Cracking the Whip: Film Production Spotlight
Making waves is one thing, but Cracking the Whip pulls no punches. We caught up with director and filmmaker Dídac Pérez to discuss his new domination documentary in the making.
"Cracking The Whip is a short documentary film about Mistress Megara, a Glaswegian Dominatrix. Through her we talk about feminism, freedom of sexual expression and censorship in adult content in the UK." - Dídac Pérez.
So far there have been a plethora of mainstream documentaries covering alternative lifestyles and the practises of the kink community in particular. However, what is evident within the first 30 seconds upon viewing the trailer, is that Cracking the Whip doesn't pander to finger-pointing audiences who are all too happy to soak up contrived, negative portrayals of sex work. We can already see from the trailer that the documentary actually depicts the normalcy of fetishism and how sex work is integrated into everyday life without people necessarily being aware of it's thriving industry.
"Cracking the Whip is targeted at all kinds of people; from curious ones that are only hearing about domination for the first time and want to find out more, to people from the kink community that are actively trying to fight these taboos."
The fight for sexual freedom grows ever more fierce as Conservatives continue their tirade against sex work and the adult industry.
"The purpose of the film is to break taboos that surround the kink community and pro dommes. 'We are all kinky', says Megara, 'we´re just not using the correct terms.' Our society is full of taboos and the kink community is definitely a stigmatised one. So we're trying to break down these walls. It's very important for us to raise awareness about the censorship laws that are being passed and applied to online adult content in the UK, which will be filtered by the BBFC's hands. We're also tackling the effect these laws will have on women (as they're clearing targeting female sexuality) and possible solutions."
Amazingly, it is still little known that many individuals within the kink community play significant roles in society outside of the BDSM scene. All you have to do is go to a fetish club such as Torture Garden, or visit a website such as FetLife and you can easily find yourself talking to builders, oil contractors, doctors, lawyers, CEOs, nurses, HR administrators, bankers etc. as well as some extremely creative artists, models, photographers and designers. Kink collectives are actually far more likely to be more diverse than most mainstream groups in society. What makes fetish events, crunches and online networking so great for those with specific tastes or interests, is that it provides a safe place to discuss and explore their kinks as well as give / receive advice for those who are new to certain types of play or to the scene as a whole. Respectful approaches to kink is always a top priority for all well known event organisers and service providers, and there's a clear emphasis on consensual, adult play.
Sadly, this notion doesn't seem to have translated well to the UK Government as the DEB2 (Digital Economy Bill: version 2) has just received Royal assent. Meaning, the legislation outlined within the bill is being passed as law. Some of the key principles outlined, where pornography is concerned, blacklist a number of activities that kink enthusiasts enjoy, and will force many Doms and Dominatrices to go underground, where it could pose significant risks to their safety and well being. Ultimately, these services will continue while there is still a demand and an expressed interest in various fetishes, but forcing such practises to go underground could open the doors to actual abuse and / or harassment. Not only that, it would force many venues and service providers to give up work and close their doors for fear of being raided.
"Laws are being silently passed in front of us! The most recent Digital Economy Bill (currently being discussed in the Parliament) gives the government power to shut down 4 million sites; sites they deem obscene. That's why films like Cracking The Whip are so important!"
However, not everyone is taking it lying down! Even now, several sexual freedom and feminist activists, writers and supporters continue to reject these notions and not just in the UK either. Many sex workers across the globe have been fighting to obtain more rights for themselves and their associates. We've seen a growing number of reports across Europe, Asia and the US over the last few years.
The great thing about social media is that it has enabled passionate individuals from all over the world to connect and support one and other in their quests for civil rights and freedom of expression.
Dídac told us about his own networking that lead to the moment of inspiration and thus, creating Cracking the Whip:
"I've always wanted to talk about feminism and an alternative take on adult content like Feminist porn. I've been researching for over 2 years now; one thing led to another and I met Megara Furie. She's just an amazing person and has inspired me a lot. so I guess, she is the reason we ended up making this film!"
Along with a fresh approach to documenting fetish lifestyles and work practises, the cinematography and the overall visual quality adds a new, VICE-esque dimension.
"With Cracking The Whip, we push for bold aesthetic. We use reenactments and ingest slow motion sequences that, n an interesting way, reflect the content. We're breaking new ground by removing the stereotypical portrayals of Dommes. Plus, Megara is so wonderfully outspoken on the subject, that she'll open the minds of even the most bigoted of people."
Cracking the Whip aims to not only reach kink enthusiasts or those with a growing curiosity, but also help the general public to understand more about the people behind the kink.
"If by watching the film someone learns something new, questions their - perhaps outdated and biased - point of view on the kink community or becomes porn-positive, that'd be fantastic."
"I discovered documentary filmmaking during a exchange program in Denmark 6 years ago, where I research and filmed mini documentaries for the public network in Catalunya. It was a great experience and learned a lot! Since then, I just get caught up in conversations with people and I find everyone's life so interesting. We all could learn from each other! After Cracking The Whip I want to delve into identity, masculinity and the LGBT community. I am already developing both short and long-length projects on these subjects."
The film will be finished by June 2017 an at first, will only be available for audience viewing at film festivals until an online release is dated for some time in 2018. There will be screenings in Spain and Scotland for sure but it's all TBC at this stage.
Want to follow Cracking the Whip and the creatives behind it?
Cracking the Whip
Dídac Pérez (Director)
Mistress Megara Furie (Pro Domme)
Quba (Creative Producer)
Marina Lewin (Cinematographer)