Spanking4Men chats with Rich O’Shea of Sting Pictures.
Rich, it’s a pleasure to interview you and thanks for spending some time with Spanking4Men and all our readers. Everything has a beginning, and so let me ask you how and when you first discovered your interest in M-M corporal punishment?
Probably at school. As a last resort schools in the UK when I went still had corporal punishment in various forms. The rattan cane, spanking and gym slipper were very much in use.
The gym shoe of course being the main choice of the PT masters (A PT master is the equivalent of a sports coach in the USA) I think the adrenalin rush and fascination with the moment, the power over you held by the teachers and watching your friends submit to punishment all play a part.
I didn’t happen everyday but when it did it was a talked about, often a sort of badge of courage went with it. Guys who took it really did show you the marks in the showers after. I will say this though regardless of the fetish interest it was definitely a deterrent. None of us queued up to get the cane, it really hurt, and we’d behave just to avoid it. I know that this may be different reminiscences than with others but as young boys it wasn’t something we rushed to receive!
Did you shoot any type of spanking videos prior to creating the Sting enterprise?
We did start for off in the 1980s shooting about four short stories. However, historically the UK was still in the grip of an aniti porn stance and all porn was illegal. I guess we chickened out and shelved it till the mid-90s when it was made semi legal. Our Volume One Punishment Book DVD still has those original 80s shoots in it. It’s interesting to see the Iceland is going to vote to block porn completely on the internet. You can bet your bottom dollar if they do the UK will follow suit.
How did you go about forming the creative group that is the nucleus of Sting Pictures?
I am lucky in that I have known Rob for years and he is very talented from his work in film and TV so that was a great start when we got together. Since re locating to the Czech Republic we now have three guys who work for us, not all on Sting but they have watched and learned well in the last five years. Jonathan is one of them and has gone on to direct in his own right. I have little to do with the second crew only in so much as they call me to play a part as I do acting wise.
In previous interviews, you’ve mentioned that you and some of your associates have professional experience in the film and television production industry. How does that influence the way you create and present your spanking videos?
I would say a great deal. If we just did point and shoot videos then Sting would be just like the rest. All Sting shoots are planned and shot as if we were making a movie or film for TV. That’s our style, it’s certainly not everybody’s taste but it would be alien for us to work in any other way. The biggest drawback for us to achieve filmic quality is that we have so little time and of course money. We can’t put anything like the same budgets in to a Sting story and so we need to cut corners. In essence though good film practice based on our experience all goes in to a Sting film. These things cannot be learned overnight.
One of the earmarks of a Sting video is the incredible realism of the set and the surroundings. The models and actors in period costumes look as though we’ve turned a page in a history book of long ago spankings. Does this attention to historical detail attract more viewers?
That I am not sure about. We would hope it does. Again here, creating authentic sets and costumes is all part of the regular film making practice. If you have a scene featuring a young soldier reporting to a senior officer or NCO for punishment it is important not only that he is wearing the right uniform but also that the setting really looks like a barracks. The idea of Sting in the first place was to make it as real as possible.
I will say here I am not knocking others who make spanking films; I cannot praise some of them enough it’s hard work. We get it very wrong sometimes too but it just goes against the grain if you have set out to make films, real films, or as near to it as you can get. When we do a modern piece it’s such a relief there is very little preparation needed compared say to a 1900s period shoot.
The goal of realism and accuracy to past history is not often seen in the male/male spanking genre of videos. What prompted you to go in that direction?
I feel surely that’s where it all comes from. Let’s be realistic spanking doesn’t go on in quite the same way as it did when I was a lad. Everything today comes from past history. Yes of course there is modern punishment in the form of spanking belting, etc. but it doesn’t quite have that kick from the past.
There are some fantastic companies like Lupus films who cater for the male / female interest. There films are really well done and mostly if not all historic. In reality it’s outlawed but from a pure fantasy point of view spanking films set in modern times do work. Also and maybe the main reason nowadays is that if we just did just modern shoots we’d be doing that same thing most other studios are doing. From a purely commercial point of view modern day scenarios for us at least are the worst sellers.
So let’s change course a little and find out about the young men who model for you. How do you find and engage suitable models for your productions….please take us through the cycle of interviewing, screening and determining the suitability of a young man for your modelling requirements?
Models come to us in a variety of ways. Sometimes its guys who already work for us and get their mates involved. We also work with several agencies that specialise in guys for adult movies. We have a deal with a leading distributor to use their models exclusively. A guy must want to work for us, there is no coercion involved.
Their first shoot is always fairly laid back and they are given time to get used to spanking and all the other forms of corporal punishment in the stories. We never go over the top on a first shoot particularly if we want to keep the model. Sometimes looks and attitude determine how they will fit in to a particular story. Most are quite nervous when they shoot for a first time. After a while though they get used to it and often say just do it harder. Gaining confidence is important. When they trust you the performance will come back tenfold.
Is there a language barrier issue with Sting shooting in the Czech Republic but aiming for the English language market?
I would have to say yes to this. It’s quite difficult and getting dialogue scenes going takes time. Via our deal we do have British lads fly over every month now. As I said they are exclusive to us and we tend to do a lot more dialogue scenes with them. They often do their work next to a Czech boy who can say something simple in response like ‘yes’ sir or ‘no sir’ while the Brit boys fills in with longer pieces.
Some of those who view spanking videos sometimes think that the action is faked, and that you are not really spanking the lads as hard as it seems; that makeup and camera tricks are used to create the impression of severe corporal punishment. How would you respond to that?
Well most studio owners at this point would be yelling what you mean of course it’s real! However it needs breaking down a bit. Is the action faked? Absolutely not. Do we use camera tricks and make up. Well yes and no. If it’s spanking or any other form of laid on discipline absolutely not. If its resetting cameras well then the action has to pause at some stage otherwise you are stuck firmly with one angle.
We also use a face cam to catch the actual expression of the boys during filming. That’s why to that end we are film makers. If we want a particular setting sometimes CGI is used to create this. However we NEVER use camera tricks or make up to fake any CP, what’s the point I wouldn’t bother otherwise.
We’ve all heard the old stories of red blusher being used. Forget it, this doesn’t happen with Sting and never will. Do we use makeup? Sometimes but only on the boys faces. We have a very nice make lady who does this on occasion when budgets allow. Make up is never ever used on the lad’s backsides.
Some of the straight lads on occasion actually go in to competition seeing who is tougher than the other. Some end up not being able to do it all and back out. At the end of the day we are creating a fantasy but if it was made up corporal punishment neither Rob nor I would want anything to do with it. Don’t forget regardless of our being a studio we are very much in to spanking as well; it would be a let down.
Rich, would you take us through the life cycle of a Sting video production, how the story line is developed, how you decide upon set design, locale, casting, the shoot, post production., etc. How do you build a Sting spanking video like, for instance, Reformatory USA?
We have several scenarios we return to and two series running now. One is Tales From The Headmasters Study and the other is Angry Dads. We try to rotate the topics as much as we can including the sports style shoots. We all have a Monday morning meeting over coffee and go through the week. Its often here we decide what we’ll be doing and who’s going to be available. Whether we have any British models due over too is also a factor. We try to slot models in to shoots we know will suit them.
As I have said if it’s a modern set this is usually easy but if it’s say a 1900s shoot or school days even Army or Naval stories all the costumes have to be got out of the props room and then make sure we can fit the particular model that’s been cast. We have the lads sort of categorised in to twins, muscle guys, short guys tall guys and those who can take if normally and those who can take it very hard. Reformatory USA was a massive production taking more than one year to put together.
In the end we hired a real jail just outside Prague shooting in mid-January with the guys in white T shirts, it was freezing! We generally do these epic DVDs alongside the shorter films. Unfortunately for some everything is now going to be series based and put together later as one full length DVD. It’s all again down to the changing market and budget.
Lastly, on the Sting website we see guest videos, featuring other spankers and models. Are these guest shoots a different division of Sting, or a byproduct of some of your associates creating their own bodies of work?
I think in that last twenty years we’ve spawned several spanking studios! The guests mostly are close associates of ours. Dr Skelps runs the StingLads fan site and has taken to shooting some stuff himself. He has captured the raw genre of modern London inner city guys very well.
In this he is quite different. Margusta is a well-known Sting top and he now does his own stuff too usually long and hard. We will no doubt be getting a few guys in from the Baltics again via him. They are usually very tough. Both Rob and I like encourage others including our own staff here to become film makes. We can’t be around forever and younger but experienced blood will be needed. With regard guest tops and the more adult roles, we do try to make a few stories purely for our American friends. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind seeing and hearing Mr Wood swinging paddle. Better than our attempts at a New York drawl!
For your many fans, viewers and perhaps potential imitators, if you could choose one important idea to share about your work, what would that be?
I’ve said this before but take on board the idea that you are making films not just picking up a camera and hoping it’ll do it all for you. Study the subject — it’s a vast one but your stuff will begin to look better.
And finally, what can we expect from Sting Pictures in 2013, anything special on tap?
Quite a busy year coming up for us I think. I am developing the new STG Pictures straight to DVD films. These are not generally porn but will be erotic 18 category as opposed to the 18R which is porn.
Our wholesale site STG Direct has opened and DVDs are now available to adult stores both in Europe and the USA. DVD sales direct to retail customers will quickly follow now with the Sting site being completely re built. In fact all Sting output over the last fifteen years or more is going on to DVD at some stage. The Sting member’s area is opening again and we have done our first test shoot in 3D.
Rich, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. We wish all the best to you and your partners and models. Thanks again for creating such visual pleasure for all of us.
It’s a pleasure and it goes without saying really that we owe all our supporters and long term customers a real debt of gratitude and special thanks for purchasing our films.