Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kat Kassner - An Interview

I'm honored to share with you today an interview and pictorial with Kat Kassner, co-owner of Brit-X magazine, model, photographer, film maker, blogger and party hostess.  Thank you to Kat for taking the time out and to Racheal Rexen for her fine pictorial. 


Isa:  Where in the real world are you from, generally speaking?

Kat:  I'm originally from London but now live in Sussex, a little further South.


Isa:  How did you find Second Life?

Kat:  By chance actually, while browsing the web. It didn't grab me at first - I think I lagged out and got annoyed - but on a second visit I was able to explore a little bit and found the whole concept of a virtual world rather fascinating.






 Isa:  How did you get into SL pornography?

Kat:  I have always enjoyed the Adult side of Second Life but it came second to my other interests for my first few years here. I was more interested in my social sim (London Village in the TARDIS region) and building up a community there. As that community had a British Sci-fi theme it wasn't a natural fit with Adult pursuits. Eventually the sim and community evolved into a more general British and London themed hangout where a more Adult tone was accepted. From there we created Britannia Village, a spin off if you will, of London Village. Britannia Village was a similar sim design but with a much more Adult focused "target audience." It was during this time that I started taking some naughtier pictures for my flickr, topless and nudes etc, and was contacted by Marika Blaisdale who asked me if I would like to contribute to Aroused magazine. I was very flattered to be asked and produced a solo nude set that Marika featured in the next Issue. Actually Marika is making her Brit-X magazine debut in Brit-X Issue 15 (our October release) so in a way things have come full circle which is nice.


Isa:  Tell me how you got involved with Brit-X magazine and what do you do there on a day to day basis?

Kat:  I found that I was producing more content than I could possibly expect Marika to feature and I had always liked the idea of producing my own picture books. In fact we used to produce an annual "London Village Lasses" book each Christmas / New Year for our sim guests to enjoy. I decided it was time to do something more frequent than an annual publication and after chatting with my SL business partners (Laredo Lowtide and Holly Arkright) we launched Britannia XXX which we later renamed Brit-X as the XXX was misleading. Misleading as the theme of Brit-X is based on British 'top shelf' magazines. Essentially, tits and arse, boobs and bums, no hardcore. There weren't any SL magazines with this remit (as far as I'm aware) and doing something new rather than imitating or repeating what others have done is something I strive for in all my projects.
Brit-X has worked well for several of the girls who have long been part of the London Village / Britannia communities, as they have regularly featured as the magazines "in-house models." Holly, Paige Snowpaw, Roxxxy Foxdale, Devon Brooke and Christie Minx have all been featured multiple times and I'm delighted they are all keen to keep on working for Brit-X! The project has been good for Laredo too as he has had an outlet for his artistic talents - and gets to look at lots of T & A and meet lots of hotties. It's a tough life being a Brit-X snapper!

Day to day in second life for me is generally a very mixed bag of activities. Brit-X doesn't take up too much of my time as I generally concentrate on it the week before a release, rather than every day. I get a lot of help thankfully. Paige has been a great talent scout, spotting potential models on her SL wanderings and approaching them to pose for us. We're very keen to feature newcomers as well as established SL Porn Stars.


Isa:  What changes have you seen with SL porn magazines in the last year or so? 

Kat:  Brit-X suddenly seems like one of the longer running magazines (being well into it's second year) as several new ones have launched in 2016 and late 2015. One or two have ceased publishing too. One thing I have noticed is that a few of the magazines have very similar content and have an air of competition about them. That's a bit of a shame, but I suppose if competition inspires them then it may be positive.

Isa:  What is the biggest challenge to running such a magazine?

Kat:  For me personally it's finding the time to put everything together. One of the main reasons I have always refused to set rigid release schedules is that my life doesn't allow me to guarantee when I can work on the magazine. With Brit-X it's very much a case of it's released when it's released. Monthly is the aim, but sometimes it becomes bi-monthly.



Isa:  What is AEA and how does that work?  Is it sort of an 'umbrella' to many of your other endeavours? 

Kat:  AEA - Adult Entertainment & Art SL - Is a blog that is frankly a bit of a waste of time currently. I was hoping to use it to feature content that doesn't fit the Brit-X theme and asked several people if they would contribute. They all agreed and only one of them has actually contributed anything lol. Even my most reliable contacts have been unreliable in regards to this project. It isn't dead yet, but... we'll see.
An umbrella is a good way to describe the aim of it. I'd like to continue with it *if* I find people willing to contribute but if not then that is okay. I'm not someone who is upset if something I try fails. I get upset with myself if I don't try in the first place!

Isa:  You have so far made one porn film, correct?  Is there a reason you haven't made more yet? How did that compare to the work you do as a photographer?  Which do you enjoy doing more? 

Kat:  I prefer photography, largely because it is less time consuming and fits naturally alongside my other interests in Second Life. It is also easier to hide some of Second Life's visual failings in a still image (neck joins for example) than it is in video.
I have made quite a few SL videos over the years - https://www.youtube.com/user/KatKassner (shameless plug) - some of which I'm very proud of and others I look back and cringe a bit lol. In the older ones my look and style makes me wince. It's a bit like looking at old photos after the fashions of the day have long since changed! You're right though, these aren't porn videos they are music videos - and I do have just 1 porn video to my name. It stars Holly (Arkright) and The Jizz in a 1 on 1 sex scene. I found it very challenging to make, getting the right angles, trying not to repeat angles and making it vaguely interesting. Although I am not
unhappy with it I wouldn't say it's my finest piece of work either by any stretch of the imagination. I find making the music videos much easier - something that a friend of mine *coughs* Katina Cazalet *coughs* has always raised an eyebrow at - which is why I have continued with music videos and not with Porn films. However, Katina has nudged me on several occasions to make another adult movie and that encouragement has led to my current project - a music / porn hybrid film called "Weekender" that I should be able to release in November if all goes to plan. I'm really excited about it so I hope the end project matches up to how the idea looks in my imagination!

Isa:  You've posted quite a bit of work on YouTube on your channel - what are some of your favorites and why?  (Mine so far is the Scorched Shrub - Fascinated spoof!) 

Kat:  Thank you. Fascinated was one of my earliest video attempts, so the fact it's enjoyed in 2016 is very pleasing! One of my personal favourites is 'Scorched Shrub ft. The People's Republic of London Village - All These Things That I've Done' - as it was filmed at a time when the orginal version of the London Village sim was coming to an end and it captured the sim and a lot of the regular visitors appear in the vid. It's become a happy memory film. For a very similar reason - the last Christmas of the original LV sim - 'The Power of Love' is another one I re-watch. It also features one of my favourite pieces of music! Of my most recent works that I take a lot of enjoyment from watching and remembering the shoot from is 'Scorched Shrub - Sprawl II' - a video that features several SL Porn Stars in non-porn cameos!

Isa:  What is Scorched Shrub, by the way, and how did that all get started?

Kat:  Always a question that makes me chuckle remembering how it started. London Village used to welcome performers to the sim, live singers, tribute acts etc. One of our regular visitors was part of a US 'Girl Band' called Burning Bush. They played for us several times and I always enjoyed some banter with them which included me saying I'd create their UK rival band and call them Scorched Shrub (a play on the Burning Bush name.) So when I came to start making SL music videos... well there was only one name I was going to use for our spoof girl group :-) It probably isn't as funny as I think it is, but it tickles my sense of humour!

Isa:  Your photography is amazing - were you a photographer before coming to SL?  If not, has your interest in SL translated to a real world interest at all?

Kat:  Thank you very much! I see plenty of better snappers but I'm proud of my work most of the time. I tend to make my art for me, to please only me. Then if others enjoy it too that's a lovely bonus.
I'm not a photographer in any life, though I have always loves snapping in both worlds. I tend to take 2 or 3 shots of the same thing and hope one of them comes out ok! Usually one does.

Isa:  What do you see as the biggest challenge facing SL pornography right now?

Kat:  Is this where I get to offload my angst with the SL Porn Community? lol.
There are 2 fairly big challenges I believe the Porn scene faces, but I'm not sure the Porn scene will accept either!  Mesh bloody heads! So few people have been able to create a unique look with a mesh head and even the ones that do to a degree are not completely unique. I'm an honest person - but one who doesn't like to be disliked - so I'm almost loathe to criticize - but my honesty outweighs the latter. The prettiest girls in SL do not have mesh heads. There, I said it. It is only my opinion of course, but for me it's fact. Mesh heads are soulless. I've seen several of the prettiest girls move over to a mesh head and instantly become less appealing. Mesh bodies were a boon for Second Life, improving on the pretty inadequate legacy body. Legacy heads, however, are perfectly adequate for those who have the skill to shape them. I understand that mesh heads allow more expressions which can be useful for photography but the individuality lost outweighs that massively for me.

The second (and for me) biggest challenge for the SL Porn scene is to become a truly evolving and open community. For this to happen there needs to be a shake up of both how the main Porn group is moderated and in how the Porn parties are managed. There are some very good moderators in the Porn group. There are also some terrible ones who range from just having no idea how to moderate a SL group fairly - to those who just use their status for self promotion and promoting the opinions of themselves and their clique, against the often logical and valid views brought in by newer community members. I make this criticism as a long term moderator of several groups, so this isn't a case of it being 'easy for me to say' without having to do the job. I do the job.
The Party structure is actually ridiculous. Two venues get the 3 prime time weekend slots, permanently. If anyone else has a weekend Porn Party at those times they cannot promote in the group. Essentially this is a monopoly, keeping 2 venues at the top of the scene and leaving no opportunities for others to become bigger players on the scene. I would like to see the prime time party slots rotated. For example, venues that wish to host the Saturday event could express their interest and those venues could be rotated. You may have Porn Stars Beach as the venue in January, Yana's in February, Brit-X in March, A.N.Other club in May etc etc. At the moment it is totally loaded in a way that maintains a hierarchy.

Isa:  And from here on all pictures from Kat's personal collection!

Pure Thoughts
Isa:  What advice would you give new people trying to get involved in porn?

Kat:  Produce your own content and enjoy it. Be happy with your work and never ever let criticism deter you. If you are happy with your work then it is good work. If you produce porn, photos or videos, and share it to flickr and/or in Second Life then you ARE part of the SL Porn scene whether 'established' names recognise you or not.
Friday Feeling
Be wary that while the majority of the SL Porn community are nice and welcoming (and most really are) there is a loud minority that like to maintain a status quo, dominate group chats and think they are elite. You will see/hear a handful of SL Porn 'veterans' telling others how they can improve their look to people who already look better than them. Your look is just that - your look. It represents what you want to be, and shouldn't represent what others want you to be.
To sum up - Work with people you find to be nice and who treat you with respect right from day one, not those who tell you how important and successful they are and treat you like a 'noob.'


Sky High
Isa:  I'm told you have a bit of a gangbang challenge going on - if you wish, talk about that and how can a person participate?
Kat:  Ah yes, the Brit-X gangbang challenge! Margarita Blanco is our current champion having taken on 15 men in August of 2015. The challenge has been dormant in 2016 but I'm happy to bring it back should any girl have the stamina to break Margie's record! All the naughty minx would need to do would be to message me and I would set up the event. I was due to tackle the challenge myself a couple of months ago but RL had me postponing - and I'm yet to rearrange!

The Vanquished and the Saviour
Links:
Kat's Flickr:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/katkassner/
Brit-X:  http://britanniaxxx.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=794c7045d65d5d5c
AEA:  http://aeasecondlife.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=63515df01acb046b
 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/KatKassner

The Locker Room
A huge thank you to Kat Kassner for taking the time out for this interview and for sharing her work.  Also a huge hug and kiss for Racheal Rexen for her fine pictorial!

XO - Isa

3 comments:

  1. Kat is very stylish and I would love to work with her!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great interview and a very interesting read!

    *Avoids the political debate on mesh heads*

    ReplyDelete