Friday, October 28, 2011

Haunted is now live!

Hooray!

A couple of days early, but what the hell it is Hallowe'en weekend and it was ready, so Haunted is now live!

Enjoy!

Hywel

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haunted Trailer now up!

The trailer for Haunted is now available from its movie page:

http://www.elegancestudios.com/page8/page20/index.html

Remember- the movie will be released on Hallowe'en!

Cheers, Hywel

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Haunted - Production Stills Now Available!


Hi All,


Haunted is very nearly done! Production stills are now available, the movie has its own web page on the site, trailer is coming in a week or so, and the movie will be added on Hallowe'en (31st October 2011).

Cheers, Hywel.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Slave Auction is done!!

Wheeee! It took an extra three long days at the computer and a couple of burnt DVDs to check out how it looked on TV to fine tune the rough cut, but I can finally declare Slave Auction to be done! There's one or two things could still do with polishing, but without shooting more footage, I think I'm happy with how it has come out.

Hooray! Just in time for a much deserved holiday, too. My poor Mac won't be getting a break though, it is hard at work number crunching to export the video and encode the MP4 and DVD versions. Should finish overnight, ready to upload tomorrow.

Here's a few extra frame grabs to whet your appetite...











Friday, September 2, 2011

Worth producing the DVDs?

Hi All,

Just taking a quick break from rendering the nearly-finished rough cut of Slave Auction (I need to do some work on the sound and shoot a few quick pickup shots of bidders at the auction, it is coming along nicely).

Anyway, I noticed that over 90% of the people who have bought Amelia's Sunday Spanking and Acquiesce have chosen the MP4 version over the DVD download. So... do you think it is worth us producing the films as DVD downloads? Or should we just produce the MP4 version?

Cheers, Hywel

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Progress report - Haunted and Slave Auction

Update... Steve, Ariel and I just had a viewing of the rough cuts of Haunted and Slave Auction.

Both are looking good, but Steve and I both ended up with two pages of notes for fine tuning, and Slave Auction needs finishing the rough cut as well. Steve's got everything he needs to finish hopefully, so that should come along as soon as he has time, but I need to shoot a few inserts and record some more soundtrack stuff as well as editing the last few scenes of the films.

So we're hoping to get the films out on a timescale of a month or so, but we're definitely going to take the time to do it right so don't hold us to that!

Cheers, Hywel

Saturday, July 30, 2011

How do you shoot at night?


A lot of the content for Haunted was shot during the night. This as it turns out, is a huge challenge and presented technical difficulties to overcome.

Shooting video on set at night requires light. In fact the lighting set-up is so critical, it probably took as much time to create accurately then actually shooting the content.

What our eyes see at night is quite different to what the camera picks up and conveying the correct feeling and atmosphere of a night scene is pretty tricky. It required a moon lit feel with sufficient light on the model to maintain visibility without looking fake.

Is this impossible to shoot? No, but it did require 2 important aspects to the solution. The first is using light weight, battery powered controllable LED lights. These can be placed virtually anywhere with no trailing power leads and full dimmer control. The second part is having the expertise and knowledge of Hywel on set to arrange them in such a way to create the correct feel. It’s a daunting task and taking sufficient time to really get it set-up properly is vital. Once you have them roughly in the correct place and pointing in the right direction, there are a lot of fine tweaks to make including colour correction, diffusion, camera set-up and monitoring the output on a large screen to check the final look. But if you can achieve all of this, the results are very impressive.

I’m about to edit these night time sequences, so hopefully I can do justice to all the hard work Hywel put in.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Haunted

Earlier in the year, we arranged a week location video shoot and allowed ourselves some dedicated time to film a new movie called Haunted. Ariel scripted a wonderful storyline and directed the movie during the filming process. It was fantastic fun creating this in a style that was somewhat outside our normal realm.

It stars Ariel, Janey and Katy, all with very different individual characters who meet up for a holiday weekend together in a luxury house which, unbeknown to them, is haunted. We have no less then 7 separate bondage scenes, cool slo-mo footage and filming at night!

Editing is now underway! I'll post more details as it progresses...

Steve

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why does everything take longer? :)

Hi All,

It doesn't matter how many good intentions you have, everything takes longer (and costs more). I've not had time to progress with editing Slave Auction because I've been shooting and editing pics for Restrained Elegance for the last couple of weeks. And, I must admit, because I had a two week holiday for the first time in YEARS.

Gearing up to polish off August's RE updates, may get a chunk of September done as well if I can, then hope to clear my desk and get back to Slave Auction.

In the meantime, some really good news- Steve has just taken a copy of all the footage for Haunted and is going to start editing that. Hopefully we can get a new film released before too much longer!

Cheers, Hywel

P.S. at least the new version of Apple's editing software, Final Cut Pro X, has come out. This is a lot of fun to play with so I am really fired up to get down to some editing again as soon as possible!

Friday, June 10, 2011

10 minute rough cut

And at the end of a day of editing, I have a rough cut of the first 10 minutes of the film. At this rate it'll take me the whole of next week to do, which is a shame as I have an exam and a few other minor things to do that week!

Still, it usually goes more quickly the further through it you get. I now have the basic soundscape sorted- orchestra and choir, quite dreamy for the more sensual sequences. Katy's character has a fairly brash, blues-y theme, Janey's starts off with a LOUD rock chick but will show her softer side. Ariel gets to be overblown and indignant like a movie trailer with full orchestra (Drama! She'll like that :-)

Just editing an insert showing Janey making music videos of herself... self-referential multi-layers of flashback starting to do my head in, but hopefully it'll all make sense when you see it!

Hywel

Music for a slavegirl...

HI All,

Just managed to get the Restrained Elegance July updates done, freeing up a few days to get started editing Slave Auction. The automated stuff getting the footage in is all done, looking through it all now. The first thing one always has to do when editing is to look through all the raw footage- which for Slave Auction runs to a couple of hours. I'm looking for the best takes, the best angles, beautiful shots but also for shots that didn't really work.

Here's an example- a lovely framing of Ariel in the mirror, about to get flogged:


As a standalone, this is a lovely shot- good enough to open the film with, I initially thought. Unfortunately, because the shot doesn't show enough content of the room to reveal where Ariel actually is, when you cut to any of the rest of the footage we have of that scene, it gives unpleasant "jump" (for techies, the mirror causes a line cross for Ariel when you cut to another angle. If you flop the shot, it causes a line cross for the rest of the room geography).

I'm still attached to the shot, it is a lovely one, but I'm not sure it will even make it to the rough cut.

What I'm doing now is adding the latest batch of Audio Network music to my hard drive. These most awesome people supply the huge music library on which all our RE and ES productions depend. 564 CDs worth at present time, to be exact! Waiting for the latest batch of 11 DVDs to copy over suddenly made me realise I should blog :-)

With big productions where the music is scored afterwards, it is common to edit first, then fine tune the music to the movie. For small productions, using music which is fixed, we often work the other way around. Dramatic moments in the film work so much better if they come along with a crescendo in the music, so much so that it is worth stretching and trimming the scene to make sure the most important bits happen in time to the music.

So before editing a rough cut, I usually like to have a clear idea of what my soundtrack is going to be. So this morning's job (after copying all the new DVDs) is to audition dozens of tracks and decide which ones "feel" right for a couple of key scenes. That will give me a theme or two for the movie, and also set the overall musical style.

Which leads me to wonder... what SHOULD the musical style be? I sort of imagine the Slave Auction story being a bit retro, even though it is clearly set in modern times it has a lot of look and feel of the 1950's about it already. Should the music emphasise that? Should I go with classical and orchestral music, or something a bit more intimate feeling? I don't think I want anything pop/rock/indie feeling, but maybe solo piano would be a good timeless way to begin? I've not done much with Jazz, maybe some classic-era Jazz would sit well?

So excuse me, must turn up the volume and listen to a few dozen music tracks along with some of the shots and see what floats my boat!

Hywel

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teaser Trailer for Slave Auction added

Hi All,

Just added a page for Slave Auction, with links to a first teaser trailer and some production stills.

The trailer is just a bit of fun, very quickly cut together using iMovie's built-in "trailer" feature, but it gives you some idea of what the film is going to be about!

I'll keep you posted on the movie's progress through post production here on the blog.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Two new films in production

Hi All,

We just got back from a week-long location shoot in Norfolk. We did the shooting for our next two Elegance Studios videos: the Slave Auction idea we've been discussing, and Ariel Anderssen's "Haunted" script (which as you might expect has lots of sexy damsels in distress in a haunted house).

I'll let you know more about these projects as they start to come together (shooting the footage is really just the beginning of the film making- we've got a long way to go from the scenes and shots we filmed to make a finished movie, the editing is likely to take me a few months). But for now, here's a teaser photo or two...

Haunted10168

Haunted13183

Haunted14725

Haunted15886

SlaveAuction10144

SlaveAuction10686

SlaveAuction11915

SlaveAuction11992

SlaveAuction12194

SlaveAuction12394

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Slave Auction Film







For our next feature I'm planning on doing a much more developed Slave Auction theme, building on the storyline ideas we've shot for Restrained Elegance for Fi and Amy's slave auction and for Hannah Claydon's Chat Room Tease video.

I know a lot of people have asked for Slave Auction requests - I'd love to hear some of your ideas! Especially if you can describe a few spectacular visual ideas that you'd like to see us film as part of a feature-length exploration of the idea of beautiful slavegirls put up for auction!

It's going to have to have a modern setting for the main part (the location we have booked for the shoot is a Regency house but with modern interior decor) although I'm thinking maybe we could have a few historical flashbacks to the earlier days of Honest Omar's establishment...

Please let us know what you'd like to see!

Cheers, Hywel.

DVD downloads now active

Hi All,

We're up and running on the new server and everything seems to be working much faster- so I've reactivated DVD downloads. Whoop!

Just go to finish editing the May updates for Restrained Elegance then I can get to work on writing the script for our next Elegance Studios feature- a slave auction storyline. Why not post and tell us what you'd like to see happen?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Faster downloads coming soon!

Hi All,

Just tested a download on the new system and it is 8x faster than the current server. So hopefully slow downloads will be a thing of the past as soon as they move us on to the new server.

Hywel.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Launch day technical issues

HI All,

Launch day, and launch day technical issues. Tech support say that the issues which affected my final test downloads yesterday are best fixed by moving us to a much more powerful server, which they are in the process of doing. It seems that MP4 downloads are working, but slowly. DVD ZIP files are cutting off. So until the server move is done (hopefully in the next few days) I have temporarily removed the DVD download options.

If you find that the MP4 files are too slow to allow your download to complete, please email me at webmaster@restrainedelegance.com and I will see if I can upload to another location temporarily.

Very sorry for the teething troubles, hopefully will all be sorted by a move to a newer server with fewer shared users etc.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Technical Hitches

Darn it, spoke too soon. Just did my final live purchase download of material from the cart and for some reason the downloads are really slow this afternoon. Not what I needed the day before launch! Tech support are investigating. Hopefully it will be resolved shortly. In the meantime it seems to be working, just a bit slowly... please let me know if you have any problems!

In the nick of time!



Well, it was cutting it a bit close, but I've finally finished the trailer for Amelia's Sunday Spanking, so the site will be ready for tomorrow's official launch day (which is also the 10th Anniversary of Restrained Elegance). Whoop!

 

With the first two Elegance Studios films out the door and ready to release, our thoughts are now turning to new productions. We have a week-long shoot booked at a splendid country house location in a couple of months' time, and since it is a house we've shot at before, we're thinking of shooting one or two feature-length Elegance Studios videos along with some shorter Restrained Elegance videos and photosets.

 

Front runners thus far are a haunted house ghost story with lots of sexy girls menaced by the ghosts (which Ariel has been working on) and a three-girl slave auction showing the girls' path from freedom to sexual slavery (which Hywel is developing). Steve's also got his writer's hat on and is thinking about what to develop after that. We're also thinking about what our next spanking project should be.

 

So don't be shy- post a comment and let us know what you think of our first two films, and what storylines and fantasies you'd like to see us tackle for our next feature film production!

 

So... the cart should be active, the trailers ready, the site live... all we need now is you!

 

Cheers, Hywel

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Progress...

HI All,

I've added Elegance Studios to our links system, so the site now has some links pages. It is a little clunky at the moment... for various arcane technical reasons, I can either have a webpage with a lot of blank space at the bottom, or a scrollbar in the middle of the web page. I've chosen the former. A neater solution may be found eventually!

Surfnet tech have fixed the FTP problem, so I have been able to upload the Amelia's Sunday Spanking ZIP file containing the DVD version. Acquiesce is encoding now and I will be uploading it in the next few days. Then a little more prettification and thinking about site navigation...

Cheers, Hywel.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pure Awesomeness

Hi All,



As you may notice, we have a lovely piece of artwork for our front page! I commissioned this from the very talented Morgan Cauthers-Knox, asking her to deliver me something inspired by the style of Mucha... and she has absolutely come up trumps! I really love it!

It may seem weird given that I've been running a commercial website for almost a decade, but it still amazes me that it is possible for such a tiny cottage-industry production house like us to get artwork custom-drawn by people with more artistic talent in their little fingers than I have in my whole body.

Cheers, Hywel

Spoke too soon

Sigh. I should have learned by now. Never, ever say something is nearly done. Only say it when it is actually complete and tested and running! Having chirpily asserted that we were on course in my last post, I couldn't actually upload the first DVD image to the shopping cart. Not sure why- I could upload the MP4 version OK, but the crappy web-based FTP client just baulked at the ZIP file. Maybe it was too big??

Anyway, tech support are looking into it.

I hope it will not delay the launch- I guess we can get started with the MP4s and upload the DVD images when the issues are sorted. Hopefully that will be before launch day, not after!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Final Edit of ASS done!

Hooray, just put the final scene for Amelia's Sunday Spanking together. Burnt a test copy of the DVD and watched it on telly in the living room. Slightly surreal sitting on your sofa looking at yourself sat on the sofa in the same room- like a Kafaka-esque mirror.

Learnt a lot from making this film, hopefully you will all enjoy it and we'll know what to look out for a bit more next time... stuff like blank expanses of white wall (which you simply don't see in Hollywood movies). Interesting how much difference the product design makes to the overall "feel" of scenes.

We're planning to launch Elegance Studios properly in April - we're looking like we'll get there, barring major snags! Yay!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Amelia's Sunday Spanking

Whew, finally shot the last scene for Amelia's Sunday Spanking. That's a month's worth of domestic discipline scenes captured on camera! Editing is the next step of course- hopefully ASS (as it has inevitably  been christened) will not be too far behind Acquiesce, to bring us up towards launch day!

Learned some valuable lessons shooting this time. The main one is that shooting complicated scenes is just better with more crew. Since Amelia and I are a real-life couple living together, the original pure concept was that we'd shoot everything on our own.

It turns out that just leaving the camera rolling is trickier than it sounds. Either you have the monitor pointed towards you- in which case you can't help but look at it, and you end up with some very strange looks to camera which break the intimacy of the scene or... you have the monitors turned away from you and THIS happens:


This was MEANT to be Amelia's face-cam. Not Hywel's back-cam. Of course, when I composed the shot, I thought I'd be standing further to the left. D'Oh. Fortunately, the bum-cam got a great view of all the action, and Amelia kicked and wailed enough to from out behind me for quite a few of the strokes :-)

Nonetheless, there's a good reason why we've been tending to have more crew to shoot video for the last year or two! The ideal is probably a camera operator, a sound recordist and a director, so that's what we're hoping to have on most of our video shoots this year!

Cheers, Hywel

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Final Edit

It's done, Acquiesce is now a complete film! My poor PC is working overtime and the cooling fans are at full speed. It's chugging away rendering the sequence and exporting the final output to a suitable format. Estimated uncompressed file size is 246gig.....Hmm, I think this will take all night. Hopefully by the morning we will have the finished product!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It’s in the can!

Hywel and I shot the remaining clips last night to complete the filming process for Acquiesce. I started shooting this back in September last year and it's been my longest running project to date.

It was quite a learning curve making the jump from filming inside a studio where you have complete control, to working outside on location against all the elements. We had a lot of fun trying out some new techniques and shooting sufficient content to produce a full length film.

Next step is to finalise the edit. I'm about 99% there, so it's almost ready!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Status Report

Hi All,

Well, we have a domain name, a few web pages with no actual movies and a shopping cart with no products. What is going on?

Elegance Studios is the fetish film production house "spin off" from the people who bring you RestrainedElegance.com. We're shooting longer movies than we can for RE, and branching out a bit with what we shoot (which is an excuse for Amelia Jane Rutherford to get spanked more often, which I'm sure you'll agree is a good thing).

We're working on two projects for launch day- a metal bondage movie called Acquiesce, directed by Steve, and a spanking movie called Amelia's Sunday Spanking, directed by Amelia and Hywel.

Acquiesce is mostly shot and mostly edited. Steve and I need to pick up a few extra shots to link some scenes together. Steve's put together a trailer and some stills so I'll be putting together the web pages for Acquiesce soon. Here's a frame to whet your appetite:


Amelia's Sunday Spanking is missing its final episode, which we're hoping to shoot in the next couple of weeks, then edit together with the earlier sequences. Here's a frame:


We've got other films in the pipeline already, but I'd probably better get on and do some editing (and some website graphics for that matter) before getting too enthusiastic about shooting more!

Second post

Test post from the Blogger web interface. Don't mind me...

Welcome!

Welcome to Elegance Studios! We're just getting set up with the site, so I'm testing the blog first!

We are a new fetish film company creating bondage, spanking and fetish movies. We’ve got experience producing shorter films (on RestrainedElegance.com for example) and we’re very keen to turn our hands to producing the very best DVD-length kinky movies for your viewing pleasure! This blog is to let you know some of the things we are working on- check back for news about shoots, previews, production stills, trailers, and much more!

Hywel Phillips