“State of the Genre” – 2015

178 Responses

  1. Superhearing Fan says:

    I want more than anything to see more superhearing with a real good, plain, no hair in the way, zooming-in, profile closeup of the ear.

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  2. Judah says:

    Looks like a little late to the party… 😉 First off let me start by thanking HM & SideKick for their kind reference to me as the inspiration for this thread. As an avid follower of this genre I truly appreciate it. Lots of great stuff was discussed here….Hell even Cult retro came out. My original thought was a half year review of all that has been released. HM hit on many topics that I would have mentioned here. I won’t go into a very long post here but I will hit a few points that I found very interesting thus far this year. First off I have to commend the excellent work of Allen at TBFE.

    Allen has in my view been given the honorary distinction as producer of the year. His originality with costumes, effects, adult content, and overall production has garnered him praise from all. Keep p the great work Allen.

    Like HM mentioned before I have to give credit when credit is due and the film with total originality goes to UltraHeroi Luna Star. Ultra Heroix gave us a homage film to the Star Trek drama. To my knowledge this has not been done before and with the master editing of Damien Woods on the project, it gave us an erie sense of dread, doom, and some beautiful heroines with the awesome costumes of the original Star trek show. Also enjoyed the location work.

    New actresses that burst on the screen and made an immediate impression. Anna Hanson and Dani G split this category. Both arrived an immediately made an impact with the fans. Lets hope we can see more of them in the future.

    Great wrestling videos. NGC takes this one hands down. Congrats

    Adult film of the year so far. The lovely and wonderful Anastasia Pierce. With her originality and creativity she has made a huge impact on the adult content on the Heroine genre. Her wonderful set pieces she utilizes to the fullest extent give her films a sense of realism. You can always count that she gives more than 100% in her work to ensure a complete and wonderful product. Congrats Anastasi keep up the great work. Honorable mention should go to Logan at Explicit Films

    Producer that has seen his share of ups and downs in the span f such a short time. This is a no brainer to me and yet his posts/threads continually seem to create the most drama/discussion/arguments whatever you. Logan Cross receives this honor. Im sure I will ruffle more than a few feathers here. Once the most popular and top producer of the genre, it was so sad and painful to see his empire collapse. While we may not know or ever will know all the details one thing is sure, something happened that involved his co producer Kristina Hess that led to a split and ultimately the decline of CTLE. As I have stated in previous posts and HM and SideKick will attest to this I called this around February March timeframe, although I had no idea it would go down like this. Recently word is that Logan s on the rebound, I hope it is true and that he will continue to bring high quality to the genre once again but if he chooses to step away and focus on other ventures I would not hold it against him. He had a great run and should be proud of all that he has accomplished.

    It seems that the first half of 2015 was a critical turning point for many. We still have 2015 to close out and hopefully we get to see much more.

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  3. Scott says:

    Wow, so much to read through. So I’m just going to do my own thing. 😉

    Speaking as a consumer, my favorite producer this year is hands down NEXT GLOBAL CRISIS. Great production, storytelling, action, and actresses. Even without going adult, they can crank up the heroine peril to high levels. This company gets it! And affordably priced

    Not a new producer, but this year I was a first-time buyer from KICK ASS FEMMES and they didn’t disappoint. The characters aren’t your traditional heroines and villains in spandex, but the scenarios are creative and the action high-octane. Highly recommend the custom FEMMES COCKTAIL video. Hopefully, we see a video or two with the mighty Kix as Wonder Woman. =)

    Not a popular producer mentioned here, but I really enjoy BLUESTONE videos. This year I’ve had to take a long break from them because of an increase in M/F content. I love their use of special effects and you can tell the producer really has a love/knowledge of comics by how he writes his superhero analogues.

    No site launch had me more excited than DEFEATED HEROINES back in 2014. Then they closed on my favorite video from their library IT’S ALL A HAZE. Needless to say I was distraught. Then they returned. The M/F focus didn’t interest me, so I wasn’t weepy when they closed again. Then they returned again? I’m losing count. Still with a heavy M/F focus, I’m not buying videos like I did in 2014. I did purchase BREAKING HER OATH this year, which I enjoyed. RESCUE MISSION looks good, but at $50+ I really have to pick and choose, even with the few F/F offerings. If the videos were priced in the $35 range I’d have no problem buying multiples. The price isn’t likely to change, but I’m only speaking from my POV – what gets me to spend.

    SHG MEDIA continues to impress with their content providers. I enjoy their overall look which carries a certain grittiness. The diversity in stories, actresses, original costumes always impresses. I could do with more exclusively F/F videos, but I do appreciate their efforts to keep both genders involved on the villainy end. And the price capped at $35 is in tune with my wallet.

    What I’d like to see in the future:

    Obviously more F/F content. 😉

    M/F fanatics say there’s too much of it. I see things the other way. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I do find that a lot of F/F releases are really just porn with zero elements of plot, peril or heroism. And that’s just unacceptable.

    Comic book analogues not named Wonder Woman or Supergirl. I would love to see Shanna and Red Sonja. Black Widow and Isis. I love the original designs and original characters because, let’s face it, not every woman is built like Wonder Woman. It allows the actress to inhabit the role without preconceived expectations.

    More creativity with stories and peril elements. Producers shouldn’t be afraid to branch into the unknown, and fall back on formula. Repetition can have customers returning for more, but it can also drive them away.

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  4. Logan says:

    @Da Jinx: that’s how I felt about Girls of X– I’m a huge X-Men fan… But the series just doesn’t sell as well as the others so I had to basically scrap it. I may revisit it at some time but Heroine Kombat took over as well as 00Angels and kind of left the rest behind. I have a film called Crimson Tears I wrote which was something based on what I personally wanted to see but we haven’t produced it quite yet. It’s coming soon though. I thought of doing a Star Trek one — glad to hear it worked well for you! 🙂

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  5. Da Jinx says:

    Speaking as both a producer of Ultraheroix and as a fan I could see points on both sides. I understand the fan sentiment of wanting to see something new and I agree. I got a little bored of seeing the same thing so I decided to go the space heroine route and produced Luna Starr, a Star Trek inspired heroine and it did great with fans. The main challenge that I face is being able to budget myself with confidence that I can recoup what I invest and hopefully make a small profit. For me, I produce what I would like to see as a fan. It keeps things fun or it will become a “job”. I was unsure how luna Starr would do in the producer role but the fan in me says go for it. At least I would have fun doing it and fortunately it was successful with a lot of fans.

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  6. Gil says:

    @Horse…yeah, loved Corbin…agree Druuna strip was not very well written…but some of the strips in the early days of the book were great…I have read one or two Storm books in English, actually…and they remind me a little of Dr. Who…
    While I will not go so off topic as to get into politics…we have devolved significantly from Lincoln-Douglas….or even Reagan-Carter! 24 million people watched last night…ouch!

    Thanks both Logan and Cult Retro ! Your honesty is very much appreciated. Best of luck in your future creative endeavors…

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  7. Jake Spencer says:

    @HWNN
    What debate or is it debacle?
    In Canada we are not much better off so I won’t throw insults!

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  8. Jake Spencer says:

    @Logan

    Hope that you are optimistic. No pressure, but a lot of us are counting on you, your creativity, your crew and of course your female and male actresses.

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  9. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Gil: yeah, some of that “Metal Hurlant” was great. And yeah, Druuna was a “fun” strip to look at, story-wise it was not my thing. Richard Corben is another name that comes to mind from that period.

    Actually some of the Storm books are fairly well written, not just fantastic visually. Hope you find them in your language. And you are right: while some of DanO’s stuff was fun and may hold up pretty well today, there were many, many poor elements, not due to budget, but more because of strange fixations, but you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess 🙂

    Oh, the GOP debatte 🙂

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  10. Logan says:

    @swampy170: agreed, however, the deviations have been the videos that do not sell. The genre recently has become very fixated on very particular elements and those are what sway sales– not variety in storyline.

    @Jake Spencer: I have a few things coming up but I don’t want to give it away just yet. 😉

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  11. CultRetro says:

    @swampy170: Can’t speak for Logan, but I believe he was just offering a “for instance” example of the results and complaints that you get when you try something outside of the box. If he was dissuaded from replicating those formulas it was more likely due to poor sales than a few simple complaints. Say what you will about CTLE but they are without question the most experimental production company in the genre.

    (My personal favorite complaint from our releases was from someone that was upset that we chose to use a guy in a gorilla suit in our Nyoka film rather than a CGI gorilla. Peter Jackson’s King Kong was released at around that same time and he just couldn’t understand why would bother with a suit when clearly CGI was the better way to go.)

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  12. swampy170 says:

    @Logan – from what you’re saying, it seems you’re faaaaaaar too focused on pleasing every single person who complains, and it’s not even constructive criticism – you’re focused on addressing ALL criticism. Criticism is a major part of making movies, if you let every tiny complaint sway what films you make you’re obviously going to be forced to make generic films.

    That’s the way it comes across, anyway.

    Obviously you’re also being steered by what sells, that SHOULD be a major consideration. However does that mean you should never occasionally deviate and do things that have sometimes got complaints from a few regulars – absolutely not. That’s how you keep people interested and gain new customers.

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  13. Jake Spencer says:

    @Logan
    Sounds discouraging, what are you going to do next?

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  14. Gil says:

    @Horse –
    Thanks, “mate”! I will check Amazon for the Storm issues. I was hoping when SyFi announced they were doing a series based on “Metal Hurlant” – the original French imprint for Heavy Metal Magazine – that they might be trying something different . Then I realized ; “wait, it’s on SyFi!” It was predictably dreadful. But those issues of the magazine with artists like Sappiri (‘Drunna’) and Salaudi (“The Blonde”) made most contemporary American comics look like 2nd grade Readers….just dazzling stuff, and very erotic..
    Just a quick point : because the GOP debate was making my head explode, I searched the archives last night and found Danno’s remastered “Scorpion Stone.”..made in 2001, then re-sized around three years ago ….I remembered what I liked about the movies (Gorgeous models/neat monsters) and everything I didn’t (horrible acting/endless slow motion scenes/really annoying voice-overs)…I would call it a mixed bag at best….and production values of today are hundreds of times better….I think the best thing about some of Danno’s vids were the soundtracks! And he got plenty of negative feedback on the old SHiB Forum back then as well….

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  15. Logan says:

    Trying something different always leads to complaints. We tried starting with a heroine captured and allowed the story to progress from there. The complaint: why didn’t we get to see her captured? We tried allowing the villainess to be the one in peril. The complaint: we want to see heroines in peril ONLY. Valid point but I tried something different. We tried the heroine winning even after peril. The complaint: the heroine needs to lose. I could go on and on but with 350+ videos, we’ve tried almost everything you suggested as “new”. It always leads back to the same complaints. Unsure of this? Ask me of a situation and I’ll tell you a video I have something similar to it in. We even did a remake of the Barbarella scene which was asked for over a year and that did the worst of the 4 videos in the saga. Go figure. Male villain. Female villain. Bottom line is we just make videos and appease the majority who buy not the majority who complain.

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  16. CultRetro says:

    Producers get just as bored as the customers. If only one formula sells and most attempts at creativity fail and turn out to be wastes of money, then it’s just a matter of time before producers decide to cut their losses. Funny how this works.

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  17. bogie says:

    @CultRetro. Maybe if they were beaten and raped bit more they would . Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think those are two of the basic ingredients for most here, though I could do without the latter, personally.
    I get really worried that a substantial number of producers will fold like a deck of cards if people start drifting away from an already insubstantial market because of a sense oh “ho-hum”. I guess customs will always be around, however.

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  18. CultRetro says:

    Nyoka is a Jungle Girl. Stormy Tempest is a Space Girl. Neither of them get raped or beaten (well, maybe slightly beaten). As far as I can tell from this site though, neither of them sell worth a damn. 😉

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  19. bogie says:

    If ”different” is desirable in any shape or form, just possibly striking a cord with the silent majority, couldn’t we… please!…have a jungle woman, space girl or barbarian woman? Or have these already proven to be non-commercial? The basic framework could still be in place, but I for one would give anything like that a try out of sheer curiosity, and I don’t give much a try these day.

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  20. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Jake Spencer: mate, I stole that from John Constantine, mate, together with “love” and “gov’ner”. Don’t you get me started on the good old Vertigo comic book days.

    They mean something else on the Agent Carter show. And when I say Agent Carter I mean Sharon i.e. Agent 13 of course. Sorry to go comic geek on you 🙂

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  21. Jake Spencer says:

    @HWNN,
    I take it that the expression mate that you used means that you are not from North America?

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  22. Jake Spencer says:

    @HWNN
    Thanks, you remember me accurately. I reserve the right to talk to you about customs at some point in the future. I knew that Cap gets killed as it was mentioned in the Agent Carter TV series.

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  23. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Jake Spencer: because I am a Ed Brubaker fan. You should give his Captain America run a look. Come to think of it, issues 25 to around 45 (of Brubaker’s first Cap series) heavily feature Black Widow and Agent Carter, her in a white Catsuit, mostly by the same artist as with Velvet. It does not matter if you do not like superheroes, if I recall correctly, this is a spy thriller, and Cap gets shot dead in issue 25 (no, no spoiler, it is on the freakin’ cover).

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  24. Jake Spencer says:

    @HWNN
    I have some of Logan’s earlier works. All of Onyx’s films plus others. Agreed that they are really good films. I will try others as they are very well priced.
    How come you like Velvet but not 00Angels?

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  25. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Lake: who is saying, I haven’t? But you are right about the brick wall 🙂

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  26. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Jake Spencer: sorry to disappoint you, mate. Both are a “no”, but have you tried mailing Logan? Maybe there are others who have contacted him about this.

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  27. Jake Spencer says:

    @HWNN,

    If you like 00angels, want to go 50/50 on a custom?

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  28. Lake says:

    @HWNN My point is, you are banging your head on a brick wall. If you want something new and different, why not commission it yourself.

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  29. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Logan: 1960s Madison Avenue ad guys used to say: “The advertising business would be a great business to be in, if it weren’t for the clients with their stupid requests” 🙂

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  30. Logan says:

    @DarkLord: we have done many traps, devices, various ways to capture heroines. Our screenwriters were very imaginative and created many ways to do so – we used that little green rock very infrequently actually. But it’s still the same capture because the next request is always for AOH.

    @HWNN: the older stuff didn’t sell. The newer stuff (current platform) does. What does that tell you about the older stuff? Fans complained about the storylines. They complained that the movies features more than one heroine. They complained that there weren’t enough KOs, not long enough peril scenes. Well then we have to take out the story because the next complaint is the videos are too long. Now here too expensive. And the cycle continues.

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  31. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Jake Spencer: thank you. Do check out Logan’s earlier work. Highly recommended, not only to prove my point, but because that stuff is really good!

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  32. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Lake: of course they want THAT! Otherwise there would not be a “silent majority”. What I and others have been saying is WE want different, because we are bored out of our of collective minds by the product that is being currently offered, with producers telling us that THEY do NOT care about what we want, because sales are great.

    Not rocket science exactly, is it?

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  33. Jake Spencer says:

    @HWNN,
    Very well stated, wish I could be as eloquent as you. Not a fan of HK, however they are well made. Most likely really good margin on each film. Good imagination on the finish of each video.

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  34. Lake says:

    Just look at the DT Wrestling site. The same formula week after week after week with multiple movies of the same thing. Yet, they keep on doing it, so it must work. I reckon the silent majority on here WANT to see the same formula because that is what they are into.

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  35. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Logan: please do correct me if I am wrong: when you entered this genre you offered something new (shall I say “different”): fight sequences that had not been seen on such high level, well made-costumes, female and male talent that could act for change because they came with a performer background, outdoor locations and well-thought out, inter-connected storylines. One could argue that none of this was “brand-new”, but the combination and the high level of execution made you stand-out, shall I say different to other producers. It caught my eye and I bought plenty of your movies, checking the calender on your website for release dates. I cannot name one producer I own more movies of from that period of time.

    But you discovered that you were not selling enough this way, so you made changes (i.e. tried a different approach) until you arrived at a formula that works for you sales-wise while still refining your product based on sales statistics, i.e. making more Heroine Kombat when you found that that sells. I lost interest in your product, because that “new” wasn’t for me, but others apparently do like it a lot.

    So, yeah, I get what you are saying: doing something “different” is really, really bad and only wanted by the vocal minority, unless “different” is good for business 🙂

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  36. Jake Spencer says:

    @Logan
    I will figure something out, however many sites do not have trailers or other relevant information. Yours are the most informative. In any case it is my problem and I will try to take your advice.

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  37. Darklord says:

    Well Logan the state of the genre is entirely subjective of course, and to me the state is “repetitive and boring”. As I have, and others, stated, the standard formula is just so tired and boring at this point.

    Just watch the Lady Victory movies, especially the first one, for an example of a video that is unique and different. It’s nothing DRASTIC, but it stands out bc the plot is clever, LV is tricked and ambushed by a former colleague. Also, it has multiple fight scenes where she wins and loses etc. It’s by far my favorite SHIP vid I purchased in a long time!

    The “standard formula” sucks bc it’s generally, heroine defeats a goon. Then gets man handled by main villain. Yawn. How many times can we see that?

    You can still have all the elements that appease the majority of this niche market. But producers need to put a little thought into their production. When was the last time many of these producers had a heroine fall prey to a clever trap? Or a unique device that captures her (a net, a web, etc). Enough with the freaking space rock already. Basically, a little context and cleverness, goes a LONG way.

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  38. Logan says:

    @Jake Spencer: there is nothing to announce at this time and I am out of town at the moment. I actually have time to be on here this week.

    How to satisfy cravings… Well, most producers have a backlog of videos. Instead of waiting for the next release, skim through the hundreds of older releases to find something different. Most producers have evolved over the years — so if older ways were better, pick up some old films! 🙂

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  39. Jake Spencer says:

    @Logan
    A friend of mine did a great custom with you. Problem is that it is a significant chunk of change. The custom was very satisfying, actually extremely satisfying, fantastic even, but it is only one film. What does one do next to satisfy one’s cravings without mortgaging one’s house? The only solution I can think of is to form a syndicate of like minded people to create many customs; how to do this?
    No disrespect but how about spending less time commenting on this site and instead making announcements of your next project including actors. Hard to commit to customs without knowing details of your plans. I apologize.

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  40. Jake Spencer says:

    @ron
    A man of few words!

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  41. Logan says:

    I think the point is being missed here. The producers offer what is being asked for as a majority. Custom orders represent a majority. Sales numbers indicate a majority by trending. No one is going to intentionally film something we know won’t sell. And some of the ideas being presented have been tried out by me personally and I’ve found that they don’t sell. I have plenty of “different” approaches and some worked, some didn’t — but the ones that worked weren’t that far from the standard archetype whereas the ones that did not work were too far removed from the standard formula and therefore did not do well. You can complain and request “something different” but whenever we do “something different”, we get loads of complaints that it’s missing low blows or it doesn’t have a beatdown or the heroine didn’t die etc etc and the sales numbers reflect that. If you want something different, order a custom or make it yourself – that’s your real way of guaranteeing that you get something you’re thinking of rather than whatever the producers create based on fan response and sales trends.

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  42. Jake Spencer says:

    @Max
    Saw the youtube Banshee videos. The are great examples of gratuitous violence, are disgusting and over the top. They have no place in this genre. Some blood and maybe some bruise marks would work well, but nothing over the top. Check out ‘Bulge’s Beatdown’ and ‘Break’ on Logan’s site for appropriate blood and great action.
    @bogie
    One of the reasons why you may be getting bored is that although there are some great looking heroines with decent acting skills, the plots are becoming very similar: some set up time, the heroine or actor fights well at the beginning, but then is quickly overpowered and beaten down, humiliated with or without sexual power and offers no resistance for most of the film. Different actors and actresses, costumes and story lines, but almost identical formulas. Some sites are better than others as mentioned previously but overall it is easy to see why someone might get bored. In addition 20 minutes of continuous belly and face punching with no resistance could also easily get boring after awhile.
    Check out Cherie Deville’s films (Logan’s and other sites), she might be what you are looking for. Her other attributes are great acting and decent fighting skills.

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  43. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Swampy170: while I agree that “new” has been and always will be a selling point, you are wrong when you say that “outside the box” shows become automatic hits with a mass audience. You and I may think Daredevil is fantastic and while it was a hit for Netflix, it does not even compare ratings-wise to the audience that watches ten or eleven Law & Order shows a week. Chances are, outside our genre circles, not many people have heard of Daredevil or a show like Penny Dreadful. Same goes for Arrow. It is a hit for its network (which is cable), but how high is it in the ratings charts? Do you think Supergirl will be a hit for its network (not cable)? It might be, but I doubt it. For it to be hit on CBS, it needs to pull in bigger numbers than Arrow needs to. And should it be a hit with a mass audience, will we as genre fans like it or will we watch other shows instead? The Walking Dead is a highly popular show (for AMC), yet most comic fans I know, don’t like it, because it is too “streamlined” for them.

    I am not saying these shows can’t be become massive hits. You are right, Game of Thrones is a good example as are some others that come to mind, but it takes time and word-of-mouth and availability. As I have said, these kinds of show are darlings with critics for the most part and that helps. But there is a reason why guys like Mark Harmon or Charlie Sheen made millions per episode. They have the mass audience. Charlie Cox’s won’t come close for Daredevil Season 2. Not even the same ballpark.

    And “new” is a tricky beast, unfortunately. Twin Peaks, which was groundbreaking in an otherwise dull TV landscape at that time, did attract high ratings, but faded very quickly once people had sampled it.

    It is wishful thinking that because we want “different” everybody does. Look at some of the reactions of fans in this thread.

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  44. Swampy170 says:

    @Horse – I think your point is actually switched around. The silent majority are enthused by new, daring content.

    Walking with the tv-show analogy – what are the runaway successes of recent years? Game of Thrones, Daredevil – even Arrow.

    All insanely popular, and outside the norm of a number of years ago.

    Having something truely different is a selling point in itself.

    Also, as is said above – “filler” is entirely dependant on the context, well written and acted “filler” is not filler at all.

    On the other hand, does that mean reduction in fetish content to attract higher calibre acting talent?

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  45. bogie says:

    I’m afraid I too have become bored with the offerings in the last few months, no disrespect to everyone who tries to produce the best they can. . Maybe I’m becoming jaded. I find I only give serious consideration to purchasing if the heroine is hot, REALLY, REALLY hot, and preferably with big boobs. The latter seem to be as scarce these days as pantyhose is prevalent. Sorry to lower the tone of the discussion. State of the Genre? I fear we may see the demise of a number of producers in the future, if the competition increases and the market is a small as the inside info seems to indicate.

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  46. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Seer: you could add Man of Steel to the list of superhero movies that do not follow the same pattern, another reason why I love this movie.

    As I wrote to @ DrMabuse: Sidekick’s comment about “the look of things, yet losing interest” (not his exact words) is how I see it.

    Yet some producers will talk about “the silent majority who loves their films” and some comments from fans support this and it may well be the case.

    Maybe, just maybe, the state of the genre is:

    A great number of peril vids are like network shows i.e. your NCIS, Law & Order etc.: for the most part competently made, yet generic in their bad guy of the week approach and episodic resolutions. Yet they are highly succesful and a “silent majority” loves these shows. And there is nothing wrong with this. A great number of the audience wants shows like these. To me personally, most peril vids are like an episode of NCIS: fine to watch, but entirely forgetable and near identical from episode to episode.

    Now you have the vocal minority (us) who wants a certain level of sophistication. Who, to stay with the example, watch cable shows like Dexter, Breaking Bad, etc. Also crime shows, but done with a highly different approach. These cable shows get a lot of press, put mostly reach a much smaller audience. These shows build a level of excitement from episode to episode network shows by their definition just can’t, and they can be more experimental knowing their audience will love them for it.

    Now looking at this from the perspective of a producer of peril movies who wants or basically needs to reach the largest audience possible. You take the network show approach: you put out reliable, yet somewhat identical episodes your core audience has come to expect.

    Now were you to start experimenting with the network approach like I and others have suggested to producers who, as we feel put out one episode of NCIS after the next and who, to us, seem resistant to “change”, you do run into trouble. In TV land Hannibal e.g. tried this: wanting the cake and eating it too i.e. A show that tries to be both CSI and Dexter, and while still a good show, not hitting it big with the NBC core audience for being too outside the “formula” they have come to expect, while frustrating viewers like me for not going full cable mode enough i.e. still retaining the “bad guy of the week” episodic approach. Thus pleasing noboby really and getting cancelled. So, yeah, it does make sense when producers shy away from experimenting in fear of losing some of their loyal customers.

    So, the state of this particular genre might be what everybody says:

    Producers can’t experiment too much in fear of losing their core audience and simply need to check various “tropes” to please a mass audience

    A silent majority is very happy to sit down and watch their weekly Law & Order show, and nothing wrong with that (and before you argue that NGC is nothing like CSI, I would argue that both are episodic series with little room for experimentation).

    A vocal minority (me included) who simply got bored and to whom each episode of Law & Order, while well-made, looks the same, and who want to see an episode of just Walter White trying to catch a fly i.e. to see a peril vid that finally does unmasking right i.e. meets our level of either sophistication, hipsterness or kink.

    Now, as a producer you might find this an unfair assessment and some of the (in this case not so) silent majority might knee-jerk to the default option: get a custom and let me watch my network crime show, but the rub of it all is: the cable audience is breaking away from the current genre of peril vids, at least I do. I’d rather watch Hannibal (which is not fully what I want i.e. watch “simple” porn or read a comic) before I stomach one more episode of the likes of Law & Order. And as I do not watch a show like this for free on a TV network, I would not watch most current peril vids even if they came free of charge. Again, says nothing about quality, just a matter of taste, really.

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  47. Reyes says:

    Interest level fallen +2

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  48. Seer says:

    “Name one or two mainstream superhero movies that do not follow that same exact story arc / pattern / plot e.g. Early success then peril then usual victory…”

    Watchmen and The Dark Knight Rises. Those don’t start with early success.

    “10 years ago it seemed the majority, if not all, of the videos were produced by FANS of the genre. And they actually put thought into their videos – as in, I’m a fan of the genre, what kind of videos would I want to see as a fan! Now? It feels like BUSINESSMEN are making the majority of the videos. Burn and churn.”

    I recently watched a preview that had fine visuals, hot girls, acting OK, audio OK, yet there was an unmasking that was completely glossed over, medium long shot only and no apparent dread about the event, a swing and a miss. Something that a unmasking fan director would have covered much better.

    “if you don’t include all of your “elements” as a focus, then you are accused of having too much “filler” in your videos. This, of course, is just dialogue and story,”

    Dialog and story isn’t filler to me if done well. It’s filler if done poorly, mediocre, and I’m wanting to fast-forward passed it cause it’s boring. Bad dialog with long pauses inbetween is a killer.

    Other filler is slow pacing that feels like the producer is milking time so the movie can be priced higher ($1 a minute). Combatants standing around, sizing each other up, stalling. I’m thinking logos, credits, coming attractions, extra slow paced footage, all black frames, shouldn’t be part of the $1 a minute calculating.

    “I do think the genre has never looked better. Costumes. Locations. Choreography. But the funny thing is my interest level has fallen, …”

    +1

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  49. Bert says:

    @Jake Spencer – Ommmm is a chant used in meditation, to calm one’s mind. Or it could be used to indicate the struggle to hold one’s tongue when a commenter is leading a conversation off into yet another self-serving rant just to listen to himself pontificate on his own awesomeness. Explaining it kind of drains the humour a little though.

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  50. Logan says:

    @DarkLord: simply to play Devil’s Advocate… Name one or two mainstream superhero movies that do not follow that same exact story arc / pattern / plot e.g. Early success then peril then usual victory…

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  51. Darklord says:

    Thanks Lurker. I know at times my comments have veered off to touch other points raised but yes to reiterate, the videos now just seem “lazy”. I’m not referring to the production values, or costumes, or money invested. But just the level of thought that goes into making the video seems non existent for most.

    Take TBFE’s phantom dame and Solaria videos for example. On their own, they are amazing in quality and deliver some good peril. But the movies are virtually IDENTICAL in terms of it follows the standard sequence of events. Heroine shows up. Has early success. Suddenly loses the upper hand and then is sexually violated. And apologies for calling them out bc there a ton of other videos and producers who fall victim to that same issue of repetitive content.

    For me, having purchased 15 years of content, the standard “formula” just doesn’t do it for me anymore. No matter what production values you coat it with.

    Call me nostalgic all you want but SHC (and I agree Alex does a good job of this too) captures that feeling of “doom” while still having a comic book type feel to the video.

    10 years ago it seemed the majority, if not all, of the videos were produced by FANS of the genre. And they actually put thought into their videos – as in, I’m a fan of the genre, what kind of videos would I want to see as a fan! Now? It feels like BUSINESSMEN are making the majority of the videos. Burn and churn.

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  52. Lurker says:

    agree w/ Darklord, in that its more prolific but not better…but it is subjective.

    Superheroine Central (and others) in the late 90’s early 2000’s, nailed the formula/psychology that subjectively works best for me…….super-powerful women w/ a submissive fetish strong enough to be dangerous. while its a fine line, most of today’s non-PG13 vids are too violently “rapey” w/ death endings for my taste….which is compounded by the vast majority of modern vids having male villains.

    currently, i only really see Alex Bettinger play to the psychological “niche” i enjoy….which defined the older Hawk heroine stuff and has strong dna in his newer heroine/wrestling stuff. so kudos to him.

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  53. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Gil: yes, I was indeed talking about Storm. I now own most volumes, and Storm’s lovely companion gets less dressed as the series progresses and more frequently into bondage… Or walks around naked. Or fights in just a tiny thong in an arena. Yummy. If only producers would look at something like that for inspiration 🙂 I had only known the early, tame volumes when I was a kid 🙂 The Dutch publishing house was steering it away from a comic for kids more towards a proto Heavy Metal (the comic, not music). If you have the chance, they are available via Amazon (or google+) 🙂

    I have the feeling the Guardians example is going to haunt me, but be it. Kevin Feige first and foremost does not answer to Robert Iger, CEO of the House of the Mouse, but to Ike Pearlmutter the CEO of all things Marvel, the man who cancelled the FF comic to spite Fox. To give you an idea who the boss of Marvel Studios President Feige is: he is a veteran of the 6 day war in Israel, legally carries a handgun strapped to his ankle, co-founded Toy Biz, had then Marvel owner Ron Pearlman buy Toy Biz, and when Marvel had to file for chapter 11, Pearlmutter bought Marvel from under him while he wasn’t looking, built it up, had it sold for 4 billion US dollars to Disney of which he collected around half and who today is Disney’s largest individual shareholder. All this in the span of 15 years. Yup, another one of those strange business success stories people in this thread have said are not really happening. Now imagine going to this guy, who is also known for telling people to turn off the lights when they leave the office for more then 5 min. or that Christmas parties are a waste of office time and money, to tell this guy that you just tanked millions of dollars because you thought making a movie about a tree and a green girl was a great idea while you could have made Avengers 2 instead. Fun times ahead. Did I mention that Ike carries a gun?

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  54. Gil says:

    I wasn’t going to add to this (quite thought-provoking) discussion….you guys were doing a fine job with it! But, @Horse – ya got me! Did you mean the ‘Storm’ series (believe it’s Dutch or Belgian) with the lovely “Roodhar” as his (frequently half-dressed) hot traveling companion? Early 80’s, painted panels…obviously took time and effort….
    I have a bunch of those in Dutch…a language in which I am not fluent…but you can get the idea from the panels…
    I have to disagree with your comparisons with ‘Guardians’. Think about this: let’s say , for the sake of argument, that Guardians of the Galaxy was another ‘Ishtar’. A historic flop, winner of plentiful Golden Turkey awards, but little else. Spoken of at Hollywood parties in terms formerly reserved for ‘Catwoman’…Okay; what has Disney lost? I mean, these aren’t the early 60’s where an expensive flop (‘Cleopatra’) almost killed Paramount. The creative team behind the movie will have a hard time getting work ,perhaps….but the Company? Disney? Please…they are diversified beyond diversified. Two weeks of sales of Minnie Mouse dolls at Tokyo Disney would probably cover a third of the movie loss (obviously, these are two completely separate divisions, but you get the idea…)
    I agree with you, in general that businesses only survive and thrive by taking some calculated risks….but I do think you may have overestimated the size of this market. Now, obviously, no one is starving, or there would BE no SH content coming out, but I still remember those ‘Butterscotch Lives/Butterscotch Dies” readers polls Danno used to run over at SHC….did you ever tally the vote totals? I did…at most a thousand voters. And , for the sake of argument, if you were into this stuff back then..you were a member. And that was back in the day when Danno and Villain at Superheroine’s Demise were about the only game in town. And this was back in 2001 or so! Guys have gotten married, died, gone broke, been jailed…whatever…in all that intervening time. Some may have lost the fetish entirely. It happens. And , yes, others will come into it as time goes on…but I always find it remarkable the number of posters here who seem to have been members of Danno and Villain’s sites. Just food for thought..or, THOT?

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  55. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ DrMabuse: yeah, actually Sidekick expressed some of my feelings about the state of this genre much shorter than I did. So thank you Sidekick.

    Actually we are in agreement when you say that for the most part (add most producers or all) names, do NOT “bring bold/original/daring/risky ideas to the table”. In my opinion, for the most part, there are rare exceptions.

    We could continue discussions about movies etc. over beer, but yeah, we both have differences in opinions and I almost knew you would argue that e.g. Titanic is not original, and one could say Avatar is “Dances With Wolves”, but well… And no, either I did not make myself clear or you misread my comment about Fast 7. That movie was certainly not a “risk”, just wanted to say why it may not be such a big surprise that this movie is so high in the best box office list… but again, over beer 🙂

    Glad that you like Lang. I always enjoyed both parts of his career, his early work before he had to flee the country and his film noir stuff in America. I feel he is a good and rare example of an artist who struck a fine balance between art and business. Something that apparently drove Bert Brecht nuts when they were working on a movie together 🙂

    While on the subject of supervillains: do you know the book “Evil and the Mask” by Fuminori Nakamura? It is the best origin story of a supervillain I have encountered, yes, disguised as “high literature”, but what a fantastic and very dark book! One which you can appreciate more, I feel, when you see how this is influenced by books / comic books / movies about supervillains. “Evil” is all about control and manipulation. The line “I created you to be a cancer on the world” will haunt you.
    Highly recommended!

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  56. DrMabuse says:

    I totally get where @Sidekick is coming from. There are only a couple of producers I regularly buy from now, but I still think the “state of the genre” is great right now, partly because there’s enough product out there right now for people with different tastes to be excited about. Ten or so years ago, I followed whatever was out there or went without. Now there are some people making stuff that’s as good or better than anything before, and others that make stuff I don’t care about, although some of it is just as appealing to me as stuff I’d have bought back in 2005.

    @HWNN: Yeah, I love Lang–I’m even partial to the Thousand Eyes film he made late, late in his career. I chose Mabuse as my handle around here due to his status as one of the early supervillains and his association with hypnotism and mind control (favorites of mine.)

    I feel bad continuing this exchange after Sidekick’s comment bringing us back on topic, especially since my larger point is that I don’t think what’s going on in the mainstream tells us anything about our little genre. However, you tend to characterize things in ways that confirm your points, but are highly subjective and contestable. For instance, I don’t recall anyone saying GotG wasn’t a risk after it was a hit. I remember people saying that Marvel should have more confidence to take risks after that success, but apparently you heard someone somewhere say it was a sure thing, so that’s what “people were saying” in your version of events. Fast & Furious 7 is the latest in a long, successful franchise, but you say it’s retooled and has all these differences, so it’s a risky venture. Now you say that Jurassic World wasn’t really a formula, and that everyone was surprised at how well it did, but Universal must have thought it would do well, so I don’t think everyone was surprised. Again, the lessons of big movie grosses certainly aren’t a clear win for original ideas, but I don’t think it has much relevance to us.

    Likewise, as you say, Titanic and Avatar are both amazingly successful films based on original ideas. Well, the Titanic has been the basis for a number of films before, but it did seem bold at the time. It’s also from 1997, 18 years ago, and Avatar is from 2009. If those were the only original films made in the last 20 years, that would be good evidence that taking risks tends to pay off, but they aren’t. I mentioned “John Carter” and there are plenty of other recent examples: Jupiter Ascending, Tomorrowland, 47 Ronin, Jack the Giant Slayer, etc. And those are just the big bombs of the last few years. Looking at only the successes, as you tend to do, it looks like risks pay off, but the actual record is hardly a good basis for advising someone financing on a project by project basis to roll the dice on big changes to what they’re doing. Likewise, above you mentioned two TV shows nearly cancelled that became big hits (Seinfeld and X-Files) that are both over 20 years old.

    I appreciate the conversation, but I still don’t see any reason to think that talk about the creative choices of giant corporations has much to say about the state of this genre. I’d also contest the idea that the Rye or TBFE or whoever are really bring bold/original/daring/risky ideas to the table, but again, that’s subjective.

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  57. Sidekick says:

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone jumping in on this topic. Getting more feedback than I ever dreamed. A lot of different conversations going on, none of which I have any special insight about, so I won’t comment on any one post or topic.

    I will say that every single time I write one of these I have regrets. I just don’t think I always deliver my thoughts all that well and I wanted to give it a second try.

    I do think the genre has never looked better. Costumes. Locations. Choreography. But the funny thing is my interest level has fallen, and honestly, there’s only about 3 producers whose movies I actually anticipate anymore. The genre has just moved so far away from my own personal tastes.

    But the thing I don’t completely understand myself is that the newer content creators that are producing films that I would normally enjoy, just don’t resonate with me.

    On the other hand the producers whose films that I anticipate the most are absolutely killing it right now. Just content that is perfect for me and in my opinion their best work. It also helps that my favorite storytelling producer and my favorite action producer are collaborating. Talk about a dream come true.

    But the best thing to come out of this editorial is confirmation that Stormy Tempest will one day return. Couldn’t be more excited about that. Thanks again everyone.

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  58. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Jake Spencer: why thank you. Glad you enjoyed. Make mine Image!

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  59. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Kevlar: may I suggest a book instead?

    For the record: when I say, I do not “believe” a producer, this does NOT mean that I feel he / she is lying. Far from it. It is their job to hype their product and anything they say should, in my opinion, be informed by their sales pitch. This is why I brought up Stan Lee. He is a master at this, to the point that Kirby made fun of him in his Fourth World books. My job as a customer is to take everything a “seller” says with a grain of salt, or did you believe every word the guy at the car dealership you got your car from said to you? I would certainly hope you did not, yet you bought the car, hence you did not feel he was lying to you. My point!

    Custom, ah, yes, the default answer. My point was: I could, but I don’t have to. Case in point: some asked for a peril movie with Red Sonja last year. This made me “hungry” and since there was no “movement” on the producer front, just the usual blah, blah why this makes no sense, blah, blah, and I am not a patient person who is not interested in why something should NOT be made, as much as I am a person who is into kinky stuff, more than Marvel can offer, I got me all comics of a fantasy series from Holland from the early 80s featuring a hot girl with red hair in a leather thong wielding a sword drawn by a guy from England who did fully painted comics long before the name Alex Ross was even mentioned, albums we call them in Europe, which set me back 200 bucks. Sure, could have gotten a custom, by really, why? I rather check first if – in my market – stuff is available that fits my desires. Do I complain about peril movies? Yup, but that is me asking producers to look around themselves a little more and be open to being now and then a little bit inspired. I thought TBFE presenting an obscure DC character or Rye having Coco as a Watchman character was a fun change-up. No complaints there.

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  60. Jake Spencer says:

    @HorseWithNoName
    Took your advice and purchased Velvet, the Secret Lives of Dead Men. Great stuff and very suspenseful.
    I am anxiously awaiting the announcement from Logan. Congrats to all those who donated costumes. Custom costumes must be very expensive. Hopefully someone bought the 00Angels ones.
    It would not surprise me if all of his HK and 00Angels were customs, otherwise staying afloat would have been problematic?
    I have purchased almost exclusively from Logan but also a few from other producers. Some have been great others terrible, but this is one person’s opinion. The worst one had to be a 15 minute fight between a great looking woman in a catsuit beating up on 5 men in a bar, unfortunately she spent half the film combing her hair. I don’t get how someone would enjoy a video of say 20 minutes or so getting punched in the belly for almost the whole film.
    What I especially appreciated in Logan’s films was the fact that in fight scenes, whether peril or girl power, the loser always put up plenty of resistance right up to the bitter end so to speak.
    My real problem is the sorry state of the Canadian dollar. The equivalent price is now over 30% of the US dollar price.
    @Bert
    ‘Clever’ comment, what language is that?

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  61. HorseWithNoName says:

    DrMabuse: great name by the way, I love me some Fritz Lang and thanks for reading and your thoughts on my post. Yes, the worldwide list is: Avatar, Titanic, Jurassic World, Avengers, Fast 7, Age of Ultron. What was your point again? Avatar and Titanic are original films and you can make the case so was Avengers. My point about taking risks: Marvel took a risk with making Guardians, they could have made Avengers 2 earlier instead of Guardians and that would have been a much safer bet. We can argue, but I would call the movie a success from a financial point of view. And while talking about taking risks, so did James Cameron with Titanic. Everybody said that after Waterworld, a movie set on water would not work. Again, kinda proves my point about people willing to take risks which pay off. My point with Guardians was, that only after it became a hit, people were saying that it presented no risk to Marvel Studios making that film, while I (and others) contend it did. You are more than welcome to disagree. You also fail to mention that as franchises go, F & F 7 came on the back of a re-tooled franchise, a highly successful part 5 including the Rock, a mostly well received part 6 and lest we forget the tragic passing of Paul Walker. All these factors put it this high and the F & F series itself became a hit only after they had made some changes to it, the first did ok (which was by all intends and purposes a remake of Pointbreak), the other two not that well. Also: I do not argue against a franchise movie’s success in general. There is a reason why these get made and people go see them.

    As far as Jurassic World is concerned: old formulas may work or the may not. It depends on a lot of factors. What I said, I believe, was that everybody was very surprised by the success of Jurassic World and nobody could have predicted how well it would do. For the record: I did like the movie more so than even the first one by Spielberg and that tells you a lot about how open I am to the whole formula thing. However to me, it did not feel that much like a formula.

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  62. DrMabuse says:

    OK, catching up now, so first things first: I’m thrilled to hear that Stormy Tempest will (may?) be back! The last few videos from Cult Retro have been stellar (see what I did there?) and the previews for the next season look great. I’d lost hope that we would see any more of Stormy.

    Second, thanks to Sidekick for providing this forum and getting this conversation started. My bottom line (as a consumer) is that I think the “genre” is in great shape. I’ve been buying superheroine videos for 12 years or so (really? eh gads!) and I’m happier now with the output than at any time in the past. Is everything to my liking? No, of course not, but it’s never been that way, and I expect it never will be. If anything, the complaints we’re seeing are a symptom of how good things are right now. Not to say people are ungrateful or complaints/criticisms are illegitimate, and comments may help producers get a sense of what buyers want, but complaints are born out of satisfactions with other factors. @kingles listed a bunch of producers all making great stuff, some of which isn’t to my tastes, but that’s fine, because some is. I remember just being thrilled to find a video with a superheroine in it.

    I guess it’s natural when assessing the “State of the Genre” to say “compared to what?” but comparisons to other product markets–mainstream movies and tv, beer, fast food, cola, etc. are not helpful. These things all have remarkably different distribution systems, production models, promotion methods, regulatory constraints, size and number of market participants, etc., all of which have some impact on how their businesses operate. We don’t learn much about how this “genre” is or can work by thinking about how Disney does things.

    @HWNN: I really get what you’re (repeatedly) trying to say, I think, but there’s a lot of “heroic entrepreneur” mythology in it. A lot of what you’re saying is confused or confusing, particularly since you keep choosing not to believe anything that contradicts what you believe to be true (without any real evidence) and letting your opinions be shaped more by hype than facts. It sounds like you’re fighting the good fight against complacency and mediocrity, but the examples given are factually questionable or highly subjective. For instance, going back to one of your earliest posts, it seemed like you were saying that the reception of Jurassic World proves that old formulas don’t always work, which is weird, because Jurassic World is currently the third highest grossing movie of all time. Number 5 is Fast & Furious 7 (7!) and 6 is Avengers 2. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy’s “massive hit” status, as you put it (it’s currently sitting at #56) proves to you that you can take risks that pay off.

    Of course, these and other examples from other media don’t have much to say about the circumstances in this genre, where pockets aren’t deep (could any of the producers around here have survived a “John Carter”?) The best testimony we have from informed people here say their market is not that big, and your latest evidence about the potential size of this market is your own buying habits and the fact that there’s superheroine fiction on Amazon Kindle. I went to Amazon, looked up JK Waylon’s stuff, clicked on the currently highest rated title (released in May this year, so very recent) and it’s currently ranked #779 (its highest ranking) in “Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superhero”. How many copies propel you to the lofty rank of 779 in that category? Nothing in the top 100 would qualify as superheroine peril stuff. Waylon’s titles appear to sell for about $3, so it’s hardly the most expensive in the category.

    I get that the Rye and TBFE have gone in a direction you really like recently, which apparently means to you that they’re amazingly successful, although we don’t know that at all. Some folks seem excited about it, but I don’t see any evidence that they’re doing game changing stuff. I’ve bought one or two of these videos in recent months, but for the most part the stuff they’re doing doesn’t interest me, and I can certainly think of videos I’ve got on an external harddrive somewhere that are similar to what the previews show. So, if our individual buying habits count as evidence, I’m a regular on this board and don’t buy those videos, so they’re not even capturing the whole market represented here.

    I’m not trying to harsh your mellow or anything, just explain why your insistence that producers are cowering away from a bold new vision that can remake the market and satisfy the masses is so frustrating.

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  63. CultRetro says:

    ok

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  64. Swampy170 says:

    I should also say, obviously some fanbases are totally at odds, and will never work together – which should be obvious.

    Also, for those into only 1 thing – customs.

    Commercially tho – no point having a focus that narrow

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  65. Swampy170 says:

    You can appeal to multiple fanbases, sure not the whole film for one fanbase or another.

    Then again those who are just in it for one thing and nothing else whatsoever, you’re unlikely to ever please fully. These are the vocal minority.

    Whereas most customers have a stong interest in certain elements, and perhaps like or are meerly accepting of other elements. These customers are far easier to appeal to, and are the majority…..

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  66. Kevlar says:

    Well this has been a looooong read.
    Whilst the “State of the Genre” is by no means perfect, it seems to be only a small handful of people who have a BIG problem with it. The silent majority are probably quite happy with the way things are and aren’t piping up because this is such a dull read… luckily I have a cold and far too much time.

    I can’t believe people are complaining about producers releasing too many videos, marketing agressively or lying in this thread. It’s their job after all, their business. Everyone’s trying to make a buck and God forbid some do better than others and make a little more.
    Complaining about locations, actresses, style, fetish elements, tension, story-telling (I’m guilty of this too, just not as repetitive) etc. If you REALLY care, invest in a custom and get something made just the way you like it. Heck if it sells well, then producers might think of doing more along the same vein themselves, without you having to front some of the costs. If it doesn’t sell so well, then that sucks, but perhaps it’ll show that most of the market unfortunately just don’t share your taste/views.
    I think the producers have main some very good points and been very patient vs. various accusations. If they’re lying, or you simply don’t believe them, well I guess that can’t be helped 😛
    *waits for abuse*

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  67. CultRetro says:

    A science that is not exact is not a science.

    All I’m saying is that you can’t build a business around a rare result like that. You’re just rolling dice and getting lucky. Use the same release timing, do the same publication and use the same talent and it won’t happen again. If it did, you’d see everyone doing it.

    One of the reasons is that you can’t REALLY appeal to multiple fan bases. You can trick the girl power fans into making them think you made something for them that really isn’t, and you can do the same to the peril fans. Put up two or three different trailers with an emphasis on one aspect of the film while ignoring the other and post the different versions on different forums. It’s targeted marketing and you see this all the time. It’s also deceptive (not always deliberately, but sometimes). But when people actually BUY the film, they quickly find out that they have been duped (or at least mislead by exaggeration) and they won’t be eager to come back for more. That’s why forums like this exist, right? People want to know what they are going to get because they have been burned in the past.

    When that happens customers will stick to “safe” purchases from vendors that they are loyal to and we are right back to the status quo of grinding out films that return 200 units in 30 days.

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  68. kingles says:

    @Swampy170: Do you have a name to attach to those numbers? You have made me curious.

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  69. kingles says:

    @Ron: I’m sorry, but your take on this defies logic and common sense. How is it that you believe Logan set out to increase his market share(who in the hell wouldn’t want to do this?), by offering an “expensive” and “inferior” product? I mean nothing gains a producer more market share than videos that are expensive AND inferior. Why nobody else came up with this business plan first is a mystery that may never be solved! Something doesn’t add up there…and whether you like it or not it’s what Horse said. The videos are well made and feature some of the best on screen talent that this genre has brought us. Whether his stuff is your cup of tea is irrelevant. Nothing here is everybody’s cup of tea. Which is a significant part of the issue here, but that’s for another reply.

    Now about all these supposed negative effects wrought on the genre by the unfair, hyper-productive, CTLE colossus….What negative effects? Didn’t Rye expand his productions during this same period, and TBFE, and SHF, and NGC? Alex David has put out some great vids(some of which aren’t currently available unfortunately). Anastasia Pierce has made a significant splash in this genre, Primal has been flat out dropping bombs(I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find out that they’ve had vids sell over 1000 copies). Bluestone, UltraHeroix, Kandyman. I could go on and on. Again…where are these negative effects you speak of? What are you on about anyway?

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  70. Swampy170 says:

    1000 well within the first 30 days.

    It’s about appealing not only to multiple fan bases – but also release timing, and publication.

    Hiring popular talent is always going to be a sales point – but equally most talent are aware of this and demand a premium.

    That kind of immediate return definitely shouldn’t be expected, the science is not exact – but there is still a science.

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  71. CultRetro says:

    @Swampy170: Logan and I have been discussing the first 30 days of release, which is really the only thing that matters when you are releasing multiple products within a short time span and planning for one movie to pay for the production of the next. 1000 total over the course of many months or even a year would not surprise me. We have done that also. But if you mean 1000 in the first 30 days of release, I would find that extremely unlikely and it would definitely be abnormal. I would also guess that such a product featured multiple popular models with large existing fan bases and was probably expensive to produce. But hey, anything is possible. I personally wouldn’t invest in making a film for t5his market hoping to generate that kind of immediate return, but I’m not very brave. I prefer groceries to gambling. 😉

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  72. ron says:

    Whatever

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  73. CultRetro says:

    It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! A conspiracy!

    Bluster and uninformed opinion doesn’t change fact.

    You do realize that while Rye is “beloved” on this forum he is reviled on others, right? There are other micro-niches besides the one that Rye serves. Head over to Superwomen Mania and ask the girl power fans how beloved Rye is. If you want to base your evaluation of my sales from “opinions” on THIS forum, then why not head over to SWM and see if you can guess what Rye makes over there.

    The participants of this forum have never really been my target audience. We include some content that I’m sure some of you enjoy, but our content clearly isn’t catering to the very specific needs of this particular crowd. We have an audience that appreciates a bit of humor and story and creativity and heroism from time to time (something you might prefer to call “filler”).

    Plus a little chloroform and giant women stepping on people… but, whatever. 😉

    I should say “had” an audience. We’re semi-retired after all.

    Granted, you could be entirely right. I have no insight into Rye’s pocketpocket. Maybe he does release event after event and he is the exception to the rule (which is really more of an average, as I’ve said many times already). That would explain why the Enthusiastic Participation 2 board was silenced and that would also explain why his product has become increasingly expensive, wouldn’t it? Clearly he is making money hand over fist.

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  74. HorseWithNoName says:

    Ron is wrong. Logan’s movies maybe many things, but having bought plenty of his movies, I will say that they are not “inferior” nor are they cheaply made. Purely from a production standpoint I would argue they are among the best. And any market expansion, be it “aggressive” or not, is not a bad thing in itself.

    Having said that:

    No, I do not “believe” many things a producer will state in this forum. These statements are by their very nature self-serving (as they should be, really). What if I asked Josh Trank: should I watch your FF movie? He will say: it is the greatest thing ever. What else is he to say, really? Or reading any column Stan “The Man” Lee has ever written. These were designed to push Marvel product, as they should be.

    Yes, I still content that the market is much bigger than producers would like you to believe it is. Two more examples: look at the superheroine in peril “books” that are sold via the Amazon Kindle store (the outstanding “Catgirl” series by JK Waylon comes to mind, highly recommended for any heroine peril fan) or namely that I own plenty of very good superheroine in peril movies from recent productions that have never found their way to being discussed on this forum (or any other forum for that matter) nor are they sold via SHG-Media or C4S. Call me crazy, but to me this sounds like there are buyers out there willing to buy such product. Yes, while this money goes elsewhere, one could honestly assume that the market is small.

    No, and I don’t mean this as a knock on CultRetro, I do not believe for a second that his sales numbers are comparable to sales numbers of e.g. Rye. You can argue about “spikes” all day, but Rye is a very beloved director and each of his new releases is consistently seen by many as an “event” (despite some backlash in recent weeks). Also “mixing it up a bit”, TBFE might now rival what Rye sells or step by step is coming closer to his number at least. And isn’t it ironic that Sidekick in the intro to this thread mentions their “new style and direction” “getting rave reviews”, but whenever people bring up words like “change”, a producer will be like Christopher Lee as Dracula fearing the cross. “Change” or “new style” seems like a bad word just judging from the comments of some producers. No, the audience will not want it, they say, we tried that and it failed. Ergo, what I wrote above about comments from producers.

    And no, I as a customer do not see it as my obligation to “support” a producer. People usually do not make a commercial product out of the goodness of their hearts (commercial product i.e. not Fan Films) even if they say, we will not make a profit on this, but we want to give back to the fans (what a load of bull), once I am asked to pay for this product, we enter a commercial relationship, and it is my job not to support, but to make an informed purchase. If you think otherwise, do go and see the new FF movie just purely to support Josh Trank (and because he told you it is the greatest thing, ever 🙂 But wait, that is a major Hollywood movie made by people who are all millionaires (forgetting Josh Trank has many dogs he needs to feed) and we are talking about peril movies that went from being in a niche market to being in a micro-niche market in this thread, nah, both are the same: a commerical product people want you to buy and which I will most certainly buy if it fits my taste and my desire.

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  75. Swampy170 says:

    Not surprised by 50-400 customers @Logan, the market can’t keep up with the amount of videos released.

    I am aware of an over 1000 sold figure from a different producer. Might argue it’s a spike, and probably right – but it’s plenty possible.

    All about balancing release schedule for the optimum time vs competitors rather than just banging out vids.

    The market is not really as small as producers (apparently) think.

    However, flooding the market does have it’s own advantages – it’s not particularly an uncommon practice. If you have the capital, more power to you – after all, that’s capitalism.

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  76. Bert says:

    Ommmmmmmmm.

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  77. Maar13 says:

    That was just one pack of movies and a lot of producers use pretty much the same set, so that is your point for production? So the special effects and the great costumes mean nothing to you? Only “the same background”? Give me a break.

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  78. ximi says:

    @ron if you don’t like his stuff, don’t pay for them. It’s not like Logan has a hold on your credit card. If Logan can “grab market share” by just “making same stuff over and over again”, then hey, maybe the rest of folks truly like them?

    I don’t know why some folks seem to have this thing going against Logan. I like some of his stuff, have no interest in most of his works (I am strict male vaillian only), but come on, leave the guy alone…

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  79. ron says:

    Unless you love to pay to watch same thing in the same playground over and over again.

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  80. Logan says:

    @sugarcoater: yes, God forbid. Lol especially hiring hundreds of people over 3 and a half years. That’s such an evil thing to do. 🙂

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  81. Maar13 says:

    @ron: not to be a mark but inferior in which way? Storyline wise? Production or what way? Agressive expansion? I get that part but the inferior?

    Actually from the producers I see posting here each is good on his own regarding quality.

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  82. sugarcoater says:

    Just curious, but if Logan was trying to “grab more market share”, why would that be bad? I don’t think Logan thinks about doing that–I would guess he’s simply trying to run a successful business and doing what it takes to do so (I’ll let Logan speak to that). I find it confounding that in America nowadays, when one tries to or succeeds at business, they are seen as somehow evil. God forbid someone open a business and hire people!

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  83. ron says:

    IMO Logan your aggressive expansion and inferior products do more harm than good to the industry

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  84. Logan says:

    Yes, ron, you caught me. Because this genre has infinite potential for market share. And because building a business is such an evil, capitalist agenda to have. You have caught on to my schemes and plots to take over the abundant market share in the almighty micro-niche of superheroines. Congrats. 😉

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  85. ron says:

    Your system is to flood the market to grab more market share

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  86. Logan says:

    Okay guys, this has been said a few times and I will reiterate.

    200 copies is a hopeful average. I’ve had videos sell 50 copies. Others sold 400. But there’s definitely not a video being made cracking 1,000 copies sold that I’m aware of. The market is simply not that big – not inclusive of the same BUYERS actually PURCHASING these videos with the same tastes.

    My business model was full-force, full-time, with a full crew. I started off like everyone else. One series with one camera and almost no help. I developed a great team through the years and expanded my portfolio of offerings to cater to what I noticed was a very diverse audience.

    To be completely honest, Heroine Kombat happened almost by accident. I was writing all of the scripts at the time and I couldn’t keep up with the amount of films we booked out so I needed a concept that did not require a script to be written. HK was the result and it ended up being my #1 seller continuously as well as my #1 custom order request series. Go figure.

    00Angels was my caving in to a girl power custom buyer. I made it and did a few customs then it blew up to #2.

    Super vs Evil is #3. Which I always assumed would be #1. Just goes to show that producers cannot predict sales numbers.

    I also filmed 22+ days per month. Creating these videos was my sole project for a very long time. My system was created based on budget analysis. I worked everything the way it had to be done to be successful. I learned a lot. But let me be very clear that in terms of effort, each producer puts in a great deal of it to fully produce a film. Timelines for creation are based on each producer’s own system and who is doing what. For instance, I know several producers who edit their own content. I used to do that and I don’t anymore. Why? Because, like the scripts I mentioned before, I couldn’t keep up with filming pacing if I were editing everything too so I hired out to editors so I could continue on the next film(s). As time went on, I learned how to be more and more efficient.

    I’ve seen great reviews from certain videos from ALL producers. I don’t think any producer sells more on a single video than another. CultRetro’s numbers are not off-base at all. So that’s a second producer confirming sales figures.

    These numbers aren’t secrets on a general basis. Customers should realize they are part of something niche and special. But with that categorization, comes the limitations of size which equates to the amount of money we make and we can spend on a single production. This is our budget based on what we hope to take in – hoping we don’t produce a “flop” film.

    It’s very simple. Here’s the market, here’s what they’re asking for, here’s what we deliver, here’s what we can charge, here’s what we hope to make, and hopefully, here’s the next one.

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  87. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Sugarcoater, yes it is semantics. I was not there so I do not know what went down. Of course they most likely would have fallen on their feet money-wise, but I could well imagine having to crawl back to Marvel or DC would haven been killer on their egos, a risk in itself 🙂

    Yes, Lee sold his Image Studio Wildstorm to DC, hence he became an employee doing cover work and comics for them. And he and Liefeld did work for Marvel during the “Heroes Reborn” thing prior. And now he is co-publisher of DC Comics, so all in all not a bad career. As an artist he has not improved much in recent years and I am personally not too fond of his style now, very 1990s. But he drew one hot Psylocke back in the day. McFarlane I would say is the only highly successful guy of the original founders who stayed true to his intentions: never work for somebody else again. Yes, he comes across as weird sometimes, but I can identify with his reasoning about business. Image Comics is a fantastic company that managed to feel the Zeitgeist twice to great success, in the 1990s and now under Stephenson. I remember right before the New 52 there were not many Image titles that I found interesting. Now I have around 15 books a month from them on my pull list. Eric Stephenson is doing a fantastic job from a creative and a business perspective.

    And the reason why I see Image more as a business is very simple: I had fallen out of reading comics in the mid-80s during the boring Shooter days and did not return to them before the mid-2000s when Identity Crisis and Brubaker’s Cap were happening, but I remember reading about this guy McFarlane in Time Magazine in the early 90s, this crazy artist who said he could build his own empire outside the big two. So I kept following his story more than I read any of his / their comics. Tried a few issues of Wildcats, but that was about it. I came from the writer-driven comics of early Vertigo, probably why I like the writer-driven comics Image puts out today a great deal. It is amazing how many outstanding books they are putting out today. It was when they turned 20, in 2012, that they, as a company, reinvented themselves under Stephenson’s reign (Valentino and Larson did not even attempt to achieve what he is doing, Valentino rejected “The Walking Dead” several times 🙂

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  88. Sugarcoater says:

    @ Horse
    I understand what you’re saying and don’t entirely disagree. But there are varying degrees of risk. Sure, the steady paycheck wouldn’t be there with the move to Image, but I would be quite confident that Marvel and DC would both eagerly open up their wallets to hire Lee and McFarlane (and several others) once again. Their skill makes money. And I would venture to say that the risk is limited because of their name brand power. I bought multiple copies of Spawn from day one. I bought Lee’s work consistently throughout his Image run. As the stories began to lose my interest, I stopped buying as much. But their art alone compelled me to buy the comics. Had lesser artists been the ones who started Image, I would absolutely agree with the risk point. But with Lee and McFarlane I would say they took a chance. Just semantics I suppose.
    And I would venture to say that if either of them wanted to work for Marvel or DC, either company would gladly have taken them on once again. (And Lee did do his run on Batman with the “Hush” storyline.)
    So I guess I’m just saying I partially agree with you Horse, but I think the degree of risk with those artists as compared to others (or the original point) is quite a bit different.

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  89. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: thanks again. You are right, let’s end the conversation. You are right, I apparently have no idea, only thing I know is I did spent 50 bucks on Comixology today on hardcore comics (I already for the most part own in print) 50 bucks which easily could have gone to purchasing a peril movie, but just didn’t.

    @ Sugercoater: I highly recommend the recent documentary “Image Revolution” about the rise, fall and then rise again of Image Comics, it is available online. Very insightful. One thing though: it is always easy to say (when somebody turns out to be successful with a venture), that there was no risk involved. Heard this a lot about Marvel Studios after “Guardians” had turned into a massive hit. No risk making that movie. Not true. It is also wrong to assume that there was no risk for guys like Jim Lee. He was making tons of money at Marvel at the time and other than Liefeld and McFarlane he liked working there. When he decided to leave he figured there would be a considerable paycut for him as any smart business man like Jim Lee would. True, it was not “starting from scratch”, but risking a steady pay check from Marvel. One of the reasons he joined the others in leaving: Marvel would not cover the airfare cost for his wife to New York where Marvel had an auction for his X-Men # 1 pages. He did not leave because Image would be a sure thing, he left because he knew exactly how much money he had made Marvel with just this one issue and they would not pay travel cost for his wife. I can and always will get behind a guy like that. And it is also true that he and the others made a lot of enemies in the comic book industry when they founded Image. People were laughing and taking bets on how quickly they would fail. Remember, other small comic book publishers had failed before (anyone out there who remembers Bruce Jones’ short-lived Pacific Comics from the 1980s?). So no, it was not a sure thing, but yeah, now it is easy to say: they never risked a thing.

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  90. Sugarcoater says:

    Interesting and informative posts. And good points about the rise of Image comics. I agree that most of the artists were both established (and probably would easily find employment once again if things hasn’t worked out with Image), which made taking that risk much less risky. Plus, their talent is unique to them; they aren’t as easily replaced. Jim Lee’s X-Men and McFarlane’s Spider-Man are still among my all-time favorite runs. Liefeld…well, he did have issues drawing feet 😉

    To Next Global Crisis’ point about DanO, I think the nostalgia for his work is because it was the first of its kind for many fans (me included). As a result, the memory of seeing his characters is sharper than the memory of seeing later productions, even as they are of higher quality. It’s like the memory of the first Spider-Man comic book I read or the first episode of Wonder Woman I saw–they stand out in my memory more than any subsequent issue or episode. As a result, they have an inflated sense of value in my mind.
    And as was mentioned, there was nothing more annoying than waiting for the (frequently delayed) updates to download 120 seconds of video, which was stretched out as long as it could be and then some. Months later and several subscription bills later, I would have a collection of 30 2-3 minute clips of which half were dull and full of “cow” and “udder” references. But the Ultrawoman and Gold Avenger character kept me going back.

    As for price, as a consumer I would only be able to guess that producers do their best to find the highest reasonable price for their video that will maximize the number of possible buyers. I would guess they do their research to figure out what works best and go from there. I just don’t care about price as if a video has “it”, I’m buying it. My only concern is that there are enough preview pics or an adequate trailer. My only gripe is when I buy a video based on a false impression of what I’m getting.

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  91. DrMabuse says:

    @Darklord: Well, Logan did say “CultRetro’s numbers are fairly accurate.” People have started tossing around the “200 sold” number like a totem, but it seemed to me like an average, and a ballpark one at that. If it gives a decent sense of the scale in which sales figures fall, it’s useful, but no one (I think) is saying that every videos sells 200 and not more than 200 units. As a few people have suggested, some will fall high, some low.

    Also, one of the reasons, so I understand, that CTLE did so many Heroine Kombat videos for awhile was that many/most/all of them were customs, so some of the production costs were defrayed up front. The way Logan described it above, he arrived at a system that allowed him to produce a lot (with a lot of effort) and economies of scale had to be a part of that.

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  92. CultRetro says:

    You assume that my videos didn’t sell well, but you’d be assuming wrong. Graphic/dark is not the end all be all. We were also the only superheroine producer selling in the MUCH larger giantess fetish market and we have the advantage of having a loyal fanbase from our own comics. We had plenty of hits and plenty that did well over time, but the AVERAGE is still around 200 units in 30 days and that has been the case for every producer that I’ve ever talked to.

    As I said, videos will spike above and below the average. I’d bet that the first Skyfire enjoyed such a spike. But again, don’t mistake a spike for a pattern.

    Logan already addressed your point above. He had a streamlined system that worked for him, but that system was based around knowing that he would only sell a limited number of units in the short term. He was investing his time and money because that’s what it takes to turn this into a full time job and to see long term results. If he was making tons of money per film, then would he have needed to make so many films?

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  93. CultRetro says:

    @HorseWithNoName: So you have no data from which you can make an informed opinion, and yet you have already made one based on wishful thinking and platitudes alone. I’ve offered you valid data based on selling in this market for over a decade. I have absolutely no reason to lie to you. There is no conspiracy here designed to squeeze every last dollar from your pocketbook. I’m not trying to sell you anything at all. I don’t personally know Logan or Andrew or Rye or HM and we are not conspiring against you to manipulate prices. I’m just trying to honestly tell you how this works. You are entitled to your opinion, but as NGC mentioned, what is the value of an uninformed and close-minded opinion?

    You seem to think there is this vast untapped fanbase of people willing to buy superheroine fetish videos… if only the right producer would offer the right content at the right price. Where are these people if not on C4S and here and a very small handful of other similar forums (several of which are dedicated to piracy)? How do you reach this vast untapped fanbase? The answer is: You don’t, because they don’t exist. People that want superheroine fetish videos are drawn to community sites like this in their search for more content. I don’t need to name these sites for you. You already know them. In a niche market this small, producers don’t need to seek out the buyer, the buyer seeks out the product. If your kink is “superheroines in peril in white pantyhose” there are only so many places in the world that you can go looking for it, and eventually you will end up at a site like this. Producers in this market do NOT have trouble finding people that want their content. There just aren’t that many people out there that are interested in buying videos of the type being sold/discussed here to go around. There never has been. There never will be. It really is that simple.

    I guess I’ll let my end of this conversation go at this point. Try making a superheroine film and then we can swap actual results.

    (I’m definitely not going to get into the economics of comics with you other than to say that you are entirely wrong.)

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  94. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: Firstly I will never trust anyone who tells me how any market is going.
    Because, for one, the answer is very subjectively, and secondly, I personally would never give you an open answer. Why? If I told a client the market I am in, is going great, he would ask for a discount, because, you know, things are going so great, or if I said the market was poor, client wonders what the hell me and others are doing wrong. And rightly so.

    The size of the market is a matter of how you define your market. We can say the market for superheroine vids with short hair wearing pantyhose and getting beaten to a pulp is very small. Or we look at the spending on fetish stuff across the world. When I buy a bondage porn comic on Comixology (because I like that sort of thing and it is available to me digitally) my money is still spent in a fetish market, if you don’t feel this is the village you sell your apples in (you make comics after all), is really not important, because we are still talking apples i.e. money spent on fetish content, and to me as a global customer buying via the internet, there are no villages, just apples and they grow on many trees. So no, to me as a customer it matters not a thing if a producer feels his market is big or small and if this is true or not, I as a customer will buy the apples that fit my taste. Or to put it in a different example, getting hungry now 🙂 on the surface movie studios and TV networks work differently and are not in the same market, yet when people stay at home to binge watch Breaking Bad, this does affect the opening of your movie or I could even compare what ten dollars gets me on Netflix vs. ten dollars spent at your local movie theater. But at the end of the day, (fetish) dollars will be spent in either what you see as your “personal” market” or in what customers see as their global market. You can adapt to this changing environment or stay within your circles, but I’ll tell you this: you put FemForce up on Comixology in guided-view and HD, priced at 1.99 and not “hidden” on an obscure site as PDF (who reads his / her comics in that format anyway?), chances are, your market has all of a sudden become much bigger i.e. more apples sold. And before you say: nah, too complicated: more and more comic book publishers are on Comixology, even Dark Horse with their heroine comic “Empowered” that may or may not be compared to FemForce, and even micro-publishers are there through the “Submit” service they offer. I can promise you: you put up the entire run of FemForce in “this market”, I will buy the entire run on the day of release like I just bought all the von Gotha comics. No, this is, at least to me, not a small market. I do not need to set foot into a sleazy store to buy porn comics from under the counter, they are globally available on the internet, because apparently, also because they are very good, there is a market for them. And case in point: in the later issues of FemFore there is an unmasking, but this issue is only available in print for a “collector’s price” i.e. we are talking hundreds of dollars, honestly not going to spent that, but I’d gladly buy the entire run on Comixology out of appreciation for your comics.

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  95. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ New Global Crisis: thank you for your very detailed and very good response. As I have said, as a fetish fan, I pay attention to what is “out there” and I have “sampled” some of your product so to speak. I always keep an eye out for releases from you and there is (must be) a reason why you have such devoted fans. So once again thank you for indulging me. And since I have bought “none sex” peril vids, your very constructive and open response makes it much likelier that I pick up a vid or two from you soon, just to keep me informed and to enjoy 🙂 Selling works 🙂

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  96. CultRetro says:

    @Horse: You said: “The market is there.”

    Just curious: How many producers would need to tell you that it isn’t before you would believe them? Wishful thinking is not sound business strategy. Can you point to ANY producers that appear to be thriving right now? I just see a lot of producers that appear to be trying to survive and a lot of customers complaining about price, pantyhose and the good ol’ days while continuing to splinter into smaller and smaller subgroups. Your assertion that the market is there has no basis in facts.

    You said: “Purely speaking as consultant: if you can’t sell more product, it is not the fault of the market. ”

    That sounds very catchy, but again, it has no basis in facts. It’s also simply not true. If you sell apples to everyone in your tiny village that wants one, eventually you will run out of villagers to sell them to. You can make more apples and cultivate them to be tastier all you want… but that won’t increase the number of villagers that want apples. This village is simply too small, there are too many apple vendors and now some apple eaters only want the green apples, or the yellow ones, or the apples with pantyhose, etc, etc… OK, now I’m just hungry.

    Keep in mind, I honestly could not care less. I no longer have a horse in this race. We just make comics now. I’m not complaining, I’m just sharing my observations about “The State of the Genre”. We aren’t losing money on films that are not yet complete. They were all paid for by the previous films. I they NEVER get released I am perfectly fine with that. Post-production the way we like to do things takes a considerable amount of time and right now I’m simply not in the mood to deal with it. I can’t possibly lose money on the films, I can only make more money when I get around to releasing them. The current “State of the Genre” doesn’t exactly make me think I’m sitting on a goldmine.

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  97. Lake says:

    I have to agree with CultRetro’s niche market comparisons. The only movie I’m guaranteed to buy whatever the price (within reason) is a “superheroine in a SG-style skirt being slapped and punched and eventually beaten after having put up a fight”. I do buy outside of that, but that is my ideal scenario. And yes, I have watched Banshee (as Max quotes) and the fight scenes are amazing, but probably very expensive to film. I do not think it is ‘sick’ to want to see some blood and bruising. I prefer it because t shows the SH has picked up ‘damage’ in the beating she’s been subjected to.

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  98. Next Global Crisis says:

    After reading that I’m not entirely sure where the part addressing me directly ended. I am going to go with the smiley face. I can’t pretend to know much about Mario Bava and must admit to not reading this thread from top to bottom so I missed the bit where he was discussed. To be clear, my interest in actual comic books growing up was a little faint, I mostly enjoyed the films and TV that came from them, so we are not speaking an entirely common language to one another and I don’t have time to become an expert in things that only slightly interest me.

    One of my core beliefs as a person is that some information is more valuable than other pieces of information. I don’t consider it defeatist to accept that not everyone will enjoy my product. You have stated you do not, despite liking everything about it except there is no sex. I can’t have sex in my films, so if sex is a deal-breaker then your opinion of my product doesn’t have much value. I’m not saying it has zero value, but only slightly more than zero. Now one might argue that the no sex policy is one I could break for those extra sales, but one could also argue that instead of relaxing on weekends one could become a sex worker in their spare time and make more money that way. It boils down to what I actually want to make, and feel comfortable making, and then maximising sales from that position. If I simply wanted to make as much money for myself as possible I wouldn’t spend time making these films at all. Now to ask myself “Why do some people not buy my product?” is something I do regularly, but in your case you have drawn a line in the sand that neither of us will cross so I must seek out others whose interests at least overlap with the content I am making.

    You also state: “Outside of Lee Carl I do not see much writing in peril vids that reflect “tension” or an understanding for “drama”” – Now I don’t want to come across as precious but this statement does lead me to believe, based on the comments and emails I get from regular customers, that you own very little of what I have produced, since ‘tension’ and understanding of ‘drama’ are vital to me and what we make. Now in order to capture you (unless I’m mistaken) the superheroine in each of my films MUST get fucked sooner or later. Everyone who buys the film, looks at the available screen caps, and watches the trailer will know that she gets fucked… Does this not go some way to removing tension? The certainty of her fucking I mean? As you watch the film pre-fuck, whatever is happening, however well she is doing you KNOW and are saying to yourself “She’s going to get fucked soon.” Does that not really, if not totally remove, shrink the tension in the scene? Perhaps we just look at things differently. It’s one thing to know whether or not she wins or loses, but quite something else to know exactly how that happens and that it will happen in every film going forward. I think if you are feeling starved of tension (apart from Lee’s works) you could do a lot worse than giving us a try.

    ((Look at me trying to widen my market after all!)) 🙂

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  99. Heroine Addict says:

    @Next Global Crisis: The end customer doesn’t necessarily know or care about the producer’s infrastructure. If the producer owns their own studio, appears in videos and edits their own work, that might not look any better/worse to my eyes than a comparable video made with hired hands and rented locations.

    Rationally, I understand that Video A may have cost twice as much to make as Video B. However, if the quality of the two videos is comparable, being charged a lot more for Video A seems a lot like a “rip off” to me.

    By the same token, the studio movie Insurgent sells for a similar price to the indie film What We Do In The Shadows. Now, there’s a massive difference in the production costs of those examples. Yet the market has decided that $20-ish should be the standard price for both.

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  100. Swampy170 says:

    Let’s not make the discussion toxic! – i’m not agreeing on any comments regarding anyone else’s knowledge. However Darklord has hit the nail more or less on the head.

    SHC does/did not break the bank with productions, yet managed to create better peril videos than the vast amount of current SHiP producers today.

    Their production quality was pretty awful – but SHC vids did have a tangeable sense of peril in most films. Far more so than the vast majority of films released today.

    Perhaps DanO’s just a genious filmmaker. More likely alot of producers need to develop their understanding of the market I might suggest?

    There are noteable experienced exceptions, although even some more experienced producers have trouble replicating SHC on a good day.

    Producers homework for today – watch competitor films, and historic SHIP vids.

    It is necessary in every other industry. The SHiP niche is no exception.

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  101. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: you quoted me: “I was a member to the point when his content started to suck. I do not think it is vice versa. He had lost interest and it started to show.”

    And you wrote: “Spoken like a customer. Now think about the situation like a producer. He still runs a site, right?”

    I am (or in the case of DanO were) a customer. I do not need to think like a producer, however it is not a bad thing for a producer to sometimes view the product / services he / she offers through the eyes of a customer. Not saying this is not done, producers seem to pay attention to forums and are in contact with their customers, but that is for content. Think about your service and how you offer it.

    And one more thing, I do not want to overstep here or come across as mean or anything, far from it, but since you brought it up: you say how hard it is to make a buck in this business, yet you mention you have some vids not released yet. You are aware that you have already lost money on those? And it is not that you do not have buyers awaiting the release. I have a consulting business and I am often surprised, when especially small companies tell me how hard the market is in which they operate, yet they sit on a ton of backlog, they can very easily sell. As I have said before: at the end of the day the peril vid business is like any other business. You need to know what you are doing and follow through, or you do it as a hobby, which is fine, but then don’t complain how hard the conditions are.

    @ Next Global Crisis: you wrote : “I don’t really see the sense in pining for how things were 10 years ago.” That is, because it has nothing to do with “sense”, but emotion. Nostalgia is “the pain from an old wound” (see my “Don Draper link above). Fans who brought up DanO’s old stuff have emotions invested and that is just the way it is. I will buy old Avengers comics on Comixology purely because I remember those from my childhood and re-reading them, thus they can’t compete with newer stuff.

    And making movies “like” DanO was not the issue. However I did suggest a remake to Rye once. We live in a time of re-boots, remakes, etc. and there are books about “Back to the Future” etc. for a reason.

    The thing is: I am from Europe (like you, do we say England is Europe? 🙂 and my influences are very different ones, while I grew up on American comic books and movies, I also have fondness for a lot of stuff from Europe when it comes to all sorts of fetish things. When I suggest to “shake things up”, I am also talking about widen your scope of reference. Look what has been done, like some people mention DanO or some have mentioned Mario Bava movies, to get inspiration. Frank Miller’s acclaimed first run on Daredevil is heavily influenced by Will Eisner’s Spirit, yet nobody would say he simply “re-made” that strip. No, he had a passion for something and gave an old thing a new go (he will be the first to admit that his Elektra is based on a Will Eisner character). Outside of Lee Carl I do not see much writing in peril vids that reflect “tension” or an understanding for “drama”, e.g.

    And about the market: you are aware that the fetish market has become more and more mainstream? You do not believe me? Go on Comixology today. I remember when I bought the very hardcore / bondage / porn comics of the likes of Erich von Gotha in the early 90s “from under the counter” in a sleazy comic store. They are available very openly on Comixology today, next to your Superman and Batman releases. And if you are not familiar: we are talking hardcore stuff! So apparently fetish stuff (and what are comics about raping women in spirit and body) is a thing that has become more mainstream if you want it or not. I can go on Deviant Art and see models / cosplayers pose topless as your favorite comic book character.
    Again, purely speaking as consultant: if you can’t sell more product, it is not the fault of the market. CultRetro did raise a great point: we have a market that feels limited and is in fact more limited due to breaking into “sub-fetishes”, that is all true, but instead of complaining, rise to the occasion and find a way around it. The market is there. Yes, easy for me to say, but then again I sit with clients who argue like some producers here will and they will also say, what you say, “nah, we are not interested in the input or comments of those who do not buy our product, we focus on those who do” i.e. what Logan (and Richard Nixon) call the silent majority instead of asking: “why do some not buy our product”, unless, again, you are fine with the number you sell, but then do not complain. I have very openly stated that your product is not for me. If you take this as criticism, I feel this is not helpful. Just ask: “why do you not buy our product?” I would answer: “I like everthing, everthing about it, but since I am into sexual stuff (see my Erich von Gotha comment), it is not for me. ” Now, I would consider this a helpful answer from a none-buying customer. I am not saying that I am suggesting that you go into that field i.e. sexual stuff, this is your business, but understand that some will not “reject” your product based on “price, quality, pantyhose / no pantyhose”, but simply because in a much larger market than you think, I have Erich von Gotha for my itch. You limit your product by choice (which can be a good strategy as well), but this makes the market in which you operate smaller as well, it is not the market in general and opposite to what Logan and others keep saying (who want you to support them) looking outside the next fetish movie might not be a bad thing, because not only has fetish become more widely accepted, more and more people are buying it and even Comixology is selling hardcore stuff now. Yes, now some will say: but it is not about girls in colorful costumes. Use your imagination 🙂

    I would gladly buy 10 to 15 peril movies a month (be they 40 or 50 bucks) if they reflected more of what my desires are like. Yep, age old argument: too specific (or in my case maybe too mainstream?) or get a custom made, but no, I watch old DanO stuff or buy from Comixology. There are so many alternatives while I am, as a paying customer, very open to buying peril vids. Again, this from a none-buying customer of your product, which again does not say anything about the quality of your movies, which is very high IMHO.

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  102. Next Global Crisis says:

    I think regarding price, and we have fallen foul of some and fair of others (our members scheme has been around for years and early buyers make very significant savings).

    The question I would ask to anyone who compares the prices of one producer to another is; how much do you think a single minute of Producer A’s video costs versus Producer B’s?

    To help in answering that, break up the running time of the films you are comparing and look at what happens. How long do individual takes last? How many alternate or reverse angles are used? What actually happens in the film? Do people enter and talk to one another? If so, for how long? Is there sex involved? If so, how long does it last? How much longer than it lasted do you think it took to film?

    Then there are other aspects; Where in the world was this shot? How expensive might this location be? How many times has the production used it? Are the costumes bought off the rack as is, or custom made? Is the producer a key performer in the film? What bearing would that have on the cost to make it?

    After all of these kinds of questions then consider how many edited minutes that producer could create in a 12 hour day. 60? 70? Or is it more like 15 or 20?

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  103. Heroine Addict says:

    @ SpandexFiend: While you’re right to say the comparison between fetish videos and mainstream movies is clearly unfair, there is a more valid comparison to be made between the larger fetish producers and the smaller ones.

    Producers such as Mighty Hypnotic, Kendra James, Jim Weathers and Anastasia Pierce regularly put out videos with high production values for around $1 per minute. (Sometimes way below $1 per minute.) From a purchaser’s point of view, that seems to be the going rate for a quality video. So, when another producer charges closer to $2 per minute for a comparable – or lower quality – video, it seems like a “rip off” to me. (Even though I realize that producer may find it more expensive to produce videos.)

    Getting back to what you were saying about indies vs conglomerates. Within the same industry, a DVD or Blu-ray of a small independent film will have a comparable retail price to that of American Sniper on initial release. So there is standardized pricing within the movie industry, regardless of content.

    So how can that apply to this industry? Should someone like MH raise his own prices to help out the competition? Or is the onus upon his competitors to get as close as possible to the accepted standard price?

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  104. CultRetro says:

    @Darklord: I’m well aware of what SHC did and what he does now. When we started he was one of the only other producers of superheroine content. He was definitely the most popular and prolific with higher quality costumes, actresses and special effects than anyone else at the time. This was before his customer service complaints started rolling in from all sides on every heroine forum that people could find. Lots of people felt screwed, I get that. I was just attempting to provide a possible explanation for it from the perspective of a producer. If DanO’s model had generated stronger results things might have turned out differently. As problems mount you need more resources to fix them, but your customers go away at the same time so you end up with less resources to work with and things just spiral downhill from there.

    As NGC said, someone could jump in and throw lots of money and effort into a startup and announce that they were here to “change the game”, but if (when) the anticipated audience fails to appear then they will rapidly run out of both money and effort.

    As NGC also mentioned, MUCH more could be done with this genre. I know we only scratched the surface of what we initially hoped to achieve and what we were capable of providing. The only thing standing in the way of “progress” is the scale of the total audience. We can’t change the scale, so we must all adapt what we offer to what the market can sustain.

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  105. Darklord says:

    @Cult you’re speaking on a subject you clearly know nothing about. DanO hasn’t made new video material in years. He releases content I already have, so no, I’m not going to be a customer. As mentioned many times too, his format of weekly subscriptions is out of date and he hardly ever met his weekly deadline even in the hey day.

    The point you guys keep missing is, including NGCs comments, is that we all agree his format and customer service and all that other stuff sucks. That’s why we left.

    But the actual video content? Was out of this world for its time, and even today is just as good as the stuff out now. The actresses were hot as hell, costumes top notch, new sets each time… But most of all….? There was always this sense of “DOOM” for the heroines.

    Videos now? Yeah the heroine loses too, but it’s often SOOOOO cookie cutter. We are not asking for producers to do anything radical. But put some thought into the plot and action.

    Enough with heroine shows up, lands a few punches, loses her power immediately somehow, gets beat up, then fondled. Seriously, 90% of films I purchase seem to follow that EXACT formula.

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  106. Heroine Addict says:

    @ CultRetro: Even if we regard the persistent poor service and broken promises as an effect rather than a cause of SHC’s decline, DanO simply refuses to move with the times. He keeps SHC ticking over as a monthly subscription site with recycled “updates” while the rest of the SH Peril industry has long since moved over to selling individual videos.

    The guy can’t even be bothered to encode videos using anything more modern than VCD and SVCD-compatible MPEG files. And as for “Optimized for 800×600 screens” and selling compilations of low-res files squeezed onto 700MB CD-Rs, well someone needs to tell him it’s not 1999 anymore.

    That site is truly an anachronism. Still, DanO can always start selling fax machines or renting out VHS tapes…

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  107. Next Global Crisis says:

    Ugh, didn’t really want to comment but anyway… I don’t really see the sense in pining for how things were 10 years ago. It would be possible to make identical films to those at any time. I could embark on such a project tomorrow but when I came to release it, you would see the flaws. Firstly, video stories took place in a subscription model, they showed 3 minutes to you each week, were generally very, very long takes and the final part would come 9 months after the beginning, at which point the customer had spent $180 on a film that if you watched it back to back would have little in the way of pacing and a lot in the way of dry humping or splooges that were shot in two angles and then replayed in slow motion. I’m not complaining about that, it was fine in that moment, but to repeat that business model now would cause all kinds of trouble. Customers wouldn’t accept it.

    I find it hard year to year to comment on the state of the genre. After 6 years of selling I have a pretty good idea how many people buy these films, based on my best sellers and my worst sellers. Knowing that, it surprises me that so many producers can start now and continue to exist. When I started, SHC had sort of just ended, Rye existed but his videos were different affairs and I think less frequent than they are now. That’s about it (apologies for any glaring omissions). On top of that relatively empty market I was trying something a bit different in making the story line central to everything and continuous, no sex or nudity, mainly comic book fight films. We developed our thing, others then popped up and started doing similar, although broadly evolved themselves into something quite different to us. We carried on and I’m selling as much as I did a year ago. I would NEVER have started in this genre as it is today. To get a foothold with a reasonably new type of product when there is a new film out almost daily appealing to a relatively small pool of buyers, it’s a financial disaster waiting to happen. Maybe someone rich will come along and attempt to buy market share by spending a fortune on loss making films until they are big enough to compete, but that will not increase the amount of people buying overall, so even that wouldn’t be wise, and significantly more risky.

    As for quality of content, I feel I can only speak for myself, and I think our strength is the actors I have and the editing, and hopefully an engaging story. As ever we could make the level of fight scene in the link above, the people who work for me can work to that level, but it takes more time and more planning and we don’t have it because there aren’t enough of you. A few years ago I was in discussions with minor celebs to take up roles in NGC, it was becoming possible, but growth then plateau’d and it was no longer smart. A real shame, but the genre with its daily releases and small pool of buyers leaves us unable to fulfil our potential. I’m still enjoying what we can budget for however, so make sure you check out Bluebird in ‘Public Destruction’ this weekend! 🙂

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  108. ron says:

    The genre would be much better without the expensive money hungry fast food chain.

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  109. Swampy170 says:

    DanO threw a wobbly, as I say. Screwed alot of customers too many times.

    The piracy can be beaten, but only by innovation. Takedown notices are a loosing battle.

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  110. kevin says:

    Thank you for creating this topic, HM. It allows us to have a more open forum, without hijacking any certain producer’s thread and having them feel ganged up on.

    The state of the genre is certainly subjective; it is highly dependent on what fetishes that particular customer feels are most important to them. For me personally, it is knockouts of pretty much all kinds (the exceptions being choking/sleeper holds, and bear hugs), as well as bondage.
    I have to agree with some of the posters above, the first issue being that repetition has become an issue pretty much across the board. A lot of videos follow the same sequence of events, even from different producers as previously mentioned: fight, backbreaker, knockout, bondage, fondling (maybe), end.

    One concern is lack of variety of KO methods. I realize that there have been a LOT of knockout scenes in SHIP videos over the past year or so, and for that I am definitely thankful; however, producers have to be willing to branch out and experiment with different and unique KO methods that either have been done rarely or not at all. The vast majority are punch/kick/head KOs, chloro, and I am glad to see even a few electrocution/tazer KOs. I would like to see more KOs via freegas, gas chamber, dart guns, electric prod, injection, etc. If producers are struggling to come up with ideas of setup and/or delivery of said KOs, just turn to mainstream TV as a starting point and go from there. 1960s Batman is a great example, there are tons of knockouts and peril situations from which producers can draw inspiration from, of course the campiness can be left out (unless a producer wants to make a campy Electra Woman-Dyna Girl type series, which I would definitely be OK with!).
    Anon (the user) makes a great point above, about the general lack of bondage in the genre. I myself find a disturbing lack of tape gags, cloth gags, and handgags in the ship genre. A female villain taunting a bound heroine while handgagging her needs to happen! And look how hot it can be when the villain kisses the heroine while knocking her out: (hopefully the link to the gif works!):

    https://media.giphy.com/media/3o85xpSqRMwK937sGc/giphy.gif

    ^More of this please!!!

    Overall though, I am happy with the state of the genre right now; compared to long ago, we have HD videos, gorgeous actresses, FX, and more producers to choose from; I believe that can be a positive, as competition can result in better products. On the other hand, one can argue that there are too many producers, and the market is being saturated with overly repetitive/nearly identical films. My personal opinion is that it is a good thing; if you don’t think a particular film appeals to you, just save your cash for a later release!

    Unfortunately due to certain circumstances, I must stop purchasing videos until (hopefully) next year. I am keeping a backlog so I can pick up ones that are on sale when the time is right!

    @ Logan: You mentioned that the $40 videos outsell the ones priced in the $15-20 range. I’m not saying that you aren’t telling the truth, I just find that extremely surprising! I would personally much rather go for videos in the latter price range, but I guess it could be due to everyone’s financial situation being different. Are the $15-20 videos your older ones?

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  111. Logan says:

    @cratchit: I feel like those options are there through customs. I personally offer partial customs as options as well which allows customers to pay less for one specific thing they are looking for. There are always PayPal donations and I’ve done Group Customs as well.

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  112. cratchit says:

    Here is a question for producers. On this site I have seen a great deal of complaining about prices, and some producers have graciously responded by providing such things as discounts for VIP members, which must be very helpful for persons on a limited income (and, I suppose, the congenitally cheap). Why would it not be possible to have available a higher price option for those who want to help support some particular effort? As an example, I loved the Stormy Tempest videos on CultRetro. I would have happily chipped in an additional 10 bucks or so for each episode had I been given the option. I’m guessing that conventional wisdom says there wouldn’t be enough response to make a difference. On the other hand, what could be hurt by trying?

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  113. CultRetro says:

    “I was a member to the point when his content started to suck. I do not think it is vice versa. He had lost interest and it started to show.”

    Spoken like a customer. Now think about the situation like a producer. He still runs a site, right? Is it easier to run a site or shut it down? The fact that SHC still exists and continues to operate tells you that he is still interested. Is it possible to improve a site in the face of diminishing membership? Absolutely not.

    So why does the site still exist? Is it for the money? That doesn’t seem likely. There is very little money to be made here. It seems far more likely that the site still exists because he has a personal interest in what he is creating, at whatever level he is capable of creating it. He still wants it to exist, or it wouldn’t.

    I have no insight into DanO’s business model, but I can tell you that in the face of diminishing returns the answer is not to throw more money and energy at the problem. That only results in the loss of more energy and more money. If you want your business to continue, you must achieve sustainability.

    Did he over-promise and under-deliver? …Possibly.
    Is that due to a lack of anticipated growth and/or diminishing returns? …I suspect yes.

    Creative people do not always make the best business people. You can start off with high energy and throwing as much money and passion into your business as you can, but if the audience fails to respond and grow, then that initial effort rapidly becomes unsustainable.

    As a customer, you see that as a producer’s lack of interest. As a producer, I see that as a customer’s lack of interest. (Perhaps not yours specifically, but total membership collectively.)

    Again, I don’t know anything about Dano’s business. I know nothing about the guy, I’m just making an observation from the perspective of a producer. There are two sides to the story. DanO obviously had a goal for the site in mind, and the site obviously failed to achieve it. He then tried to make the site sustainable, and so far he seems to have succeeded at that. Could SHC be improved? Not without additional customer support. Will he get that support without improvement? Probably not. It’s a Catch-22.

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  114. Herp says:

    I think it is heading in a great direction when Keisha Gray joined the hype.

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  115. darklord says:

    Exactly – I’d still be a DanO customer if he gave a damn and produced new videos and was timely with his updates.

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  116. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: sorry to hear that. Don’t want to pour any salt in that wound: I only buy my comics digitally now and price is not the issue, Comixology charges the same as print for new stuff and this is the reason why publishers make them do that, not to lose print, at least not until everybody converts to this format. For me availabiltity is the selling point, not price. Plus most stuff looks better digitally, in HD at least.

    About DanO: you might be wrong there. I was a member to the point when his content started to suck. I do not think it is vice versa. He had lost interest and it started to show. I do not mind micro budget productions, but I expect a producer to care about the content he / she offers. Also most of his fellow creators broke away from him to do their own sites and I started to follow them, because their heart was still in it.

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  117. Darklord says:

    Cult you’re mixing two things with DanO. His content is/was the best in my opinion.

    His format and customer service sucks.

    Two completely different things.

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  118. CultRetro says:

    @Horse: “Can you put up the rest of FemForce?”

    Nope. Here’s another instance where experimenting in a micro-niche market didn’t pay off. The comic has “x” number of supporters that are interested in the content. We thought offering the comics digitally and dirt cheap would potentially increase our fanbase. We even put an entire graphic novel online for FREE! Instead we found our existing print subscribers drifting over to the digital format because it was cheaper, but we did NOT increase the size of our core audience as a whole. In fact our print subscribers went down because they wanted the cheaper downloads instead! This put the print book in jeopardy of cancellation with no corresponding increase in our total audience. (If the print book gets cancelled, then of course the digital book would eventually go away as well.) We must protect the existence of the print book or Femforce is over. So the currently available digital issues are probably all that will ever be offered… unless things radically change for some unforeseen reason.

    I know the audience wants things to be as cheap as possible, but the audience must actually support the content that it DOES enjoy in whatever format it is offered or it will cease to exist.

    Those of you praising DanO and SHC, be honest: Are you CURRENTLY his subscribers? Is he aware of your nostalgic praise? Did you leave him in a financial position to implement the changes or content that you really desired? Or did you bail out, forcing him to continue to operate on the lowest possible budget catering only to his most loyal subscribers?

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  119. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Logan: very true. You should hear Don Draper talk about it 🙂

    “A pain from an old wound”. Best sales pitch, ever

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suRDUFpsHus

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  120. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: unfortunately I sold my collection when I “grew up” like many of us did only to regret it later. Had the original Watchmen run. Arg! But as I have said: that comic was nice in my very early teens 🙂 And I have downloaded some of your digital comics content. Can you put up the rest of FemForce?

    Very sound advice you did receive: it is not different in my business. Some clients turn out to be your “Thriller” while others keep asking for this and that, but enter the charts at 50 or 100. Go figure!

    And you are probably also right that it makes no sense to try to predict the next hit as there seems to be no pattern. It sometimes is just pure luck, and a little talent 🙂

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  121. Logan says:

    Nostalgia is a tricky beast.

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  122. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Darklord: yup. Some of that “old stuff” not only still holds up pretty well, but is hard to beat by any newer vid. Maybe it was because DanO “just did” these vids without thinking too hard about them, while these days, and I can fully see how this is frustrating, a producer seems to be pulled in various directions at once to fit in as the many different fetish elements as possible to target as many customers as possible. I feel if things had gone differently we might view DanO like we view some of the current producers. It is the same with some bands: one loves them when they put out their first album with a zest and rough edges, and once they go major and market strategies and sales come into play, something is lost.

    CultRetro did raise a great point: this is a fractured (niche) market, back in the days we were just glad there was a (!) peril video.

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  123. CultRetro says:

    @HorseWithNoName That ashcan is now worth $200 on eBay. I hope you saved it. 😉

    Something that I was told by an experienced producer when we first started videos over a decade ago was that we would have some videos do astronomically well for absolutely no apparent reason and all attempts to replicate that success would fail. We jokingly called it “The Michael Jackson Syndrome”. (Michael hit big with Thriller and spent the rest of his career trying and failing to replicate it.) That sage advice turned out to be absolutely true. It’s weird, but it’s just one of the characteristics of micro-niche markets that are a fact. It holds true with comics as well. Some videos hit big, some videos bomb… but there is no checklist that you can follow to make a video go viral. Sometimes it happens, usually it doesn’t.

    You don’t want to be the fool chasing after something that is beyond your control. This genre has virtually unpredictable highs and lows, but don’t mistake the highs for a pattern. You’ll just end up frustrated and out of business. You have to find what works for you consistently, what makes your core supporters happy, and experiment only when you can afford to do so.

    You can tell when we are experimenting. We can tell when you ignore it.

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  124. cratchit says:

    @HorseWithNoName: It seems to me your analysis is spot-on. The arguments against your position seem eerily familiar. For example, I remember in the 60’s and early 70’s when beer makers claimed that “interesting” or “different” beers were, and always would be, a tiny, unprofitable niche market. That there was absolutely no way anyone could stay in business selling such things. Then, impossible as it seemed, micro-brews appeared. And many of them are doing quite well.

    I feel that there is one thing that science, business, and art have in common: while the unimaginative are explaining in convincing detail why something cannot be done, the imaginative are hard at work figuring out ways to do it.

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  125. Darklord says:

    I can sympathize with you Logan. You’ve made a very rational case of how difficult it is on the producer side.

    I’ve only been truly turned off by one producer – Rye – (who used to be #1 or #2 in my eyes) bc of his “tactics” lately. Muting customers is bush league and I also think releasing videos in two parts is a cash grab considering that by all accounts (some I’ve seen personally and others I have not) those videos have a ton of filler.

    Horse – I think perhaps we are just numb to it? But then again, maybe not. I still enjoy the ultra girl shame and Antares fluid videos almost more than any video that’s out now. And I don’t think it’s just nostalgia. The “mop monster” in UG shame was so unique and the scene when he fired out his tentacles to pull her back is still epic in my eyes.

    I think the videos that have done well (and still do) are the ones that have some “character” to them. How to define or capture that “character”? I have no idea lol. But if I was a producer I’d pay close attention to the vids where people say “best heroine movie ever” and try to analyze them. I dunno just some thoughts.

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  126. Logan says:

    @sergie: on our site is a newsletter signup. Anyone who receives our newsletters on new releases gets a 10% off code (so a 27 minute video at $31 gets $3.10 off making it $27.90 – just about $1/min) — those VIP members also get special emails about sales and other promotions (like the one sent today for a 24-hour sale I ran)

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  127. Logan says:

    Vocal Minority is all over this forum as well as others. Or in better terms, Silent Majority are the meat of the matter. CultRetro’s numbers are fairly accurate. I was able to continue filming because that’s ALL I did. All day, every day. I learned how to better budget and cycle payment structures to allow for my own system to exist.

    Bottom line is there are very few people looking for something new and different to any real extent. I’ve been the staple, I believe of trial and error. I am not afraid of failure and that allows me to take take certain risks others wouldn’t. When those risks pay off, I see others emulate– sometimes in their own way, sometimes directly. But the successes are never anything I’d ever call revolutionary. It’s still the same “formula” from producer to producer because it’s all based on the same thing with the same reference points (Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Batgirl) and the same requests with the same sales statistics per video – when I change up the formula too far, I lose a lot of sales. I don’t gain them from “new fans” so that idea can just get tossed with the wind. It’s a nice notion but it’s just wishful thinking.

    I’ve had videos sell ridiculously well and then I’ve tried to replicate it with lackluster results. Sometimes I can’t figure out why one video did well when the next one exactly like it didn’t. Other times, I have films do average then one randomly does well. Or does poorly. There are a million factors that go into it.

    Then we get demands for higher production values with better costumes and prettier actresses with better acting and better fighting…. For a lower price! The comments on here are sometimes very disheartening because no matter what you do, how well you do it, or how successful you are in general, you know there will be negative comments waiting for you. Mostly from those who didn’t buy the video anyway.

    Also, on the vein of CultRetro’s statement, I spend a good deal of my week issuing DMCA notices for pirated videos. I’m on top of it as much as possible but I can’t get 100% of them. When these are distributed for free, it makes it difficult to pay our actresses, actors, crew, locations, food, travel, post production, distribution costs, and of course ourselves PLUS be able to fund the next video. Is been a huge problem. Everyone wants it cheap or free.

    I think some of the people who comment really should attempt filming just one video. See how it goes. And do something completely different. Your first video may do well out of curiosity alone or you may be on to something. But don’t expect other producers to Hit on 20 (Blackjack reference). Especially when every producer I see is doing their best to accommodate all of the random requests viewers have as gracefully as possible.

    By the way, a very important note: the videos that I have at $40 sell FAR more copies than the ones at $15-$20. So what does that really tell you about price?

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  128. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Darklord: been purchasing peril vids as long as you have. And while I appreciate that we now have so many producers with a wide-range of product geared to all sorts of fetishes, oddly enough there have been only a few high points for me in recent years, yet I keep going back to some of the better stuff DanO put out in his hayday.

    Have we (or I) simply gotten old or were we spoiled back in the days, while a lot of the newer stuff is simply more appreciated by a newer audience? Again, me with the comics: but Lee / Kirby’s Fantastic Four is like early Superheroine Central days, and while we have a few highlights now and then (Redwing / Spectre) like we had Miller’s Daredevil or Byrne’s FF, most of the newer stuff can’t really reach what we liked back when and which to us, is still the gold standard. Just a thought that might explain, why some are not so keen on current vids, while other fans can’t simply get enough of them. Or am I totally wrong?

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  129. Raiderman says:

    @ Cult Retro, thanks for insightfulness on this topic, but more importantly thanks for the work you have done producing some entertaining videos. I have purchased all of the Stormy Tempest episodes plus majority of your other works. Look forward when you are able and ready to release more Stormy Tempest videos, sincerely a big fan

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  130. CultRetro says:

    @Sugarcoater – I can tell you that our last film sold around 100 copies in its first two weeks. It was also illegally downloaded over 9000 times (from just one link on one forum) in that same time span. It was also the last time that we put much effort into releasing our movie products.

    We will finish the movies that we have filmed because we want to watch them also, but not because we hope to make any kind of money with them as a business.

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  131. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: thank you for your very detailed response. Let me again say, that I hold your product to a high standard: I am proud to say I once owned the very first issue of FemForce (black & white, smaller format, sort of an ashcan, I believe). Did bring on puberty much quicker 🙂 My fetish goes ways back.

    I think we both view, by definition, the developments of let’s say Marvel or Image very differently. I founded my own company many years ago and I have a staff and a customer base I am very pleased with. And I am not ashamed to say that I also studied guys like Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane to learn from them, and I can very well understand guys like McFarlane. I would not agree that they did not risk a thing when they broke away from Marvel, but again, a matter of perspective. And I do appreciate your perspective. This is your area of expertise, I can’t help but look at it from my own business experience and, yes, keeping a view to guys like Eric Stephenson who I greatly admire. But again: from my own start-up time many moons ago I have to agree with you: the first order of business is, stay in business 🙂

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  132. CultRetro says:

    @Darlord: “There’s no way Rye or TBFE or CTLE sold 200 copies. ”

    I’ll take that bet.

    I’m sure that all of those companies have had products that spike above the average. All of us have. I’m also sure that all of those companies have had product that spikes well BELOW the average. 200 copies in 30 days is pretty standard though and is a good benchmark for success or failure.

    The genre splintered much faster than it grew. If the audience collectively agreed to buy the next “superheroine peril” film then we would be talking about selling lots of copies to a much larger core audience, but instead the audience is now split into micro-niches that are waiting specifically for “superheroines receiving low blows while wearing white costumes with no pantyhose” etc, etc, etc…

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  133. HorseWithNoName says:

    @: SpandexFiend: nah, we have this forum. Case in point: last year I did mention a great number of times that any guy who defeated a superheroine would video record this on his cell and that I was surprised that we do not get to see this in any peril vid. Guess what, now it is a feature in every second vid. Not claiming credit or anything, but somebody must have picked up on the cell phone idea (TBFE was the first in Blue Swan) and others followed.

    This is what I mean by mixing things up. Does not cost a producer a dime or a unit in sales me thinks 🙂

    @ Sugercoater: hah, don’t hold your breath 🙂 But can we all agree that when TBFE made Redwing, this put them firmly on the map? My wild guess is this vid sold maybe a few units more than the now standard 200. The word “generation” put Pepsi on the map. It sounded new and different and made Coca Cola look like your parents soda.

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  134. CultRetro says:

    @Horse: You said: “The question is and always will be: how do you go about changing this.”

    No, That is not the question if you are a producer. The question if you are a producer is: How do I stay in business (or at least not lose money) within the existing system?

    And yes, it does take time and investment to win a core audience large enough to achieve sustainability (which happens to occur at around 200 copies of video product, or around 1000 copies if you’re talking about comic books), and once you have made that investment it’s a good idea to take care of that audience by giving them what they want, or you’ll just alienate them and end up having to start over from scratch (or out of business entirely).

    Again, your comparisons to mass market distributed product are just not relevant. Image didn’t start from scratch, they were all multimillionaires after having produced some of the top selling comics in history with the fans that go along with that success. The first issues of Image comics broke records BEFORE anyone had ever read them or seen them to know whether or not they were any good (turns out most of them weren’t). They risked NOTHING. The audience was already there sight unseen, and in significant numbers that were great enough to financially support experimentation and failure. They continued to survive, not because they created great comics, but because some of their properties achieved attention and success in ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MARKETS (toys, cartoons, statues, motion pictures, video games, TV series, etc…)

    Stan Lee achieved similar success via a similar approach. He took a pre-existing, core audience and expanded it into different markets. Spider-Man fans and Fantastic Four readership didn’t increase because he made changes to the comics. The fanbase grew because of cross-promotion with cartoons, toys and television. It was good business and fortunate timing. Spider-man exists today because of mass media marketing, not because of Stan Lee’s unparalleled creative genius.

    I would love to slap Stormy Tempest and the Femforce on a lunchbox, crank out collectible dolls and turn it into a Cartoon Network TV series, but until that happens we are still just selling indie comics and indie short films in a micro-niche market.

    And as Logan pointed out: the things you like about our product now will have to go away if we ever do successfully “go mainstream”. We will no longer be in THIS market. We’ll have to redesign our product to compete in a different one where bearhugs, bondage, low blows, pantyhose, spandex and chloroform do not exist.

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  135. Darklord says:

    @sugarcoater – I’d like that but there is NO way they’re going to share that unfortunately. I hope I’m wrong tho…

    200 copies sold in first month sounds incredibly low though. There’s no way Rye or TBFE or CTLE sold 200 copies.

    About 10 years ago I made some incredibly cheesy, low budget super heroine films with local black heroines (let’s face it, most people here prefer tall blondes) and sold it exclusively on C4S. I sold 100 copies in a month. This was before the genre got bigger, and before forum sites like this to spread the word. And my videos were admittedly cheesy as hell lol

    Logan pumped out videos like Burger King makes a whopper. No way he sold 200 of each in the first month.

    The bottom line is, I’ve been purchasing SHIP vids for nearly 15 years now. For me personally, most videos just blend together and are all incredibly similar. The ones I buy now, offer a unique element or story line, etc.

    If I just came into the genre recently? I’d think the videos now we’re the most amazing thing ever probably. But as to my earlier point, not much has been improved upon since SHC back in the day (speaking solely on the video content itself)

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  136. Sugarcoater says:

    On the comic book point, I think one other issue (no pun intended) is that the comic book industry has too many titles and too few interesting storylines. The shock value of changes and reboots seem to alienate more than attract, though that is purely anecdotal conjecture on my part. But it seems that good storytelling is lacking due to the overproduction of titles. I wish the two major companies would pare back to fewer titles and make those better. Reduce the overhead and let the weaker writers and artists go. Focus on quality over quantity.

    Now as to how that relates to the current topic, forgive me that tangent. But as the genre is more about what turns someone on, it seems more difficult to please than a comic book. Suspense is fairly easy to create; attractive superheroine peril seems much more difficult (as based on the various preferences regularly mentioned here). Then include all the other aspects–costume, acting, setting–and it makes the challenge of creating a hot selling video seem a bit daunting to me (someone who knows little about such mattes).

    So in short, thank you to all you producers out there who make these superheroine videos I love 🙂
    Hopefully the business does expand, or continue to expand, as more people come to discover this genre.
    Incidentally, how would one get word out to more fans? And would that risk the censorship of the comic companies in doing so, even as the parody label seems to allow for it?

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  137. Sugarcoater says:

    Just curious, but is there any way producers could share the number of sales of some of their videos? For example, I would be interested in knowing how many units of Gigi’s “Enthusiastic Participation” were sold. Or how many of Coco’s “Redwing” were sold.
    I have no clue how many fans are out there who purchase these videos. I’m curious as to how many units from various producers are sold, and which ones are the best sellers.

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  138. SpandexFiend says:

    I think the response to wanting specific things from any producer is going to be “Order a custom”. It’s that way with anything in the world. You want something very specific and very detailed, then you’ll have to get it customized, and you generally pay for what you get.

    I have a solution for all of those that say you can make bank on doing things their way. Start up your own film company, charge how you see it going, and then come back to these forums and tell everyone how it goes. Hell, maybe it’ll go great and you can say a big fat “I told you so.” Most people here that are telling you otherwise have had the raw experience to tell you that it doesn’t work. Even within the niche market they need to appeal to the broader sense of things. If you want something specific, then order a custom and stop complaining about prices.

    Of note, a custom is going to cost a hell of a lot more than $20. 😉

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  139. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ Logan: I did not say, you should be like Marvel, and changing things or mixing things up is not going mainstream, it is by definition a risk that might or might not yield rewards. And comic books, for what it is worth, are not a mass market product, they are a niche product as well. Yes, granted far more issues are sold of “The Avengers” and what have you each months, far more than any peril movie could hope to sell, but comic books are a niche product and not the “mass market product” they used to be. They were at a time when they sold in the millions each month and when they were sold via various outlets e.g. supermarkets, drugstores. These days they are sold at “specialty stores” i.e. comic book stores and are bought by a very limited pool of loyal readers. Sounds familiar?
    Yet comic book publishers try to bring awareness to a mass market and at the same time try new things. Does this alienate loyal readers? Sure does for a while, but still they make Thor a girl, Captain America an African-American, Iron Man a yerk or DC will turn Batgirl into a hipster. Why would they do this? I am sure they don’t just do it to upset their loyal customer base. No, they know very well that their pool of readers is limited and will get smaller if they do not, once in a while, shake things up a bit. And this is not new. Some of our beloved fetish characters were simply created to drive sales, but also presented a risk at their inception: female Superman: create (a) Wonder Woman (a girl hero, shock, readers might reject her) women’s lib in the 1970s, create a hip and happening superheroine with a Farrah Fawcett hair-do: Ms Marvel. Today the new Ms Marvel is Muslim girl. Or DC in the late 1930s could just have said: we have Superman, sales are great, let’s not rock the boat, you know, make more Superman books. But Superman books don’t sell so well these days, do they?

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  140. Max says:

    I wouldn’t say better than ever. The cinematography of the videos improved? Yes. But the action, story, perils, and above all, acting, still the same for me. Now I’m not expecting some Oscar worthy performance but some videos feel like even Tommy Wiseau could do better acting. If I recall it’s still the “You won’t get away with this” dialogue/acting. Like can we just move on from this scenario.

    I’m not a big fan of sexual peril. I did purchase two or three videos (one by accident) and I understand the appeal to some cutomers. However, I’m more of the “villains treating heroines as honorable warriors rather than sexual objects” deal. Mostly it’s what NGC and some other producers are somehwat doing.

    Ever since I started following this genre (since 2008) I’ve always waited for the day till someone make what I consider a top notch fighting scene. I’m not disrespecting the producers, but if at least one of them gave that approach a shot with quality then you can have my money. Does anyone here watch Banshee, the fighting scenes in that show especially for the female charcaters are incredible. I mean talk about brutal. Here is one example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPdeq1rB1jA

    Personally, since day one I’ve always wanted someone to make a fighting video exactly like that. Not the same move and dialogue, but the same level of credible fighting skills. I know I might be asking for too much but hey to each his own. Not forcing anybody to do anything if it’s beyond their budget but it’s just wishful thinking. I like to see some heroines who might actually convince me that she knows how to fight beyond just kick kick, punch punch. Go outside the box when it comes to fighting.

    Speaking of location, go out side and create new scenarios. Some producers have the same spot and just shoot in that same spot over and over again. Yes I know it’s theirs but for me it’s just…nothing new. The surrounding is an important key in the video.

    Oh and I like to see blood and bruises more than just few videos here and there. There I said it. Some of you will probably say “you’re sick”. But the reality of it is that if the character (Villain/Heroine) got hit by something really strong and he/she just walks out of it like nothing, it takes me off the moment. Blame it on my perfectionist mind. It’s always like this. Nothing bad comes if you just perfected that deal or make sure the actors can sell out the fight and the reaction of the fight.

    Well that’s it for now. Keep up a good work and good luck to all producers out there.

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  141. sergie says:

    @Logan
    Wait, VIP Discount code? what discount code?

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  142. Logan says:

    @HWNN: you cannot compare a niche fetish market with something that can be mainstream, period. As soon as we make the changes necessary to gain more customers, we would need to abandon what keeps us in this niche and go outside of it for more customers. This means we are no longer producing videos for this market any longer. So it’s either appease those who request the same thing time and time again — which translates to purchases — or we abandon the current market in favor of a larger-scale audience. I completely agree with CultRetro and disagree that you can compare widely-accepted comic books no matter their origins. This genre is not widely-accepted, therefore your audience base remains as large as it can be. You cannot make major “changes” because custom orders and requests drive his market and they remain the same. But sure, we could always go completely mainstream with it and be like Marvel. But that’s not the argument here– it’s about keeping it here in this market.

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  143. HorseWithNoName says:

    @ CultRetro: thanks for the detailed inside view. I do not think comparing this or any business to Marvel is pointless. When we talk Marvel we also want to look at just Stan Lee in an office with Flo Steinberg and three artists or even earlier, when he had to fire a lot of staff and he and a handful of loyal guys were putting out uninspired monster comics, because that was what sold… everybody is a small, independent producer at one point, trying to make ends meet. The question is and always will be: how do you go about changing this.

    And now having read comments from several producers about “loyal customers” I do wonder, were they born with these loyal customers or did they have to win them (most likely over time)? So at one time or another they did something that set them apart from other producers to actually win customers from these (especially in a niche market it is not likely that they “created” new customers and to “win” costumers is by no means a small feat) like Stan Lee and team did in the 60s and Image did in the 90s or today, or like any producer did who started with 0 and now has 200 (or more) happy buyers. So I simply wonder, was that it? Was that the goal to win this number of customers and than to say: nah, we can’t change a thing lest we alienate our “core customer base”. Where is the zest, where is the spark that got you to 200? No knock, really, I am a fan of your product, and by no means do I want to “single you out”, but my support (and money) goes to guys like Eric Stephenson who is aggressively building Image Comics’ market share by one thing really: constant innovation, never the same, different voices, new flavors, and remember, when the founders of Image left Marvel, because they had gotten tired of the same old, they had no customers and were the smallest company in the world. Honestly, a producer who says: nope, everything must stay put, is more in danger of losing his loyal fans than he has hopes keeping them. TBFE was an also run in this market and then they decided to make Redwing. They went ahead and did something bold. Have I read that some “loyal fans” of old do not like this new direction? Sure have, but bottom line: it seems to have paid off for them. So long story short: a producers says “change is bad”, is either lazy, afraid or has lost the spark that got him to the beforementioned 200 loyal customers. I do not believe that in this day and age, with proper social networking and the current trend in all things geek, nerd and kink in-between the market is as small as you feel it is. Look how many (comparatively speaking) producers are out there. Logan for example used to release 10 vids a week. This market is only as small as one thinks it is. Hell, even Vivid and Wicked jumped on the bandwagon on the porn side of things. There are tons of micro-budget superheroine flicks released on C4S every months. There is a market, but as long as one stays the same and caters to loyal fans and 200 units is a good break-even, yes, the market is very small.

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  144. Logan says:

    @CultRetro: thank you.

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  145. CultRetro says:

    Talking about Marvel, Transformers and mainstream comics and large-scale mass media marketed product is absolutely pointless. This is a micro-niche market and different rules apply. There is absolutely ZERO correlation between what Marvel does and what an indie producer must do.

    0.0000001% is far too generous. It was a niche market when it was just the “superheroine genre”. Now it’s microscopically subdivided into “superheroines receiving low blows while wearing white costumes with no pantyhose” etc, etc, etc…

    It’s really very simply. There are maybe going to be 200 guys total that are actually interested in PURCHASING a given film that you see on this site within a month of its release (which is being generous… some producers don’t even sell that many). If you sell that film for $1 then you are going to make $200 and you are now in debt and out of business. If you sell that movie for $35 then you are going to make $7000 and you can perhaps make another one and keep going. Most micro-niche movies fall somewhere in the middle of this range.

    You’re still only going to sell your film to those same 200 guys, no matter what you charge for it. Certain people buy for certain elements or certain actresses from certain producers, and for each new release that ends up to be about 200 copies sold within the first 30 days (give or take). Change things up via price, style, elements or whatever and you’ll lose a few of your loyal customers and exchange them for a few new guys that are curious… but your net total is still going to end up being around 200 units sold.

    There is very little that you can do to sell more than your 200 copies, because that is simply the slice of this micro-niche audience that is available per product. Selling a film for less (or more) does NOT significantly increase the total number of people that are interested in purchasing the content. That’s just how a micro-niche market functions.

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  146. rover says:

    @ CultRetro – thanks for chiming in. Great news. Please share an ETA with us when you can!

    Good discussion guys. Everyone has VERY different tastes. I don’t have a beef with any producers, really. It’s more the fans. I see the guys on here debating about panty-hoes, or the amount of lowblows. It doesn’t bother me, I just don’t get it at all.

    To me, I love plot and psychological peril. One of the reasons I was drawn to THIS site in particular was the old reviews. Hope to see those continued. That will help me find what I like.

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  147. Lake says:

    >>Anyone know how big or small the heroine movies market actually is?

    About 0.0000001% I’d guess, which blows your argument away a bit I’d say.

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  148. Swampy170 says:

    My point about transformers was purely that – just because people are loudly proclaiming something doesn’t mean that’s the majority view.

    In this case, i highly doubt “filler” is something SHIP fans hate. Just look at the outcry due to alex braun’s parodies. There could not be less “filler” in that case.

    As I say in my first post, it’s all about context.

    Don’t need a 3-page monologue to introduce a particular fetish. Just need the fetish to work in context – something SHC did well in their better works.

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  149. Kevlar says:

    The market has changed a lot IMO. A lot of people want bang for their buck! Personally I like a bit of story and build-up or “filler”, but I highly doubt i’m in the majority. With the increase in number of producers catering to people’s kinks, we’re all a little spoiled these days. So often I see blunt and childish comments like “No ‘fetish element x’, no purchase from me”. Instead of requesting or suggesting, some people feel entitled to demand what they want, and releases are often panned when people don’t get what they want.

    I don’t think SHC is a good point of reference as they had very little competition at the time. Over the past year or two, a lot producers have upped their game. The standard of videos is so high, visually there’s relatively little to differentiate between producers. It often simply comes down to style, the costume, the actress, or the fetish elements.

    I really love TBFE, Secret Heroine/Identity Films, Alex Bettinger, Rye/UK, Logan’s sites and SHG/Alex David. I used to subscribe to superheroine sites and hope their weekly update would include something I liked. Where as now I can see descriptions and reviews without spending a penny, and if I don’t like something I can wait a week for the next producer to release a video.

    My only complaint is what I perceive to be an increase in darker aspects in videos. Graphic rape and death endings seem to be becoming more frequent which I find incredibly repulsive, but obviously there must be to be a market for it.

    That aside I think the “state of the genre” is great atm, there’s so much choice and variety in styles and great looking videos coming out from several different producers every other week.

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  150. Seer says:

    1% of the population = 75 million people. A ten dollar movie appeasing them would be 750 million. I sure don’t see that as downright stupid. Even a one dollar movie appeasing them would be bank. And at one dollar, some might see it more than once, and even people not in the 1% might take a chance on seeing it.

    Anyone know how big or small the heroine movies market actually is?

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  151. HorseWithNoName says:

    Well, the age old argument “heh, we can’t be innovative, because the mass audience would not like it” or it makes sense to keep doing what we do because we make a lot of money doing it, aka as “independent movies are only for a few and if you want to make money go broad to reach your mass audience.”

    And while examples like the Transformers movies seem to prove it, or tons of other examples, like the little movie we just had with Chris Pratt, it is not that simple. If it were, Hollywood had the formula down. But if you look at the latest box office results, this is thankfully not the case. Audience are smarter than you think.

    As an example, Marvel Studios is seeing reduced returns, not only speaking about Ant-Man, but also Avengers AOU. Doing the same stuff only gets you this far and namely you will run into trouble when a new player appears who seems to offer all the new shiny pennies. The Suicide Squad trailer has beaten any other trailer in recent times as far as number of clicks on YouTube are concerned, even the 2nd BvS trailer. Goes to show, that when suddenly there is something different, not only five people will be interested, but a “mass audience” seemingly as well.

    Also: let’s not forget that tastes change, as audience might be fed up with yet another Marvel comedy, which at this point have become unbearable to watch, at least for me, think about the comic book market in the 1990s when Image ruled the market with muscles, T & A. That trend faded quickly. Now they are the number one independet publisher again, because they have adapted. And I would not say a market share of over 10 per cent is a bad thing, especially if none of the other independent companies is above 5 (at best, most are far less than that). Yet look at artists like Jim Lee. Still stuck in the 1990s, in part also why the New 52 was such a mess. And also there are plenty of TV shows that were initially very close to getting cancelled and then suddenly become a pop culture thing (think about the X-Files as an example or even Seinfeld). So no, it is not black and white. It is not “mass audience” wants always the formula i.e. big success and independent stuff is only for the few who do not like Coke Classic. Again: look at the sorry state McDonald’s is in right now. The new kids with the new stuff are gaining more and more market share. Will their thing eventually become “boring” as well? Depends on how the handle their business going forward. As far as peril movies go: judging from a lot of comments a producer will certainly be ok for a whil putting out the same movies just with a different girl in a different outfit (we are talking fetish, right?), but is that really fun? I’d say let’s bring on the new (hungry) producers who do not seem tired and let the chips fall where they may. I have seen independent movies become blockbusters simple because they offered a fresh take.

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  152. Swampy170 says:

    Yes, but “filler” is something the vocal minority harp on about….

    To be quite frank, ignore them. Look at “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon” (though not from a storyline context) – universally slated by the vocal minority (all be it, a different one), yet a massive commercial success.

    You could argue it has all the right commercial elements, but that is besides the point – vocal critics rarely represent the majority.

    All you have to do is look at that ancient behemoth, SHC – to see “filler” is actually important.

    If DanO hadn’t thrown a wobbly, likely it would have still been ontop – guess we can be glad it isn’t as SHC dropping in popularity gave rise to the wealth of producers we see today.

    Point is tho – SHC had ALL the filler, and ruled the SHIP roost.

    Market hasn’t changed that much…..

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  153. Logan says:

    @cratchit: sorry, but creating a video to appease 1% of the population is downright stupid. I understand your criticism, however, it falls in line with every artist in Hollywood I encounter that simply makes a film for a film festival that will appeal to nobody this presenting zero representation and zero marketablity which means zero gross profit. Making one film is great but bottom line is we need a surplus from the production costs to make more films. You can dislike that all you want but that won’t change anything. Business is business and costs are costs. Bottom lines don’t change especially when customers want more.

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  154. cratchit says:

    @Logan: I can not resist responding to one sentence of your very thoughtful and candid comment in this thread. “It’s our job to appease [sic] the largest percentage we can while staying true to our content.” What a brilliant encapsulation of the standard American business model! Find out what 60% of the prospective customers want. And once that is known, then 100% of the producers can devote 100% of their effort to satisfying that group of customers. I think this explains quite eloquently why, for example, before the advent of microbrews, American beers were so uniform, unimaginative, and uninteresting.

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  155. Logan says:

    Dare I say this, but if you don’t include all of your “elements” as a focus, then you are accused of having too much “filler” in your videos. This, of course, is just dialogue and story, but the accusation is constantly thrown out there. In an attempt to prevent backlash and criticism, I know I personally have cut way down drastically on the story elements to allow for more “content”. As for a “checklist”, I think it’s difficult to create a video without multiple elements in it. When you do a fight scene, those interested in bear hugs can get theirs while those who like belly punches also get theirs. It is very monotonous, boring, unexciting, etc etc to create an entire video based on one element. Plus, more viewers will be drawn to a video that features more. The average viewer is realistically not enthralled by one single element and most enjoy various elements – this, based on sales and custom requests. Usually, the only ones that harp on a single element are low blow and foot people. Again, that’s just from my own personal observation.

    I’ve seen many producers step up their game over the last few years. I believe many of them have tried to tailor-fit their experience to what the feedback always in because, let’s face it, the comments on every single video are exactly the same. And they are all contradictory of each other. But when you create something that sells well, you are going to also create a formula with it. Break away from the formula, and you get a non-seller. Go back to it and you’re back in business.

    In addition, custom orders are always the same. They’re monotonous, they’re specific for one central thing, and they’re usually based off of something that’s already been done and just being recreated. This is not to knock the custom buyers in any way, but you are not going to get “something new” when people are requesting the same thing, recurrently.

    The key for producers, in my own opinion, is to continue to tell variations of stories based on the same elements. There are so many different types of viewers out there that we will never appease everyone. Not even close. It’s our job to appease the largest percentage we can while staying true to our content.

    Pricing has always been a source of contention on these forums. It’s gotten to the point of ridiculous sometimes in terms of feedback. Most times, the complaints are because of unsubstantiated opinion. My videos, for instance, are priced very specifically. After the VIP Discount code is applied, I hover ‘just above’ or ‘right at’ $1/minute. I don’t care if that system is archaic– it’s been the grounds of reference since I started in this genre and continues to be the base of comparison. If you do not wish to sign up for a free newsletter to know when the releases come out and receive discount codes and sale coupons, then you shouldn’t be complaining about price.

    Price is also subjective. So this topic will never fade.

    As for dark content, we have some videos like that… we try to light them enough to see what is needed to be seen, but we’ve also been requested for darker videos. It is something that’s happening a lot – sometimes it’s poor lighting; sometimes it’s intentional. But it is also requested. Black leather is always a hit.

    As for the continuation of ‘theSuperheroines’ content, simply because it’s been addressed, I will be making a statement later this week about this. I’ve personally appreciated all of the support from our fan base, even during uncertain times, and I can tell you it also means a lot to my team, both cast and crew! 🙂

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  156. Zilch says:

    I’m not necessarily looking for something “new” when I watch a superheroine fetish video. If a certain element is done right, I’m gonna respond to it, regardless of how many times I’ve seen it. But there’s got to be some character in the mix… Some personality or something. And that’s what I think is lacking in the genre these days. Others have commented on it, but it’s worth repeating: there seems to be this checklist of elements that many producers have in the back of their heads now, and this accompanying idea that a superheroine fetish video is just a series of points to be crossed off. So in 2015 seemingly every video has to have karate choreography, low blows, whipping, death, and rape, and all these other things that have very little to do with superheroine-ness. You can make good videos that have these elements, I guess (I’ve never been a fan of death or rape); what’s happened is that most videos made now are entirely these elements and nothing else. I long for the days when the situation is what counted: this notion of a powerful woman in peril. The hallmarks of such situations– like bondage, unmasking scenarios, deathtraps, depowerment– still pop up here and there… But even when they do, a certain feeling is gone. I’m glad to hear that Stormy Tempest will be back, because those videos absolutely captured that feeling. I wish other producers would attempt to do the same. Until they do, I’m going to just watch Wonder Woman reruns.

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  157. CultRetro says:

    Stormy Tempest is not abandoned. She’ll definitely be back. We have already filmed many episodes that have yet to be released. It’ll happen when time and opportunity permits.

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  158. Anon says:

    I’m not too deep into what producers are out there atm, but I remember bondage being a bigger part of the peril a few years ago. I don’t think I’ve seen a video featured here in quite a while where the heroine is tied up with ropes and gagged. Left to be discovered unmasked and humiliated, or just struggling in bondage while the villain is away. It’s mostly just a complete beatdown and rape, with some minor bondage. The only ones who seem to do full on rope bondage and gags are the sites who are mostly bondage, but puts out some heroine stuff once in a while.

    I guess that’s just how things evolve over time with these things. It’s not enough that the heroine is captured, bound and gagged. Long timers require the heroine to be beaten to a pulp and raped.

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  159. HorseWithNoName says:

    Just briefly: the last vids I bought were Dagger and Phantom Dame, which I both liked a lot. Haven’t bought any other vid since. Why? I have become much more picky and with so much stuff offered through other outlets, none of the new videos did scream “buy me” to me. This is by no means a knock on any producer. I’d gladly buy from anyone who comes up with something (for me) interesting.

    As for the price (that some did mention in this thread): yes and no. Yes, prices have gotten out of hand and I fully support a well done, “low budget” productions. Just watched “Horror Hotel” and you can’t go much cheaper than that, yet it is a great little film. Go figure. On the other hand I do not limit myself price-wise: if a producer makes a vid that checks the right boxes for me, I’d pay more than 40 bucks for it, no questions asked. But again: I’ve not bought any new videos in recent time and price will always be a factor since it is in relation to the fetish stuff I want to see i.e. if the price is high and more elements “are missing” I will most certainly not make a purchase. And kudos to HM and Sidekick for providing this forum: I do read fan reactions to any new vid, so should I “miss something” I can always reverse my decision and make a purchase… but to me at least, the wild excitement of eagerly awaiting a new release getting released has somehow gone.

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  160. Swampy170 says:

    It’s a similar state to a year ago really.

    Nobody’s really done much which could be called ground breaking, some incremental changes – but nothing particularly major.

    Nobody’s truely taken the reigns, and all producers are making formulaic vids to a varying extent.

    The winner, IMO – will be the producer that breaks the mould. That actually lets storyline dictate content, rather than content dictate storyline as we see everywhere at present.

    Nobody’s got contextual fetish elements right. It’s hard to do profitably, but whoever works out how wins.

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  161. Raiderman says:

    For me I feel the genre goes through some good times and then has stretches of not much that catches my attention. Currently the main producer I buy from is NCG, for the price and the quality of the story line and of course the attractive ladies who have some acting ability you can’t beat it if you are a PG13 fan. I also like the direction of Kick Ass Femmes is going in particular those lovely ladies wearing catsuits, straight to the point of beating each other. The biggest improvement from 10 years ago is the acting has gotten much better and with time as camera’s and sound equipment has also gotten better.

    I think like all good things do come to an end such as one of my favorite series Stormy Tempest , the loss of key actresses from CTLE and when the day comes there is no more Miss Freedom (NGC) and Vixen (KAF) I will find some other form of entertainment. In closing though this genre is slowly moving off my radar I think it has a strong future as long as the producers listen to there fan base which is growing over time and good customer service.

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  162. BruceKent says:

    @kingles I didn’t mean that there is one specific thing that the majority of us are looking for, some sexual peril, some unmasking/humiliation some fatality, some beat down, some debooting, some heroine victory, some tickling (which I don’t get).. who knows, but we look for what we like. I’m just saying you can offer the “pay off” for less.

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  163. kingles says:

    @BruceKent: There isn’t one specific thing that the majority of us are looking for. This is the fundamental issue regarding prices, as well as the tendency for some productions to become something of a shopping list of fetish elements.

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  164. cratchit says:

    There is certainly much to be admired in the work of many current producers. On many levels what is produced today is infinitely superior to what we watched 10 years ago. On the other hand I do find fault with much that I download.

    Chief among my complaints is an astonishing lack of imagination and creativity in general. An example: [We have finally captured our most feared and hated superheroine enemy. What should we do with her? How can we possibly get even with her for all the grief she has caused us? Ummmmmm— Let’s fondle her for twenty minutes. No, let’s vibrate her to death. What about tickling her? That ought to teach her a lesson.] Good grief folks! Gimme a break!

    Another example: how many cookie-cutter videos have you seen recently?
    I imagine this scenario: [Let’s make another video. We have two actors. We’ll do 20 face blows, 15 stomach punches, and 7 low blows; we’ll film four different wrestling positions; we’ll have 2 bear-hugs, an over-the-shoulder carry, and a short episode of AOH bondage. What order should we film them in? Doesn’t matter; we can decide that post-production. And, oh yes, in the first two minutes of the video we’ll have someone talk and set up the background for all this. Don’t worry whether or not it makes sense; no one will care. Won’t someone notice this is the same story filmed in the same apartment as our last release? Forget it, the costumes are different.]

    Another fault I find with much current work is the classical puritan failure to be able to integrate anything of a vaguely sexual nature into a story without allowing the story to collapse into a seemingly endless string explicit sexual encounters. Many producers today seem incapable of envisioning any alternative to two equally dreary possibilities. Either not a single inch of skin can be revealed that was not shown by the original costume—or else, if there is even the slightest hint of nudity, then there absolutely MUST be a 20 minute (or more!) episode of explicit sex, without plot, without point, and in at least a half dozen positions. I find both these choices extraordinarily boring. I’m reminded of a typical Victorian story of a well brought up English farm girl who on a single occasion sins and sleeps with her boyfriend. Well, she decides, since I am already a ruined woman, I may as well go to London and be a whore. It seems to me that it would be a great thing if there were more producers who could appreciate, and integrate into their work, the excitement of sexual tension and peril without dragging their viewers through the unending doldrums of explicit sex.

    On other issues, I agree with the Sidekick and TBob, that what you can’t see is hard to enjoy, and with Rover that Cultretro’s apparent abandonment of Stormy Tempest (especially after the exciting 3rd season trailer) is really disappointing.

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  165. BruceKent says:

    @SpandexFiend I am comparing the films to the real world and in the real world going on and on in a peril film to make it 30 or so minutes simply to justify selling for $30 or so in two parts or $60 in one is gratuitous and not really worth it. Most of us are looking for an aspect from the movie and not the drawn out story behind it. About independents, I sell music CDs sometimes and I dare not sell at $30 per disc because I’m independent, that wouldn’t make sense in the real world just because I’m independent.

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  166. DKM says:

    I have some general, all purpose comments:

    -I think SleeperKid is criminally underrated in terms of his heroine-in-peril content.

    -Some producers are out of their mind when it comes to what they’re charging. In “real life” I work with enough companies where I feel very strongly that something is broken on the producers end, and the cost is getting passed off onto us because they can’t / don’t know how to fix it. That’s not a shot at anyone in particular, it’s just a business observation. The odds are pretty good some of these issues can be fixed. Maybe it’s a marketing or distribution problem? Don’t know. But $35 is a lot of money, and now there are ones starting in the high $40s. After a certain point, for fans, I wonder when some of us will just say forget it and save up for a custom.

    I keep hearing about how great the production values are, but at least for me, I still fondly remember and prefer some of Rye’s older stuff with Paris to some of the newer stuff. If the content is good, that’s what matters. Sometimes you CAN have too much of a good thing on the production front.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if some producer just said fuck it and made gritty, almost home style superheroine in peril movies the way they looked in 2004.

    -I am saddened, by the lack of black female performers. I know the “they don’t sell” line. I don’t know if it’s true or not. It’s just a bummer. Then again, when it comes to American producers, there’s a lack of asian performers too, which really surprises me. We just don’t see Akira Lane, Jessica Bangcok, Mai Mao (!!!!!!!!), Max Mikita, and numerous others as much as I’d like.

    I guess what I’m saying here is, the diversity is kind of lacking and that’s sad because these girls are beautiful. It would go a long, long way to breaking up some of the monotony we’re seeing.

    -I would still pay extra, and I think the others in the vocal minority would too, who like “Death endings”.
    Give me a Version A (no death, peril) and a Version B (Death! Blood maybe!) for $10 more, and I’ll shell out the extra $10 no questions asked.

    Note: Bluestone does this.

    This goes for PG 13 / R rated stuff. You could make a PG 13 movie that goes R at the end and just cut the R part off and charge extra for the full film with the R ending. That’s fine. People get that.

    -Diana Knight did not appear too often as a heroine-in-peril. I hope we see more of that from her in 2016!

    -Powerstar never came back to Next Global Crisis 🙁

    -Akiba / Giga’s newer releases are not great, but sometimes one sneaks through that reminds you of how good they used to be.

    -Last Thing: I’d like to see more variety in terms of the peril / situations the superheroines face. It seems almost like the majority of producers are locked into a specific formula and they don’t deviate much. Heroine Legends really went above and beyond on the many different “finishers” in the Heroine Kombat series, and I really admired the variety. More of that from everyone please 🙂

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  167. SpandexFiend says:

    @Bruce Are you really comparing independent film companies with giant conglomerates? Movies like American Sniper see thousands upon thousands of customers buying it. Independent film companies do not have thousands upon thousands of customers. Plus giant conglomerates don’t have to rely solely on sales, they’re able to get advertisements put into the movie. If Ford wants only Ford vehicles in the movie, then they pay to have only Ford vehicles in a particular movie. Independent companies can’t rely on this form of income.

    As for cutting films into two parts, that’s up to the producers. Again, if you can’t afford it, then don’t buy it.

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  168. Darklord says:

    @Bruce that is a recurring theme with Rye movies for awhile now. Remember the fiasco with the “never say never” video? It was a two part movie at a crazy price tag that according to those who purchased it, easily could’ve been cut in half in terms of length.

    Seems like a theme, and thus intentional, to me.

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  169. BruceKent says:

    I think the production and quality of the stuff that’s coming out is excellent! Some of the stories can get too convoluted and psychological though. Also, at the end of at least two recent movies the bad guy says to the heroine something like “Okay, time to kill you now” and the film just ends!!!! What is that???

    As for price, @SpandexFiend seems to be suggesting they prices should really be more like $2/minute but the producers are graciously charging only $1… I think the $1 a minute of old was buying movies that were much much shorter. If I’m off base there, so be it, but think about this: you can walk out the door right now and buy American Sniper (just as an example of a current major movie) for $20!!!! Someone commented that the release of Agent Walker in two parts was a way to squeeze $70 out of interested fans. I can’t say and don’t believe that that was the plan, but I had said before that you can cut half of the content out and not lose a thing. Agent Walker 1 could have been done in ten minutes!!!!

    Lastly, (and sorry for the right turn) I believe Heroine Movies has commented that it didn’t like Bluestone… I’m just really curious about why that would be?

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  170. CultRetro says:

    Stormy Tempest is dead? No away dude. She’s just on an extended vacation.

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  171. SpandexFiend says:

    I like where the genre is headed. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with CTLE but they were my favorite producers for a while simply because they delivered content often and across a broad spectrum with just *enough* story to keep me interested. Granted, a lot of the time, I wished there was more story in those films, but I did like the idea that there was something that someone would like coming out within a few weeks of one another.

    I’ve liked the Rye UK videos. And I find myself leaning more and more towards the PG-13 side because they do tend to offer more of a story than the sexual-peril sites. I think TBFE has come closest to offering a full story along with sexual peril. I think there was another producer recently too, but I’m having a hard time remembering who it was off the top of my head.

    As for prices. $1/minute is archaic. That was the case over a decade ago. Inflation would dictate more like $2/minute but most producers are trying to keep it lower… a LOT lower than that. If you’re shaking your head, perhaps it’s because producers have been spoiling you (not just Sidekick, but people in general). If you can’t afford it, don’t purchase it. Just don’t whine that you can’t afford it, or accuse producers that they’re charging too much. I’m not advocating they charge more, but it could be a lot worse and if we’re considering inflation over the last 10-15 years, then we should really be glad videos aren’t more expensive than they are.

    I like the videos produced now a lot more than the 3-minute videos/subscribe for 1 month-at-a-time crap that SHC and other sites pulled way back when. You never got a full video back then, and even if you managed to stay a member long enough to get a full video, then you were spending $60 or more AND you had to splice it together yourself. I’m stunned that those sites are still functioning with subscriptions and running re-runs of old stuff. The videos they produced were okay at best, even spliced together.

    I like that there are a lot more choices these days and that there’s a little something for everyone. I like the quality, the acting, and the storylines more and more as time progresses. Competition does seem to be a good thing.

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  172. Darklord says:

    Better than ever? Meh. Yes there’s more players in the game so to speak and many more releases than in the past. But to echo skulls’ point, a lot of it is formulaic and very few videos stand out.

    Is anything produced today better then Superheoine Central back in there hey day over 10 years ago? I would argue no. Some of it is great, don’t get me wrong, but there are a lot of videos that are redundant and yawn inducing.

    My favorite recent videos have been Lady Victory. I just love how each of those vids have had her truly tested and a couple of individual battles in each where she wins and loses. Most videos just follow the standard script of “heroine shows up. Lands some punches. Gets weakened by a green rock, becomes helpless and is raped”.

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  173. Decendingskulls says:

    Overall it’s better than ever, but sometimes it seems formulaic. I like adult content concepts that have a running theme and some writing put into them, like TBFE’s Redwing/Bluebird, Alex David’s Super Heroine League, and Xplicit’s The Wizard series.

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  174. rover says:

    Personally, I also enjoy the PG-13 heroine films, not just sex in a heroine costume. I got into the genre from the old Superheroine Central serials (where there’s plenty of fetish material), but half of any story arc was fighting and then the second half was XXX. It’s a good compromise, in my opinion, for the people here who like any combination of that.

    However I feel like recently the genre has split into movies focusing on sex / specific fetishes, or non-peril (arena-style) combat (The Superheroines and NGC have focused a lot on this). On the flip-side, producers like Primal and TBFE are straying from the peril/sex mix and going straight to sex. It’s losing me a little bit.

    When a real peril film comes out that hits the right ‘ups and downs’, it really feels like a gem now. I know I’ve said this before, and maybe it’s just me. The more fans that come to the genre, the more diversity of content we’ll see, for better or for worse!

    Side note: I’m bummed out that CultRetro (Stormy Tempest) seems to be dead. Their teasers for new content seemed really promising.

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  175. Dangerman says:

    I’d like to see more of the leotard-based super heroines do transformation twirls, and I want them to WIN for once. I don’t want them to lose all the time.

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  176. Bert says:

    Maybe “a certain producing” just rubs some people the wrong way.

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  177. TBob says:

    “Darkness – I’m not talking about darker content, that’s always been prevalent in this genre. I’m talking about darkly dressed heroines fighting darkly dressed villains, in dark corners of dark rooms. I just can’t see anything anymore. This phenomena seems to be spreading to several producers and I can’t say I’m a fan.”

    I have been saying that for a while now, I am glad at least one person agrees with me. Its kind of hard to get into a movie if you can’t see what’s going on, ya know?

    About the whole price thing… I just can’t believe fans complain about a certain producing for his prices when the other producers charge the same if not more for their videos.

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