Custom video/photos update

Hi Everyone,

Did you know that you can order custom videos (now in 4K!) and photosets (in 42 megapixel high res) of your favourite Restrained Elegance models?

Fancy seeing Lauren Louise naked in handcuffs, or Hannah Claydon in a strict hogtie? Lucy Lauren bound and gagged in satin or Sophia Smith in stockings and steel shackles? You can! We can shoot customs with any of our
regular models!

Details are here: http://elegancestudios.com/wordpress/?page_id=24888.

I’ve made a few changes, the main ones being to add 4K resolution for video, and to move to the industry standard of payment in advance. I had been taking payment after the shoot, but a few people were slow to pay, and also kept adding little refinements and details right up until the day of the shoot, which is completely impractical for us to handle as a small production house.

So the main reason I’ll be taking payment in advance is
that that represents signing off on the agreed final script in advance of the shoot so we know exactly what we’re producing and won’t suddenly have the customer asking for a new item of clothing, prop or bondage gear at the last minute.

In case you are wondering what the difference is between the Restrained Elegance customs and the ones which Ariel shoots via https://www.askarielstudio.com… Ariel’s customs are the ones shot on her selfie camera, usually stuff that she can shoot solo or requiring an off-screen rigger (which she hires me to do, usually). They are quicker to produce as mostly she just puts the camera on a wide angle setting on a tripod and rolls in one take until they are done.

Restrained Elegance customs are shot in full 4K on a digital cine camera, with full cinematic lighting, high quality sound, and all the know-how we can bring to bear from nearly 20 years in the business: multiple cameras, lots of camera angles, closeups and cinematic production. They’re a bit slower to shoot and a lot more work to edit, which is why they work out a bit more expensive than the AskArielStudio ones. But if you want the very best quality, there’s just no substitute!

Forthcoming models:

We already have shoots in the calendar with:

  • Ariel Anderssen
  • Hannah Claydon
  • Lauren Louise
  • Czech Beauty
  • Lucy Lauren
  • Zoe Page
  • Natalia Forrest
  • Chloe Toy

… and we can book any of the RE regular models who are still around, too. So if you fancy a treat and a bondage video made to the highest standards, drop me a line at webmaster@restrainedelegance.com! If we like the idea, we can bring your vision to life!

4K video is coming

Hi All,

Technology marches on and more and more websites are now offering 4K video. Restrained Elegance has always been at the forefront of high resolution and high quality, so I’m adding 4K MP4 video as an option to the site. I’m uploading the first updates now, they’ll appear on the site in June if testing all works out OK.

Does anyone have a strong objection if I stop delivering the “MP4/iPod” small MP4 files as standard? Even smartphones have screens big enough to cope with HD now and it would be one less format for me to encode, upload and manage.

If everyone is OK with it, I’ll just put up the full HD 1080p version and the 4K version where there is one.

Some new videos will still have 1080p maximum resolution.

We’ve been shooting in 4K for years, but we’ve been doing it as a route to the highest-quality 1080p footage. Which means we’ve sometimes planned to be able to crop in on the scene in post, or shot full HD in slow mo for some sequences for more emotional impact.

So where the footage supports a 4K export, I’ll do it. Until camera tech lets me shoot 4K at 100+ frames per second some new films will still be limited to 1080p full HD. I mean, that’s only Blu-Ray quality 😉

Hywel

Restrained Elegance On Location!

Dear Friends,

Hello from sunny Wales!

We just got back from our most exciting adventure – a big Restrained Elegance location trip! These trips are always a bit nerve-wracking for me. Will the location be suitable? Will some irate land-owner come and kick us off? Will the models all get on? Will the crew all work well together and have fun? Will we get any good stuff? How will I pay for it all… and will I make the money back?

This trip started on a high from the kindness of people joining or re-joining Restrained Elegance to celebrate our 17th birthday with us in April. This makes a massive difference to us and the support meant that we could be a bit more ambitious with what we shot on this trip. So thank you everyone!

If you missed out on the birthday offers, I’ve decided to keep the “buy two months, get one month free” $69.95 (Renews at $69.95) offer going for now. So if you enjoyed a month at RestrainedElegance.com, why not come back, enjoy a great deal, and get ready to see the results of all our hard work on location with Ariel Anderssen, Ayla Rose, Sophia Smith, Temptress Kate and Zoe Page?

Here are a few samples to whet your appetite – the full sets and videos will start going up for members very soon!

Massive thanks to Steve, Kate, Ariel, Ayla, Sophia and Zoe for making the absolute best of a cracking trip!

Hywel

What To Do When You Are Censored

Hi Everyone

A few years ago I posted this: http://elegancestudios.com/wordpress/?p=25736 about the censorship encroaching upon adult expression online.

Sorry to have been a prophet of doom, but a lot of this is now coming to pass. The latest wheeze is FOSTA/SESTA in the USA which has the big platforms running scared. Craigslist closed their personals section down, because people were using it to hook up for sex (sometimes involving money).

On the pretext of stopping trafficking, a nasty thing which is already criminal, and which happens in all sorts of industries, a resource for people to find each other for stuff they want to do, entirely consensually, has been taken away.

Amazon just started delisting and pushing romance down in the ratings- something they did five years ago for erotica, but which apparently someone decided now had to include anything with a sex scene. Romance writers were highly alarmed. Erotica writers were alarmed but hardly surprised.

We should protest, for sure. But are there any steps we can take to mitigate our risk? It looks like the censors are too canny to try outright bans on erotica or romance or sex scenes, they are sidling up on it and using not-so-subtle commercial pressures to do the job for them. They don’t need to ban it, just make it economically unfeasible for us to make it. (See age verification, UK).

As producers of erotica we’re a bit further along this road, so do we have any lessons learned to pass on?

Precious few, but what I have is here. I haven’t got all that far with all of these myself, it all takes time, which is a precious commodity for the self-employed creative. But at least this is my action plan.

  1. Have a diverse range of income from multiple platforms, in multiple countries. Even if 95% of your money comes through Amazon, take the time to set up sales via as many other platforms as you have time for. They aren’t for making money now. They are fallbacks for when your main supplier suddenly cuts off your whole revenue stream.
  2. Gather your fanbase yourself, and get their contact details in a place that can’t be taken away from you easily. Run a mailing list somewhere, on a server you pay for. Create your own Mastodon instance and ask them to sign up there. Run your own WordPress site and blog (NOT a WordPress hosted one! They’ve already started nuking the sites of sex workers). Get customers create accounts at your own site. You need to have a way of notifying your customers and fans when your main sales channel dies.
  3. Diversify your payment methods. Paypal can and will nuke you (it happened to website producers 15 years ago or so). Visa and Mastercard can and will nuke you if the political climate makes that happen. Even the banks will cut off your account (just ask sex workers and adult performers in the USA). Not to go all tin-foil hat, but don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Bank transfers are great for direct payment in Europe (the US banking system is much more fragmented). You need to have a fallback solution in place, ready to spin up when your main service provider cuts you off.
  4. Look for providers whose interests are aligned with your own. Amazon couldn’t care less about erotica or romance authors. (Except the big ones- you can bet Fifty Shades didn’t get this treatment). For erotic film-makers, Clips4Sale is a good example. C4S may be big and blundering and a bit rubbish, but they make their money out of you selling your adult clips. If they don’t protect that basic transaction, they are out of business. Their interests align more broadly with yours that say Craigslist or Paypal.
  5. Band together with other creatives, pool resources and start making platforms together, This is hard work, will be fraught with failures, but is ultimately the only way to generate enough commercial clout to survive. Basically I’m saying unionise? Ha, ha, good luck with the herding of cats. Co-operatives or creative-led platforms are the way forward, though. In the wake of the US sex worker censorship, new Mastodon instance switter.at generated 7600 users in less that 48 hours, instantly catapulting them into the top leagues of Mastodon instances. This might not come to anything long-term, and it is an example of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. But it shows that these initiatives can work in the right circumstances.

In my opinion those circumstances are right. The big platforms have proved themselves untrustworthy, and are so big and powerful as to tilt this way and that with the political climate rather than stand up for any slice of the creatives who are working away at the base, making the whole edifice work. Amazon wouldn’t exist without book authors, but it is now so big in so many spheres that it can afford to treat them with cavalier disregard.

Make your own platforms. Sell everywhere, even places that are barely cost-effective for you now. Draw your customer base to you directly.

Good luck!