Now that TKJ has been released I hope there is a better understanding of what my intention for ‘Black Label’ projects are, more confidence in what higher budget / higher priced projects can bring to the table and more understanding that these projects take time, resources and effort to bring to life.
I had a lot of apprehension in how TKJ would unfold as there isn’t anything quite like it and I had no clue whether or not the audience would even want a film that was over 2 hours long, let alone almost 3. I think asking for a price point above $80 is asking a lot of this audience (which I don’t do casually) and I wasn’t sure if anyone would see the benefit. Its an untested market place and I had no context or data to go off of when pursuing this project outside of a belief that if I built it… they would cum (what a horrible pun, my apologies). Its hard to imagine that anyone else in the US market (I know Giga does wild things) has ever spent the kind of money that I did on TKJ, to say I was taking a financial gamble is an understatement… I was straight up betting everything on black.
I am not even being colorful with language when I say that this film not working would have probably ended SHL as we know it, at least for a few years of ending my ‘career’ in the business until I would be able to financially dig myself out of a tomb. And I guess I’d like to explain why I would do something so high risk as I turn the direction of this ship towards future projects and I can speak now from having landed the jump, no longer blinded about how it would turn out
Read these next words clearly: I am not in this business for the money, I am a fetishist. Don’t get me wrong, money is nice and necessary – you can’t make these films without it. But I am not swayed by profit, I do not take customs I can’t find inspiration in, I could probably make a lot more as a cameraman shooting porn in LA but I don’t want too. I want to make superheroine fetish indie films.
I felt that I was reaching the limit of how much return you could get from a single day of shooting. I think my costume work has gotten great, arguably making it better would probably be lost on some of you who simply like a shiny costume. I think my cinematography is reaching its limit of whats possible in the price bracket that I am in. I think when it comes to sets and stuff – making them any better wouldn’t really be doing much for making the films more entertaining. In my opinion the only category that had a lot of headroom for progress was – the story.
Oh, the infamous story. Everyone wants for them to be better but honestly you can only do so much in a single day of shooting. The only way the narratives in my films could get better was by adding shoot days to a project – but there lies the problem – every day you add to a project will arguably double the cost of the film which in turn would massively reduce the profit, or erase it all together. If I make films that sell for $50 bucks… doubling the amount of production days would mean doubling the cost of the film but not raising the price would run the risk of potential in financially failed projects and the only way to negate that risk is too increase the price of the film itself, at the risk of losing sales from it becoming too expensive. Who would want to pay $100 bucks for just some extra story?
To be clear – especially now that I have sales data to look at in reflection to what TKJ has unfolded to be – Black Label films are bad for business, when it comes to profit anyway. TKJ required 4 shoot days – and I only increased the cost of the product by 2. TKJ required 4 times the amount of work in pre and post production than my other films. Therefore – I could have easily made 3 films in the time it took to make TKJ – 3 films would have cost less than the 4 days of production TKJ required – sold them for $50-$60 bucks a piece and yielded a 3rd more in profit. In short – Black Label films are NOT a sustainable business model. They are in fact going to eat away at gross profit margins.
So… why do them?
I do think of myself as an artist, fetish filmmaking being one of the forms of art I practice amongst many others. I think the last 2 and a half years has been some of my best work but I only want to stay in this business and make superheroine fetish films as long as I see growth in my filmmaking. The only way to grow as an artist is to shake up the status quo and take risk. For me, as an artist, Black Label films are what I have been aiming towards since I was a 16 year old watching Newphx films thinking ‘People buy these kinds of films? I think I could do it and I think I could do it better’. I have always wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a kid, I have always been a superheroine fetishist for as long as I can remember – connecting the two was a natural progression through my life and my life trajectory.
For as long as I can remember I would always think ‘What would a superheroine fetish film look like with a indie film budget? What would it look like with a two week shoot schedule?’ And thus I began learning how to squeeze a penny so tightly you’d make it into a dime. TKJ was a natural progression – I learned how to maximize to the best of my abilities what I could do on a set in a single day… so multiple that and see what you can get from something more ambitious in scope.
For the record – I do not plan on abandoning one day shoots. I would probably go broke only making films like TKJ. But I think it could be fun to have regular releases with one or two Black Label films filling the calendar every year. My version of tent pole Hollywood films.
In hindsight – had I known I was going to end up with a 2 hour and 45 minute film – I would probably have slowed down on set to really dial in some of the performances and focused on quality. But being my first Black Label film – it was hard to understand what things would look like after it was over. I still had the focus of maximizing the day like I do for my other films. I would do it differently now having learned from the experience.
For future Black Label projects – I am not looking to break a 3 hour ceiling as I want to make films that don’t drag, that you don’t hit fast forward through. If a film naturally ends up long so be it – but I am aiming for quality in storytelling and performances. I want the climax of the film to hit hard cause you were lead there by something that makes the payoff more worth it.
So if you would like to join me – here is the future slate of Black Label films I would want to make.
Black Label Future Slate
- Wonder Woman v Fausta
- Batgirl: Gotham Kills
- Supergirl: 1984 Project
- Two year delivery turn around time or longer
- Preorder customers would receive benefits which are undecided at this time
*Do not preorder if you cannot afford too, or cannot handle a really long production time
Here is the skinny of it – this is a trust fall operation. There are a lot of details I have in mind I cannot share because I cannot promise them. TKJ went through massive rewrites and recasting. Almost every major role in TKJ was recasted multiple times (Harley, Joker and Robyn) some of the major roles even being recasted days before shooting from cancelled bookings due to medical emergencies. So when it comes to these projects – I can not promise anything, including who will be starring in what films. I can mostly offer a general summary of what I hope to accomplish and if you believe in me + can buy into a vague premise – then preorder to help get things off the ground. If this isn’t enough information for you to jump into the rabbit hole – I completely understand.
Wonder Woman v Fausta
I would like to do an original take on the infamous Wonder Woman ‘Fausta’ episode. We are talking chloroform confessions, Wonder Woman fighting Fausta and her soldiers, a good BG scene and a GG scene (cause you’d probably kill me if Fausta didn’t humiliate her sexually). Tonally it would not be as dark as TKJ. I would like to use for half the film a costume inspired by the Lynda Carter series and the other half of the film something more modern (not the Gal outfit though). Wonder Woman will be in pantyhose. Casting will not be announced until the film has been filmed. You will just have to trust me.
Batgirl: Gotham Kills
This would be the 3rd film of the Ashley Lane Prison series. There have been some discussions on a Knightfall storyline but I cannot promise you that. I would like for this film to focus on some hard brutal fight scenes. Tonally it would be dark and violent (in the same manner of TKJ and Prison). Unlike TKJ – Ashley will be the primary focus of the whole film. I don’t know there is much more to say… outside of – Batgirl would get wrecked, multiple sex scenes, Ashley would do her thing. This film would most likely not be shot this year as preproduction time might be lengthy if I can secure enough preorders to afford to make some of the things I would like to make for the film.
Supergirl: 1984 Project
Oh… Supergirl. Fun fact – I already attempted to get this project off the ground but failed to do so. I have some very big ideas about what I would like for this project to be but this film would easily probably be the most expensive thing I have ever made and make TKJ feel low budget. I don’t know there is much more that I would want to say about it… outside of – Supergirl would don a costume similar to the 1984 film. Supergirl would go through some hell to get to the end of her journey. We would see costume destruction, we would see BG scenes and possibly a GG scene. Tonally not as dark as TKJ but she would still take a massive beating. Supergirl will be donning some sheer pantyhose with her costume.
The only way these projects can see the light of day is for a select group of you to help get them off the ground. Making costumes, securing props, building sets – is really expensive especially for the scope in which I would like for these projects to take place. Especially because – business will continue as usual with my more affordable films. So I personally simply cannot float the production cost of these projects with my own money like I did with the Prison and had to do with TKJ especially after the project got delayed by almost a year. There is no reality I can afford by myself to get all three of these of the ground in unison. There is a spare no expense mentality with Black Label projects. I want to get the best performances out of talent, I want to hire as many actors as needed to tell a compelling story and I want the ability to do reshoots when the edit starts to show holes I need to fill for the best customer viewing experience (which TKJ required). So if you would like to join me on this mission – I would like to take you all to the promise land. I hope TKJ was compelling enough of a project to secure your confidence in what I can do, given the time and resources to do it.
Oh and I reserve the right to make Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Supergirl projects that come out before the Black Label films do. I don’t want anyone butt hurt they preordered a Black Label film and are wondering why they have to spend $60 bucks to buy another film that comes out before them. I can’t put characters on hold for these massive scale projects if there are opportunities to make cool smaller scale projects along the way.
With all that is stated above I would like to take a seasonal room temperature reading on how some of you are feeling about what SHL currently offers (SHL/SHX/Black Label/LoFi) and where your interest currently lie. PLEASE DO NOT FILL OUT THE FORM BEFORE IF YOU DON’T BUY MY FILMS I am only seeking more information from customers who are actually interested in the films that I make, if you have never bought a film from me – then I am not interested in your opinion about things I should make.
At the end of this month I am sending Anastasia her donation and by June 1st will close my combo pack for her benefit. So if you had any interest in helping – only a few more weeks to do so via my combo pack offer.