iSwallow Studio: a New and Original Porn Producer

As you may know I have started to explore the porn business in Second Life. Associated with Caroline, the famous Second Life Adventures blogger , we are going to try to understand the business, identify the best producers and actors and promote their work on a dedicated space of our blogs: machinima.second-life-adventures.com

The producers hunt

The first thing I did has been to look for Second Life groups. I selected two of them because they looked active and had a large number of subscribers:

  • * SL Porn * (which also has a blog SecondLife Porn)
  • The Sexiest : Pornstars

I used the list of subscribers and spotted a few producers with which I had brief chats to understand

  • if they are real producers: some are just role-playing, without producing anything
  • if they are still in activity: it is a really hard business and producers tend to give up when they are not successful quickly enough
  • what segment of the business they are in: the two main areas are photography and movie production

I quickly understood that actual movie producers are very rare, and that the biggest part of the production of porn in Second Life is based on pictures and magazines. The reason is rather simple: movies take ages to shoot (which poses the problem of availability of the actors over long periods), and they take ages to edit.

An interesting finding

I finally made contact with Ty Ramsay, the director of a starting company called iSwallow Studio. Their concept is rather unique, they are producing storyboards while being a role-playing sim. Said differently: you can role-play a porn star and be one character in an actual production. A concept that is a sort of middle ground between pictures and movies productions. Despite the studio was not exactly in my primary target, I decided to visit them, to understand the way they are working, to be honest I was really curious.

Interview with Ty Ramsay, director of iSwallow Studio

On the D-Day I got a call from the Studio, a lady called Cali, who introduced herself as “Executive Assistant” at iSwallow Studio. I learnt later that she is a lot more than an executive assistant. I arrived at the studio, right on time and was welcome by Cali herself who was waiting for me at the front desk. She is a pretty brunette who apparently likes very short skirt … well what to expect in this kind of studios.

She let me for a few minutes in the waiting area. They have got an interesting idea here: you can click on the pictures on the wall and you access directly to the stories of the blog: a nice way to kill time while waiting. She finally came back to lead me to the gigantic office of Ty Ramsay.

He stood when I came in and we shake hands, a frank handshake and a direct stare, that’s a first good sign about the man. Cali went to sit on a sofa on the side of the big room and stays quiet while we started to discuss Ty and I.

Ty Ramsay:  “So, welcome to my studio!”
Catherine Palen: “Thank you. That’s a very nice studio and main office you have here! Once can hardly imagine you just started in the business.”
TR: “Well i’ve been around Linden for a long time, had a variety of different sims and projects. I am a details oriented person and love realism when creating my sims.”
CP: “Good! Tell me more about them, and what finally led you to iSwallow Studio.”
TR: “Well, i fund all of my sims from my BDSM Store.. Children of Cain BDSM Equipment. My partner Cali of course splits the expense on our fun sims such as this. In the past.. we’ve ran The Sugar Club, a strip club of course.. The Keyhole Mansion, a dom lounge.. Pee Wee’s Date Rape Drive-In, a urban fuck sim. Riverwood Asylum, a haunted hospital or torture. We’ve done a Baby Girl Mansion pretty recent anyway..”

I turned my head to Cali who smiled in return and then looked back at Ty.


CP: “So Cali and you are partners in life?”
TR: “Yes, Cali is my partner and submissive.”
CP: “I see. So, a big lot of projects, but definitely all in the adult business.”
TR: “So we’ve tried a lot of different things in the past.. a porn studio, that’s ran like a role playing sim, we had not done yet, so we figured why the hell not?”
CP: “So this is what the sim is about? A roleplay studio?”
TR: “Yes.. a Porn Studio role play experience. From the audition to casting. We do script writing as well. We keep a database of all applications and a portfolio on Flickr of all our auditions. So basically, we come up with our list of productions we are going to do, we currently have about 24 more stories in line. All of which I will build he sets to the script Cali writes. We’ll cast the actors based upon the needs, contact them, arrange times together and do the shoot. Usually a day or two work. We do minimum post production, i like to keep it natural, as the camera sees it sort of thing.”
CP: “Is it a movie? Or pictures?”
TR: “Currently it is a story board.. pictures. Cali takes shots from the set, and uses them accordingly. Movies takes a lot of time. In linden, where people come and go with the wind… who wants to spend hours editing video of people who are no longer around fucking anyway? right? We make our story board, like a book, with some pictures.. to aid in the visual. If people really want to wank it looking at a movie.. i’m sure porn tube has a lot more to offer than mesh humping. We are more about the story.. Cali, is quite crafted in the writing department.”
CP: “How do you split the work between you and Cali?”
TR: “So i’m the female casting director, the set builder, the camera man. I sort of oversee the image of the studio as well. Cali, is the male casting director, script writing, blog poster and in-world magazine publisher.”
CP: “It’s only the two of you then?”
TR: “Yes, we do have our first cast member Allie, who helps up front in the morning.But other than that, just the two of us.”
CP: “What is the business model? Do you make money from this activity? Or is it just for the fun?”
TR: “This is just for the fun, the joy of the sexual body. We do not pay anyone for what we do, other than the land lease.”
CP: “It seems the whole industry is like this.”
TR: “In a world where people feel they have competition, we simply have no interest in the drama. We charge a minimal fee on Marketplace for the magazine to help with the image uploading fees. It’s why we quit strip clubs… all drama, paying dancers who will complain about traffic or rival strip clubs trolling. It just sucked the fun right out of it. This way, with no employees, nobody to manage, life is all good. So we just like to have a good time.. It gives us a chance to have a reason to get a new look, or wear something you’d normally never wear. For me personally, it’s given me a fresh breath of air around the Linden world. In the other sims we’ve done, you find yourself begging for attention or the affection of others. Advertising, recruiting… etc. Here, we just have fun.. and the people come to us.
That’s when you get the feeling of accomplishment, when people recognise your efforts and want to join in on the fun with you.. to be a part.. So you do any work yourself in the industry ?
CP: “Well yes and no. Actually I write a little blog, just for my pleasure actually, and the joy to read a few comments sometimes. It’s very much like your storyboards I would say. But I am an amateur.”
TR: “So am I.. we are almost through our second month of doing this. But you got it.. just a few follows, subscribes… comments.. makes it all worth it. People seem to enjoy some fantasy in their life. Back when we had the Keyhole Mansion, Cali use to host a story time once a week. On voice, her and other girls would read naughty stories.. for men and other girls to hear. It was a big hit.
CP: “Well we came up with this idea recently with a fellow blogger (Caroline). We want to have an inside experience of the porn business, understand how it works, collects some good producers and promote their work for all to enjoy.
TR: “Well I especially appreciate your attention. Like I said, we’re new.. but we’re trying to make it the most fun anyway. Besides, who wants to pay for sex anyway, when the best is free. So what other things you have on your list? We may have gotten side stepped a bit.
CP: “How does it work? Step by step I mean. So first I guess is the audition?”
TR: “Yes the audition, after they’ve filled out the application, which filters out the people who may need a little work on their appearance. Nobody wants to see naked default avatars now do they? So they come in for an audition,, we take some photos of them, and if things look good, they make it on to the audition couch, where we see how well they can perform. Taking more photos of course. Then their file is put into the audition cabinet We pick the people that best fit our image of the story we are shooting. At this time, we already have the script, I’ve already built the set.. And we are ready to roll. Hardest part of course.. is all the actors online at the same time. That’s the tricky part. Sometimes we have to pass up the male that we really wanted to use all because the female wasn’t available. But in porn.. it’s all about the female. Even more so in SL! With the amount of bisexual oriented people in Linden, it’s all about the female. Us poor men are usually just props.

 

I smiled at his last comment and let him continue.


TR: “But we do still have to look good.So once the shooting is finished, Cali begins her hard work on the blog, where the story is first released. After that, the entire movie shoot is released on Flickr to see all the action. Then Cali conducts her interviews with the actress, and goes to work on the in-world magazine. She’ll be able to tell you more about all that fun stuff. She’s got the hard job of this. Cali is my life-long companion and I can rely on her to do things for the greater good of our projects any day of the week.
CP: “How many stories did you publish?”
TR: “We currently have 2 released on our blog at iswallowstudios.blogspot.com. Our Flickr shots are also at : iswallowstudio albums.
CP: “Would it be possible for me to attend a shooting? To see how you work.”
TR: “I’ll message you shooting times when i have the final details worked out. We are probably a few days away
CP: “Do you shoot here?”
TR: “Just across the hall in the warehouse. I build the sets in there. If you’d like to walk around there on your way out, we can pop the door for you
CP: “I would like that very much!”
TR: “Any other questions though?”
CP: “Can I apply?”
TR: “Oh absolutely, thought you’d never ask.. Anytime!”

And we had a good laugh.

CP: “Thank you for your time”
TR: “Most welcome, thank you for finding us.”

We both raised Cali was by my side to escort me out. The man was really nice and easy-going and I was definitely impressed by his stature and vision of the business. We left his large office and went where they install their sets … Another thing I was rather curious to see.

The tour of the studio

The sets area is basically just a very large room in which the studio is installing the decors, what they call the sets for the different shoots. I was very fortunate to be allowed to enter the set of their upcoming story, it was kind of very exciting. I was standing where the action will take place in the days or weeks to come. It looked like a hotel room. To be perfectly honest, I think there is no difference between building a set and installing a home … apart from the fact that the set is a very temporary installation. Ty said, one of the advantage of having an experience in sims building, is that you get a lot of props that you can reuse.

Ty had to let us here, and Cali and I continued the tour. It was an opportunity for me to question her more about her role. From the way I see it, she is the artistic director here, taking care of the production part: the blog, the flickr albums and finally the online magazine. We entered in her office, definitely more modest in size.

-“This is where the magic happens with my writing and male auditions” she said with a smile. “Don’t you love the artwork? Mr Ramsay decorated the walls for me.” she added pointing at the erotic pictures.
-“Very …inspiring” I commented with a smile. “So how the men do react when they enter your office? Must be pretty interesting.”

She looked at me with an amused face.

-“Well, it eases their nerves definitely. Some are very nervous. I snap here a few shots and see what roles they might fit well with.”
-“Meaning you have all your scripts ready?” I enquired.
-“Yes we go over a few lines just to see how they are in the role. I can tell you we lack males in here as well, it seems more women are into the idea of becoming a porn star! It’s shocking really to me at least.” she said before giggling. “Maybe the men don’t care to be on camera as much…”

I shrugged and she continued.

-“They like the act of it all just not all public”
-“Maybe we should ask them” I said with a big wink.

We finally left her office and moved to the waiting area. I got offered a few gifts: panties with the name of the studio printed on them (maybe I will show you one day), an application form and a copy of their online magazine issue.

-“So tell me Cali, how the magazine production is working?” I asked while looking at the hot pictures.
-“I’ve been putting it together after interviewing the actress and taking the story from the blog story board, then put it together with some nice graphics and turning into a nice men’s magazine in SL. It’s helpful for some who might not be able to see the story board on the blog even.”
-“I see, interesting idea!” I said.

We then moved upstairs where a very large room is set.

-“This is mostly like a hang out area, lunch fun , after-hours, get together etc., break time. We sometimes just like to chill in the hot tube on breaks”
-“Really?”
-“Yes some of the members enjoy just hanging out with staff and such.”
-“Amusing!” I said displaying half a smile. “What do you like in this business Cali?” I asked a bit more seriously.
-“The men audition is fun …. but my favorite part is the writing”
-“That must be a lot of work” I commented.
-“I love that part of it and no I can actually put together a good story fairly quickly, I probably should be writing books” she said displaying a proud smile
-“How much time to write a story?” I enquired
-“It varies. It depends on how long or detailed the story is. I generally do a base first. Then I change things around as needed or even Mr Ramsay assisted with the last story called “An Ahso Happy Ending”, I did the base on it he added some detail to it. I did all of “The Gamer Girl” myself.”

We walked back downstairs and Cali told me she had to leave me, a male audition was waiting for her.
-“So this is iSwallow Studio, hope you like it.” she says with a bright smile
-“Definitely, I will come back soon” I said.

She showed me out and I was thinking on my way back home. I definitely know that the studio is not actually producing movies, my target area, but … the concept is good. Moreover those two are really interesting and passionate about what they do. I have to discuss with Caroline on how we could promote their work more widely. Once at home, I started to fill the form, that I posted to them the next day … a good way not to be forgotten. And, well, maybe they might pick me up.

Witnessing an actual shooting

Two weeks later, I was summoned, yes this is the right word: the shooting in the hotel room set was actually happening and if I wanted to witness it, I had to arrive immediately. So I had to leave in a hurry and happily arrived on-time while the shooting was taking place.

It was already started. Cali ushered me in, and gave me some very clear instructions: no talking, no moves … so I was quiet the most of the time, while the work of producing the visuals of the story was taking place. There were two actors: a nice looking lady and Ty himself. I have heard they had many difficulties to have actors connected at the right time together, so it is probably the only way around they found … unless it is because Ty found the actress pretty hot. Oops, un-professional content, I am sorry!

I tried to get some information on the script, but Cali kept it a total secret, I had no clue at all. So I just witnessed various scenes of undressing of the actress, Ty looking at her … and finally some very hot scenes succeeding to others at a very fast speed. I guess Ty was taking a few snapshots each time and switched to the next one. Definitely no role-play at all involved.

Cali told me she would get a few hundred pictures from the shoot. She will have to go through the whole collection and select the best of them, or the one fitting the best the story, for the storyboard. All in all, it took around one hour for the shooting, but you can imagine a lot of time has been invested before in the preparation steps: the casting, the set building, the script writing, the props hunting, etc. And … a lot time will be needed before the actual storyboard is posted … let’s be patient … but I am very curious to read it… not that easy to keep professional in such a hot environment.

Summary

iSwallow Studio is a very interesting studio and I would like very much to work with them in the future. Ty and Cali are bringing a very nice concept in the porn industry, concealing together, a nice roleplay environment and actual porn production. They got rid of the shooting length of the movies and found a format that is very erotic, focused on a story but keeping arousing visuals.

I and Caroline need to discuss further to see how we can contribute to make their work known by a larger audience. I think I have to go back to their studio to wish them a happy new year … and maybe more.

It has been my first real encounter into the porn business, and I intend to do more and make contacts in the industry. If you own a business in the porn industry, produce movies or are simply willing to become a star in the porn industry, please contact me, or Caroline, we might be able to help you.

Kisses,

Cathy.

5 comments

  • Ash Wizardly 6 months ago

    Very well interested Cathy to always try new horizons!
    All the best for your new adventures and looking forward to hearing more from you 🙂

    P.S. What I learnt from this :The Most important quality to become a sl porn star isn’t the looks or the professionalism, It’s Self-restraint !!

    Kisses and hugs hun!

    Reply
    • Caroline 6 months ago

      Hallo Ash

      nice to see oyu reading our stuff here as well.

      The most important qualities to become a porn star, are indeed not necessarily the looks of the avatar. However it does help a lot not to look like a last century freebie noob. More important are reliability, availability and the determination to actually help promoting the resulting videos. For example on their onw blog, twitter, the user profile and so on.

      And a pornstar to be needs to know, that it is actually work and time involved.

      Carol

      Reply
      • Ash Wizardly 6 months ago

        Oh yes Carol definitely! Like any other business, this requires equal or in fact more amount of determination, hard work and being reliable. Everyone needs to realize that porn business is still a business, it being porn doesn’t make it easy. On the contrary, Porn is anything but easy.

        Keep doing the amazing work and looking forward to reading as well as joining when I find the right time.

        I’m glad to be here always dear 🙂
        Kisses xx

        Reply
    • Catherine Palen 6 months ago

      Thanks for cheering Ash! I think it takes a lot of qualities to be successful in the porn business as an actress or a producer. But as Carol mentioned, it takes a lot of work and time … The more I meet people serious in that business and the more I am convinced of this. There is no magic here, like all other businesses it needs a lot of effort. But nothing I am afraid of.
      Kiss!!

      Reply
      • Ash Wizardly 6 months ago

        You’re a quick learner dear! and You’ve the curiosity of a cat. I am very sure whatever you learn you will apply. Looking forward to your new adventures and yes, very true about the business. Dedication and reliability mixed with naked flesh and hard pounding instead of bunch of files and folders, it does sound way more enticing 🙂
        Kisses xxx

        Reply

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