So it was a day of firsts: Kaelah's first experience bottoming and filming with someone other than Ludwig; and my first experience not only shooting with them and in a new venue, but also operating independently behind the camera.
There was lots of planning by email. I sent over a few scene ideas, but in the end Kaelah wrote the two scripts we ended up using on the day. Both were school scenes, reflecting her desire to participate in the more "innocent" end of the genre, rather than any explicitly erotic or sexual scenes. An awful lot of thought and creativity went into the final concepts - most of it Kaelah's. I've been very busy with vanilla work lately, and so wasn't able to be as active a part of the planning phase as I'd have liked, but we worked out two plots with two tops and two bottoms, and two different but matching school uniforms. I found myself in the unusual position of being the voice of realism, reining in Kaelah's enthusiasm and perfectionism with the pragmatism I've learned the hard way. Normally I'm the one to try and take on too much - it was odd being the one to suggest that we should avoid being too ambitious and not bite off more than we could chew. I think I've learned my lesson there, at least!
They arrived on Sunday night, and we enjoyed a relaxed evening cooking, eating and catching up. The next morning we were up early to start at 9am, since we only had the venue until 5pm and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time in case anything went wrong. At the last minute, Tom realised he wasn't able to spend the whole day away from his office, so we rewrote the first scene for a single top, and arranged for Tom to join us after lunch.
I was glad I'd left us as much time as I had. It allowed us to set a leisurely pace without getting stressed out. The venue I'd found was beautiful, but we had to spend a fair amount of time moving furniture around to create the desired headmaster's study/senior common room effect. My lights worked but I couldn't find the bulbs, so there was a mission into town to buy new ones. We were using Ludwig and Kaelah's cameras, and the four of us spent a couple of hours blocking the various shots and working out where to put everything. It was slow work for four newbies, but we managed it without any strife. By midday we'd set up everything for both scenes, so we wouldn't have much faff after lunch, and we were ready to film the first clip, "The Protection Racket".
Kaelah had written a story about two schoolfriends who both come forward individually to confess to the same crime, creating a tangle which their teacher needs to somehow sort out. Both girls have good reasons for believing their friend to be the culprit, and want to save them from punishment.
But neither is a particularly good liar, and their teacher doesn't need to be a genius to work out that neither story rings true.
He applauds their spirit of self-sacrifice, but lying to a teacher is still unacceptable. They won't be punished as much as if they had been the culprit, but they still need to be punished.
In the end, it all came together okay. Jimmy was an absolute star managing both cameras while I was acting, and I really enjoyed working with him behind the scenes - I think it bodes well for our future collaboration. By the end of the day I felt totally exhilirated at the knowledge that not only had we produced some good content without any stress, in a new location and with new people, but that we'd done it totally independently, without needing to bring in outside help. As a producer I seem to be learning from past mistakes every time I make them, and this time I think I managed not to cock anything up. Quite an awesome feeling! I feel much more confident about shooting my own material in the future now, and am looking forward to having the time.
I had great fun working with Ludwig and Kaelah, and was really impressed with their enthusiasm and dedication. Kaelah has written a brief update about the shoot on their travelling journal, but I'm sure they'll have more to add once they get home and recover from their trip. It was an honour to help Kaelah have her first experience of filming with other people. I'll post the clips as soon as they're ready to share.