Tag Archives: Angela White

AEE 2019: Bree Mills, Part Three

By Rich Moreland, April 2019 

In this post and the next, we will take a look at how five performers who exemplify the super star concept in porn react to the question, “What is it like to shoot for Bree Mills?”

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers. Box cover courtesy of Pure Taboo.

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Based in Montreal, Gamma Films Group is an entertainment network that currently maintains several production studios. Among them are Girlsway and Pure Taboo that appear under the umbrella label, Adult Time. Recently, Burning Angel joined the corporate family.

Bree Mills writes, directs, and produces for Gamma Films. She is best known for the operation of Girlsway, an all-female content producer, and Pure Taboo, a niche-oriented studio that, according to its website, delves into “the darkest corners of sex and desire” through the exploration of “forbidden subject matters.”

Key to a Mills production is superb cinematography and impressive acting. Without a specifically written script, performers have the freedom to rely on their talents to create the characters the New England born director wants. The results are spectacular and, in the case of Pure Taboo, often disturbing.

Part of a rising group of female writers and directors in porn, the thirty-something Mills possesses the right skills to fuel performances previously thought foreign to the industry.

Like Jacky St. James, Kayden Kross, Angie Rowntree, and others, Bree Mills knows that the thespian talent in adult film is far greater than the public . . . and many in the industry . . . realize.

Proof is in the 2019 AVN awards. Gamma received an astounding eighty-four nominations that encompassed the best of filmmaking in porn.

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In seeking opinions on shooting for Bree Mills, I was fortunate to talk again with three “old friends,” if I may be permitted to use that phrase, and chat for the first time with two performers whose work I’ve come to admire.

To begin, we’ll see what two of porn’s male veterans have to say.

Tommy Pistol

Interviewing Tommy Pistol is always a joy. His acting ability is beyond reproach and his enthusiasm for the industry is likewise unvarnished.

He begins by describing the fundamentals of a Bree Mills film.

“We’re making a feature but it is only a long scene. It’s almost like a play,” he says. “Bree calls it porn theater.”

The native New Yorker elaborates that Bree’s script is not really that, it’s more of a “breakdown, a blueprint.” She describes the characters and “the situations they’re in” and what it all leads to.

“She leaves it up to the actor to fill in the dialogue,” he says. That allows performers to give the characters their voice within the framework of the story.

The result is an intensity that adult actors rarely get to show on-screen.

“Bree trusts her performers to do dramatic, dark roles, to dig deep,” Tommy explains. “She gives us a platform to shine.”

I suggest that Bree’s set is “guided spontaneity.”

“Guided spontaneity is perfect,” he exclaims. “She already has a vision [and] trusts us to give it words.”

As an example, we discuss Tommy’s role as a parent in one of the Future Darkly series. In the story, scientists bring back his deceased daughter (played by Jill Kassidy) in the form of an avatar. He’s intense as the grieving father.

“I am a parent. I have two boys and I love them,” Tommy comments then talks about putting himself into the “mind frame” of how he’d feel if he lost them. The result was beyond awesome.

Next, I mention my urge to fast forward through the sex scenes to follow the story when watching a Bree film. Not that the sex falls flat, but that the story is so deeply engaging.

“Isn’t that something!” Tommy comments with glee. “We’ve grown as an industry.’”

Referring to the porn formulas of sex positions with minimal storytelling, Tommy says, “the cookie cutter stuff is cool, but we gotta do more [in making films]. We have the skill, the talent, [and] the equipment.”

“As a performer, sex is one thing, but when you get honest appreciation for the things you do [as an actor], that’s amazing.”

He leaves us with an observation. His role in Pure Taboo’s The Weight of Infidelity created quite a stir on set. The story is the brainchild of performer Angela White who stars in the production.

His portrayal of the repugnant husband “made people uncomfortable,” Tommy says, because he insulted and humiliated Angela. Nevertheless, he adds, outside media sources proclaimed that the film “isn’t a porno, this should be an art piece.”

That’s Bree Mills’ goal, to bring porn out of the shadows and into artistic daylight.

Incidentally, The Weight of Infidelity won AVN’s award for Best Featurette and Tommy Pistol for Best Actor in a Featurette.

Derrick Pierce

Porn veteran Derrick Pierce brings a business vision to the Bree Mills discussion. He points out that Bree became “a director out of necessity.” She was “a numbers person for Gamma,” so she knew the score at the company.

Bree learned directing on the fly?

“A hundred percent,” DErrick says. Bree is “the originator of what she does,” and takes the attitude with performers of “let’s try it and see how it goes.”

In describing the writer/director’s strength, Derrick says she gives performers “a lot of depth” to explore their roles within the scope of her narrative.

Her premise is to develop “the synopsis and the background” of the story and introduce the characters. The rest is up to the actors.

And, she pushes boundaries.

Bree is “always looking to see where the line of uncomfortable starts and finishes,” Derrick states. If the actors feel uneasy about what’s going on, Bree reminds them that the viewer will feel that way also.

“They’re clicking on the uncomfortable moments” that precede the sex scenes, the Massachusetts native adds. Those moments bring the sex in her films to life.

“That’s what makes her so dynamic as far as being a storyteller,” he believes.

Derrick goes into what now is evident about Bree Mills. She turns the porn formula on its head because the sex scenes are “secondary to what she wants.”

Bree is transcending the mantra of “sex is sex is sex,” Derrick explains. “The premise is always the key and if you don’t have the buildup the sex is always going to be mediocre.”

As he previously mentioned, Derrick insists that Bree never forgets the business fundamentals of building a brand and the fan following necessary to sell it.

“She came from the numbers. She’s watching and seeing what people are clicking on and purchasing.”

To reinforce his point, Derrick Pierce touches on Bree’s business acumen when he says Adult Time “acquired the rights to Vivid catalogues” and Burning Angels’ production.

“She’s purchasing and unifying other companies and their content and putting into a functional application that’s user friendly.”

In conclusion, he describes the totality of the Bree Mills enterprise as a “juggernaut.”

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Next we’ll look at shooting for Bree from the perspective of female performers.

 

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A Gonzo Afternoon: Part One

by Rich Moreland, December 2017

During my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the privilege of visiting an Eddie Powell set.

Eddie’s work is praised throughout the industry and for good reason. I’ll let New Sensations/Digital Sin boss Scott Taylor sum it up.

“Eddie is so deserving of best director for what he does. His creativity is well thought out. It is not by accident.”

Is he Hollywood ready?

Scott responds, “Eddie can get out there and run that camera on a mainstream set in a second.”

Yes, film fans, that’s how good Eddie Powell is.

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Mandy

Today’s shoot is a gonzo adventure for New Sensations/Digital Sin that features Mandy Muse, a girl who has made her reputation in these kinds of scenes.

Shortly after my photographer and I arrive, Eddie Powell, with camera in hand, begins chatting with Mandy in what will become the BTS (Behind the Scenes) segment of the shoot.

The sexy brunette tells the viewer she is twenty-three and a local girl from Orange County. Eddie encourages her to talk about her mom who is fifty-six, we discover, and knows what her daughter does and supports her one hundred percent.

Today’s action is anal and Mandy is elated. She loves to “switch it up,” she says, and is blessed with a “snap back butthole” which, we assume, keeps her flexible for the long and large!

She loves to watch porn, Mandy continues, and knows that “people get excited about what they haven’t done before.” So for the viewers who want to enjoy backdoor sex, her performance should be a winner.

There’s one more element that will make today super fun. Mandy likes it rough, to be “handled aggressively,” she declares, which carries over to her private life.

Steve

Mandy’s co-star is porn legend Steve Holmes. In his mid-fifties, Steve is a stellar performer who has been in the business for over twenty years, quieting the ageism argument when it comes to older men and younger women.

While everyone getting ready, my photographer passes time with the affable actor who also directs and produces.

Their conversation turns to southern culture and Steve mentions an eighteen-year-old newbie with whom he recently worked who does everything but IR (interracial) porn. Some of the old attitudes still prevail.

To entertain anyone who wants to watch, Steve has one of his shoots with porn superstar Angela White on his laptop. With this European all-star, there is never a dull moment.

Focus on Her Butt

Eddie shoots the box cover in front of the French doors that open into a space enclosed by an imposing privacy wall. Steve pours oil over Mandy’s rear while the lights are being set up. To past the time, Steve spanks Mandy a bit. She smiles.

Next come the stills (the “pretty girls” are first) shot using a living room setting. Eddie mentions everything will “focus on her butt” so that rules the next few minutes of activity.

I take a minute to speak with the boom operator/PA. His name is A.J. Westwood and he tells me he’s worked with Eddie, Jacky St. James, and Paul Woodcrest for over a year. He’s a Southern California lad in his twenties, amiably pleasant and knows his job.

Steve has joined Mandy for the next round of stills. They’re going at it (to be polite, “warming up”) for the shoot to come.

Eddie lets them know what he wants. “All positions that increase shots of her butt are great,” he says, and later asks for a “standing doggie.”

Speaking of frisky critters, the house has a couple of pet dogs running around but they are more fascinated by the squirrels in the yard.

Porn doesn’t do much for them, I’m thinking, though the squirrels appear to have each other scoped out for whatever rodents do for amusement.

For now, the stills are finished. This is gonzo, of course, and it’s time-honored selling point, the facial, will comprise the final pics later.

Peanut Butter and the Squirrels

All the while, Steve and Mandy are continuing to get to know each other with enough penetration to shoot a whole other movie. When they take a break, Steve and my photog chat again.

Eddie and AJ are setting up a tripod on a dolly constructed of two long pipes so the camera can glide through the opening sequence.

Steve’s brings up a director in Japan who didn’t want any “hankie-pankie” on set, much different from other countries (twenty-one in all) in which he has worked. There are few limits here to speak of and he and Mandy are delighted.

Steve Holmes is urbane and cosmopolitan, a stark contrast to Mandy who is every bit as local as he is international. Nevertheless, they blend together artfully when the filming begins.

It strikes me the whole setting this afternoon is a bit bizarre in the most pleasant of ways.

While Steve and Mandy fall into “warming up” again, Eddie sets up the equipment. He’ll use a handheld camera throughout the filming to get the best angles.

Meanwhile, in the yard the squirrels are sated with gobs of peanut butter to keep them occupied.

A Well-Schooled Gonzo Girl

Mandy stands in front of the French doors (the squirrels are munching away outside) and “sees” Steve approaching.

“Don’t acknowledge him, don’t even say ‘Hi,’” Eddie says.

The camera moves toward Mandy as Steve walks in and begins to caress her. There is no dialogue and this part of the scene wraps up quickly. The dolly is taken apart. Steven and Mandy don’t miss a beat and continue “warming up.”

The main event is next.

More oil and spanking for Mandy’s butt. She’s good to go with lots of oral (or should we say choking and gagging), there’s another standing doggie, and then a break. AJ gets Mandy a glass of water.

When we resume, there’s more oil, more spanking, more oral (Steve does his part). Mandy sighs a lot. She’ll break into an ongoing chorus of “oh, my gods” and “oh, shits” that are standard dialogue for a well-schooled gonzo girl.

Next is a transition to a sheet-covered table and Mandy has to re-position herself as part of the scene. It’s awkward at first, so there’s a retake. No problem. Everyone is a professional.

Of note is whispering. Steve and Mandy work together well and communicate. More on this later.

Another break and it’s time for a reminder.

Eddie explains once again it’s all about Mandy’s backside which means the cowgirl position is vital to give Eddie what he wants.

Steve encourages Mandy to “shake that booty.” She offers to spin around while holding the penetration; Eddie responses with, “what works best for you.”

So, the porn starlet turns smoothly to a reverse cowgirl, the mark of a true pro. Eddie moves closer with the handheld to get the full benefit of the penetration.

To conclude the day’s work, Mandy gets off the table and sits on her heels to prepare for the facial. A slip causes a retake but all ends well when Steve does his duty.

Finally, Mandy poses for the camera, face properly splattered, to get just the right shots to complete the stills and it’s a wrap.

Our stars head for the shower while Eddie takes a break before he and AJ pack up the equipment.

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In Part Two, we’ll take a few moments to talk with Mandy and Steve on the veranda.

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The 2017 AEE Extravaganza: Part Two

by Rich Moreland, February 2017

My thanks to AVN’s Dan Miller, Brian Gross, and Jill Hagara for making my visit to the show enjoyable. Their hard work cannot be appreciated enough.

Also, special kudos is extended to my favorite PR company, StarFactory. Thank you Tanya and Alex!

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Seminars

Rarely do I get to attend all the seminars that pique my interest and this year’s AEE was no exception.  Nevertheless, I did make a few.

On the show’s opening day, the seminar on money was super informative.

Tasha Reign, Alan Gelbard, Lee Roy Myers, Adam Grayson, Nate Glass

Tasha Reign, Alan Gelbard, Lee Roy Myers, Adam Grayson, Nate Glass

Hosted by sociologist Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, the panel discussed turning a profit in a time of piracy. Attorney Alan Gelbard set the tone with a statement that at first seemed a capitulation but as the seminar went on, proved to be the most salient. Money can still be made in this age of tube sites and free porn, he said, and pointed out that “the music industry has figured out a way to let the piracy just be there.”

Lee Roy Myers

Lee Roy Myers

Filmmaker Lee Roy Myers of the parody website WoodRocket got it right when he insisted that everyone should maintain ownership of their content and “choose to give it away.” In reality, this seeming anomaly sells traffic to your site at a time when “less and less people are paying for porn in traditional ways.”

Evil Angel’s Adam Grayson’s assertion that identifying niche markets can turn a profit for your content through a reliable customer base made sense when thinking of porn as subgenres that capture pieces of the larger adult universe.

On the practical side to the money equation, a company like Nate Glass’s Takedown Piracy can be a great benefit to all producers in protecting their content.

2017-01-18-07-39-26Before the panel began, I spoke briefly with Nate Glass and met Chauntelle for the first time, a real treat.

Thursday afternoon offered up the seminar on the legal battles that may lie ahead with the incoming Trump administration.

After attorney Clyde DeWitt recounted the history of the Meese Commission’s pursuit of pornographers in the 1980s, Reed Lee, First Amendment scholar from Chicago and a member of the Free Speech Coalition, calmed nerves somewhat when he asserted that “history is on our side” and the “clear march of social progress is in our favor.”

Nevertheless, Free Speech Coalition’s President Eric Leue emphasized that passivity can no longer be the watchword and that everyone has a dog in this fight. In other words, support FSC.

Clyde DeWitt, John Stagliano, Eric Leue, J Michael Murray , Reed Lee, and moderator Mark Kernes

Clyde DeWitt, John Stagliano, Eric Leue, J Michael Murray , Reed Lee, and moderator Mark Kernes

Outside the hall, I had a moment to catch up with Colin Rowntree of Wasteland.com who plays both host and panelist when needed at these seminars. We talked about the possible political outcomes that face the industry.

Later that same day, another panel highlighted the increasingly independent role of women in adult.

Filmmaker Angela White said it best, “if you think porn is degrading, then you probably think sex is degrading.” Her words stressed the message of this seminar aptly named R-E-S-P-E-C-T that focused on celebrating empowered people who are comfortable with their sexuality. Moderated by Chauntelle Tibbals, the panel also included filmmakers Kay Brandt and Bree Mills.

Interestingly, an audience question led to a brief sparring over the interpretation of words. At issue was the concept of “feminist porn” which may be giving way these days to the idea of “ethical porn.”

Is the sun setting on “feminism” in the industry as some attendees seemed to hint?

Downtime

2017-01-18-09-17-39AEE is a constant round of rockin’ and rollin’, but there is occasional downtime, or to be honest, the need to take a break. I found a few minutes in the press room where the always upbeat Jill Hagara took some time for a chat. We’ve know each other for a few years now and she is a delight.

More relaxation moments came at the small Dunkin’ Donuts shop right off the casino where the convenient access for a quick coffee attracts industry people.

I talked with performer Daisy Layne after running into her earlier in the hallway.

Amber Jo

Amber Jo

A statuesque beauty named Amber Jo sidled up next to me with her java and Boston cream doughnut in hand. She’s networking, AJ said, and that began an informative chat.

Later Amber posed for my photographer and I offered to do a story on her. She’s an exotic dancer from the Midwest who has thoughts of LA and the biz. Stay tuned to see what happens with this gorgeous girl. Maybe a new star will soon be on-screen!

Setting up interviews is never easy and once again this year I relied on the best PR people in the business, Star Factory, whose watchwords are dependability and reliability. Their clients do not flake on the press.

With the help of Steve Nelson, the editor of AINews.com, I usually nail down a couple of people for impromptu interviews. This year the highlights were the previously mentioned Emma Hix at Foxxx Modeling and Kasey Warner, the star of B Skow’s Color Blind. Kasey and I are from the same part of the country which made our talk special.

Emma Hix

Emma Hix

Speaking of Skow, his productions are distributed by one of my favorite companies, Girlfriends Films. As mentioned in part one of this post, Moose, the company president, invited me to the GFFs suite for a morning coffee on Thursday, a great way to start the day.

Kudos to AVN

Eventually, a text helped me find AVN’s senior editor, Dan Miller. I first met Dan’s warm personality and infectious smile when he was with XBIZ.

We took a few minutes to discuss the passing of adult film historian Bill Margold (Dan did a wonderful obit for AVN online) and I mentioned that this year’s show was well-organized, enriching everyone’s experience from fan to media.

James Deen and Dan Miller Photo courtesy of AVN

James Deen and Dan Miller
Photo courtesy of AVN

Helping to make this year’s AEE enjoyable were some not so subtle changes in the “feel” of the show.

The club music in The Joint wasn’t nearly the volume of the past which made conversation easier–a boon when one carries around a digital recorder–the lighting much improved, and best of all, the traffic flow was smoother among the various rooms. Thank you AVN!

After experiencing the breezy atmosphere of the Sands Center some years ago, I was doubtful AVN could pull everything off in a more broken up environment. And at first it was a challenge, but the bugs have been worked out.

On the downside, there was one thing distinctly different this year: the weather. The days were cloudy, very cool, with periods of rain, the same weather pattern I left back home. The only difference, it seemed, were the trees. I’m not used to seeing rain, mist, and palm trees!

Despite that, inside the Hard Rock the action was invigorating and informative.

I encourage everyone to visit next year, or to put it another way, attending AEE at least once in your adult life should be on your bucket list.

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