Director Russel Kor has only five movies and accompanying photosets to date on TLE, but that small body of work makes a BIG impression. His refined skill in capturing female sensuality, his evocative use of music and his sophisticated visual storytelling make him one to watch. After seeing his new movie ‘I Do It Every Morning,’ earlier this month, I wanted to find out more about this intriguing artist, and he was kind enough to share some of his personal experience with us…
Russel, where are you from?
RK: I am originally from Berlin, Germany. My father is Bavarian, my mother is from Lviv, Ukraine. I finished school in Dusseldorf. As my parents worked in the embassy in Ukraine, I earned my director’s diploma in feature film in Kyiv [Kiev], Ukraine.
What is your background in the creative arts?
RK: Before going into film, I studied at the Fine Arts Academy, specializing in fifteenth century Flemish painting. In my film career, I started off shooting music videos and then commercials for various production houses, including DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi. I also worked for Warner Bros. on production sites as a production assistant, getting first-hand experience in how film production is conducted in Hollywood. I furthered my skills at Berlinale [the networking platform of the Berlin International Film Festival].
In my scripts I devoted a lot of attention to the woman and her sensual qualities. This became a natural transition to focusing on a broader category of adult movies. I shared my experience in shooting sensual erotic videos with Shaun, the Content Manager of TLE, who I consider the Godfather of my start in erotica. He supported my endeavor to work in the soft erotic genre and then encouraged me to explore the kink genre. Due to Shaun’s generosity in sharing his experience, TLE is my first platform for realizing my work; I work exclusively with the MetArt Network and hope to further develop my career here. I regard it as the best platform in the erotic industry. I discuss my creative visions with Shaun because for me, communication with such an expert is invaluable.
Are you influenced by mainstream art?
RK: I do my best to keep up to date with global art trends. I also try to be in the avant-garde, because the viewer is always looking for something new. I believe that the erotic industry, in this respect, is a very dynamic one. What has been amply used in the erotic industry, is only now entering mainstream film and gets high appreciation in international film festivals, for example ‘Nymphomaniac’ by Lars von Trier, and other films exploring girl-girl or boy-boy love. I believe that traditional, classical cinematography is moving in the direction of the sensual and erotic, with increasingly explicit scenes.
Do you have the music you want to use in mind when you shoot your movies?
RK: Yes, of course – as soon as the model enters the shooting scene. As I see her move in the first shots, I get the emotional tone and palette for the film. As I shoot scenes of orgasm – the last ones, when the model has totally opened up – I fully understand what kind of post-production will be used and what accents will be placed. Before shooting, I use the methods employed in traditional film – I meet with the model, we talk and have coffee, so there is an emotional bond created and then the shooting itself becomes a natural, intimate and smooth process, without any of the tension that is common on big shooting sites.
You have been shooting for TLE for a little over a year – how do you think your style has evolved since then?
RK: I think I have made huge progress since I started working with TLE. I hope my level in the erotic industry will improve every year and gain impetus. I hope to move to larger projects, like a full-length erotic movie, and a full feature erotic film for the traditional film industry, too. Even if it must be an 18+ release and given the restrictions that the traditional film industry imposes on sexual scenes, I still hope to create very sensually rich and emotional erotic movies. This is the direction I seek to focus on and exclusively explore in the future.
Do you plan your shoots in great detail, or see how it evolves on the day?
RK: I shoot on location only. I reflect life, with spontaneous modifications of scenes as the shooting goes on, improvising, adding, with flexible use of new sexual and sensual details. Because starting from the first shots and until the very last ones, I constantly modify and adjust the plot as I see how the model herself gets aroused, and how her mood changes, so I seek to convey this to the viewer in the best possible way. In general, I believe that spontaneity, impulsivity and improvisation are my alter ego. I believe this is the prerequisite and the precondition of my success, because this will allow me to be innovative and never repeat myself, finding new stories and directions.
Is there a movie you are particularly proud of?
RK: Yes, I like ‘Colored Beads’ and ‘Hot Strawberry’ a lot.
Do you prefer shooting movies or photographs?
RK: Films come first. This is a combination of the harmony of the video, audio, and color – this is very important for me. Photography comes second and it is very important, too – because my first education is in fine art. But my approach to photos is that they are few but very sensual.
TLE is moving more towards ‘soft kink’ – is this a subject that inspires you?
RK: Yes, of course. This just confirms my earlier words that the erotic industry – and TLE in particular – is in the avant-garde of developing and exploring new themes. I fully support the ideas of TLE, and films have to be increasingly sensual. The viewer does not want the technical sexual act per se, but seeks more intimate yet passion-charged story development and resolution.
Is there a model who inspires you the most?
RK: I like a few MetArt models very much – Kika, Ardelia and Vivian. They have an inner sensuality and potential that appeals to me. I would be happy to work with them. I also hope that this interview will be read not only by the members, but also by the models who already work or would like to work for the MetArt Network. I would be happy to work with the existing models as well as new models here.
What are your ambitions for your work with TLE?
RK: I hope that my growing experience, and my exclusive production for TLE, will be appreciated by the corporation’s leadership, and sooner or later I will get an exclusive offer and a check for $1,000,000... just kidding!
What do you hope the members get from your movies?
RK: I hope that the viewer will get from my films the most important thing – what he or she lacks in life, or what he or she would like to realize in life, but for some reason cannot. Anyway, what I do for the viewer should be a dramatic and a non-standard situation. I would like the viewer to become livelier and sexually unconstrained, and increasingly fantasizing after seeing my films. Everything is about sexual energy, the sexual river. It has to flow both in men and in women. If the sexual river does not flow, in my films I seek to help the viewer to get this sexual river flowing. Here for me, as an artist, it does not matter at all if these are traditional or non-traditional relations. It is only love that matters.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
RK: I feel I am only at the beginning of my creative life for TLE and the MetArt Network. I would like to thank the big team – creative and administrative – who create, support and direct this wonderful site. For me as a director, it is very important to work on this site. I believe it is better to make small yet resolute steps exclusively on this site and contribute with my creative potential, especially since my work can only be seen on this site.