Intensity. A pure BDSM scene conducted 100% IN THE DARK. Submissive Ariel Anderssen is captured, kidnapped, bound and gagged and left completely in the dark as her captor uses infra-red spotlights and a night-vision scope to dominate, bind and torture her!
“In The Dark” is a very personal film for me. Over the years I’ve made a lot fantasy films with fantastic settings and our signature elegant style. But what I’ve never really tried to do before was to make a film that was grounded in what it is REALLY like as a BDSM couple. I wanted to make something that was intense and emotional but was grounded in real life.
I wanted to go back to a “purer” time in Ariel and my career, to projects like Long Term Bondage and Bondage Driving Test. Filming those INTENSE scenes back then was a magic doorway to exploring our own fantasies safely… in a way which neither of us ever dreamed we’d be able to do for real. The rolling cameras gave us permission to step whole-heartedly into our roles and explore the things we’d always been obsessed by but didn’t think we’d ever be lucky enough to do. From them, we fell in love, got married and settled down together.
I wanted to go back to the simplicity of hitting record on the camera and just documenting the BDSM scene between us, without the constant cuts and camera angle changes that are the signature of the more cinematic single-camera shooting style. No crew, just the two of us. I wanted to do something different to match the intensity of those early scenes. But I wanted it to feel real and grounded, something that couples in BDSM relationships could relate to and say “yes, sometimes it does feel like that”.
In The Dark is the result.
We filmed it for real: Ariel couldn't see, she was totally in the dark for the duration of the 1 hour+ BDSM scenes. I’d have to figure out how we (the audience) could see what was going on – an hour of sound but no picture might not tell the story well enough. And I’d have to figure out how to both shoot it, be in it and run the scene as the dom safely in 100% darkness.
Fortunately, technology provides! Infrared provided the solution (with a couple of scenes shot in ultraviolet for contrast).
It's the most intense scene we've ever shot, with the darkness adding a disinhibiting factor so Ariel's character "enjoys" several forced orgasms on screen. Training her in the dark proved very hot!
And the framing storyline is something we think is more realistic and representative of issues real-life BDSM couples sometimes go through, the trade-off between intensity and safety and responsibility. So the film is also about dealing with BDSM burnout and hot to find the hotness in simplicity when you have been together for a while.
This isn’t an actual true story of anything that’s happened to us. But it is a lot closer to home than anything we’ve shot before. (Oversharing, as usual, sorry…) We had to take a lot more care with each other’s feelings than usual as we wrote and developed the script. It’s not meant to be a criticism of either of us, but I think it hits quite close to the bone for subs who want to drink in the maximum experience in safety and doms who want to run the show but also have to have their health-and-safety monitor program running all the time. There’s always a big bit of us in the roles we play on screen, but this felt like opening up the vulnerable side of being in a BDSM relationship much more than we’d done in previous projects.
I certainly felt sympathy for my character having to keep all the balls in the air whilst juggling as we were filming this- remember that Ariel couldn’t see anything, and was mostly tied up to boot. I could only see through a night-sight monocular! Doing that with cameras, lights, sound, rigging, safety, acting, caning on target, doming and making the scene hot was one hell of a challenge. But then I got the reward of Ariel’s reactions which as you will see are hot as all fucking hell.