This article originally ran in the September 2016 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition.
It’s not often that an adult star gets to play a character straight out of childhood storybooks, but Cassidy Klein got her chance this summer. The slender, long-haired lass was tapped by Girlsway to star as the title character in Little Red: A Lesbian Fairy Tale, an all-girl adult fantasy based on the Little Red Riding Hood tale.
Stills by Alan, the co-director and cinematographer, gives the plot in a nutshell: “It’s a modern-day reimagining of a lesbian fairy tale—it’s Little Red Rides the Hood—but Bree [Mills] wrote it where it has all kinds of new characters and different characters, and it’s set in the modern day instead of in a Victorian cottage. ... It’s about this orphan girl who grows up feral in the woods and a social worker finds her and puts her in an orphanage run by this evil Miss Hannigan type.”
On the fourth day of shooting for Little Red, Cassidy Klein takes some time between sex scenes to talk about her role. “It’s a huge honor to get to play a lead in a Girlsway film. Girlsway is one of my favorite sites to work for. I just love the crew and the way the production runs. It’s a good day on set every time I work for Girlsway. Everything they do is from the heart; it’s well thought out and every minute detail is poured into it. It’s really fun to do a movie like this because it really takes me back to my theater days. You put a script in my hand and it just makes me really excited.”
Klein is just as excited about her costars, among them Jelena Jensen (as the head of the orphanage), April O’Neil (the social worker), Kendra Lust (as the grandmother) and Abigail Mac, Penny Pax, Tanya Tate and Shyla Jennings among the characters Red encounters on her journey.
“Red is in her own little world and pretty much everyone is out to get her, except the social worker and her granny,” Klein explains.
“The sex scenes are so different,” she says. “It’s not your typical ‘oh, that feels so good’ ... There’s a story that follows into the sex scene. You have to keep your character in that sex scene. I think that’s really fun to do. Because I notice a lot of times there will be a feature movie and along comes the sex scene and the girl completely forgets her character’s name. ... I think it makes for a better movie when you stay in character the entire time.”
And some of Klein’s scenes sound pretty wild: “My next sex scene is with Shyla Jennings. This is after I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been taken to this underground gang place and the Flower Girl sort of helps bring out my wild side. ... It’s one of the major turning points for Red.”
She also gets to do a group scene with Jennings and Penny Pax, who plays a Fox. “She’s got us trapped in the Fox’s den, and me and Shyla have to outfox the Fox and find a way to get out of there.”
Klein also tangles with Abigail Mac, who’s the Wolf. “Red is once again bringing out her wild side ... she’s got to take down the wolf and then save her granny, so it’s just like a fuck/fight battle between her and the wolf. It’s really good and it’s really crazy and really wild—and I get to foam at the mouth!”
Granny and the Wolf—aka Kendra Lust and Abigail Mac—are also on the set today, and the crew prepares to shoot a dialogue scene with the two of them.
Stills by Alan talks about the cinematic magic behind the Girlsway look. “For the sex we like to use three cameras. Someone can do a wide shot and someone else can zoom in on one girl and then the other girl and try to capture things simultaneously. It frees the actresses up to just go through the sex scene. ... That kind of stands in contranst to how we film the intros, which are a lot more cinematic in the sense that we’ll film them shot for shot. And in a certain dialogue sequence we might use three cameras, filming two girls in one shot, one girl in the other shot, one girl in another shot. ... We do a lot of stuff with Steadicam, using drones and sliders and dollies and crands and all kinds of stuff.”
He continues, “The Girlsway project came about in a time when the equipment available to independent filmmakers really started to allow you to do similar types of shots to what professional filmmakers could do, in the sense of like ... I’ve worked in porn for about 12 years. When I first came in it was a game of camcorders and we had the Handicam.” Even though adult companies may not have access to the highest-end equipment, he said, “A lot of new products are coming on the market that allow you to do some interesting things that you couldn’t do before.”
Stills by Alan came to Gamma in 2012, along with Craven Young, who is now directing for Gamma’s Pretty Dirty line. “Karl [Bernard] had me and Craven come on to do the Webyoung site, and it was their first stab at creating their own content. Somewhere in 2013, Bree was promoted to head of production. ... We started working together and we just kind of clicked.”
His initial work for Webyong and the early Girlsway projects, he says, are rough compared to what Girlsway is doing now. “A lot of our newer stuff is more polished. And they keep getting better and better every time. We learn more about our capabilities. We learn more about our limitations. We establish more relationships with different actresses. One nice thing about the feature projects, we call back some of the girls who have done the strongest work in our regular scenes.”
In addition to her role as head of production, Mills also writes and co-directs the big features for Girlsway. “Alan and I split directing duties on these projects and we’re sort of two sides of the coin. I’m really working on the what of the project, in terms of knowing the script inside out and doing all the production management in terms of what is going to be shot on which day and when and all of the organization of how we’re actually going to shoot, what we’re going to shoot. And then I work with all of the talent on their characters and on their style—I do like all their looks and their wardrobe and their dialogue and their motion and all that that stuff. And Alan takes the what and then will really focus on the how, so he oversees all of the cinematography and all how are we going to take that sequence that I wrote and worked on with the actors and how are we going to bring it to life in terms of the finished product.”
Before shooting the big confrontation between Granny and the Wolf, Mills does voiceover notes for the editor. Videographers Craven Morehead and Billy Visual confer with Alan on how to set up the camera. The space is very tight, so they’ll have to shoot multiple times from different angles. In the scene, Lust is tied to a chair and Mac stands over her, talking on the phone. Mills listens as Mac reads her lines: “Don't worry about me, Foxy. I've got everything under control. Nobody fucks with the Wolf,” Mac says with a menacing chuckle.
They run the lines without the camera rolling. Then Alan shows the performers how they are framed in the camera so Mac doesn’t block Lust.
“We are good as gumdrops here,” Alan says.
They shoot this bit of business from three angles: one with Alan three feet in front of both performers; then with him in Lust’s spot, just shooting Mac, and finally shooting Lust over Mac’s shoulder.
After that scene, the day’s not over. Still ahead is a big group sex scene, with all cameras blazing—and everyone staying in their respective characters.
Mills says. “Obviously it’s a project that we’re really passionate about, and it’s very different. ... There’s never been a lesbian fairy tale, so far as I know, done in girl/girl, so it’s a little like when we did the lesbian porn noir in Business of Women.”
She points out that Mac is in both movies. “One of our O.G.s in The Buinesss of Women, which started it all. I always hashtag #epicshitonly with her ... because that’s all she does.”
Speaking of Twitter, Mills mentions the official handle: @GirlswayNetwork. “Also, following my and Alan’s personal Twitters is a great way to see what’s happening because we leak stuff all the time. @thebreemills for me and @stillsbyalan for him.
Little Red has been released as a worldwide premiere on DVD and VOD (with an initial exclusive on HotMovies.com), as well as online on Girlsway.com. It will run on Girlsway.com in installments through October. DVD distribution for Girlsway is handled by Girlfriends Films.
Pictured above: Cassidy Klein in Little Red (Girlsway/Girlfriends Films)