FEED Issue 15


Fivestar tries to foster a collaborative environment with cast and crew, where performers feel valued and respected. But VR BDSM adult content has its challenges because of the more extreme activities embraced in this variety of sex. “When performers are engaged in flogging or impact play with a stationary camera in front of their face, they’re not able to move as much or make as much eye contact. It means intimacy is generally lower than it would be on a more typical adult content set,” she says. “Most performers hate shooting VR content because it’s more technical, and male performers really hate it because they’re expected to perform under difficult circumstances.” BREAKING CHAINS What consumers do and don’t want has been hard for Fivestar to gauge. “I know people are buying subscriptions to VR adult content, so that’s how we know to keep on making it. But we’re hoping to get more analytics soon. BDSM is such a niche genre and I don’t think many people are buying it right now, and it’s hard to get accurate data from the people that do buy it.” Fivestar gets a lot of positive feedback for the content that her company puts on Kink, especially the female dominant content, where the female is in charge and the male is either tied up or not as mobile. “The POV perspective in VR adult content is conducive to that dynamic. A lot of customers want to imagine that the male performer’s body is their body, so they don’t want them to move or say very much.” Fivestar is opening doors for diversity, encouraging more women to consume VR adult content without humiliation or scrutiny. Her ultimate aim is to appeal to as many people as possible, because she feels the medium offers a valued sense of immersion. “I have to imagine that most consumers at present are male, since most of non- VR adult content consumers are,” she says. “Lola and I experimented with the female POV perspective and we got some interesting reviews, but it didn’t really take off. Partially because of marketing but also because there’s a huge barrier to entry for VR consumers.” “It’s a bigger question for the adult content industry as a whole, because women are not socialised to pay for and consume porn. It costs money if you buy it, and hopefully you will buy it and not get it for free, but women seem to be less likely to spend their disposable income on it.”

R filmmaker Fivestar specialises in producing BDSM adult content. She was a long-time employee of BDSM site Kink.com,

working there for ten years before the site shifted its business two years ago from video production to content distribution. Fivestar now runs her own production company, which she started with fellow former Kink employee, Sadie Lola. The company – which remains unnamed – has a contractual relationship with Kink, for whom most of their content is produced. Fivestar’s separation from Kink has been freeing, allowing her to explore a whole new angle of VR filmmaking, and when FEED caught up with her at last month’s NAB show, we couldn’t wait to find out the latest. 4**K NO Surprisingly, 4K doesn’t seem to be making the same waves in adult content as it is in the mainstream. “Most adult content is distributed online and is predominantly consumed on mobile or desktop,” explains Fivestar. “Some non- VR adult content websites market that People aren’t actually watching porn in 4K because they’re watching it on their mobile. That’s why we are still on the fence about moving over to 4K – but it’s not something we’re totally dismissing.” She also points out that a lot of performers dislike being filmed in 4K because it has an unforgiving nature: “I mean, can you imagine having your whole naked body displayed in 4K resolution?” We can; it would be awful. Fivestar is differentiating herself from other VR adult content studios by shooting from a variety of angles and perspectives, and not just the overused male dominant and female passive viewpoints. “A lot of companies think that there’s just one way of doing things, and they will use a 180 ° set up because that’s what customers prefer. But a lot of customers also like the POV perspective.” POV in VR adult content involves placing a camera in front of a performer’s face and filming the action that is happening to them. they offer 4K footage, but it’s just something for them to brag about.

FIVESTAR\ “We are still on the fence about moving over to 4K – but it‘s not something we’re totally dismissing”

“We’ve also tried experimenting with a 360 ° set up and shooting from the voyeur perspective, where there is no body.” She adds, “The medium is young and there’s still time to have fun with it.” DO IT YOURSELF Untried shooting techniques do not come without their tribulations, and a lot of the time, Fivestar finds herself having to modify equipment to get in the right position over a performer’s body. “For a while, we were using C stands in place of professional rigs but moving them was aggravating because it had to be done so carefully. We’ve now built a rig using a speedrail and it’s much easier,” she says. Fivestar also uses modified GoPros, fitted with wider lenses. “The GoPros are fixed eye-distance apart to set it up for 3D, and the footage is stitched together in post-production to construct a 3D video,” she says. “It’s the main reason I’m at NAB this year. There isn’t a lot out there for 3D video for VR headsets as far as production goes. We’re all just patching things together to make it work.” Fivestar is also looking into live streaming for VR, but because of the risqué nature of the content, there isn’t really a plug-and-play solution. “We have had some interest from mainstream companies who have offered a bespoke plugin in for us, though. They said that if we make it, other people in the industry will want it.”


feedzine feed.zine feedmagazine.tv

Powered by