Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Spider Queen, Cinematic Style Fantasy Development

In this entry, I'm taking a moment to discuss a recent release we created called "Hunt for the Spider Queen," which features VeVe Lane and Howl in a "cinematic" type, bondage-wrestling-esque fantasy villainess rope-virtuosity fight scene.  Whew!

Some of you may have already seen the official release for the Spider Queen, and hopefully most of you have been following our Twitter-ings on the process (which included a lot of pictures!).  By the way, our Twitter is here: @DoomMaidens.  In any case, I won't go too much into explaining what happens in the piece itself, leaving that instead to the official write-up to be pasted below.  Instead, I'll talk a little bit about the process and development.

Although VeVe and I had been wanting to do a more virtuosic villainess video for some time, the real kick-start for the Spider Queen came from a February filming day with Howl.  As we talked a bit about bondage ties, Howl expressed that he was curious to try more with bondage, and he then demonstrated a bit of his upper body flexibility.  I thought immediately that it would be great to have a video featuring Howl being tied up in a variety of ways, ideally if he were to be held captive by some wicked woman.  And that wicked woman would be someone who would be called the "Spider Queen."  Who else would so enjoy binding up a male captive?

Both Howl and VeVe were excited for the idea, both especially interested in doing more "super natural" type character and story styles.  So, great!  The idea was strong, the players were on board.... but now, how to execute it exactly?

After a month of anticipation from the players, we just went ahead and scheduled a shoot date to see what we could get.  A few days before hand, I story-boarded out my concept for the intro scene, which was influenced by factors such as classic 1960s female assassin/spy depictions, the "Pris vs Deckard" Bladerunner scene recreation we did last year, and the fact that the studio space had a nicely-placed stripper pole.

A First Attempt

The intro scene concept was really solid, and I felt very good about it right from the start.  However, I still wasn't exactly sure what to do with the main body of the piece.  In the original concept rough-out, VeVe and I planned 3 scenes to follow the intro to represent the Spider Queen defeating Howl first physically, then mentally, and then spiritually (in soul).  The first would be a brief bondage fight with him partially tied and gagged to start, the next would feature Howl bound to a wall/fence and being seduced, and the third would feature his willing surrender and a reverse prayer tie.  Then a final scene would feature him in a rope cocoon, now mesmerized and totally lost.

When we got together to shoot, I was lucky enough to discover that the studio environment cooperated very well with giving me the light and starkness that I'd envision.  However, we didn't have much time to futz around and needed to start shooting right away.  We pushed through with the proto-concept as best we could, all of us needing to adjust on the fly for unexpectedness relating to the studio environment and partner reactions.  But although this shoot produced some lovely images, the multi-part concept ended up being too difficult to reach (I'll spare you the details for the sake of brevity).  And so, I scrapped the footage and decided that that shoot was just a workshop.

And workshopping is SO important for complex pieces!  I actually learned a lot from that first attempt.  And so, I went back to the drawing board, this time was a MUCH firmer concept.  Now I knew EXACTLY what I wanted from the piece.

The Final Draft

VeVe and I conferenced again, cutting out 90% of the dialogue that had been in the original trial run.  We also cut out various scenes, leaving only the Intro, the Body, and the Finale.  Furthermore, I decided to turn the main action into an actual fight, which clarifies intent quite a lot!  I wanted to see the Spider Queen in actual action - toying with her prey, dashing in, whipping quick tie binds onto him, and then dashing out, all while her prey continues to try fighting her off.  He keeps trying to fight her, but she darts in like lightning, lashing an arm to a leg and leaving him floundering.  She does this over and over as the fight progresses, humiliating him with her deft rope-work / web-work, and wearing him down by making him fight with these various changing impediments.

And that was another big thing: the swift changing of the ties in real-time.  That was a very important aspect of this fight for me, and it would be the definition of the Spider Queen's preternatural abilities: this incredible speed and deftness with the ropes.

VeVe knew exactly what I was talking about, and she felt really great about being able to execute.

We would keep the intro basically the same (with some tighten-ups thanks to experience), we'd make the Body of the piece much more physical and combattive, and we'd bring the finale scene around to mirror the intro scene.  And so, we quickly scheduled again with Howl, and together we all set out to film the Final Draft, now all with experience on our side.

And the end result was very satisfying!  The space set-up went super smoothly, the filming rolled like clockwork, the physical action from both VeVe and Howl were spot on, and the shots looked fantastic!  Below is the official release write-up with a small selection of images (I hope to post more images at a later time).

Detective Howl was no match for the insanely skilled Spider Queen.  But would a savvy female protagonist fair better against this villainess?  Somehow I don't think so... but we'd love to see her try!  Oh yes, we'll definitely need to have the Spider Queen match skills against other would-be heroes and heroines in the future!

Hunt for the Spider Queen
VeVe Lane and Howl
April 2015

Men have been mysteriously disappearing around the town. All leads point to an old, abandoned warehouse, so Detective Howl breaks in to investigate. But unfortunately for Howl, the Spider Queen, a cunning and perilous female predator, is expecting him...

The Spider Queen (VeVe Lane) lies in wait as Howl explores her lair, choosing her moment to ambush and incapacitate him. Howl recovers to find himself stripped to his briefs, with individual ropes bound to each wrist and ankle. The sadistically smiling Spider Queen appears, stepping out to join Howl in her own little private arena. Let the games begin!

Howl rushes his foe, but the Spider Queen is an expert fighter and rope-web-spinner. She has no doubt which of them will triumph in this combat, and she plans to enjoy her victory. As the two clash in the arena, she wrestles Howl down and lashes his limbs into handicapping binds which quickly turn his attacks into futile and humiliating struggling. The Queen is amused. 

Throughout the battle, she changes Howl's bindings with lightening quick skill - releasing an arm here, hobbling a leg there - all while trapping him in painful wrestling holds, toppling and toying with him, and mocking his desperate efforts both to fight and escape. She finally pins him face down and begins weaving him into a torturous reverse prayer hogtie, bending his wrists and shoulders unnaturally and inflicting agonizing pain. She completes his humiliation with a rope blindfold and then takes his breath away.

The defeated Howl recovers to find himself tightly wrapped in a cocoon of rope, even over-the-mouth gagged with rope. He's now totally at the Spider Queen's mercy. She admires his lovely new look, a beautifully helpless addition to her collection... 

A lot of physical action and struggle; physical domination against resistance; impressive combat-action rope-work. Includes chicken wing ties, frog leg ties in combat, and finale of strict reverse prayer hogtie and rope cocoon.

Preview thumbnails and full details:


  1. Veve's performance here was just incredible...dropping down on Howl...she looked like a spider....i couldnt take my eyes off of this video as it played. one of your best. Stuff like this is why your my favorite video company.

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