by Rich Moreland, November 2015
This is the final installment of my day with Dan O’Connell. The movie is Women Seeking Women #123, a Girlfriends Films production.
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Eye Contact and Touch
It’s worth a mention that Dan believes his scenes must be a natural extension of two girls who might be real life lovers. Feelings and emotions, rather than gonzo-type hard banging, highlight his filming philosophy. The result is a Girlfriends‘ product that differs from other company’s more trendy girl-on-girl scenes. Sex toys are nowhere to be found, everything is generated by the performers’ hands and mouths.
Like organic foods at the supermarket, there are no additives to gobble up the real sex of the scene.
As Vanessa Veracruz remarks after completing her shoot, Dan has his own approach to expressing girl/girl eroticism. “It’s definitely more about sensuality, connecting instead of just being a sex act. Dan usually tells us he wants a lot of eye contact, a lot of touch, a lot of feeling.”
It’s all very appealing to this Mexican-American performer because she does only girl/girl shoots.
A self-identified bisexual, Vanessa explains that Girlfriends’ preferences are not characteristic of other companies. “It’s awesome shooting for them . . you really connect with a girl that your are working with. We don’t have enough of that in a scene.”
Aidra Fox who chats with me before picking up her check, offers that Girlfriends is a favorite studio for her.
“The moment you walk on set it’s super nice. The crew gets along with everyone and when it comes down to that actual scene, it’s always easy.”
The twenty year old Midwesterner praises Dan.
“He’s always puts me with good girls, someone that is very into their job, very into me. . . It’s just real sex. He lets you do the positions that you want to do for however long you want.”
Most important for her is Dan’s easy-going manner.
“He doesn’t really tell you how to have sex. He lets you do whatever feels good, whatever feels right and natural.”
Like some of the other performers Dan hires, she came into the business “only doing girls,” Aidra says. Though she enjoys “the rough stuff” in filming, the dimpled brunette also likes the “really sweet stuff” Girlfriends offers.
Big Papa Bear
While the performers are being paid, my associate and I settle on the veranda with Mike Towers. An affable guy, he lives in Santa Monica which is a decent drive from where we are at the moment. Mike has perfected his still photography and cinematography having been in adult for over twenty years. Samples of his work can be found here.
As I listen to Mike talk with my assistant, I drift back to what Dani Daniels said when we did a short interview before her shoot.
“Dan’s like big papa bear. His brain is awesome. He can come up with stories that I couldn’t come up with in a year. I love working with him. He sets are comfortable, you always get to work with a girl you want to work with. He treats his girls great.”
Dan O’Connell began Girlfriends Film to create his own vision of adult film and Dani’s words I’ve heard from others in the industry. But it’s Dan’s demeanor that is the real story because it sets the tone for an entire business model.
“He’s got a great attitude. He’s calm, always about connection . . . real sex, real chemistry. There are very few companies that will turn on a camera and say, ‘Ok, have sex. Do whatever you want.’ I feel like my best scenes are from Girlfriends Films.”
After everyone leaves Dan joins us and the possibility of a brew and dinner comes up. My assistant and I are good to go. We’ve more to learn about Girlfriends and what better way than by relaxation and good companionship after an active shooting day.
We head out with the setting sun. The fading warmth of a fall day is only surpassed by the welcome mat of a Girlfriends Films set.
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Here’s a final note about Dan O’Connell. In 2012, Dan won the XBIZ “Man of the Year Award” and in 2015 he was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame, an extraordinary honor. Over the few years I’ve known Dan, he has always been the consummate example of class. He, director B Skow, company president Moose, and others at Girlfriends Films continue to work with purpose to elevate the studio’s reputation in the competitive world of adult film.
Their formula for success works. As a business, Girlfriends maintains high ethical standards and treats employees and performers alike with respect.