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Sunday, June 6, 2010

(my) Life as a Fetish Media Producer

The life of a fetish media producer is part fetish, part fantasy and part business.

- James Darke

This article is being posted several places including some that are not tickle-centric.

This information is not being presented as "The Definitive Word", but as my experiences in the hopes that it helps and inspires those still searching for answers.

I hope that other producers will chime in with their experiences so we can all benefit and so I can learn too.

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When I started to shoot my foot and tickle fetish videos, I was already shooting models commercially for TV commercials, print and international media projects. I would always make sure that any model I shot had to (for some unexplained reason) remove her shoes, baring her soles to my lens.




Commercial shoot in the Caribbean for a Japanese electronics firm with model Alley Castillo.

When I could push the envelope, I would sneak in some tickles using techniques such as telling the model that I use tickling to create a believable image of happiness or that tickling creates a more realistic visual sense of her active, energetic side. Whatever the ploy, I would try to push the envelope on how intensely I could tickle, whether I could tickle feet and ribs or whether I could bare her soles on set in front of a full production team.




Commercial shoot in the Orlando, FL for a Japanese electronics firm. The ticklee in this shot was very dominant and violently ticklish.

It was like having this huge private secret publicly performed. I had to artfully answer questions of “why” from production team members at times.

Once I finally started shooting the wife and my female friends, I really began to hone in on the pure essence of capturing my fetishes on video.

Fast-forwarding to today, I shoot full DVDs and video clips focused mainly on tickling with some foot, spanking and ice torture mixed in. For me, this is still a side gig and can only be done when it doesn’t conflict with my straight-laced “walking in the sunlight” career.




HOW I GET MODELS
Years ago, I remember telling my wife that “if I could just get 3 or 4 models to shoot regularly, I’d be set”. I now have about 90 models signed up through my online modeling profile submission to shoot tickle videos with me – and the list keeps growing just about every week.

Model sites - Modeling sites such as http://ModelMayhem.com, OMP, Model Brigade and a host of others provide an un-ending stream of models looking for all kinds of work all over the world. I mainly use ModelMayhem.com as my flagship shingle. MM is by no means a perfect solution, but it gives me the opportunity to showcase some stills from my shoots that depict what I need models for so that those who wouldn’t be caught dead being tied and tickled just mosey on by, while the adventurous souls in need of some sole divination can step right up, look over my little shop of horrors and contact me for work.

ModelMayhem discriminates to keep the rif-raf out. So if you're thinking of moseying on over to annoy the hell out of some models, know this; Even if you try to open an account, they'll likely shut you down if they don't feel you make the quality cut. It's a site for people who really work in the modeling industry. Most of my communications to book models happens there.

Proactive models - Done right, models are little hottie businesses. So more often than not, I’m contacted by an industrious, proactive model to see if I’d like to hire her for some video work. I generally try to make it work out if I feel that she will be a draw for some reason.

While I am a true fetishist at heart, I’m also a businessman, committed to some image standards. Some models are very, very persistent. I’ve even had one model post public messages to try and guilt me into hiring her. That was different. One year later I hired her. I can’t honestly say that it was worth it. Some models are a bit unrealistic in that they wish to be hired 3 – 5 times per month. For my tiny operation, that’s not a real possibility.

Social Networks - Myspace, Facebook and other social networks can be helpful for finding models, but I mainly use them to look at more pictures of the model before I commit to hiring her. MM and other modeling sites limit the number of photos available in a portfolio. So the models quite often also provide a link to a social network to show a much larger number of their modeling photos.

While it is quite possible to find models in social networks, its been my experience that girls who are really seeking fetish video work are more likely to be in modeling sites.

Twitter - many people still don’t get the true marketing and promotional value of twitter. Many of the most popular fetish models hand out there. I’m mainly there to let the public know what’s happening with my shoots and product launches. I also get to connect with some models on social, technical and work issues. I’m still working on a ‘holy-grail’ twitter marketing function. Hopefully I’ll get it working before the end of the year. Follow me on twitter at @TickleVideos to get free original tickle photos, video previews, live shots of tickle video shoots as they're being made and to track my convos with hot models around Earth.

Model referrals - One of my biggest sources of new models is existing model who refers new models to me. Hot girls bring other hot girls. (This is also known as ‘Christmas on steroids’ back on my home planet).

I pay the referring model $50 for each new model she brings me. One of the coolest things is when I catch the referring model admiring me as I'm in the heat of battle enjoying my new shiny, tasty ticklish toy.

GETTING BUTTERFLIES
Then - I remember my very first model photo shoot. I had to choose 6 models out of 20 for a leg cream ad spot. Having 20 hot girls vying for my attention, focus and selection was overpowering. Hell, I couldn’t even remember my name. I was sooo anxious about the photo shoot. I over-thought it to death. When I applied the cream to the first girl’s legs, I immediately became a very convincing mimic for Omar the tent maker (in my pants). It was embarrassing. I had to cancel the shoot.

Now - 300 models later, I still feel a little anxiety before a new models comes over, but I’m sure it’s far less than what she’s feeling (coming to some strange random dude who is going to tie and tickle the shit out of her). Within the first 30 seconds of tickling, I don’t think anyone has any time for dam butterflies.

MODEL ISSUES
If you’re in the biz, you just can’t escape a myriad of model related issues. IMHO, models range for articulate, thoughtful, intelligent, ravishingly hot to bumbling, inconsiderate, dim and hot enough for a second look. For the most part, my approach to models is that I don’t expect perfection or professionalism from them. So I am seldom disappointed. Here are some of the model issues I’ve had to deal with:

No shows - You plan, communicate, prepare and block the time, and the model doesn’t show up. Best case, something real came up (life happened). Worst case, she’s hung over or didn’t wake up. In either case, my real-life is some dam jam packed that I simply going on to another task. If a model does it twice, I accept that she is successfully telling me that she’d “rather lick lint than shoot with me”, and that’s ok. It’s actually quite rare, but I have experienced it.

The Late Chick - The shoot is set to start at 2 pm and she arrives at 2:30. Sometimes, I just adjust. But if I have other things happening on a schedule that day, I may have to shorten the shoot. To share the joy, I’ll usually reduce the pay to match the late arrival. I’ve had models arrive 3 hours late with lengthy ‘dog ate my homework excuses’ that mimic nail on a chalkboard while wasting even more precious time. Such models will not make it into the astronaut program.

Drunk & high - Models who show up drunk or high to my shoots are useless and are sent home with no pay. I’ve only had it happen once and would not rehire such a model.

The unpardonable sin - While I can tolerate some infractions, the most egregious one for me is when a model tries to renegotiate her pay on set. That unique combination of greed and folly is more than I can survive. Such a model must go home with no supper. One model came close to this sin, but changed her choice of words.

Security escorts - I welcome models to bring male and female escorts especially if they’ve never shot with me before. The only times I’ve ever had an escort interfere with a shoot was (1) a music video project many years ago. He kept interacting with her while we were shooting. I simply sent the model home with half pay and let her know that she could only shoot with me again if she brought no escort. (2) The other defective escort spoke to the tied up model while the video camera was rolling. I was almost done with the shoot. So I just fixed it in the edit. They will not be back.

One of the coolest things about having security escorts on set is tying and tickling some dude’s woman in front of him. What a rush. I’ve even had one model’s fiancĂ© ask me to tickle his lady’s tied feet extra long because it really was her weak spot. It turns out that she dominated him at home and he could never get the upper hand. I’ve also had models bring their boyfriend along to learn from me how to tie and tickle them.

2257 & ID - Every photographer and videographer MUST make sure to have every model fill out a dated model release with a state issued photo ID attached every time you shoot them. Staying legal is terribly important. Not only will you be obeying the law, but if a model should get a new boyfriend and decide that she no longer wants last week’s shoot to be sold in your store, you will have a leg to stand on.

I take this a step further in my online modeling form by having the models tell me where I can tickle them and where another girl can tickle them. Boundaries are good things people.

Allergies - I’ve had a couple models allergies act up because of my cats. It is helpful to ask questions about potential allergies and plan your shoot accordingly.

Getting ready on set & MUAs - If you don’t stay on top of the models, they can spend 1.3 eternities in the bathroom getting ready. This can really shorten the available production time. My policy is the paid 2 hour clock starts when they are ready to go on set.

I’ve started hiring an MUA (Makeup Artist) for my shoots and will have to factor that time penalty as well.

Market Feedback - Even though I’ve come to really trust my judgment on the hotness model factor, I still seek feedback from customers and online forums. Generally, the value of such feedback is that it will often correlate to sales. So if you can only hear the crickets chirping when you release a video with a new model, you may have just participated in a charitable event.

Money - Some fetish video producers struggle with the issue of money. I don’t. I see this as a small side business. So I define what I can afford and how much I need to make in order to justify my production expenses. My pay rate is as follows:

• $50 for a model referral
• $50 for a model audition
• $150 for a 2 hour shoot (time clock starts when models are ready to go on set)
• $200 for a 2 hour topless shoot (time clock starts when models are ready to go on set)
• $250 for a 3 1/2 hour shoot (time clock starts when models are ready to go on set)
• $300 for a 3 1/2 hour topless shoot (time clock starts when models are ready to go on set)

The occasional model will demand more money. I simply hire someone else. I do however make exceptions for known models in the industry. But they’ve got to be models who are on my fantasy ‘must have’ list to get the extra coinage.

Cell phone calls on set - No.

Interviews - Shooting interviews with the models before and after the shoot can be very revealing and add value to customers. Its fun to do. Generally models like to talk to the customers this way.

Model names - Two issues here. I highly recommend that all fetish media producers use a consistent name for your models in your video clip descriptions. It’s annoying as hell to try and figure out a hot model’s name so I can search for all the videos she’s in. Also, please add their names as keywords so that they are search-able. It’s the little things people.

The other issue with names is that some models who don’t think 10 moves down the road may think it fun to change their names with their hair color. My policy is that the name that you give me when you start shooting with me is the only name I will ever list you by.

Nylons - IF you guys know the high number of models that can’t remember to bring nylons, it would surprise you. I’ve resorted to having several pairs of nylons on hand for them to use. Nylons + Models = Normal, right?

Snacks & Water - It’s only recently occurred to me that I need to keep some light snacks handy for the models. They often come to the shoot really hungry. While you don’t want them stuffed during a tickle video shoot, you also don’t want them distracted by hunger pangs. Also, you might want to keep some bananas handy to give them a potassium jolt to fight off the occasional foot cramp. Having water handy is great, especially right after a really intense tickle torture session. Dehydrating models isn't one of my fetishes.

BEING CREATIVE
While I think everyone can really appreciate the “wham bam thank you mam … in your face … tickling for no reason” fetish video (tickle or otherwise), breaking things up now and again can add some much appreciated spice for some customers and add a real sense of production value for the producer. For me personally, I’m trying to shoot more script based tickle fetish videos where there is some purpose or theme for at least the major portion of the DVD. It’s definitely still a work in progress (that I’m enjoying).

Script ideas - Like many other fetish media producers, I always get lots of script or scenario ideas from customers and people in the forums. Some times they can be helpful cues to get me heading in a direction. Other times, even if they are great ideas, I may have to pass on them or delay them quite a bit because I’m already committed to shooting some other videos or because they require certain models or some other resource. But by all means, please continue sending in those great and crazy ideas.

I've attached the original shooting script for my DVD "The Home Office 2" as a working example for those who are looking for a starting point. There are certainly better ways to produce a good script. This is simply how I did it.

Sets - The use of believable sets can be very powerful in setting the tone and believability of a story based fetish video. This is one area where I still have some solving to do. Simple things like the use of an office, warehouse, garage, kitchen or gym can go a long ways to producing great fetish media which doesn’t fit in a bedroom or living room. I’m still working to improve this in my videos.

Wardrobe - Selecting the right wardrobe can really help sell the illusion of the story. But often, the producer is limited by the outfits the model has in her collection. This is one area where the experienced models can generally really excel. Some of these girls show up with suitcases bursting at the seams with lots and lots of great outfits. Sometimes, the less experienced models don’t let you know that they don’t have the outfits you requested (for fear that you would hire someone else instead). When this happens, I put on my Walmart plastic happy face and creatively make lemonade with lemons.

Acting - In my online modeling profile, I ask about any skills the models may have. Acting can be a very useful one. I’d never commit the cardinal sin of asking a model to ‘act’ ticklish, but having her act as a character or read lines convincingly can really help sell the fantasy. Many models really like to be directed to act. They often fantasize about being actresses.

I'll be the first to say that I've still got miles to go in getting the models acting to a decent level. It's a work in progress and a labor of love.

Teleprompting - When shooting scripted videos, I never require the models to memorize lines. That would only fail. So instead, I provide, either written scripts, a laptop off camera or a large LCD monitor (42” or higher) where I can telepromt to feed them their lines. Unlike the news, I find it better to let them ad-lib a bit as long as they aren’t changing the branching or meaning of the script. That generally results in lines that are delivered better.

Props - I’ve only made limited use of props in my videos so far but strongly encourage other producers to consider the use of props only when they help to convey critical elements of the story line or when they sell the illusion of the scene.

Digital backdrops - Based on the use of a green screen, I am experimenting with the use of digital backdrops to create believable environments. The main concern that I have is to only use this when I can ensure it doesn’t look so bad that it distracts the viewer from the story line and the fetish action. But done well, this could really open up a massive world of opportunity.

The main technical issues to content with in digital backdrops are:

• Lighting - If the backdrop imagery has brighter lighting than your models, or if the source direction in the backdrop footage is noticeably different than your real lights, the resulting composite with look artificial.

• Camera angle - The camera angle in the backdrop must match the camera angle of your actual live video camera.

• Shadows - If the backdrop footage has a ground that your models will be on, you must facilitate some shadow post-production solution or they will appear to not be fixed to the floor.

• Equal temperature - The light hitting the backdrop must be equal temperature. This means that the entire surface of the backdrop (green screen) must be lit at equal brightness levels. Additionally, you must provide lighting that cancels shadows cast by the models onto the green screen.

Video F/x - Another aspect of producing creative fetish media is the use of video effects. One example of this in some of my work is the use of picture-in-picture overlays where I zoom in on one section of the video, crop that area and overlay it on the large video footage in order to draw close-up attention to (for example) feet being tickled. Shooting in both 16:9 aspect ration and full HD (1920 x 1080) allows this type of visual effect to be possible.

COLLABORATING
One of the things I really hope to do more is collaborative shoots where I work with other producers to create the story concept, book (and pay) the models and perform the shoot.

I was lucky to have a great experience doing this with FTKL on the Captives Revolt project. It was big fun all around and we got some sweet footage. We thought it through and developed a Collaborative Media Development Rights document so that we were able to be very clear on how we would use and sell the resulting work product.










I strongly recommend more producers reach out to occasionally try doing such joint projects. I can provide the agreement to anyone who needs it with the understanding that I am not a lawyer and can provide you no legal advice. The document therefore serves only as an example of what FTKL and I previously did.

CUSTOMERS
While I know there are those who wish that all fetish media producers would make their video available to the public for free, back on Earth we do this stuff as a business for our customers. Every customer is a big deal.

Customers service - No matter what clips4sale.com posts on their website on includes in the sale receipt email directing customers to contact customer support with difficulties, as a store owner, I get contacted with several issue, most of which I can do nothing more than contact clips4sale for help. As long as I can remember, I try to pursue every customer service request to the satisfaction of the customer.

Frequent Buyer Program - I’m about to launch my new Frequent Buyer program to automatically award store credit for free videos clips to any customer meeting certain purchase requirements. The idea is to create a tangible thank you for my customers.

Just last week, I was in the Caribbean working for an international organization. I happened to be on camera for a nationally televised program. My iPhone kept buzzing to indicate new mail. During the one-hour period of my well manicured, on-camera behavior, I had made a little over $120 from my clip stores. That’s when I conceived the idea to create my Frequent Buyer Program. To sign up for it, you’ll have to visit http://VeryTicklishGirls.com. Look for it soon.

MARKETING & ADVERTISING
Like any business, you’ve got to market and advertize your fetish store. There are many options out there. The big question is “which solutions are effective”?

Social media - Social networks such as Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and others can be very good for interacting with customers and those curious about your brand of fetish media. The main problem is that these puritanical sites tend to frown on fetish flavored fun. So my advice to you if you really want to use these social media sites is to consider your account disposable. Every day that your account is not deleted is a bonus. Before your account gets deleted, launch a backup account. I’ve had 8 Myspace and Youtube accounts.

Buying online ads - Buying ads is something I’m still not sure of except that I’m considering doing some of this in 2009. If anyone has recommendations on this please let me know.

Buying print ads - One of my store providers in the Netherlands offers to place my ads in European print fetish magazines. This I plan to experiment with in January.

Trading banners - I don’t trade banner much. But the one site that I do it with always sends me traffic.

Forum previews - Probably the most valuable marketing and advertising solution is to post preview clips in the fetish forums. For tickling, that’s [url]http://TicklingForum.com[/url] and [url]http://TickleTheater.com[/url] . The one critical bit of advice I’d like to share with fetish media producers about the forums is that there are some people who will only view your free preview clips but will never ever buy the video from your store. Some are just opposed to paying for it. Others just don’t have the money. And there are those who suffer with their love of fetish in silence while their mate either knows nothing of it or forbids them to buy such fetish media.

In-clip previews and references - Sometimes, I add a preview clip to the end of a full length clip as a way of up-selling some of my videos. Other times, during my storyline, I refer to a previous video clip and show a quick segment of it. These methods can generate additional sales.

See the "The Home Office 2" preview above to see a sample of how this is done.

Multiple online stores and sites - At this point, I have so many online stores that I really end up giving primary focus to just the main ones. My main stores are

http://ShyAndWildTickling.com - Main store – http://5557.c4slive.com/ Streaming membership site, Imageset store and DVD store

http://HotTicklishLadies.com - WMV Downloads membership site.

http://TicklishDominatrix.com - WMV Downloads membership site of dominant women tied and tickled.

http://HotTicklishMoms.com - Real moms tied and tickled Streaming membership site
Imageset store - DVD store

http://www.clips4sale.com/studio/21174 Frakin Skin Jobs - Tickled Topless and Beyond
Video clip and DVD store

http://HotTicklishLadies.com
- Downloads membership site

http://www.StealthID.com/shop/11/video - Clips store in the Netherlands

I have about 5 other stores but am barely tracking them right now.

SECRET IDENTITY
Some in the fetish media industry (including me) feel a critical need to keep our real identity hidden. I’ve heard criticism of this from some who gladly show their face on camera and can appreciate those who do and those who don’t show their face on camera. In my case it’s simply a matter of pushing the envelope as far as I can without risking negatively impacting my main career and commercial business customers who are more conservative.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recently Added At 5557.c4slive.com - Nov 8, 2009

Here's some of what we've added recently at our http://5557.c4slive.com/ $13.95 membership site.



































http://5557.c4slive.com/ $13.95 - Our membership site.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jaden Starr - Audition Tickling

GET THESE VIDEOS AT SHYANDWILDTICKLING.COM


Jaden Starr is a hot new high energy fetish model at ShyAndWildTickling.com.


We plan to bring you lots of new videos featuring Jaden along with other new models.



Jaden Starr is a feisty and spicy Latina with a strong dominant spirit.



She's wicked ticklish and does all that she can to avoid it in her videos.



Check out her audition previews below and get the full videos at ShyAndWildTickling.com today.





Jaden Starr - Audition Hogtied Tickling 1



Jaden Starr - Audition Spread Eagle Tickling 1



Jaden Starr - Audition Spreader Bar Tickling 1



Jaden Starr - Audition Chair Tied Tickling 1

JD
ShyAndWildTickling.com

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aiko & Chasity Tickling 1 - Photoset Complete


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