The Rise of Girl Power: 2

Lisa Briggs
In part one, we began our look at how more producers are embracing art-centric products. In this conclusion, we'll look at changes in profession, the younger segment and beyond:

Dane believes that for women to be successful in this genre, they have to stay behind their vision and not compromise. They have to keep their passion at the forefront of their vision. For Dane, passion is what drives everything and will be a driving force in the future.

"The lesbian porn industry is going to blow up," Dane says. "It's becoming very accepted, and that means it will be hugely successful. For me, I want to be a pioneer of my own. Women like Candida Royale paved the way for me, and now I want to be known for putting out true authentic lesbian erotica in a cool, music video style."

DeRoot agrees.

"You can't have a linear black-and-white view of what girl-on-girl sex is," she says. "For obvious reasons, at this point in time, the quality productions are female dominated. They understand and appreciate realism and intimacy. In fact, intimacy is what sets apart true lesbian content from basic girl-on-girl action. Personality is equally as important as performance."

DeRoot cites a number of companies that are producing quality girl-power product, such as Fatale Media, Good Vibrations, Pink Visual Productions, Abby Winters and Violet Blue.

Change of Profession
Another woman who is paving the way is Sherry Halloway, the business genius behind GirlFriends Distributing. Five years ago, Halloway was a mortgage banker when she was approached to work as a producer at Girlfriends Films. She reviewed their product and liked what she saw. Rather than accept the position, Halloway took a second mortgage out on her house, bought a financial distribution company and took on Girlfriends Films as a client. She's never looked back.

"Ours is a market that has both a younger, more open audience as well as an older lesbian audience," Halloway says. "No matter what group you appeal to, you need to portray the real lesbian life."

Halloway has received praise throughout the industry for responding to that appeal and showcasing women who really connect and are not gay for pay. She also has received recognition for her mentoring. Halloway believes in teaching younger women about the adult entertainment business. Triangle Films is one of her success stories.

One of her protégés is about to release her first DVD this fall, and another new client has a product that was rejected by many companies because they felt her themes appealed to a very limited audience.

"Mainstream adult entertainment has issues with supporting lesbian-oriented products," Halloway says. "Their take is, why pay the extra money to film quality lesbian content when you can do girl-on-girl action for less, and which is really geared toward a male audience? Our company supports films that portray the real lesbian life: how they feel, how they hook up, the challenges they face. Where other companies won't touch them, I am excited to distribute them."

The Younger Segment
Halloway recognizes there are a lot of young producers whom nobody knows and who aren't working with established companies but offer quality product. She's fair with them, because she stands behind a philosophy that supports the younger segment of the industry.

"Our segment of the adult industry is all about a younger audience," Halloway says. "There are up-and-coming directors and producers who put a lot of thought into that audience and have real vision. If they truly want to produce a quality product, I'll work with them."

Along with committed yet unknown producers and directors, are the unknown stars of lesbian porn who are just as dedicated.

"I support those women who are starring in films because it is their dream," Halloway says. "The money is not there, and yet they're not giving up. They're putting in the time. They need a chance, and they deserve it."

Whether they are young stars, young directors or young producers, GirlFriends Distributing treats them the same as the older, more established players. Under Halloway's personal attention, they receive in-depth consultations, regular phone calls and customized business strategies.

"I'm much older than most of my clients, and from experience, I know they are afraid and are taking risks," Halloway says. "When I took a second mortgage out on my house, I didn't know what I was doing, but I had a vision and I knew I could attain it. Today, I am heading right to where I want to be — supporting young gay artists that no one else will take on."

For girl power to have staying power, Halloway firmly believes that no matter what your age or experience, you have to create a product that will stand the test of the very discerning lesbian audience.

"You better put something valuable in the mix if you want to stay in the game," Halloway says. "If you want staying power, you better do a good job. In this market, people are not willing to watch garbage anymore. You don't want your customers to feel cheated. You want your audience to go online or walk into a shop and ask for you by name."