NIK: It’s been a wonderful experience working with The Fetishistas on the interviews and documentary features we’ve been able to produce over the past years.
The process itself has been very interesting, since the material we’ve been producing has mostly been intended to be viewed within Fetishistas articles, adding more depth and content to the journalism The Fetishistas specialises in.
Finding ways of having different media interact in a meaningful way, regardless of how the reader/viewer happens upon the material, has been a rewarding challenge.
It has given us the possibility to showcase fetish subculture and its events from new perspectives and through modern platforms of distribution.
PETER: Working with a mic and a camera inside a major fetish event gives us boots on the ground, allowing us to capture the vibes of a pulsating dancefloor, the sensation of looking down a fetish catwalk and the ambience of a bar full of shiny patrons.
Our GFB Weekend videos really are the next best thing to being there in person — so be sure to have a decent display and a sound system! (continues below videos)
(Nik & Peter’s GFB Weekend chat continued…)
NIK: It has also been a creative challenge for me as a photographer and filmmaker, to try to capture the spirit of the events and also to feature many of the people who work to make it all possible.
Although the scene’s models get quite a lot of visibility for their work, showcasing fetish designers’ creations in publicity images and on the catwalk, it’s also interesting to do interviews that present ‘the person behind the mask’ so to say.
The same goes for the designers and performers and so on. I also like to turn a spotlight on those who work behind the scenes at events like GFB Weekend — people who often naturally tend to stay a bit more in the shadows.
These people do a lot of the hard work that makes the events possible and I think it’s important to give them credit for that.
For example, a stage manager’s work can usually be considered successful if the audience don’t really notice what he or she is doing because the event runs smoothly.
Of course it can be a challenge to snatch interviews during the events since the people we want to talk are generally quite busy.
So far, many of our Fetishistas interviews have been short, but there are plans to make longer pieces too.
Working with an omnichannel approach gives us a lot of options. But I believe the interviews we’ve done collectively illustrate an important reality: that we are all a part of the same community and that we all strive to help it evolve.
PETER: A lot of people have great stories to share, that’s for sure. A glossy outfit and a pair of heels only tell you so much; when you start talking to people at GFB Weekend, you usually realise that there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye.
Hopefully, our work will give the wider public a better idea of the people behind the rubber! So here’s a prediction for the future: fetish talk shows with their own EBM house bands! You read it here first!
NIK: Covering fetish events has also meant having a lot of fun, and getting to know more people in the scene too. Of course there are challenges, like being able to travel with all the equipment needed and working with limited resources.
Shooting on location can mean long hours, which usually means less party time but still not much sleep! (continues below videos)
(Nik & Peter’s GFB Weekend chat continued…)
PETER: Credit here to Nik, who does all the heavy lifting — both in terms of doing all the laborious post-event editing work and the actual physical carrying. I’ll take a mic over a camera any day!
And as Nik has said, whether you’re in front of the camera or behind it, the socialising aspect of the job is stupid fun, but comes at a cost.
It usually means early mornings, late nights, a sore throat and a constant state of dehydration.
Oh, and in my case, it also means a stupendous pile of latex that needs to be washed afterwards. As in handwashed, lubed, bagged and sealed with a kiss. It’s really a luxury problem, though!
NIK: It is really sad that this pandemic has struck and made it impossible for fetish promoters to host the fantastic festivals and events that normally take place at this time of the year.
It’s great, though, that some promoters are providing online alternatives, like the FetishGuerilla/GFB Livestream we participated in last Friday (May 22).
That was the date that should have been FetishGuerilla’s big annual KitKat party night during GFB Weekend.
For now we can enjoy these online events, while Fetishistas articles like this one, combining video, photography and commentary from GFB 2019 and previous GFB weekends, allow us to remember and treasure those earlier good times at our leisure.
That said, I do hope we will soon be able to start planning ahead and get out in the field again.
PETER: I can’t help but wonder what the scene has in store for the future, and how it will respond to the current state of affairs. Will it eventually return to where we left it in 2019, or will it evolve in some way?
With the social distancing rules in effect and uncertainties around herd immunity and vaccine availability, one thing seems pretty certain: latex and gasmask-wearing should be right on trend by the time the clubs start opening again.
Whatever you do, just make sure to have a fresh supply of FFP3 virus filters, people!
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