A Day in the Life of Lightsouthern’s Director

Photo used with permission from talented boutique photographer Dirt Erotic  

Welcome to our blog series “Chicks in Charge” where we chat to women who have carved a successful niche in the adult industry. Introducing Michelle Flynn, founder and Director of Lightsouthern, Australia's most reputable adult production company.

Q. How would you explain to people what you do?

My usual line to 'outside industry folk' is that I run a boutique production Company. For industry folk my line is 'I run an adult production company and we do our own films and content production of international websites'.

Q. Did you always want to work in the adult industry or did you start in media and this is where your strengths lay?

I had an interesting start, but maybe actually a really great one into the industry. I started as a performer and then realised that I might be better behind the camera, so that's what I did. I learnt everything I possibly could from people around me (I worked for Abby Winters for 5 years). As most people do when working for other people, I realised that maybe I could do better, or offer something different and had the skills at that point to do it, so I went out on my own and thus Lightsouthern was born!

Q. Lightsouthern has obviously been driven by your ethical vision. Can you explain what that entailed?

Ethics has always been important, as it should be in any industry. We have a duty of care to provide a safe space for people to be able to let go and be potentially vulnerable. Feed the people, give them options to stop the shot, check in with them, explain release forms, give full-disclosure about the shoot before they are on etc. The adult industry gets a bad rap so I think we need to be extra vigilant so we can say "hey fuck you, we are more ethical that mainstream film in a lot of areas". I think coming from a performer background helps as well. It's not hard to be a good person and treat people with care and respect.

Q. What can viewers expect from a Lightsouthern production?

Our films are a ride, you laugh a lot and hopefully get off to something you find in there and maybe even discover a new travel destination (you're welcome). I wanted to create a body of work that anyone might like, regardless of your gender, age, sexuality etc. Just some fun, sexy adult entertainment. We do get commented on our visual style A LOT. Which is ripper, loving the idea of people seeing a frame and immediately being able to recognise where it came from.

Q. Do you have any mentors or people you admire in this industry?

Bella Donna was my OG fave pornstar back in the day *sigh*. I love Jiz Lee and Shine Loiusie Houston from PinkLabelTV. Kink.com have always had great business practises, ethics and business models which I have always admired and tried to emulate. Back here in Australia, photographer Kristy (@dirt_erotic) really inspires me and helps me make things look stunning and make shit happen. Anna Brownfield is my go-to-tech-god and her work, especially her recent film the Bedroom, is stunning.  A lot of the models I work with, I love  and respect dearly. 

Q. Why do you think Lightsouthern has been so successful?

I guess we are successful in that we have been able to sustain a business for the last 6 years, and lucky enough to have made a bunch of cool films our way. I dunno, I have worked pretty hard over the years and spent a lot of time picking the brains of editors, shooters, performers, industry folk and I am still researching and learning about the industry. I also think that business wise, it's helpful to have not just one revenue stream, get your stuff out there! Whether it’s subs sites, DVD, VOD, Manyvids, TV deals - There are a plethora of ways to make money in the industry, but probably if you are relying on just one, it will be harder and harder to sustain.

Q. Do you have advice for someone keen to get in front of or behind the camera?

In front: Get behind the camera at some point
Behind: Get in front of the camera at some point

Q. What do you love most about what you do?

So many things. What firstly comes to mind is that I get to hang out with really amazing people all day long and boy do we have some laughs! I enjoy being creative, looking through the lens at something that looks fucking beautiful and being reminded its porn is a trip! I love the business side of it also, which was initially a surprise for me, cos I'm kind of well, chill and 'non-businessey'. Though finding deals and pitching and creating new ways for revenue is actually a super exciting part of what I do.

Q. Has there been a career highlight or an ah-ha moment?

From back when I started I really wanted to win an AVN Award. I’ve been nominated a few times, but never won. Though the nominations get me super pumped up! About 2 years ago I watched my first VR scene and that was when things really changed in my head about where the industry could go and what kind of fun things we could do that exceed the fun things we are already doing. 

Q. Do you have a bucket list of things you haven't done or is there someone you'd like to collaborate with on a future project?

There are a bunch of international performers I would love to work with on feature projects incl. Jiz Lee, Bishop Black, Parker Marx, Paulita Pappel to name a few. I would also really like to win that bloody AVN award so I can move on from it, it's like a lingering ex.

Q. Are there any myths about the industry you'd like to debunk?

Where do I start? There are too many. Let me just say that if you know nothing about the porn industry apart from what you've seen on Pornhub, just assume you know nothing. Ask us, the people in the industry, we are more than happy to talk about it rather than people create unfair opinions about it and us.

Q. Do you have a dinner party story you'd like to share? 

Well I only tell them at dinner time ...

Q. If you could give the younger you some advice about your career what would you say?

Stop giving yourself home haircuts! No, I think I would just remind myself to earn my stripes, not rush ahead, learn everything you can first and everything you do is valid (well maybe not everything eek).

Q. Where can you see Lightsouthern in ten years’ time?

I didn't think it would last this long so who knows! I would like to see more LightsouthernVR production and have the performers really take the reins on Directing and Producing, you know, being able to fund their ideas. Creating a space to nurture performers/ directors/ producers to make the industry here bigger and better.

3 Comments

  • Two4OneOr2
    More than a month ago

    I Love it.
    Great Work Michelle, I'd love to get involved with the Australian Adult Film Industry, I just have no idea how.
    Keep up the momentum...
    :P

  • Hashtagfun
    More than a month ago

    Where are Michelle’s videos available for purchase ?

    • AMM.Editor Photo
      AMM.Editor
      More than a month ago

      At the bottom of the article you'll see "About Michelle Flynn". Click on that link and her bio contains her website link where you can access all the sexy stuff she produces.

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