Q&A: Bree Mills Talks Role as Creative Director of Gamma Entertainment
MONTREAL — The leader of Gamma Entertainment’s creative team and production division brings years of mainstream experience in the music and e-commerce worlds to her unique position.
On any given day Bree Mills develops storylines with her directors, plans scenes, oversees post-production, spearheads content marketing and interacts online with members of Gamma’s diverse network of sites.
“We have built quite a large content group here at Gamma, so I have great people leading the various operations,” Mills told XBIZ. “A lot of my personal time is spent on research, product development and creating strategies with my partner in crime, Magalie Rheault, who heads our sales and distribution.”
Mills said Gamma’s track record of managing content for elite movie studios has paved the way for a smooth transition into doing their own productions.
“Our partnership model has been working for years,” she noted. “And while we ourselves have only been producing content the last couple years, we learned from the greats and we’re applying it to how we run our business. We just take different approaches to things, but we’re pretty aligned and we have really good people on the ground that are shooting for us.”
Speaking of shooters in the trenches, Mills at press time was on her way to Los Angeles to continue production on “The Business of Women,” the first feature movie from the growing Girlsway network that she is co-directing with Stills by Alan.
In this exclusive interview, Mills talked about the rollout of “The Business of Women,” the evolution of Gamma’s Girlsway and FantasyMassage networks and what she’s learned about managing content for 16 different sites across four network brands.
XBIZ: Where were you born and raised?
BM: I am originally from Boston but my family moved to Canada when I was a teenager so I am now blessed with a hybrid accent of eh’s and ah’s.
XBIZ: When did you get into adult?
BM: A little over five years ago. Prior to that, I had held mainstream marketing positions in music and e-commerce. My closest foray into adult had been selling off the retro girly magazines and memorabilia that I collected during my college years.
XBIZ: What was your original job title and duties upon joining Gamma?
BM: I was originally recruited by Gamma for a marketing position in their live cam project. I was a total newbie but had a lot of fun learning the ins and outs of that business, particularly working with models and understanding their unique customer base. Over time, I became Gamma’s Marketing Director and helped our various teams lead their online marketing initiatives.
XBIZ: When did you become the Creative Director and Head of Production for Gamma?
BM: We began developing our own product lines about two years ago. At the time, I worked closely with Gamma’s President to build a structure around some of our initial ideas and get them up and running. Soon after that, he handed me the reins and I’ve been the Head of Production ever since.
XBIZ: What are your various duties and responsibilities now as Creative Director and Head of Production?
BM: I am responsible for overseeing content production A-Z: from the first spark of an idea to the time it’s released online and on DVD. I work closely with our creative and marketing teams on scenario planning and content marketing, our post-production teams, and my various directors in California, Florida, and Europe. We have built quite a large content group here at Gamma, so I have great people leading the various operations. A lot of my personal time is spent on research, product development and creating strategies with my partner in crime, Magalie Rheault, who heads our sales and distribution.
XBIZ: How many total websites do you oversee the creative and production for now?
BM: Currently, we produce content for 16 sites that feed into four main brands. However, we have a lot of plans in the future to expand!
XBIZ: What’s the key to managing that kind of volume of content and sites?
BM: For me, it comes down to two key ingredients: time and energy.
If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll end up doing a half-ass job. So we have assembled a great team of people who each focus their time and energy on a specific brand. I don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all approach to management, I believe in the divide-and-conquer approach. I also only hire passionate people. It’s a mission, not a job.
XBIZ: What have you learned from this experience so far?
BM: There are three big things I’ve learned so far:
1) I’ve learned to be ballsy and to welcome mistakes, because that’s how you learn. I am always trying to push the status quo on what and how we shoot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… but in the end, I believe it always makes us stronger.
2) I’ve learned the importance of building strong relationships with the people that really make you successful: your talent, your directors, and your fans. I’m online every single day talking to models and to customers, asking them for feedback, scene ideas, casting suggestions, and actually listening to what they have to say. I also have all my directors on speed dial.
3) Alignment is everything. When building a brand, everyone has to be on the same page, so having a clear vision in place that all your teams can rally around is key.
XBIZ: How would you describe the progression of the GirlsWay network since it launched last year?
BM: Absolutely incredible! To see your baby go from being just an idea in your head to a full-blown network is an unbelievable experience and the reception from lesbian porn fans has been amazing. The community we have built in the last four months is active, engaged, and shows no signs of slowing down.
XBIZ: What qualities distinguish the GirlsWay network from other lesbian-themed content?
BM: We are storytellers and you’ll notice that a lot of our scenes feature inter-connected characters and storylines, even between different series. We love to work with models that enjoy acting and portraying the different roles within our little universe. We also strive to achieve a very high-quality cinematic product, so that our stories rival what you would see on the big screen.
Finally, we absolutely adore our models and work very closely with them to make them feel included and active in our brand. There are Girlsway girls with verified profile interacting with our members on the site, suggesting scenario ideas, being part of our production crew, and even co-directing content. We don’t want models to work for us; we want them to work with us!
XBIZ: How would you describe the progression of the FantasyMassage network?
BM: FantasyMassage has undergone quite a transformation in the last year, from being a bunch of independent sites to the biggest massage-focused network on the market. We tweaked our main lines, Nuru Massage and All Girl Massage, to make them more storyline driven and diverse. We also developed new series to offer different twists on massage porn. I am happy to say that the network is now doing better than it ever has before!
XBIZ: What qualities distinguish the FantasyMassage network from other massage-themed content?
BM: A high percentage of the scenes we release are based on fantasies submitted by our members, so this creates an experience you can’t pirate. We also try to bring a real sense of humor and depth into the content we shoot. Basically, our goal is to be the most unique massage product out there!
XBIZ: What has the response been like to your newly launched pilot programs?
BM: The response has been overwhelming so far. Both the first pilots for Girlsway and Fantasy Massage were very well received and did just what we hoped for: generate a lot of feedback, excitement, and a little controversy. Our Girlsway pilot, ‘A Wife’s Affair’ seemed to take over Twitter the week after its release. We’ve never seen so much engagement from members and potential new fans!
The models, Abigail Mac and Vanessa Veracruz, our director, Stills by Alan, and our whole team were extremely pleased. People can’t wait for us to shoot more new concepts and it gives me a lot of freedom to test ideas that I wouldn’t normally be able to. It’s like having a brand new canvas to paint on.
XBIZ: How would you describe your membership base?
BM: They are amazing, vocal, passionate, committed. Since our launch, memberships have been steadily growing month over month and our turnover is extremely low.
XBIZ: When did this content officially arrive on DVD and what went into the decision to take it to DVD?
BM: As a studio, our intention from the beginning was to offer Girlsway on both the web and DVD. The first titles were released in December and, through our distribution partnership with Girlfriends Films, we are now releasing three titles per month. We are also wrapping the first Girlsway feature that I co-directed and co-wrote with Stills by Alan. It will be released throughout the summer on girlsway.com and on DVD in September. Fantasy Massage will arrive on DVD this spring.
XBIZ: What can you tell me about the first Girlsway feature, ‘The Business of Women’?
BM: It’s all one story — six webisodes in total and then we’ll release the feature DVD as well.
It’s the story of Samantha [Rone], who’s the call girl we introduce in the first episode and her exploration into this underworld of businesswomen. We try very consciously to not say exactly what the business is. There’s a lot more characters to introduce. We’re bringing the best of girl/girl talent to this project. It’s an all-star cast. I can tell you that Samantha becomes the object of a larger battle between two rival businesses.
Episode 1 went out this week, it’s live on the site (Girlsway.com) and it’s doing super well. We’ve had great response to it so far. Parts 2-6 are going to run starting in May right through the summer with one or two episodes a month. Then we’ll see where we go from there.
We’ll be releasing it as a DVD probably at the end of this summer in August or September after the last episode goes live.
XBIZ: What’s the hardest part of your job?
BM: Probably not being able to shoot everything I want… because I have too many ideas. If you check out my Twitter (@TheBreeMills) you’ll see I am constantly crowdsourcing and discussing potential series with our models and fans. But, I do get to shoot a lot of them… so it’s not that much of a setback.
XBIZ: What’s the best part of your job?
BM: My academic background is in English, Film, and Marketing and I get to apply all of my personal interests, experience, and passion into what I do. In that sense, it’s a dream job. I absolutely adore my directors and team and, together, we get to create great content every day. Who wouldn’t love that?
Photo: Girlsway February Girl of the Month, Shyla Jennings, and Bree Mills.