Bree Mills Outlines Vision for 2019 ‘Vivid Girls’

LOS ANGELES—Bree Mills realizes the chance to lead Vivid into a new era of production is special.

“I feel very honored,” Mills says. “I feel like it’s a name that resonates with so many people in our business on so many levels. Even though they haven’t produced original content in years, it’s still the name that Drake drops when he’s putting out a new song. It’s still the name when you ask somebody, ‘What’s a porn brand you know?’ They’re most likely going to say Vivid…It’s such an iconic name.

“And it’s also a place that’s been such a great training ground for people in our industry.”

The Head of Production for Gamma Films, who created the 2018 AVN Award-winning Best New Imprint Pure Taboo, is spearheading the Vivid renaissance, launching a new original series in January called Vivid Girls.

Billed as the “ultimate homage to modern sex in pop culture,” Vivid Girls will be rolled out in six monthly showcases that will comprise the first “season” of programming on Each episode will feature one elite model—a tribute to what the 34-year-old brand arguably is most known for—world famous contract stars.

Vivid Girls for me is an opportunity to kick off the relaunch of with a showcase series that kind of pays homage to how Vivid used to spotlight the top women in the business,” Mills tells AVN. “But kind of reimagining what that means.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean putting girls under contract. That’s not something that we plan to do at this point. It’s really more to look at how can we provide a showcase for the top performers in the business that is something unlike what they have right now.”

Vivid pioneered exclusive contract girls en route to becoming one of the winningest studios in the history of porn. Known for casting the industry’s most bankable stars in dramatic roles, the company has accounted for more than 200 AVN Awards. In 1986, Vivid’s first contract girl Ginger Lynn won the first AVN Best Actress award for her role in Project Ginger. A year later, another Lynn star vehicle, Blame It On Ginger, captured Vivid’s first Best Video Feature trophy—which is today’s equivalent of the AVN Award for Movie of the Year.

On the strength of its high-end filmmaking, bold marketing and premium packaging, Vivid defined a generation as the first porn brand to attain widespread mainstream crossover recognition. As the creative force behind Gamma Films’ suite of studio sites that includes the Girlsway Network, FantasyMassage, Girlcore and PureTaboo, Mills’ passion for harnessing “the power of acting” aligns with Vivid’s legacy.

“A lot of people remember Vivid for being kind of this nostalgic thing,” Mills reasons. “You remember the ’90s Vivid… So I kind of want to take that literally and have at least our first season of Vivid Girls, which will be released between January and June, and have it really be a showcase series where each episode takes these iconic moments from pop culture—the moments you remember before you could watch porn on the internet. When all you had was the sexy commercial or the music video or that scene in that movie, Cruel Intentions.

Where you had these things that were masturbation material and you wished would end up in a sex scene but never quite did. And what we’re going to do is select some of the most iconic or sexy moments from mainstream pop culture and literally do shot for shot recreations of them, but have them naturally transition into a sex scene.”

Mills continues, “You see some players out there right now doing really pretty photosets or sort of mild homages to pop-culture stuff. But they always fall short. They never actually show you the sex. And that’s something that I really want to do with this series. It’s going to be a great thing for my team and I to work with some of these performers to see how we can recreate it and how we can evolve the story.

"It’s going to be a really fun filmmaking challenge, which I feel is also something that Vivid was known for. And it also provides an opportunity to get some crossover attention. Because if we focus on doing these pop culture homages those are things that are super safe, very shareable.

“It’s almost a little bit like a spoof that can be something that I think many people are going to enjoy sharing and watching on places like YouTube and Twitter.”

In this exclusive Q&A, Mills outlines her ambitious vision for the new Vivid, discusses the importance of preserving the integrity of the brand and even reveals her favorite Vivid movie of all time.


AVN: What does it mean to you to be the person guiding Vivid into a new age?

BM: To me it’s the most remarkable gift. When we started to have these discussions with Vivid earlier in the year I was sort of off on my camp, kind of planning what we were going to do for Gamma Films and the ways in which we were going to expand and starting to work on the master brand that we’re building. And when I caught wind of what was happening I was like, ‘Wait a minute, what is this deal? This is to take over management of the day-to-day operations of the broadcasting business and the internet business? Does that mean’ This is a great gift.

Because most veterans in this business at some point or another worked for Vivid, including many members of my crew and people that I work with regularly. It’s kind of coming full circle for a lot of people. It’s a name that means something in this business. 

How did these discussions begin?

I was not involved in the actual negotiation of this deal. That was led by my counterparts—other executives at Gamma—namely Michael Klein, who came on board with us earlier this year to oversee our broadcasting business. A big part of that move was this deal. This was a deal that he was very instrumental in putting together and working with our president on and obviously working with [Vivid co-founder Steven Hirsch] and the Vivid team on coming up with it. And it was one of the big strategic moves that our company made overall, which was to take what we had been doing and write some licensing in the offline adult business, and kind of taking it to the next level. Our company has been doing this type of offline work for a few years now but on a relatively small scale. So bringing Michael on board and obviously bringing this deal on board meant kind of exploding that side of our business. Now it’s actually quite a large part of our business and a big focus for us.

Obviously, the broadcast business is still very active. It’s still growing. It marks a new era for Gamma in terms of our involvement in that space. But when I caught wind of what that also meant, it really aligned with what I was planning for—for our brands and the future of our content. And the people at Vivid were super excited at the prospect of shooting new content. They certainly could see the impact of when they stopped producing content. So I think everybody really looked to this deal as being the start of a new era.

So Vivid has given you the keys. You won’t need to have your ideas for new content approved by Vivid, correct?

We’ve been given over the tremendous responsibility and challenge, but also the great opportunity to produce content. The rollout of what we do is going to be something where we’re going to kind of learn and grow with the brand as we take it on. Right now is under Gamma’s management, but it’s still kind of on its own island in terms of the website itself. They don’t have as much access to some of the user insights and data points that we have so the next few months is going to be focused on really bringing under our roof and getting it hooked up with the same attention to detail and care and user engagement that we bring to our other productsincluding Vivid as one of the channels within [our master brand] which obviously right now is still kind of below the surface. But it’s going to start to creep out considerably in the next couple of months. And I thought if we’re going to be launching [our master brand] at the AEE with the biggest booth that we’ve ever had in the history of our company, right beside the big boys, what a better name to come in with on our roster than Vivid. So that was kind of how I pitched it.

Let’s not just treat the website as kind of a secondary after-thought to the broadcasting deal, let’s use this. This is a great platform. This is a name that means something to so many people. And what it represents in terms of content is also huge. It’s known for having the best stars. It’s known for its attention to detail in its features and its high-value productions and its storytelling and also for just being a beacon in the industry.

And that’s everything that Gamma Films aspires to be. So what an amazing gift—let’s take it. That’s something that’s going to be in the works for us—is to plan a way that we can get the site into our house and start to release some new original series and learn and cater the content to what we’re finding the subscribers are looking for.

How important is it to you to preserve that spirit of what the Vivid brand has meant as you develop your own vision for it? 

It’s very important. Vivid is known for a few different things over the course of its history. So those who remember it from the ’80s and ’90s really remember it being the leading, top-of-the-line in terms of its films and of its contract stars. Really at its peak it had the top women in the business on its roster. It was really known for quality. It was known for being bold in its marketing tactics and giving adult a face in the mainstream. And then it sort of ended up—through the rise of the Kim Kardashian sex tape—it kind of became known as something a bit different. It became known in its later years as being the hub for mainstream sex tapes.

But we kind of have to juggle a little bit of these two identities that Vivid has had over its history. When you look at what a lot of the legacy interest is on these days—we still have a lot of people coming to that site—many of them are still coming because of the Kim Kardashian sex tape.

Some of the decisions they made in licensing those and promoting those brought them a lot of attention. Where I’m looking to focus really in those first few projects associated with Vivid is to really bring back more of its classic—do a renaissance of what its known for in its classic studio sense.

What is the term that best describes that focus—homage? These are not parodies, right?

The terms I like to use are an homage or a reimagining. What I plan to do is take these moments and kind of recreate them in almost exactly the way they used to be except where they would naturally end we continue the story. ... So the idea is all the stuff that you wished or fantasized that it could be a sex scene, we’re going to do that. I think of stuff like Wild Things with the girls in the pool or every Britney Spears music video ever. All these things that we can kind of see what could happen if we could make it sex scene.

The plan is to launch it on January 15th. … Then it will be one update per month. One showcase per month that will be released afterwards. So we’ll unveil the next Vivid Girl that we’ve chosen for the shoot.

Who will be on your crew for Vivid Girls? Will you work with the same crew as you do for Pure Taboo?

I’m going to come in and direct those and I’ll use many of the same crew members that I’ve got working on some of our other Gamma Films projects—[Craven Moorehead] and Matt Holder and that whole gang.

What kind of hardcore sex will you be shooting—will it be boy/girl focused or will there also be girl/girl content?

I don’t want to completely exclude the possibility. Again our goal is to focus on these moments that we want to recreate. And most of the moments are going to involve boy/girl sex, but there’s going to be certainly at least a few that also involve some girl/girl sex, probably a little bit of a combination of the two within the same scene.

Will each episode of Vivid Girls have its own title?

Vivid Girls is going to be the name of the series and then each episode is going to have its own title that’s going to be largely centered around the performer.

How many episodes can fans expect in 2019?

So right now what we’ve ordered—I like to think of all of these, especially when we get into the new master brand—we’ve got our studio sites that produce content on a recurring schedule and then for most of my original series now they’re going to be planned as seasons. So some of the seasons may be released as a binge. Girlcore is going to be released in its entirety, but many of the other ones will be released with a run of a certain number of months and that allows us to get a certain amount of content out there and gauge reception and see if it’s going to be worth green-lighting for a second season. 

So right now I have plans for Vivid Girls, the first season that will run for six episodes over the course of six months. That will give us a good amount of time. Obviously, is going to be relaunched as the website itself, integrated as part of this larger member community we’re building and Vivid Girls is going to be one of the new updates that’s going to be available on that site each month. So it’s something that we’ll be able to track the response, track the reception and determine whether we want to continue it or evolve the concept.

I’m kind of focusing more on ’90s pop culture moments in the first season since again, that sort of resonates with a lot of our nostalgia for Vivid as a brand. But I don’t want to just limit ourselves only to that. We’ll be looking and seeing if there’s going to be really across the spectrum of pop culture moments that we want to bring to life and to give people as sort of a fun, nostalgic showcase series.

You’ve had success with your ‘porn theater’ approach to directing the Pure Taboo episodes, where you allow the actors to ad-lib. What method will you use to direct the Vivid Girls series? Will you use ‘porn theater’ or will these be scripted episodes all the way through?

What’s going to be the fun challenge of this production is—and it actually kind of resonates very well with where I’m at creatively—within each episode there’s the original recreation and then there’s where we take it. And the original recreation I’m going to try to stay very true to the source material, so we’re looking at essentially doing shot-for-shot recreations.

So that’s going to mean carrying over in terms of the way we’re going to approach production with our shot blocks and the lines are going to be fairly true to how they originally were. So in a sense, scripted. And a lot of these don’t have a ton of dialogue to begin with. And I’m kind of interested in—and I did this for some of Girlcore—looking at how can I focus on not necessarily a free-flowing, 360, live-theater experience or getting and doing these shot-for-shot recreations.

As the story transitions I will employ my kind of classic approach, where let’s see where we want this story to go and let’s evolve it. And I’ll provide the direction and the sandbox and then work with the actors to flush it out.

So we shouldn’t expect these Vivid episodes to be as dark as some of your Pure Taboo material...

No. It’s funny I had an article that just came out on and I read it and I thought I’m not going to mind too much passing on the title of ‘Queen of Incest Porn.’ There’s a bit more to me than just that. It’s actually quite the contrary. What our goal is with these is to do a playful homage to these pop culture moments and to keep the energy high.

But most of the time they’re more lighthearted subjects. It’s probably not going to get into this sort of devastating realm of Pure Taboo. And Pure Taboo is very different from Girlsway, which is very different from FantasyMassage—and all that stuff. You’re just sort of witnessing the evolution.

How will you market Vivid Girls?

As part of the overall deal with taking over the day-to-day operations with both the broadcasting and the internet side of the business is the internet side of the business includes all of the social media management, all of the website management, all of the communication. We aren’t managing Vivid Radio—that’s a separate program that they’re continuing to run.

Although one of the things that we want to do is make sure that we have a good aligned publicity strategy, integrating the social media management with the social media team that we have at Gamma. But staying true to Vivid’s voice and Vivid’s tone and all the stuff that it’s known for.

As part of the deal that we struck there were certain key players over at Vivid that they retained and we have within our team now.

How far out have you planned the first season? What girls have you selected?

I have the first three picked. My goal is to produce about one of these a month. Obviously, one of the aspects of this production that is a bit different from our other projects is the amount of time that needs to go into pre-production. When you’re recreating something the attention to detail has to be spot on. So everything within the frame; every prop; every piece of wardrobe; every Corvette or Ferrari. You need to find all of these things.

So there’s a lot more lead-up time than a standard Girlsway or Pure Taboo episode, where there’s a good amount of care but you’re also producing a higher volume. And that’s kind of the luxury I have with most of my stuff I’m shooting these days. I think I shoot about six to eight episodes per month that I come in and direct. But those are all ones that I usually spend one to two months doing pre-prod on.

So I can kind of have the luxury of doing these bigger budget things, so I can take the time to do them. We’re going to be always working a few months ahead just to coordinate all the various details and also to lock down the performers we want to work with. We really want to work with the top stars and oftentimes they’re very busy. So making sure to work ahead so we can get in their schedule and they can get in our schedule.

What girls have you booked so far?

I’m earmarking Aidra Fox. She’s confirmed to come in... And then of course I need to have Angela [White] in this. There’s no way you can’t not have Angela. She’s going to be the next victim.

Do you have a personal favorite Vivid movie and if so, what is it?

For me The Devil in Miss Jones is probably my favorite project that they’ve done. And actually we still need to iron out the details around it, but one of the things I have planned in the next year is part of our programming for Vivid and our relaunch for it is not just the Vivid Girls series and the introduction of some recurring content on, but also announcing a remake to one of its most iconic features, which I’m really hoping is going to be The Devil in Miss Jones.

That was the one that spoke to me in terms of they did their own remake of it and it featured at the time the top performers; and it’s a story that’s dark—darkish—but also kind of fantastical. And so I’m hoping that’s something we can officially announce as of December that we begin pre-production on it and do industry-wide auditions and do a large-scale production in the Spring.

I’m not 100% that I’m going to direct it. I may bring somebody else on board, like a kind of Vivid veteran to work on it with me. Or I may just get greedy and do it. We’ll see. My schedule is getting busier and busier these days. I want to do too much.


Photos by Gustavo Turner