by Rich Moreland, April 2019
In this final installment on writer/director Bree Mills, we asked three female porn super stars about working with the Gamma Films head of production.
Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.
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I’ve interviewed Casey Calvert several times over the years she has been an adult film actress. I can always depend on the native Floridian to give me the lowdown on the industry. She is honest and smart.
Today’s topic is Bree Mills.
“Bree is one of my favorite directors to work with. She cares about her product and to me that means performance,” Casey says.
The former fetish model refers to the “product” as the “actual scene” filmed, not a “pop-up” internet ad or a “photograph for Instagram.”
That’s important because Bree’s attitude privileges her cast to also “care about the product.” It’s leadership by example.
Does Bree’s gender matter? Is she formulating the modern female director in porn?
Casey doubts that. “I don’t think that Bree’s gender impacts how she runs her set. I think Bree’s personality impacts how she runs her set.”
Admittedly, many directors care about what they shoot, Casey continues. But with Bree, things are different. “Bree is just in a really unique position where the company that she is working for also cares about the product.”
Speaking of the brand and its content, I suggest that Pure Taboo is edgy and a little bit creepy.
Casey doesn’t dispute my assessment, but qualifies it with “sometimes,” particularly as it applies to “creepy.”
I reference her performance in Don’t Talk to Strangers. Of special interest to me is the moment Casey jabs the syringe in Gina Valentina instantly terminating a victim Casey and her husband had kept in sexual confinement. I describe her role as “nasty.”
Casey smiles. “That was my character. I was a lot of fun.”
Did Bree give her any special directions to bring out that malevolence.
“She gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do with that character,” Casey replies.
I speculate that Casey must have dug into her psyche to find the capacity for evil we all carry within ourselves.
“Right,” she responds. “I had the creative freedom to be weird and to be creepy. I didn’t have to make it campy. I didn’t have to make it silly.”
After a pause, Casey Calvert summarizes what is so special about working for Bree Mills.
“I was given permission to just be an actor.”
In the adult film world, that is an affirmation like no other.
Kenna James is new to me and a special girl, I immediately learned. Her bubbly personality is among the best in the industry. After introducing myself at the Adult Time booth, I persuaded her to sit down with my team in the press room.
I’m curious to know how Kenna describes working with Gamma Films.
“Shooting for Bree Mills is unlike shooting for anybody else in this business. I don’t know where she comes up with her ideas, if it’s just a memory bank or a vault. It’s incredible.”
Kenna’s smile warms her enthusiasm.
“Bree’s such an amazing person to be around because she’s so uplifting. Even when you’re dragging and you’re down and you’ve been on set for eighteen hours and you’re tired and cranky.”
I’m aware that Kenna has shot for Jacky St. James. What are the differences between the two directors?
The native Midwesterner observes that there are differences and similarities.
“They’re both very strong women who are brilliant at what they do.”
Kenna is effusive about Jacky. They are best friends, she says. “I adore her with all my heart. With Jacky it’s this playful, loving banter all the time.”
On the other hand, she mentions, it’s different with Bree, but it’s not easy to describe.
“I’m really bad at explaining with words, so I like mental pictures,” Kenna says, laughing.
I help her out a little. Perhaps Jacky may seem huggable.
“Yes,” Kenna replies.
And Bree may be down and dirty.
“Yes,” Kenna says, beaming.
Then I make the script observation I’ve done with other performers. Jacky wants dialogue as its written; Bree prefers improvisation.
“They’re very opposite,” Kenna affirms.
Finally, she distinguishes the two writer/directors with an analogy (or as Kenna would put, her “mental picture”)
“I would get on a motorcycle and go riding with Bree. Jacky, I would go dancing with.”
Whitney Wright is a native Oklahoman whose name in the business is A-list personified. She is one of Bree Mill’s go-to performers for reasons we’ve previously mentioned in first installment of this series.
When we relaxed in the press room at this year’s AEE, I ask Whitney to give me her version of the Bree Mills experience.
“I love Bree so much,” the former nursing student says with an affectionate laugh. “I had never shot for Gamma before she gave me a chance on Pure Taboo and I think that was partially thanks to Craven Morehead as well.”
Whitney and Craven follow each other on social media and he noticed a fetish scene she had posted. That led to a shoot for Pure Taboo.
Things took off from there.
“I’ve got seven or eight scenes on Pure Taboo alone [with] three more coming. So, Gamma is essentially like bread and butter. They’re the people I shoot for so much,” Whitney says.
Give us some words to describe Bree.
Whitney quickly rattles off “motivational. inspiring, vivid, animate.” Then, she adoringly adds “weird.”
“I think that’s why we get along so well,” Whitney says, reflecting on her list, especially “weird.”
I mention her role as the girl who is sexually used by a group of guys on her prom night in the Pure Taboo film with the same name.
“I believe that was the second time I had shot for Bree. It was really great. I loved the whole concept and again the taboo of it. That’s something I’ve loved in every scene I’ve shot for her.”
Whitney addresses what attracts her to the Bree Mills product.
“[It’s] the taboo and the complexity of whatever role I’ve been given whether it’s someone with a hidden agenda or someone who’s been wronged and tries to wrong someone else to make up for it. Or like my character in Prom Night who was just an innocent bystander,” Whitney explains.
Pure Taboo is website generated with an active membership so the fans comment on what they see. Whitney loves to hear what they have to say.
“There’s definitely an interesting mix of them,” she says, and their opinions are all over the place. Some fans will say the scene was “too rough” or they felt sorry for her character and they “couldn’t get into it.”
She understands their comments, Whitney says, but reminds us that pulling off the taboo component on-screen is up to the cast.
“Maybe the actress didn’t portray it well or they [fans] couldn’t get into the guy character ‘cause he didn’t sell it.”
That’s important because, as Whitney explains, “I feel like your partner is so vital in how the scene comes off.” That means everybody should be at the top of their game.
Whitney Wright concludes, “I always try to go for the gold. Especially with anything taboo. Whether it’s rougher sex or family stuff or anything like that.”
Achievement requires commitment and hard work, elements this private Christian school grad learned through the value of personal responsibility. They have served her well.
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As we stated at the beginning of this series on Bree Mills, the writer/director is reshaping the future of porn. Among her most important contributions is validating that women in positions of influence can make a difference in content, production, and marketing.
Perhaps the days of porn’s entrenched patriarchy are beginning to wane.