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August 12, 2016

Sssh Brings Feminist Edge to VR With 'Empowering Ava'

BOSTON—Listen up, VR fans. The burgeoning genre of virtual reality porn just got a lot more interesting. Sssh.com owner/director Angie Rowntree, whose movie Gone was nominated for an AVN Award and found critical acclaim on the film festival circuit, has released her first foray in the virtual reality genre. Empowering Ava is a new erotic film starring Ava Mir-Ausziehen and Lance Hart, produced in conjunction with Pervout.com. In addition to bringing Rowntree's storytelling skills to VR, this release is also unique in that headsets are not required to view the movie. Empowering Ava may be watched with or without headsets. Viewers still have the ability to explore the full 360 environment, and zoom in and out on any browser, phone or tablet. “I wanted my first VR project to have the guidelines of my experience behind the camera but also the freedom to explore this new format and approach,” Rowntree said. “I’m a story-driven director, and Empowering Ava is no exception. Erotic storytelling has just gone from being very flat and one dimensional to multidimensional, offering a plethora of audio-visual layers. The new technology is a very dynamic format which lends itself to deliciously creative storytelling.” In the movie, Ava is a well-regarded erotic novelist working on a new book. Known as an author who bases all her work on real-life experiences, she finds herself working on an inspired story involving sensual pegging—a fact which immediately intrigues her husband. Indeed, he’s not just curious about pegging, but eager to give it a try himself. The film’s lead, Lance Hart, described his experience as an actor working under the new format. “Shooting VR brings a more theatrical element to performing in porn. You have to ‘tell the story’ in 360 degrees, which means performing in all directions, not just to one fixed camera. It’s like being on a stage. It’s intense. I enjoyed it a lot, and I’m excited to see how adult film can embrace this technology to create a new kind of experience for the consumers,” he said. “When I started looking at what other adult directors have done with VR, most of them shoot from a first-person point of view, with the idea of a man watching from the standpoint of a participant in the sex scene,” Rowntree said. “I think virtual reality is great for that, but my audience is primarily women. “With the dynamic storytelling model, the viewer is immersed in the story with the ability to explore the environment and decide for themselves which angles and perspectives from which to watch the movie unfold, whether it’s sex or dialogue. VR is very much like theater, in which you use all the space available to you, the virtual ‘stage,’ to tell the story. Most importantly of all, you do not need a headset to enjoy VR,” she further explained. In line with almost all of the features produced and directed by Angie Rowntree for Sssh.com, Empowering Ava was inspired by a Sssh.com member, who expressed a desire to explore sensual pegging. A trailer is available here.

 
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