Dan O’Connell Reflecting on 700 Movies
Leading all-girl adult film studio Girlfriends Films has announced the milestone of producing 700 original feature film titles since the studio’s inception in 2001. Director and Girlfriends Films founder Dan O’Connell looks back on 16 years of movie making in this compelling retrospect.
“I started keeping my talent releases in a single file folder, having no idea that I’d soon grow to having enough movies to require a whole file keeping system. For me, reaching 700 movies is a story about survival. When Girlfriends Films opened for business, there were a lot of small, fledgling companies. Of those, none that I know of have survived.
From the beginning, I tried to do things differently from the big companies, who all seemed to be following each other with what I considered to be mindless sex-fests without any attention paid to relationships or seduction, instead aiming to a target audience they assumed had a low and very primal intellect. Hence, two things have appeared at the top of every box cover Girlfriends has ever produced: First is our motto “For fine people with curious hearts and minds”. The other is the very simple heart logo that is designed to suggest both love and seduction.
In the beginning, when I was packing and shipping all the mail orders myself, I included a hand-written thank-you with every order.
I did a lot of reinvesting in the company, which ultimately paid off big time. While they didn’t necessarily provide any more profit than our other movies, making movies in Europe and producing more-costly and complicated movie series such as Road Queen and the elaborate Girls in White all helped to set Girlfriends Films apart from the others. Another thing we did right was our charity program, which each month let a performer select her own charity that we’d give $1,000.
Not only was it the right thing to do from a charitable standpoint, but it is still something that adult businesses need to do and publicize if we are going to gain the acceptance of the world at large. We have the world’s largest market – everyone who enjoys sex – but we have our biggest annual trade show in a couple of hotel rooms. That’s ridiculous. Our trade-show week should be too big for Las Vegas to handle. And it’s our industry’s own fault that it isn’t, and that we are still reviled by the general public. The tube sites and other outfits that steal content and put it out there for free – where nearly any 8-year-old can access it – have been the biggest and worst abusers in this regard.
When Girlfriends started out in the year 2001, Jim South and his World Modeling Agency was the sole store for finding talent. It wasn’t long before other agencies cropped up. And it slowly became more acceptable for talent to do this.
We’ve been fortunate to have our best-ever talent pool over the past few years.
I’ve made the vast majority of Girlfriends Films movies, somewhere north of 500 of them, with B. Skow doing nearly all of the others. The most difficult part – but one of the major factors in allowing us to make it to 700 movies – is that each one has a story line. Writing those scripts has been the most tiring and consuming part of the process for me. It requires a plot, characters and a seduction.
While I’ve never shot a script twice, I made things a little easier for myself by making movie series where the story line and lead characters continue from one movie to the next, much like a television series. An example is the Road Queen series, in which Deauxma drives her customized and pink 1951 Ford around the desert Southwest, picking up girls and encountering the unusual. This very successful series went to Volume 35 until Deauxma retired from the business. Better scripts and the fantastic talent we’re getting have made our movies better and better.
Nearly all of my movies center around the snooty, old-money town of Thornhill, which give them a sense of continuity and familiarity.
Our biggest movie series, of course, has been Women Seeking Women, which is the most awarded series in the history of porn. This week I just finished shooting Volume 150 in that series.
The good fortune of producing 700 movies rests in the hands of many people. It could not be done without GFF’s employees, our distributors, our final customers and especially our talent. It takes a courageous soul to get nude and have sex for all the world to see. Few people have the nerve to do that. I have great respect for talent and it has always bothered me that so many people see them and our industry negatively.
I’ve met many wonderful people in this venture! And on top of that, we’ve made many customers very happy. If laughter is the best medicine, orgasms can’t be far behind.
Reaching 700 movies makes me really excited for number 1,000!
Based on our current release schedule, that will happen around the year 2024. I want to make that one! I promise you it’ll be extra special! My best ever!”
Director, and Founder of Girlfriends Films