Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Final Test: Preparations


Now it's bound to happen very soon. The first scene I have ever shot for a professional producer will be released on Dreams of Spanking. And what a scene! It's a fifty strokes severe caning and a scenario based on one of my very personal favourite fantasies. I've already written a bit about the caning itself and the reason why I wanted to do such a severe scene again after my very first try in private. In this post and the second part which will follow soon, Ludwig and I want to tell you more about the fantasy on which this scenario was based and the day of the shoot. We thought it would be interesting to integrate both of our perspectives into one (two-part) post, so you are going to find Ludwig's thoughts in brackets and bold letters and mine in standard letters.

The caning scene which we did for Dreams of Spanking in March 2011 was my second severe caning. I am not so much into extreme severity in private play, but like Ludwig I am of the opinion that it can be worth to "go the extra mile" in order to create a memorable spanking clip. When we filmed our first private severe caning experiment (which will be published for free very soon) in December 2009, I was quite convinced that this would be a "once in a lifetime" experience for me. The level of severity seemed so much on the edge of / outside my usual comfort zone that I didn't expect to ever have the desire to do something like that again. Actually, the main reason why I did that first severe scene wasn't that I desired the experience in the first place, it was the desire to have done such a scene as a special, bonding experience with Ludwig and to have an informed opinion about the severe scenes which he had done as a top for Mood Pictures and for Lupus Pictures with which I didn't really feel comfortable.

[When Kaelah and I did that first, private severe caning back in 2009, I had urged her to wait a bit longer with it - it was less than a year after her first practical experience with spanking, I argued, let us take a little more time and maybe get there in stages. But Kaelah said that waiting would not make it easier and that she just wanted to do that severe caning and get it over with. I respected her reasoning and her decision. Before I ever topped someone in spanking play, I had taken a harsh, Mood-style caning from a pro domme myself, an experience I found invaluable as a top and when discussing the sometimes controversial subject of severe caning videos. I could understand that Kaelah wanted to be able to participate in those discussions with an informed opinion, and that she also wanted to do the scene as a gift to me. However, I made a point of assuring Kaelah that she should not feel pressured in any way by me to do the scene, and she assured me that she didn't, that she wanted to do it out of her own initiative.]

That first scene really brought me to my limit (and beyond) and I wasn't very happy with the first batch of 25 strokes because I went into panic mode and hyperventilation. But, to my surprise, the second batch of strokes went much better and I even enjoyed watching the resulting scene on video. With that in mind, I suddenly developed the fantasy about a year later to do another severe scene for a professional producer, using the experience which I had gained during my first try in order to make this a good experience all around.

[I thought that the first, private scene went very well under the circumstances, and I love the resulting video footage. I  hope to be able to finally edit it over the New Year holidays so we can publish the video for you (it is going to be a monumental editing job). But no matter how much I lauded it, Kaelah was never fully happy with the scene and what she considered to be her "unsexy" reactions during the first 25 strokes. Still, it came as a bit of a surprise to me when she told me one day that she wanted to do another severe caning, for a professional producer this time.]

For that, I needed a producer who wouldn't set me under pressure and who would give me the time and the breaks in between strokes which I needed in order not to panic. I also needed a producer who wouldn't insist on frontal nudity, because that's outside my personal comfort zone. And I only wanted to do such a special scene embedded into a scenario which fit my personal fantasies. Given all these preconditions, our lovely friend Pandora and her actor-driven site Dreams of Spanking seemed like the right person and place to do this. And that turned out to be true.

[Indeed, Pandora was the ideal choice. Kaelah and I had shot videos with her the year before, and enjoyed the collaboration a great deal. Dreams of Spanking also promised to offer an intimate, almost family-like shoot atmosphere, where Kaelah could take as many breaks during the caning scene as she needed, without feeling like she was holding up an entire armada of technicians as would have been the case at, say, a large-scale Lupus Pictures production.]

Pandora liked the idea of doing a severe scene and she was also happy with the consensual scenario which I had worked out and gave Ludwig and me lots of creative freedom. The idea for the scene was very simple and loosely based on a scenario which I had fancied very much on Spanking Central. They had shot some caning scenes between a martial arts trainer and his students which were right up my alley.

I wanted an explicitly consensual and not punishment-related scenario, though. And so our scene is about a martial arts trainer and his student who is about to leave for a not specified journey which is going to be a great challenge. We left it to the viewers' imagination to decide where the student is going and why. I had the picture in my mind that she was leaving for China in order to practise with other students in a renowned and strict martial arts school. In order to prepare her for the challenges to come and to give her the self-confidence that she can make it through, the trainer and the student have agreed on one final endurance test which will require all her willpower to accomplish. The trainer completely left the decision whether to do that painful test or not to his student. She even has to confirm her decision directly prior to the test again and to take and keep her position voluntarily without any restraints or any external pressure to comply.

[I liked the consensual nature of the story a lot myself. I'm a fan of "brave girl" scenarios where a spankee seeks out such a caning, for whatever reason, out of her own initiative. Consensual scenarios like that are done much too rarely in spanking videos, so ours would stand out nicely among the myriad of formulaic, standardized schoolgirl / secretary / housewife punishment videos out there.]

The scene is not so much to the taste of punishment enthusiasts, but the consensual setting and the idea of a martial arts inurement practice are at the very core of my kink. And they are scenarios which are less common, so I hope that some fellow kinksters who have a similar taste are going to enjoy them as well. Pandora, Ludwig and I agreed to keep the spoken parts very short and rudimentary. Instead, we decided to embed the caning into an almost meditative composition of pictures and music, showing me practising Tai Chi. Given that I don't like my German accent, anyway, that I wasn't sure whether I would be able to talk coherently in anticipation of the scene and that I have a thing for the mixture of colours, music and fluent moves, I loved that idea. With all these details clarified beforehand, Ludwig and I went to England for my very first professional shoot.

I have to admit that I was a bit scared, though, fearing that the experience might become too overwhelming for me. Ludwig and I had already filmed two clips with Pandora before (which are also still to be published) which had been great but at the same time already very challenging for me. I am an INTJ and a control freak. Furthermore, spanking is something very personal for me, especially when I am on the receiving end. While filming amateur clips with Ludwig doesn't cause me lots of stress, making amateur clips that involve other people as well definitely is a challenge already. Regarding the action itself, medium severe scenes aren't problematic, either, but my first very severe scene absolutely brought me to my limit. Having made that scene in private, though, meant that I had all the time in the world and could have delayed or even cancelled the scene any time if necessary. I could also decide not to publish it if I didn't like the result and I could take it down any time (even thought that wouldn't delete the copies which would already have been made). But, a shoot for a professional site which of course meant that I wouldn't have any influence on the editing and the publishing, and then a very severe caning, too? I just hoped that I would be fine and not already a crying mess before the action scene even began.

[Kaelah and I talked about these insecurities in detail in the weeks before the shoot, which I think helped both of us be more at ease by simply getting everything out in the open and analysing it. I understood the challenges and had Kaelah's well-being on my mind more than anything else, but I was pretty optimistic and upbeat about the prospect of the shoot myself. We had done a severe caning scene in private, and we had done videos with Pandora before. Combining the two would be new, and a somewhat more daunting task, but overall we would not be doing anything fundamentally unlike what we had done before.]

We already met with Pandora on the evening before the shoot to talk through the plan for the next day. After all, we didn't plan to shoot only one scene. A geeky science-fiction scenario featuring Pandora, her partner Tom, Ludwig and me and a sweet little scene between Pandora and me only were supposed to follow the martial arts scenario. I definitely wanted to do the severe caning first in order to clear my mind for the next two scenes. From my first-ever severe caning experience I knew that I wouldn't need a very long time to recover, so I was sure that the caning wouldn't cause any physical or mental restrictions other than the need to rest some minutes afterwards.

Ludwig and I also had the chance to visit the location where we would be shooting the next day. We used this opportunity in order to try out different positions for the caning. As you know, I am not so happy with my waist-to-hip ratio which can make my bottom look very huge when I take an unfavourable position or choose the wrong angle. I definitely wanted to bend over a table for the scene, because I needed a place to rest my upper body upon and an edge which I could grab with my hands in order to cope with the pain. With Ludwig's help (I am lucky to have a boyfriend who is very honest with me concerning my look without making me feel ugly) we found the best possible position. That meant that I would have to put my feet beneath the table, though, and stand on tiptoes, which wouldn't make keeping the position any easier. But, hey, who cares about being comfortable as long as the result looks good?

[I could not help but notice the irony that Kaelah's fretting over how big her bottom looked from which exact camera angle seemed, on the face of it, a tad out of touch with the "Body positive! Hooray for non-conventional beauty!" philosophy of Pandora's site. Chuckle, chuckle... But seriously, I don't think there is a contradiction at all between being body positive, appreciating oneself with all of one's real or imagined "flaws", and simply wanting to look as good as is reasonably attainable when filming a sexy CP video. There is a legitimate difference between unhealthy obsession and healthy pefectionism-for-the-special-occasion. I do the same mild, unobsessive fretting before an F/M scene. In the weeks before filming the Ludwig's Comeuppance clip with Niki Flynn, I rode a stationary bicycle and did all kinds of other exercise I had not done in years... There is no better incentive for finally doing something good for one's health than making a spanking clip!]

And so we went to bed to get some rest and catch some sleep before the great adventure would start on the morning of the following day. I was excited and I am sure I slept a bit more fitfully than usual in anticipation of what was about to come.

To be continued...

11 comments:

joeyred51 said...

My caning fantasy is based on a Mood scene that involved almost a 100 strokes. For weeks, I wondered how I would do with such an extreme caning with my arms and legs restrained.

So, I set up the scene with a female friend who is one of the hardest caners in the kink community, and a well know Domme. I was very anxious before the scene, but managed to take more than the number in my fantasy.

The domme took a photo of my finished bottom with stripes, etc. I was shocked how BIG my butt looked in the photo.

After all that hard work, all I could think of was how gigantic my bum looked. Damn.

I am looking forward to seeing your film. I am sure your bottom will be cute on film. :)

Hug,
joey

Pandora Blake said...

I'm really enjoying editing this film, Kaelah. You are so brave and beautiful throughout the caning, and the tai chi sequences are just glorious. Such fluid grace, I can only envy it. I hope you'll be satisfied with the results!

The thing that's surprised me is how short the caning sequence turned out to be. It took an hour or more to film and the resulting footage is only ten minutes, plus the tai chi sequences I'm putting together. I've found some gorgeous music. I think it will be beautiful and will have the emotional effect you wanted. But the resulting film will perhaps only be 20 or 25 minutes long - much shorter than I expected! Still, I'm preferring well edited short films at the moment to ones that ramble on and on.

Of course there's half an hour of behind the scenes footage at least, which is such an essential companion to the main film I was wondering about editing them together as a single piece. But I think I will stick to releasing a short, powerful, martial arts caning movie, and an accompanying documentary.

Both sides are a delight to watch y your performances were superb and you really express yourselves well. Thankyou so much.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ludwig,

is your email at gmx.de working?

jony (bdsm.cz)

Ludwig said...

@ Pandora: Yes, Kaelah is brave and beautiful indeed in the raw footage I saw, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the edited video.

It's true that caning videos tend to turn out shorter than one expects. But even with a long 50 stroke caning, with strokes given at intervals of 4 to 6 seconds, you end up with a total length of only three and a half to five minutes. And once I get into a "groove" of having my aim right and being able to hit where I want to with great force, I tend to give the strokes a little too fast. I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, stretch the scene out a little, so it doesn't end up looking too hasty (mind you, in some of the Lupus videos, they do even faster "rapid fire" canings of 25 strokes in less than a minute, which really strikes me as a waste of a potentially good scene...).

I agree that separating the actual video from the behind-the-scenes parts and releasing them as companion pieces, rather than one video, is the better way to go.

@ jony: Yes, my email is working.

Lea said...

It sounds like Pandora's site was wonderful to work with in doing things the way you wanted. I'm sure it turned out great! I'm trying not to roll my eyes too much about your bottom ever looking large.

Spankingfreunde.DE said...

looks nice but your dresscode (geht ja gar nicht!) how to translate?

But I love the fantasy at your show! Thw strokes looks very good! Not so mixed you can often seen!

Kompliment! Sieht nach verdammt guter Arbeit aus, nicht nur was die Striemen betrifft! Leider sieht man zu oft Mainstream ohne Fantasie!

Kaelah said...

@ Joey:
It's great that you managed to fulfil your fantasy!

For me, 100 strokes of that kind of severity would have been too much, though. The caning started completely cold and almost full force right from the beginning. This time there was no blood, but the last time I already had some bloody spots after 50 strokes, so adding more wouldn't have been a good idea. Both times the most visible marks lasted for about two weeks and some spots were slightly differently coloured for months. So, more strokes would only have meant more damage and more healing time. They wouldn't have added anything to the experience (since I didn't go into any kind of subspace) and nothing new for the viewers, either.

But, I can imagine that more strokes can be interesting with a warm-up and a slightly slower build-up (as you seem to have done in your scene). I'm not sure whether I am able to go into any kind of subspace at all, though, because I am a control freak and I don't seem to produce lots of endorphins, either. I definitely felt all the strokes of the two severe canings I did, except for a slight adaption to the pain which made the next strokes a bit easier to bear than the very first ones.

Yes, it can be shocking how big one's bottom looks in pictures, right? I didn't find your bottom huge in your picture, though. I guess one is always much more critical about one's own pictures than about those depicting others. :-)

@ Pandora:
I am looking forward to seeing the final result today! But I have to admit that I am also a bit nervous because usually I am not completely happy with my performance. I have already been thinking: Maybe the reactions are too suppressed, maybe the viewers will find the scene boring, and so on. But, hey, I guess that's normal! And at least the scenario represents a real fantasy of mine and the reactions were absolutely genuine, too. :-)

I have to thank you for the great, relaxed atmosphere which you created at the shoot and for the wonderful setting for the scene. I love the mirror in the background! And the behind-the-scenes documentary is almost as important to me as the scene itself. It sets the scene into the bigger context of kinky fantasies and kinky exploration, and I think that's great and gives the scene an even more personal and therefore also erotic touch.

@ Jony:
Your e-mail got through.

@ Lea:
Yes, Pandora indeed was the right person to work with for this film! Thank you for not rolling your eyes about my "big bottom theory". ;-) I guess we all have our insecurities and that waist-to-hip ratio is mine and has been mine since my teenage years.

@ Spankingfreunde:
Yes, Ludwig is an extremely accurate caner and I love the accuracy of the resulting marks. As for the outfit: What kind of outfit would you have chosen for a martial arts scene? We decided to keep it as realistic as possible, so I wore a real Tai Chi suit (in which I also practice Tai Chi in this clip, which means that I had to wear suitable clothes, anyway). I can understand that for some viewers a more genuinely sexy outfit would have been more interesting, but I have to admit that I personally find martial arts suits very sexy. In my most favourite scene at Spanking Central the guys were wearing Judo-suits (and the caning was applied over the clothes) and I found that extremely sexy! To each their own, I guess. ;-)

Pandora Blake said...

I'm thrilled to announce that The Final Test has just been released on Dreams of Spanking. I am delighted with it. Kaelah and Ludwig, I hope you are too. :)

http://dreamsofspanking.com/scene/item/final-test

Just putting the final touches on the behind the scenes documentary - that should hopefully go up tonight or tomorrow.

sixofthebest said...

Ludwig, I loved the caning, you gave Kaelah. The swish of this beautiful spanking implement sounded perfectly upon reaching her naked derriere.

Anonymous said...

WOW!
Wonderful That the two of you went on this fine project : grace with a fan and tolerance with a cane WELL done – Thanks! – Eric

Kaelah said...

@ Pandora:
The clip is wonderful and I love the music you have chosen! I've seen that the behind-the-scenes reports are now up as well. I'm looking forward to watching them. :-)

@ sixofthebest:
Glad you enjoyed the scene!

@ Eric:
Thank you for your kind compliments! I'm happy that you obviously enjoyed the clip.:-)