LOS ANGELES — Bree Mills is a genius. Let that sink in for a moment, because very few individuals who are proclaimed a “genius,” truly merit the word. No doubt there are various visionaries, ample artists and manifold maestros that have been called thus. Yet take them out of their narrow element, fling them into an unfamiliar realm, and their so-called ingenuity is swiftly crushed beneath the local lords of legacy.
A true genius utterly disrupts the landscape and mutates the market, rapidly amassing fortune and fame with that deadliest of duos: daring and determination. Their intelligence is not the result of memorizing dusty tomes or programming brain circuitry with theoretical logic; that is merely the mark of an intellectual.
No, the intelligence of someone like Mills is a flaming knife that slices through reality with more depth, clarity and sophistication than even the most expert minds, as sharp in its simplicity as it is frightful in its bluntness.
They can fathom the unfathomable and reach into the abyss where few ever venture, unloading the cunning of a cutthroat capitalist and the charm of a comedian, all with the practiced spectacle of a magician’s sleight-of-hand flourish.
And should they suffer any setback, should they be stabbed and set afire by the ever-envious forces and establishment cronies encircling them, elsewise accidentally set off an alchemical experiment with too-explosive results, they will not be deterred.
No, they will collect every drop of pooling blood, every pile of smoldering ashes and every scrap of jagged ruin left in the battlefield’s aftermath, fueling their very next thrust with iron willpower forged by hard-won lessons.
Genius, after all, does not give a damn about playing it safe. Genius loves danger. Genius loves dancing in the maelstrom chaos, carving out the eye of the storm, watching with gleeful madness as everyone else spins about their sunlit gravity well, whipped into frenzy.
Is it any wonder that Gamma colleagues call Mills a “hurricane” when inspiration strikes?
Having cemented her reputation as a director’s director within a matter of years, Mills has transformed sites like all-girl Girlsway.com and hardcore PureTaboo.com into popular cinematic brands, empowering co-directors like Craven Moorehead and Joanna Angel in the process to master their productions with finesse.
From her days of mainstream marketing in music and e-commerce, to Mills’ initial foray into adult after Gamma recruited her for a marketing position in their live cam project, she has swiftly ascended the ranks of the venerable company.
Mills soon became marketing director, then creative director and head of production, now carving out a position as showrunner with her bold Adult Time endeavor — a Netflix-style approach to releasing episodic series and merging all Gamma Films sites under one umbrella brand, with data-driven algorithms intent on serving up adaptive content a la Hulu. Her recent acquisitions of storied brands like Vivid and Burning Angel, are just a taste of what’s to come.
At the 2018 and 2019 XBIZ Awards, Mills shattered the status quo with her diabolical creativity and prophetic eye for cutting-edge cinema, reigning supreme as a two-time XBIZ Director of the Year with a crown firmly affixed to her short-cropped mane of blonde hair.
She is an avalanche of poetic imagination and meticulous execution, with the instincts of a field marshal and the passion of a virtuoso. As a captain of industry, Mills will take adult content to the next level, with a no-holds-barred domination of the digital domain. As a font of filmic flamboyance, she can stitch the chilling thrills of Alfred Hitchcock, the evocative realism of Stanley Kubrick, the neo-noir fiction of Ridley Scott and the psychological seduction of Brian De Palma into adult entertainment, all the while becoming an iconic figure herself.
Now, step behind the curtain of Adult Time and descend into the depths of an inferno that would make Dante Alighieri blush. May this special report prove a worthy Virgil, a formidable guide on this maddening a quest to unlock the secrets of forbidden lore, to enter a living portrait of riotous fantasies and furious fables spun with manic glory, writ grandly with due grandeur.
XBIZ: From the success of Pure Taboo to developing Adult Time behind the scenes, you’ve had a massive 2018, entering 2019 with even more momentum. What were the big milestones that led to such a banner year?
MILLS: When we first developed Pure Taboo, it was really kind of a creative awakening for me. When we launched and we were able to see the success we got from it fairly quickly, it sort of solidified what I was feeling in terms of, hey, when you focus on the content, the creativity and the quality of what you’re doing, you can connect with people in this industry, in today’s day and age, and make something that’s well-received critically and commercially successful. So it really opened up the floodgates for me and I was like, I have all these things I want to do, all these ideas I want to try.
Once we had dialed in the recipe, we saw the kind of people we were working with and I was able to take a team of veteran crewmembers in this business — people who have been here 20-plus years working for all kinds of companies — to a new place. They were always very talented, but at the end of the day, they used to just pack up their cameras and that was it, they never looked at the footage. They were treated like third-party shooters.
With Pure Taboo, we took that group of people to a place where they couldn’t stop thinking about what we’re doing, where they were obsessed with trying to constantly improve and that enthusiasm translated to the talent we were working with. You know, people who were so incredibly proud of what they did. They wanted to advocate for it. And that’s really what made Pure Taboo successful, above anything else: the actors believed in it and were our ambassadors.
XBIZ: That passion is definitely key, especially since creativity is so often constrained by traditional business models. How are you looking to shatter the status quo further?
MILLS: Well see, I had all of these ideas coming to me, but one of the challenges is that for all the good the internet has done for the industry, in terms of blowing open the roof for exposure and allowing people to explore themselves … there’s much more access and a greater community for different kinks or preferences … it also caused a real paralysis within the content production side of our business, particularly with the invention of the free-site market and how that transformed a whole generation’s perspective of what porn is. You ask somebody who’s under 30 if they pay for porn these days and they look at you like you’re nuts. It doesn’t even resonate.
So there’s this paralysis where it’s now much more about ad specs, how fast you can get content done and how cheap you can do it. But that has created an opportunity where, if you do something that’s different and kind of refocus your energy on the quality and content itself, people will look around and say, “Whoa! That’s not the pile of free shit! Look — that’s Tori Black hanging out of a helicopter! What is that?” There have been people in the last few years who’ve done things where a refocus on the content itself can move the needle pretty quickly.
And so I needed a space, as a producer, to have these ideas come to fruition and not to be necessarily bound by the chains of the traditional paysite market where you have to have an archive of a certain number of scenes, and you’ve got to update a certain number of times a week, and all of this stuff. That dilemma gave me an initial idea for something that I pitched to the other leaders at Gamma in the fall of 2017. It was right after we launched Pure Taboo and luckily it did okay, haha, so I was able to come in with a success story under my belt. I pitched the idea of taking all of the sites that we had built and acquired over the years and bring them together in a new, centralized member’s area that wouldn’t be built like other paysites.
It would be built to more closely model what we see in mainstream digital streaming sites, like Netflix and Hulu. Effectively, if we could re-engineer what the member experience would be like, centered around their consumption of content, we could not only give them a better user experience, but also create a space for ourselves to launch innovative and creative programming that is very difficult to do when you do not have that space.
XBIZ: Which leads us to the genesis of Adult Time. Tell us about that.
MILLS: Like I said, as a company, we’ve learned a lot in the last few years in terms of where our strengths are and where we want our focus to be in the future. We’re driven by the mission that we want to provide a real sort of premium — digital primarily — adult experience to mature audiences. Really what that ends up translating to is a vision for a one-subscription service you’re not ever going to want to cancel, very similar to the experience that we see on some of our ecosystems, where the Girlsway member area has one of the highest retention rates of any product we’ve had, because those people just don’t want to leave … taking that and really exploding it across our other product lines, and our brand as a whole
XBIZ: Because it’s such great value, like Netflix. Netflix is too good to pass up.
MILLS: Exactly. Why would you pass it up? Something might come out that you’ll want to watch. Over the past five years, as Gamma Films came into being, we developed Girlsway, we acquired a few other properties, we’ve ended up growing this as a big part of our business, you know, our kind of internal product portfolio and we’ve decided to move forward by merging them all together into one central member area. So, Girlsway.com still exists, it’s still a tour, it’s a portal into the Girlsway channels within Adult Time — same with all of our other Gamma Films sites.
Now, one thing that is important to acknowledge is that Gamma Films is the guinea pig for this Adult Time business model, because there are things about this that challenge the business model we have right now. We run a lot of mini-islands. And part of what we can do is have a member on a particular island, then upsell them to another membership elsewhere, and that’s a big part of the internet business. But when you move it all together and you really focus on creating a great experience…
XBIZ: You’re disrupting your own business model.
MILLS: We’re totally disrupting our own business model. The first line I wrote in the pitch I gave to the Gamma owners is, in 24 months we’re going to evolve our paysite business. And I set the year and the date. Because you need to disrupt. You need to evolve or die.
When you run so many little islands and each of them oftentimes have their own unique platform, their own aesthetic in terms of design, they all have special needs. And it’s very difficult to mobilize new efforts, because if you release an improvement here, the ability to scale it across everything else is quite a challenge for us. We sort of got to the point where we were fat and slow. And there’s so much effort that goes into maintaining — I like to think of it as banging gophers at the carnival — whack-a-mole — where you’re constantly doing that and it’s hard to even think about innovation. It’s hard to think, “Let’s launch 50 new series next year.” Good luck!
Truth is, it’s harder and harder to make a good living in the online business with your websites, especially when you’re not owning all of the traffic. So we needed to figure out how to evolve and take advantage of opportunities to focus on what is really important, which is the users themselves, through their experience and the content — at the end of the day, those are the two things that matter the most.
So, Adult Time is now going to launch publicly in January of 2019 as the central hub for all of Gamma Films’ existing websites. That’s the 21st Sextury Network, FantasyMassage Network, Girlsway, Pure Taboo and all of the original programming that has come out — “GirlCore,” “Girls Under Arrest,” “Transfixed,” “Age & Beauty,” “Shape of Beauty,” “We Like Girls,” “Female Submission,” “Be the Cuck,” “Sister Trick” and “Lady Gonzo” — and we’ve got a whole host of stuff that’s going to release.
XBIZ: How do you plan on maintaining your traditional partnership business?
MILLS: While we’re using our internal portfolio to test the new business model, we will still maintain our traditional partnership business. Mile High and Evil Angel still have their sites with us. They’ll continue to have their own independent member areas. All of that stuff is still separate. Right now, if it’s not Gamma Films, with the exception of the FameDigital content library, if it’s not our brand’s website or if it doesn’t fall within our internal portfolio, we are still maintaining business as usual and continuing to focus on building that and growing that. Obviously, if we can prove Adult Time to be a successful platform, if we can get it to the point that we want in terms of the retention growth we’re looking for, then of course we would say, “Hey, come on in,” if they’re interested. If our partners came to us tomorrow and said, “We want to get in,” we would be very receptive, but we also respect our partnership model and do not have plans to scale back our resources or dedication to our partners.
XBIZ: What is Adult Time trying to do, exactly, as far as industry disruption?
MILLS: One of the things I’m a big proponent of is redefining what adult content can be and the way people regard our industry. I really believe this starts with the content itself. If we write the content off as only “this,” then it’s only going to be “this.” If we challenge what adult entertainment is, what porn can be, then you can make a strong impression with people these days. We’re the underdogs in this situation, when the titans of the industry are focused very much on other things that I believe will not benefit them in the long-term. They’re catering to an audience that we’re not necessarily catering to. You look at the way that most producers feel in the industry right now, especially those that are struggling to stay afloat because they cannot compete with the free market, or those who are hired by the larger companies, and they have no creative control … they never see the thing that they shot and they have no feedback.
There are companies where I’ve seen a call sheet with 15 pages devoted to “get this ad spec” and just one line describing the actual scene being filmed. That’s what we’ve come down to. And, hey, everybody’s got a business they’ve built — an incredibly successful business — but they’re focusing on how to move traffic around. That isn’t product-centric, it’s ad-centric, and it has really created a majority audience’s perception of what porn is, with the sense that it’s kind of disposable, something you check out when you need it. There isn’t much investment in the content.
But there’s still quite a viable paying minority out there that want good, quality content. They want an experience that they can count on. And so rather than focusing on trying to appease the masses, let’s focus on making something that’s the best possible premium experience for adult. We’re looking to see if we can really change the rules, because I’m a big believer that if you do so, then the game can change. And in my experience as a producer, that has effectively been what we’ve done. Girlsway, when we launched that, there was no lesbian mega-site and people were saying, “Are you kidding? You’re crazy. People aren’t going to pay for that.” It was initially an afterthought of a series. And we were able to turn that into one of the most successful sites in the company within four years. And we’ve got some pretty big names that we represent. And Pure Taboo is an even bigger example. I had to fight tooth-and-nail to get that created!
XBIZ: Because of the subject matter?
MILLS: Well, everything. The subject matter, the shooting techniques and how people supposedly aren’t going to care about a 60-minute episode featuring dramatic acting, all of these things. But the people who made it cared about it, and that’s what made it successful.
XBIZ: So it’s doing well?
MILLS: To be honest, it’s almost eclipsed Girlsway in its new subscribers. Yeah. Again, if you make people proud of what they’re doing, they will go to war for you.
XBIZ: Now it’s like a big deal, “I got a Pure Taboo shoot!” On Twitter, it’s like, “Oh my God!” It’s the crème-de-la-crème now, on the level of scoring a Lansky title.
MILLS: It’s just about understanding how to hit a nerve with the people that you’re shepherding, you know? Because, if you can strike a nerve with them, then they feel compelled to talk about you — and Greg’s done very much the same thing. He took niches that were written off as dirty or super-hardcore or “good girls don’t do that” and completely revolutionized where now, it’s like you’re in line to get your first anal, you’re in line to get your first IR scene or whatever. Again, it’s changing the rules and changing the situation, the game.
So our focus, like I said, it’s about personalization. We used a lot of the same principles that Netflix uses in their backend, in terms of their recommendation algorithm. Effectively, when you sign up or login to Adult Time for the first time, our goal is to study you. The content you like, browse, and interact with. And then we use this information to curate your experience. What’s really great about it — and this is a big thing for me — is that I didn’t want to turn Adult Time into a bunch of islands itself. Where, if you’re a lesbian porn fan, that shouldn’t mean you absolutely never want to see anything else.
There certainly are those fans that don’t, but there are many others. Every porn fan has their individual kinks, tastes and preferences. And it’s amazing to see where people go and what people watch. Once we import the whole Vivid catalog, both the original titles and the licensed content, we’ll probably have close to 50,000 scenes total in Adult Time at press time, and obviously it’s still growing.
XBIZ: At launch?
MILLS: At launch, yeah, and what’s really cool to see is that everybody’s experience is truly unique to them. We want to get to millions subscribers one day, not by creating a great one-size-fits-all user experience, but by creating millions of great user experiences. So it’s really focused on the personalized user experience.
XBIZ: What’s the thought behind the “Adult Time” brand name?
MILLS: I wanted to create a name that people could resonate with, that wasn’t necessarily an explicit name and that they could recognize as “time they take for themselves.” I wanted it to be something that — again, in theory, long-term vision — people are just as proud of having as they are of their Netflix or Hulu subscription. And I thought about the fact that my wife and I have a toddler — who, now, has not slept for the past two months — and how that has led us to create what we call “mom time.” We don’t get a lot of “mom time” now. “Mom time” is precious. So when I was thinking about what to call this brand, I was at the gym and I was running, and “mom time” turned into the following thought: “No, ‘adult time,’ that’s what we should call it.” That is actually slang that people use — particularly parents when they can carve out an hour for themselves. That was the source of inspiration for the name.
And as you guys can imagine, some of the brand values that are really important to us, that are going to kind of rule how we market ourselves and how we hold ourselves true to what we believe in, center on the content itself and on being original. More than anything else, we believe that if you’re going to pay for porn these days, it better be worth paying for and offer the quality you’re looking for. Also, understanding that the definition of “quality” really depends — it doesn’t mean it’s all about story porn. It doesn’t mean it’s all one type of thing. It’s really looking at all the different kinds of content and shooting styles that’s out there, and so forth and so on, and looking at how we can really bring “quality” to that in a way that makes sense for the context.
XBIZ: How will you create an Adult Time community, within the industry and among consumers?
MILLS: So, we want to create, quite simply, the greatest and most original adult content ever made. No big deal, right? Easy, haha. And the reason I came up with this idea was that, as a producer, I wanted a place to release content. That’s the real heart of it. Beyond any business logic, beyond any numbers, it was just having a base where I could emulate what you see on something like Netflix. We want to use that same kind of spirit — what drove me to create this in the first place — to inspire other creativity. You know, I’m working with Joanna Angel to direct a new series and she’s brought Mike Quasar into the fold as her lead cinematographer.
And Quasar is a perfect example. This is one of the most talented guys in the business, one of the most well-liked and well-respected, particularly by talent in the business. And he is also one of the most pessimistic people in the business — in a very hilarious way. He’s definitely one of the old guard. If we offer him a project that was different and interesting, like the stuff he’s done for Wicked is a good example, he’ll rise to the occasion. So, really being able to inspire other creative people is important. Over the next year, as I set the tone with our original series, I’ll be pretty hands-on with our various directors, while starting to branch out and bring in other collaborators and, really … the long-term vision for this is … when you want to make a really good series, you come to Adult Time.
Building that community, also involves having website forums, which are very, very important to us. We need to connect to our audiences and ensure they understand that it’s a place where they’re being listened to, where we are constantly improving. The platform team that we have in place is slated to release a new iteration of Adult Time every two weeks, constantly focused on improvements and transparently sharing information with subscribers. Usually, it will be a mix of fixes, improvements or new features, very focused on user experience, taking the feedback we get through our various channels and applying it via updates.
For example, we do a lot of polling within Adult Time to collect instant metrics. We derive a lot of insights from our various means of collecting data.
XBIZ: Will you communicate your findings sometimes to the community, via infographs and the like?
MILLS: Well, if you take Netflix as an example, they are very closed. They’re very secretive about a lot of stuff. But they have their tech blog where they’re extremely transparent about various things. And going off of the experience that I have with the members that we’ve been able to amass, they crave information. They want to feel like they’re being listened to, they want to know you by name and talk to you.
Not everybody is like that. But everybody will stand to benefit from an overall active community, whether you’re directly involved in it or just passively involved. So having forum sub-communities for all of the different channels that we have within Adult Time, working very closely with core groups of fans to discuss a lot of different techniques we’re looking at to build that sense of community, will help strengthen our retention.
The real key ingredient behind the retention at Girlsway is that these people are fanatics. We’ve been able to create this legion of fanatics where you would be blown away by the kind of content engineering and sharing they do themselves, posting their Excel spreadsheets to share. It’s unbelievable.
But, like I was saying, when you go back and look at, hey, these people spend several hours of their day on your site, that’s a big part of their life, you know? It matters. And so we really want to embrace that and think of ourselves like a matchmaker. My job is to understand what you like and set you up with as many good pieces of content to watch, as many good long-term relationships, no mismatches and no bad “dates” … really looking at how we can hook our customers up with the right content for them.
The plan that I have set — and you guys can imagine, it’s quite an ambitious and thorough plan — is going to change. We are going to learn things and we’re going to adjust. So, every year in itself is an experiment, every month is an experiment and we will release a new iteration every two weeks. We’re looking to stay very close and fast on how we release new content … being true to ourselves, but flexible for these changes. These are the five really big brand values that we are bringing into this project.
XBIZ: What are your main objectives for 2019?
MILLS: For the next year, our objectives are very simple. The first one is we want to look at, across the board, how we can reestablish what the bar is for adult content.
I really want to shake things up over the next year and we have to be very ambitious, very aggressive in going into different areas of the market … disrupting them, introducing new concepts, shifting the focus for the content away from where it often is, towards where we want to take it. That starts with challenging ourselves, challenging the status quo about everything that we do. So, I have about 40 people working for me in Montreal within our content team. The first thing we’re going to do is really evaluate, from top-to-bottom, how we are doing things.
XBIZ: What are those 50 people doing, exactly?
MILLS: About 30 of them would be in post-production, between editing and logistics and photos. And then I have a marketing team, a management team and legal support, all within there. But the main question I have with my team, as we look at our content niches, is what can we do to disrupt them over the next year? What does that mean, as far as exploring new niches, creating hybrids, looking at presenting content in new and innovative ways?
XBIZ: You mentioned hybrid genres, and it does seem like people are going crazy with them lately, not in a bad way.
MILLS: Yes, we can revisit genres and see what we can do to offer fresh perspectives on them. That also means revamping our approach to the performer community, looking at ways that we can scout new talent and present existing talent in different ways. One of the things that I’m most looking forward to is ways we can take certain communities that are very under-represented right now and provide a real premium space for their niche and their content.
XBIZ: Like your “Transfixed” series.
Exactly, such as “Transfixed.” Our production standards should change too, so we’re not shooting porn the way it’s always been shot. I’m a big fan of shooting it completely different, right down to how we’re optimizing our internal workflow and how we’re releasing content, breaking free from the update machine. Within Adult Time, you’re going to get content coming all the time, every day. A certain amount of it is going to be recurring, you know? Like a TV show, it comes out once a week. And other stuff might be a binge release, like we did with “GirlCore.” It might also be where we release a pilot and then we just update as we go and build the catalog. It might be something like … we release a full-length film. We’re going to really disrupt the release schedule.
The second thing we’re going to focus on is really building anticipation and excitement within the industry, really looking at — within the major categories of content — what we can do to enter them, disrupt them and hit recognition within each of these niches over the next couple of years. I’d love to have Adult Time titles spread across all the awards nomination categories because we’ve gone into each of those and done something worthy of being recognized. You know, we’re already one of the most active producers, but I really want to be up there as one of the most active and ethical players in the industry.
And one of the anchors of our strategy over the next year is our publicity strategy. We have a pretty ambitious press plan, in terms of what’s going to be coming out, what we want to release and how we want to release it. You guys know that I’m sort of the spokesperson of a lot of this stuff, so I’ll be kind of continuing on that front, but really focusing on my message — championing change within the industry, focusing on performer empowerment and the content renaissance that I believe we are in, not just what we bring, but amongst others. Can I keep Adult Time in the news every month? But, not with filler material … with relevant and interesting news, like new series we’re releasing, new deals we’re striking and new catalogs we’re acquiring. Again, it’s all about how can we keep Adult Time on the radar of our industry?
XBIZ: Saving the biggest exclusives for XBIZ certainly helps.
MILLS: Haha. Well, part of the reason why I’m here, guys, is in my press plan, I have things that I see and that I want. You know I wanted you guys to come down and cover the finale of “Future Darkly,” you were there for the beginning as well. But, I’m very much looking to see how you guys can be made aware of what we’re doing, so we can work together on the things that makes sense, you know, in terms of promotion. And this goes with aligning Adult Time with ethical industry associations to make sure we’re part of the conversation for what we believe in. I’m an evil marketer, so I use a little marketing jargon, but we like to ignite what’s known as “talking pig syndrome,” which is essentially just to get a lot of people around the watercooler talking about you. It’s about how to create a buzz. “Girlcore” is a good example.
XBIZ: Tell us about the process of enrolling existing subscribers in Adult Time.
MILLS: We’re in the process of moving all of Gamma Films’ existing members into Adult Time. We started to move Girlsway members at the beginning of October. What we’ve done is automatically upgraded their membership to Adult Time. No change in fees, just a big change in experience. I knew that they were going to be our toughest audience. They’re very active and they’re very vocal, so we needed to make sure we handled that migration with care.
And what I wanted to create, with “Girlcore” for example, is a gift for the members where I can completely forget about money and time and quantities and just make six episodes of a lesbian television show with everything I like in it — my favorite music, my favorite decade, my favorite source material inspiration and all the cast I want. Obviously, I designed that knowing who were the top performers for Girlsway fans. I hadn’t directed a GG project in two years, so I wondered if I could come back and do something that gets everybody who’s a lesbian porn fan talking.
XBIZ: Who have been some of your top GG performers?
MILLS: Whitney Wright has been fantastic; she’s one of my favorites in general. She’s just a joy to have on-set. She’s hard working and she really, really takes it seriously. She took acting classes. I’m just so proud of how she’s grown over the last year. We’ve shot her a lot. She’s really been one of the girls that we’ve taken under our wing. And she’s on there, talking to the fans all the time. She’s the definition of what I’m looking for in terms of an active performer. And Scarlett Sage has also been very popular on Girlsway. Then, you know, we have the perennial favorites: pretty much the entire cast of “Girlcore” you could say are right up there at the top with very, very few exceptions. They were picked for a reason. And as soon as I started talking about “Transfixed,” it got people stirred up and talking.
So, the first objective we really have is we want to come in and really disrupt the industry over the next year, even more than we have in terms of challenging what adult content can be. Take on different genres, revolutionize some very old concepts and trying to get as many people (as possible) wondering what the heck is going on over at Gamma. That’s our goal.
XBIZ: And with the Vivid catalog, how many scenes do you have now?
MILLS: It’s 50,000 total right now, with some of the Vivid catalog included. We expect that to keep growing by the time we get all of it in, because you’ve got the original Vivid catalog and then you’ve got all the licensed stuff. I mean, in the last decade, they’ve been living off of licensed content, not just the sex tape stuff, but a lot of other licensed content. So we’ve got a bulk of content coming and that’s our starting base.
But the challenge for us is, we then need to develop, spinoff and invest more in new projects. We need to create an attractive catalog to keep the current people happy and also convert new people. We’re looking to produce at least 15 original series in the next year. Our objective is to produce content that’s going to tap into some popular niches, that’s going to help build that catalog, while also looking at different forms of shooting, and start to bring in some new collaborators to work with us.
XBIZ: Tell us about a few of your recently released series.
MILLS: We’ve released “Girls Under Arrest,” “Girlcore” and “Transfixed,” and we’ve got a few series that have been mostly shot, while some are being shot and others we’re in pre-production for. The idea is, really, come January, when we launch, we’re looking at a pretty aggressive strategy. Like instead of sitting on content for six months after it gets shot, I can create a “Transfixed” channel for example, and put that first episode in there as the pilot, gathering feedback. I can start to get the images out there, get other people interested in it and at a certain point, we can release content within Adult Time once we have enough to justify it, before putting a tour page out and using it to bring in new subscribers. Why wait until we’ve got 30 scenes to release a site?
I’ve broken it down into a few categories to share with you guys. I won’t go into too much detail, but I want to get you guys some visibility on what’s planned. The first is – we’ve got a really big lesbian fan base. So part of that diverse catalog is you’ve got to keep that fan base happy, too. And we have a couple of original series planned that are going to be what I will really consider our “next level” of lesbian porn production. These are going to be the series that I’m going to be driving over the next year, a little bit of a return to that niche for me. The first was “Girlcore,” which we already launched, and is my dream lesbian series. I’ve also begun producing a new unscripted series called “We Like Girls” and I’m planning to direct a new GG feature as well.
XBIZ: Ah yes, we definitely saw some buzz on social media about it.
MILLS: That’s precisely what I want to do. We all know, in this business, there are girls who like girls, and there are girls who are performers. But when you work with as many people as I do, you can figure out where the real chemistry is between certain people. And that’s the key ingredient that can make or break a lesbian scene. It’s the first thing that people are going to call out. So I want to take a series and, again, focus on not producing for the masses, but producing an initial first season of six episodes, which I’ll probably release as I shoot them, rather than releasing them all at once.
This unscripted series takes two people who I know have this real connection and allows them to hook up on-camera. It’s going to be a little bit of a mix between a documentary in how it opens and then the whole deal with the sex scene is … the only thing I’m going to do is not let them see each other the day of the scene, until the scene starts, and then we just film for as long as they want to us to film. And we let them do what they want to do while capturing it. So, it’s much more of a kind of gonzo-documentary.
XBIZ: And are you letting this approach be known to the public, or is it an industry-only thing, as far as the raw process?
MILLS: I’m actually calling it “The ‘We Like Girls’ Project.” I am touting the fact that we’re approaching it this way. My whole thing is that yes, I can sit on the secrets, and while I’ve seen how that opens the door to lots of copycats, that doesn’t mean it’ll be filmed quite the same way.
And while “We Like Girls” is our first unscripted lesbian series, probably one of the most-requested things I get is, “When are you going to do a lesbian Pure Taboo?” I get that a lot. So “Lesbian Revenge” is going to be my anthology series. It’s essentially going to be Pure Taboo-type stories. I don’t know if we’re going to spin it off on Pure Taboo; we may or may not. I do have some Pure Taboo spinoff series we’re going to be doing, but it may just be its own channel within Adult Time and its own tour. That’s going to begin production in the spring of 2019 and I’m going to have a lot of fun with that — dressing cute girls like tomboys, it’s my favorite thing to do.
Vivid Entertainment is obviously a big piece of this as well. As you guys know, we struck a deal between Gamma Entertainment and Vivid Entertainment earlier this year, where essentially Gamma has taken over the day-to-day operations of the broadcast business and of the internet business. Right now, Vivid.com is a site that’s technically under our operation, although it’s still its own independent platform. So we’re doing the content import, between now and the end of the year, into Adult Time, and then probably in the spring of next year, we’ll relaunch Vivid.com.
XBIZ: So that island is getting demolished and you’re putting up a new island?
MILLS: Yeah, it’ll be a site within our ecosystem that ports its members into the Vivid channels within Adult Time. And we’ll be able to manage the tours to promote the new content. Part of that is going to come with a new programming strategy for Vivid, with the introduction of some recurring content on the site. It’s just been driven by licensed content for so many years. And now we’re going to be introducing a new showcase series, for example, to coincide with the launch of Adult Time, called “Vivid Girls.” Every month it will be a high-budget showcase series featuring a model we feel is worthy of that title. Plus, there are Vivid classics that will be rebooted.
I’m planning to make, hopefully, several Vivid Film remakes over the next year. Not necessarily all done by myself, we’re looking at working with new collaborators. But what I’m really excited about, of all the news we’ve put out, this might be the one that struck the biggest chord — where people are so excited to get access to the content again — is the idea of rebooting “Where the Boys Aren’t.” People are going nuts about it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
XBIZ: So it’s all homages, reboots and remakes, in like a really cool way?
MILLS: When I think about Vivid — in the last decade, they’ve been more known for sex tape stuff — is how everything that we believe in, as far as our brand values and aspirations, aligns with Steven Hirsch’s mission. He changed what adult content was in the ‘80s, by focusing on the performers, on the quality of the filmmaking and by disrupting the rules. So I really want to take a lot of what they were known for in the classic studio sense and pay homage to that, moreso than the sex tape era. I mean, the sex tapes will still be available for people in Adult Time, so you can still see Kim Kardashian’s sex tape.
Another genre we’re looking at, which is an established and popular genre that we want to disrupt, is POV, like with cuckolding content for example.
XBIZ: Especially since those findom videos of girls yelling at guys seems to be very popular these days.
MILLS: Yeah, exactly. How can we marry traditional POV — a guy on the couch getting a blowjob — with that first-person-shooter, gaming mentality? I don’t know if you guys have seen any first-person films that have been made, like “Hardcore Henry.” What we did is we took the film company that made that film — they were saying it was the first all-first-person-shooter movie that had ever been made, and they talk a lot about how they made it. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. So, my cinematographer Matt Holder and I spoke to them and now we have our own rig that we use, modeled after the rig they used.
And our “Be the Cuck” episode is a good example, where it’s an immersive storytelling experience. In the scene, you are the cuckold! When we look at, you know, cheating with permission and — cuckolding stories are very, very popular, it’s always, you know, an actor crying in the corner, and that’s your only example of a cuckolding scene, you know? We thought it would be really interesting to turn that around. If you have that fantasy and want that interaction, but it’s hard to get it with traditional cuckolding content, you can watch “Be the Cuck.”
XBIZ: I imagine that would work well with VR.
MILLS: Yes! We’re working to see if we can create VR versions of these. So, “Be the Cuck” is one example — my poor camera guys, they essentially got to be cuckolded. Charles Dera teabagged Matty in the last one, haha. The grand finale. I have the behind-the-scenes clip of it, which I may or may not use at some point, but his face is pretty priceless. These guys are great — they go the mile for me.
“Sister Trick” is another series. This is something where we wanted to do a little bit of a different spin on the family-relations POV thing. Right now, if you look on tube sites, the most popular stuff is brother-sister POV content. But it’s all traditionally shot and not heavy on story or setup. So, can we do something, but not make it as dark as Pure Taboo, while still having it be a little bit more serious, immersive, dramatic and have a little more of a story to it?
And then we’re doing things like “POV Massage,” since people still like their massage porn. It’s another genre where we can take that hybrid-niche approach, where massage porn is still very popular, POV porn is popular, and see what happens when we bring them together. That series will come out on Fantasy Massage, but also within Adult Time, in January.
XBIZ: What other genres are you disrupting?
MILLS: There’s something I call “The Beauty Trilogy,” which feeds into one of our big underlying priorities over the next year. I really felt the power of being able to hit a nerve with the model communities that I work with, in terms of inspiring them and making them feel proud of what they did and having them go to bat, go to war, for us. And over the course of my shooting, there’s been a few kind of sub-communities that I’ve gotten to work with, gotten to know, and despite the fact they’ve got very loyal fans, people who are paying money for custom videos, clips and all this stuff, they’ve been completely shot out of the mainstream porn industry. And so there are three communities over the next year that I want to go in and provide a space for.
The first would be the BBW community. Which, again, when you look on sites like ManyVids, it’s among the top niches. When I had Karla Lane come down and do “The Weight of Infidelity,” it was a really interesting experience for me. One, she’s probably somebody who is one of the most popular BBW performers and it was the first time she’d been on a “mainstream” porn set! Because, nobody would hire her. She was awesome; she did a great job. She did a fantastic performance; she killed it
When I released that, which I did for free, I knew that I wanted to make a statement with it. Not just for the “evil marketing person” reasons, but because a number of models came out from that community to thank me for having somebody represented there. The number of fans that came out saying, “I wish I could see my favorite performer here” was a really eye-opening experience for us, via Twitter, emails, people that came up to me … mostly in a digital sense, though. It really showed me that, hey, this is a very, very active, vibrant community and there are people there that want to see good, quality, well-shot content, but nobody does it. The only exception is, maybe, PlumperPass.com.
So, “Shape of Beauty” is a series shot by members of my team in Montreal, on the pre-production side, and a videographer who shoots a lot of plus-size models in mainstream fashion. We’re creating a “situational-erotica” type of project, where it’s not really a deep story, but we create a situation within a scene and then have it played out into a sex scene. I also plan to direct some of these episodes personally next year, because I believe in the project so much!
XBIZ: Tell us about collaborating with mainstream types, for these projects occasionally.
MILLS: Freddy, the videographer we tapped for “Shape of Beauty” was somebody that we knew through people who were kind of in my inner circle. It’s shining a new light on something. This is somebody who, for a living, makes larger women feel beautiful. That was the motivation I wanted to bring into an adult product. And we’re partnering him up with people who have more experience with adult production.
The second series is called “Age and Beauty” and this is another one where — in today’s day-and-age, if you’re over the age of 25 and have fake boobs, you’re considered a MILF, right? And if you’re over the age of 40, forget it, you’re shot out (of the industry), you’re not going to be shot in anything. But, again, there are performers out there, these iconic women who have loyal, big fan bases.
XBIZ: Who are very beautiful, often.
MILLS: Beautiful! Just older women!
XBIZ: They’re deemed commercially not viable, sometimes arbitrarily.
MILLS: Yeah, exactly, they’re “deemed commercially not viable,” yet they have people buying clips and the paysite market is wondering where the money is going. People are very loyal to these women. Erica Lauren is a good example. She’s come down to play a few roles for us for Pure Taboo. She’s in her early 60s. I can always tell when we’ve got her on our site, because you can see people search the site for her, since they can’t see her stuff anywhere! So, if she promotes that she’s got a scene, they’re going to go check it out. I also wanted to, again, get away from how this community is typically shot, as it tends to be very novelty-esque, gimmicky GILF stuff, like “horny grannies,” that sort of thing, where you just want to give them a hug.
XBIZ: I would say you’re one of the only people bringing dimension to porn, you know what I mean? Whereas porn has traditionally been a flat product, you’re adding depth and exploring all these different angles that haven’t been done before. That’s really exciting. Even people who are super successful today I would say have only enhanced that flat, traditional business model. They’ve given it a pop, rather than explore these new facets. These are things that should have been disrupted in the past, but still have not been, so bravo to you.
MILLS: And here I am, thank you!
XBIZ: What must be exciting for you is how porn can be sliced and diced in so many ways.
For me, I’m much more interested and motivated by all the stuff around the sex. So, with “Age and Beauty” it’s really about — and I want this to be the best-looking site you’ve ever seen featuring these women — having styled content, with as much attention paid to them as you would for any other younger performer.
And so we shot our first episode with Nina Hartley. We’re really looking at, generally, women over the age of 45. And, the thing is, when you go and look at what people are searching for, “lesbian” is the number-one thing most people search for. Number two? It’s “mature.” And that does not mean, necessarily, the 25-year-old with implants. They’re looking for mature women. There’s not a space that really showcases the beauty of that! So yes, we are going to go into that community and yes, if you are a performer over that age, you do have a place.
“Beauty of Color” is the third one, where you see the rise in the way interracial content has been presented the last few years. But it’s surprising that, even as that has grown within our industry, that African-American women, women of color, are so completely under-represented! When you see it, it’s so fetishized and rooted in stereotype.
XBIZ: We got rid of the ethnic categories this year for the XBIZ Awards, by the way, quietly.
MILLS: Good. Good for you. Yeah. For me, it’s like, can we make a space where a performer of color can come on and it’s a beautiful representation, not something where it’s about an interracial pairing? We’ll have same-color pairings and different-color pairings, but it’s really going to focus on the women themselves, which is something we’ve yet to really see, something that’s making them look like the supermodels they are.
When my stuff has done well, it’s because people have believed in it — that’s what makes the sites do well. If I’m looking to grow Adult Time over the next year, I could spend a gazillion dollars on advertising, or I could go into areas where there are people hungry for representation, where there are people looking for a place, and give them something to believe in. That’s where I want to focus our marketing effort, creating those spaces.
XBIZ: And as you take on this more overarching role, how will you balance getting your hands dirty with on-the-ground shooting?
MILLS: Of course, I got to do some stuff, right? I got to keep my Pure Taboo stuff. Pure Taboo is still going really strong. One of the things that really worked very well for us this year was the fact that I had this crazy old idea that I wanted to make sci-fi and I didn’t have a place to do it because I didn’t have Adult Time yet, and so I launched it off Pure Taboo! That was “Future Darkly,” of course.
XBIZ: That on-the-set experience in early 2018 was actually when you first alluded to this T.V. programming approach, in our chit-chat.
MILLS: Indeed it was. What’s been great is that those “Future Darkly” episodes are among the most viewed ones, apart from “Anne,” which broke all of our viewing records.
XBIZ: Good to hear. I was curious how it performed.
MILLS: What’s good about it is, it was very controversial. That was kind of the intention. But it’s the most-viewed content that we’ve ever put out on the site. Right under that is the “Future Darkly” stuff. It’s so different and it really allows me to think about just purely the story I want to tell, and to get completely away from whether or not it fits a convention.
It’s just a creative outlet and it’s done really well for us. And we have renewed “Future Darkly” for a second season. In the opening episode, which we shot not too long ago, I did a product placement deal with a love doll company. It’s a story about a woman who hooks up with what she thinks is a couple … and she goes to the house and realizes it’s a man and his love doll. We explore what happens after that.
XBIZ: I think that, between the popularity of dystopian sci-fi vignette series “Black Mirror” on Netflix, and the fact that half these futuristic scenarios are fast becoming a reality, there’s a market for this kind of content.
MILLS: Oh, yeah. I hit up this company because I saw that they had made international news after they were trying to start a sex brothel. I said, “Hey, I’m Bree Mills! Can I have one of your dolls?” Soon thereafter, I ended up having a doll sitting in my office, creepily, in a crate.
XBIZ: Is it a nice doll? Some of those can warm up to human body temperatures and such.
MILLS: Haha, well I unboxed it ceremoniously on Instagram. Back to “Future Darkly,” it will continue in what we’ll call a Pure Taboo spinoff series. What I’m thinking — I haven’t finalized this — is that next year, we’ll keep, within Pure Taboo’s overall content offering … which is about eight updates a month … Ill keep five of them for core episodes, standard stuff that we do, and then take the other three for my spinoff series. So, one “Future Darkly” a month. I have another called “Under the Bed,” which you might enjoy. It’s going to be horror, but not blood and gore, really more like psychological horror, taking inspiration from films that I love. Campfire tales, reimagined with sex. I don’t think that I’ll go into vampires, but I don’t know yet.
So, “Under the Bed” is gonna be my horror series, and then a series I’m really excited about, is called “Female Submission,” which is much more about dominance and submission and consensual subs and tapping a little bit more into the BDSM world. Not so much the bondage side of it, more the psychological side of dominance and submission. I like to say that I see it as a cross between a “Skinemax” film, an Elmer Batters photograph and a Tom Ford commercial. I want this thing to look like a million fuckin’ bucks. I’m really inspired by what I’ve done in my last few projects, in terms of the levels of cinematography and styling and set design and the details.
I’m very motivated by that right now. So I really want to make this look like every image from it you could hang on a wall, it’s so beautiful. It’s very beauty-focused. Light stories, a little bit like when you watch “Delicate Vice,” it’s a good example of that. There are probably about 10 words in that episode, but every word counts. There’s a real story there, but we tell a lot of it visually. That is going to be another site that we launch, beginning in December.
XBIZ: Let’s talk about the classic “female filmmaker” aspect of the business, and how you see your continued directorial dominance fitting into that meta cultural narrative.
MILLS: Shining a spotlight on female filmmakers is definitely important in our business. One of the things that I get asked the most is, “What’s it like to be a woman working in porn as such a minority?” and I’m like, have you looked at the women working here? Because 60 percent of those nominated for Best Director of the Year tend to be women! I do think that it is something that is certainly very topical, especially for people who are outside the hardcore porn-watching community or just curious surfers. There are a couple of projects that I have planned to tap into that. One of them is a series that Joanna Angel is directing called “Lady Gonzo.” And, effectively, what I wanted to do was…
XBIZ: …forgive the interruption, but your collab with Joanna Angel on “A Trailer Park Taboo” was excellent.
MILLS: Thank you. Yeah, I was really happy with that. It gave me good confidence to work with her on another series. We’re very close with Burning Angel; they’re one of our partners right now. And I just struck a new producer agreement with Joanna, so we’ll announce that around the time that this goes out. I wanted to bring something back to the Belladonna era of gonzo, where it’s a female behind the camera.
What I loved about the old Belladonna stuff is you got off on whether she’s going to get so turned-on that she jumps into the scene. Feeling her energy behind the camera. Joanna is the perfect modern counterpart to that. She’s obviously a very accomplished director and producer, behind the scenes, but also, obviously, a performer, and driven by that. So this is something that was a dream series for her and also one of the areas I wanted to tackle: gonzo. I wanted to tackle American gonzo. I didn’t want to shoot it the classic way. So this is almost all shot at night, much more a mix of a lot of what you would see with the old Belladonna stuff, cutting between her camera and the master camera.
So that’s one series. I’ll be doing another series called “Midnight Stories” where it’s like my “Tales from the Darkside,” haha, but with female stories. We’re going to have a loose narrative that ties together six original short films written and directed by different female filmmakers in the business. I’ll be more of a producer of that project.
XBIZ: How do you approach scripted vs. unscripted content?
MILLS: I, myself, have not written a full-fledged script in a few years. With Pure Taboo, I realized very quickly that if I was going to get the type of authenticity and the type of performance I wanted, it would be much better to get the actors into the mindsets of the characters and to let the dialogue flow improvised. I write a story treatment, essentially. My job on set is to effectively be that storyteller, to get everybody aware of who these people are, how they came to be in this situation, what the context is, what the relationships (are) — all the questions. And then work with them, essentially, on Method acting workshops throughout the rest of the day to arrive at the performances that we get.
That’s the thing that blows my mind. You can watch somebody that I’ve had on set a dozen times, playing a dozen different roles, doing a 10-minute-long single-take fighting sequence, all improvised! Whereas, you cannot see that in a lot of mainstream professional actors! And that’s really what I’m the most proud of. I think if Pure Taboo can shine a light on anything, it’s that if you give these people the proper stage, they can do remarkable things. You just provide the stage and say, “Okay, we’re going to treat today like it’s theater.”
And it’s improv — everybody’s got stuff that they can bring into their situation. Everybody’s got their story … everybody’s got their experience. If you let them just focus on that, you get remarkable results. But it’s most people just don’t care about that. Or, when I give you a script, then you’re going to spend so much time trying to remember the lines, whereas I would rather you just become this person and bring yourself into the character. So that’s been my approach over the last few years.
So these are some of the series that we have planned for the next year, in terms of the areas of the market that we want to tap into. And in terms of the Gamma studio sites, they’re not going away. Girlsway and Pure Taboo will still exist, Fantasy Massage, 21st Sextury. What it’s going to be much more about for something like Girlsway, is breaking away from the non-stop updating cycle. For a while now, Girlsway has been releasing content 21 times a month. We’re slaves to the update machine; it’s become a slave to itself.
XBIZ: How will you break away from the shackles of that update machine?
MILLS: What’s going to be interesting to see, is as that audience gets into the bigger petri dish, what are they watching within Girlsway, within other channels, and what we can we do to start to optimize the way we’re investing. Not taking away budget from Girlsway, but optimizing it … would they rather have a few less updates a month from the core series and more new concepts to keep things fresh? So, we have a lot of learning to do amidst the planning for our 2019 seasons, but we’re going to keep ourselves quite flexible, because we’re not really going to know the effects of how people are using Adult Time until a few months into the new year.
Girlsway, when we started out, we were on steroids! We were doing six big movies a year. And we scaled that back in favor of producing more volume, for which you can kind of feel the effects of that, a little bit. Not that the membership still isn’t really strong, but it’s starting to hit its peak because there’s not much about it that’s new and invigorating. So I need to make sure that within our Gamma Films sites, we keep that sense of the “crazy.” And my main contribution to Pure Taboo next year is probably going to be the spinoff series, I probably won’t direct many of the standalone episodes or write or direct them per se, but I will be very involved in the model collaborations, which has been a big thing for us. I really believe in it and the feature.
XBIZ: Let’s discuss your branding for Adult Time, like the logo and slogan. What are your overall marketing plans for post-launch?
MILLS: Our slogan is “Watch What’s Coming.” Lots of innuendos, of course. Looking at how we’re going to market Adult Time online, like I said, we want to get content fast to market, rather than sitting on pilots and releasing pilots all the time. We’re taking a lot of the tactics that you see places like Netflix using, getting channel pages up early, starting to build buzz and really leveraging social media to get the word out there. That keeps people excited, because with Netflix, you don’t cancel mostly because you don’t want to miss might come out. You want to know when it’s coming out. It’s definitely worth the price.
Also, in terms of our media buying, how can we do more programmatic advertising campaigns versus just mass-market stuff and all that? Also, offline, we really have two core activities within Gamma at this point: we have our paysite business and we have our broadcasting business. And when we brought Michael Klein on board with us this year, plus the Vivid deal, it really established that as a pretty big part of our business. That’s also going to be an opportunity to launch the Adult Time brand. Now, the way a lot of providers work, is it’s all brand-name associations, like “I’ll pick up a Girlsway channel, I know that name.” Right now, Adult Time doesn’t exist, right? So I can’t go and say, hey, you should brand all of your linear channels “Adult Time.”
But, we’re looking to leverage the Adult Time branding across VOD and DVD releases, so the new releases that we put out for our original programming are “Adult Time Original Series.” And as the Adult Time project goes public, obviously getting our name out there and working with Michael to get linear channels set up for us across Canadian, American, European and Latin American markets.
XBIZ: Will there be much effort put into DVDs?
MILLS: We’ll be putting out DVDs from all of our series, like how you guys have received copies of “Girls Under Arrest.” That would be an example of that from Adult Time, with the logo being used.
XBIZ: Overall, what are your immediate objectives as Adult Time gets off the ground?
MILLS: We need to look at how I can turn you from being a browser into a watcher, to keep you hooked and anticipating the next episode. And, making that data-sharing a real key part of our user experience strategy. We’re in this “smart tech” generation of instant gratification, where your thermostat tells you more information than you ever need to know. They like to know and they like to be involved. So, when we discover something, making that a key part of our sharing.
One of the things that I admire about Pornhub, is how part of their marketing strategy involves sharing such data to get mainstream attention. I mean, it’s interesting, you know? I will often read a Pornhub report when it comes out. Lots and lots of people do. So I want to make sure we bring that information-retention aspect into our user experience.
Branding-wise, I often have to explain to people what a “brand” is exactly. A brand is not a logo, it’s not a website, it’s not one thing or the other. It’s really, at the end of the day, what people say about you when you walk out of the door, when you leave the room.
And, for the first time, I would say — I’ve been with Gamma for 10 years — we’ve never been more focused, we’ve never been more clear and more aligned on what we want to achieve, and the passion and the enthusiasm that I bring to you guys today is the passion and the enthusiasm 200 people in Montreal are feeling as they work on this project. Enthusiasm is contagious and it’s really where we want to take ourselves in the future.
XBIZ: That’s awesome. And what kind of pricepoint are you looking at for subscribers?
MILLS: We haven’t played very much with price yet, because what we’re focusing on right now is getting all the members together and getting the foundation of the platforms strong. We will be looking at what we can do in term of price, not to raise the price, but to make users ask, “What is this utopia you’re giving us? There’s no tricks?”
We will experiment with multi-price options, I expect. Once get into the launch in January, where people can actually subscribe to Adult Time, it’ll be part of that rollout. We may also have a streaming-only price that’s cheaper than, say, the downloadable one.
XBIZ: And what was the official launch date?
MILLS: January 15, which is the same date as my keynote speech for XBIZ, and my daughter’s birthday!