When my spaceship comes and I leave this place, I will miss Porn Valley and its pockets of debauchery tucked among discount tire shops, mattress wholesalers, and sun-blighted culs de sac fragrant with passing trains and In-n-Out Burger wrappers. In just such a place I watched a pal of mine abduct Chanel Preston and force her to blow him.
Tim “Pro Villain” Woodman is a professional bondage rigger (I wrote about some of his services a while ago with a headline that still pleases me) and Chanel Preston is one of the world’s busiest porn stars. Woodman contracted the affable Preston to meet him at Threshold, a multi-room bondage space in North Hollywood, to film several vignettes for fans of his brand of “bondage peril.”
“I don’t eat those blue M&Ms, so I’m not gonna come out ready to go,” Woodman tells Preston as they compare costumes (he’ll be in a Freddy Krueger outfit, sans mask, top honor the recently-departed Wes Craven, and she’ll be in a tight white dress).
“What do you — ? Oh, I get it,” she says. Because Woodman won’t be popping a Viagra before the scene, Preston might have to work a little harder despite limited mobility, as she’ll be bound.
What is Bondage Peril? If you look at ProVillain.com and sites like it, you’ll see Woodman abducting, chloroforming, and generally menacing juicy porn stars like Alison Tyler, Tyler Faith (no relation), Mika Tan, and Amber Rayne in a series of low-budget, well-lit, non-atmospheric videos that say the DIY Porno spirit of the 90s is alive and living on a server somewhere for a few bucks a pop. Once they are passed out or otherwise immobilized, the Pro Villain performs wholesome little atrocities on them.
Woodman regularly teaches rope bondage at Threshold and other venues. He picks up job lots of rope for the occasion, dyes it, and cuts it into lengths for students and filming. When he hoists a bound, masked Preston later (she is playing a superhero in peril and he is a fondling bomber), he makes sure the ties support bone. It’s elegantly done.
“Mainstream studios are very concerned with the appearance of consent in movies,” Woodman is saying. He’ll make custom videos for fans who want to see particular scenarios — and who pay for the personalization — and other videos (“When I put the money together”) that have broader themes, such as today’s shoot with Preston. But they all fall under the heading of Consensual Non-Consent. “Mainstream companies say she can’t look like she’s being forced. But this fetish is Force Fantasy and there’s a market for it.”
I ask if Woodman’s customers require a stringent attention to detail. I recall a Foot Fetish shoot I attended in which the director knew he’d catch hell if he showed French tips.
“Not really,” Woodman says. “Some people will say ‘Her wrists shouldn’t be bound that way,’ but if you’re looking at her wrists, you’re missing the bigger picture. Or the chloroform people will say, ‘She wouldn’t pass out that way.'”
“There are ‘chloroform people?‘”
“There’s all sorts of people, Gram,” Woodman says, then offers Preston and me some homemade coffee. It is delicious.
When I regain consciousness, I watch several scenes being filmed in adjoining rooms: Preston as a dozing student being grazed and groped, Preston in a dream sequence dress being menaced by Freddy Krueger who binds her to a chair and forces her to fellate him, Preston as a socialite assaulted by a party guest in her own bathroom, and superheroine Preston bound and hoisted by a perv bomber.
Each scene takes about 20 minutes to shoot. Woodman is assisted by cameraman Jon White, who lights each room quickly. Only once is there need (or room) to change the position of the camera.
In between shots, Preston and Woodman confer about costumes, condoms, and kissing. The conversation about what will happen and whether that is OK happens dozens of times a day in Porn Valley, no matter what the budget, content, or cast size. I am not being a porn apologist when I relate this; it is just a fact of the business.
“I would never wear stockings with this outfit,” she says when he asks.
“You’re the girl,” he says. “I’m going to defer to you. Condom or no condom?” (Preston will blow him when he’s Freddy but be fucked by him when he’s the party guest.)
“I prefer No Condom,” she says.
“What about kissing?” he says.
“That’s fine,” she says.
“Oh good,” he says. “I find I can fuck someone in the ass, but all hell breaks loose if I kiss her.”
“Yeah,” she jokes, “kissing requires dinner.”
Preston’s presence here today reflects a truth about Porn Valley’s economy. A veteran of hundreds of movies, an AVN award winner (and the annual ceremony’s co-host in 2014), and the host of an excellent Showtime special on Porn’s 20 Greatest (that producers could get the rights to, that had available clips that weren’t too explicit for Showtime, and that occasionally skewed toward some connection to the production team, anyway) Films, Preston might be on a $50,000 shoot tomorrow, but that doesn’t matter today.
“I’m delighted to be able to afford her,” Woodman says, and Preston smiles. It’s neither a dig, nor awkward, nor an attempt to get her to lower her rate. Her rate is what it is regardless of the nature of the production, and will only vary depending on what acts she performs, with a bonus for anal. There shan’t be anal today. The grand (or so, I didn’t ask) Preston would charge for her day-rate gets her there on time with a rolling suitcase full of her own clothes (some of which Woodman might rip, to which she consents), camera-ready makeup, and easy, absolute porno professionalism. A percentage of her rate will go to Mark Spiegler, probably the adult industry’s most sought-after agent, along with an agent’s fee Woodman pays on top. It’s just how it’s done here. After the shoot Preston declines dinner because she’s going to a painting class, but it’s likely she’d miss the class if the shoot went long. It doesn’t.
I stand in a toilet stall for the Party Rapist scene, then it’s time for Bat Chanel.
“Will Bat Chanel make it away in time?” Woodman intones like “Batman” narrator William Dozier. “Er. Nope.”
This scene is the Passover Question of porn clips. What makes this bondage scenario different from all others? Woodman unloads several coils of rope with 400-lb. tensile strength. He makes sure to tie where there’s bone.
“You’ve got to make sure you cut rope in lengths appropriate for the human you’re tying,” he says, sorting the coils. “And when you’re shooting for film, you always tie the hands last.”
“Because binding the hands sends a panic signal. Your capillaries expand. Your nose itches! That would be torture right there: an itchy nose on film.”
After checking with Preston several times to see if she’s OK, Woodman ties her under her armpits, ribs, pelvis, and ankles, then ties her ankles to her butt and, then, finally her hands. The ropes are secured to a convenient suspension bar, which Woodman pushes a button to lift.
“Ken Marcus suspended me before I even shot a scene,” says Preston, who grew up in Alaska, stripped in Hawaii, and shot her first porn movies in 2010. “This is nice. I’ve been murdered on screen a number of times.”
“And I’m not even murdering you on camera,” Woodman says, leaving the bomb for her to fidget above. “It’s only assumed murder.”
Watch Tim “Pro Villain” Woodman’s Assumed Consensual Murder of Chanel Preston here.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Rigger, Please — Pet Peeves of Bondage Folk; Bondage blowjobs and kidnapping go better together; There is nothing that could possibly look better on this chair than Chanel Preston; Around the world in 4077 days with Chanel Preston