We at Sensate Films are currently working on a new project. The Succinct Description I’ve been rattling off when I’m asked about it is ‘it’s an erotic documentary about BDSM and intimacy’, which is somewhat accurate but not quite descriptive enough. Or perhaps slightly off the mark. It’s a lot deeper than that, and also (strangely) more broad.
The process is of course fascinating and I wish we had the time and the security to document that in detail, but I’ll provide snapshots where I can. At Sensate we work with a very small crew (though lately we’ve been exploring the concept of the ‘assistant’ and can confirm that it is indeed an excellent thing to utilize – THANK YOU to those who have stepped in on short notice to help us not combust) so it’s pretty all-consuming and doesn’t allow much time or energy to share what’s happening online or do the social media thing. But I’m making some mental notes and hoping to get to share them in one way or another eventually.
In the development of the treatment of the film we identified a few objectives and potential thematics, which of course (being a documentary-ish format) have been somewhat jettisoned by those we’re collaborating with. Or sometimes just adapted in ways I couldn’t have expected. This has been delightful and it’s allowed the project to ask itself some questions about its existence, and then the cast begin to answer them. It’s thrown me for a loop once or twice, because I dearly love control, but I’m often so pleased as it’s happening because I trust the people we’re working with and I know that whatever threads they take, they’ll be worth following.
And so the Succinct Description has evolved a bit, and will most likely continue to do so. At this moment it seems that the film speaks to artful relating, with kink / B!D!S!M! as the common thread, the medium of intimacy. It also seems to be envisioning itself primarily as a piece of portraiture. I think it’s hard for the way in which we work not to produce something with some sort of ‘message’, deliberate or otherwise, but these seem more likely to be conveyed through our collaborators’ ways of being in love and in play, and our ability to communicate them visually, than through any crafting or maneuvering we could have done in the processess of pre-production.
And all of this is done with cheerful and careful consultation, shared food, recollections, stories of collected locks of hair and the people they used to be attached to. The collective spirit of this process is wildly humbling to us both and we are just blown away by the generosity of those we will feature in this project. Home-cooked meals, gear runs, on-the-ground offers of assistance in the places we’re travelling to, housing, cuddles. The investment these folks have in what we’re creating and in their own images is incredible and we are falling a little in love with them all.