Amplifying Creator Voices & Stories

Written by 3X WEST

We scriptwriters are always looking for the best story to tell. We look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere we can find – from our favorite books, TV, films, or even news articles, by doing word association exercises and brainstorms and writing prompts that jumpstart the imagination… The mark of a good writer is to tell an amazing story. But the mark of a GREAT writer is to recognize that sometimes the best stories aren’t yours alone to tell, that another creator can bring their own authenticity and perspective into a highly personalized narrative in a way that you could only ever approximate, never fully capture. And so, despite how strange it sounds, I’m incredibly proud to say I had NOTHING to do with the creation of 2022’s AVN Grand Reel award winner, Casey: A True Story. Instead, this project was an instance of Adult Time recognizing that one of our own long-time collaborators Casey Kisses had a fascinating true story she hoped to share one day with the world, and giving her the platform to tell it. 

We easily could have gone all “corporate” on her, co-opting her vision and suggesting changes to become more “marketable” or less “risky”, more this or less that, but we believed in the power of her message and wanted it to come authentically from her voice as she told it. In this way, we hoped to amplify her story, rather than distort it. We’re in a privileged position as an industry leader that can become a fine line to tread, a slippery slope between using our trends knowledge and market position to produce content that is popular, but also always with the risk of contributing to the homogenization and monopolization of adult entertainment. It’s so important to us to, when possible, amplify the creativity of others, especially any marginalized communities whose voices are all the more valuable because of being afforded fewer opportunities to be heard and seen. In this way, we felt it was not only our pleasure but also our responsibility as a big player in porn to change the landscape, however little we can make a dent on our own, by greenlighting projects like this – and then, importantly, taking a backseat with all of our trust and support behind the creators to make magic happen.

Defying MANY traditional porn conventions and celebrating the naked honesty of Casey’s journey, “Casey: A True Story,” filmed by respected director and co-writer Joanna Angel, broke new ground by showing the world the struggles, triumphs, and sexual awakenings of one woman’s transition in an unforgiving world.

A Star Showcase with Substance

Casey: A True Story” was a departure from usual adult film fare. “Star showcases” are aplenty in our industry, but these usually follow a standard formula of a handful of vignettes showcasing the amazing body, magnetic personality, and coital prowess of someone who embodies the “star” in “pornstar”. But a narrative star showcase, especially one based on the lead actor’s true life story, was unusual or perhaps even unprecedented. Casey wanted the project to be an emotional but also liberating experience for audiences, that aimed to challenge stereotypes and celebrate individuality. Joanna worked closely with Casey throughout the development of the project, from script to screen, to present her story with the sensitivity and depth needed to make this a movie that mattered.

Just as integral to the success of the project was the cast, who were able to convey so much genuine emotion and nuance into the performances to elevate the film.

Dante Colle, a highly acclaimed adult star known for his versatility and openness to various genres and pairing types, portrayed Casey in her pre-transition life. His dedication to bringing care and craft into portraying an assigned-male-at-birth character who would eventually go on to identify as a woman was so admirable, and his handling of the material and of embodying Casey’s younger self was integral to the success of the project.

Casey Kisses, a multi award-winning actress in her own right (including “Best Thespian” for this very film!), was not only the star but the heart and soul of the project. With over 200 productions to her name, Casey’s been no stranger to adult filmmaking, but she truly went above and beyond for this project to give the performance of her lifetime. At the climax of the film, her long-awaited sex role in Part 4 marks the perfect payoff to the anticipation and build-up of the first three chapters of her story, gratifying audiences with her breathtaking and captivating sway over the camera that refuses to let us go until the final closing moments.

An Uphill Journey of Self-Discovery

For those familiarizing themselves with the film for the very first time, “Casey: A True Story” is an autobiographical drama based on Casey Kisses’ own experiences. The film follows Cameron, a character struggling through their small-town life and grappling with gender identity. Through Cameron’s journey, the film sheds light on the unique challenges and triumphs of transitioning.

The film’s objectives were ambitious, seeking to:

  • Reflect Adult Time’s commitment to authenticity and diversity
  • Highlight a trans actress in a leading role
  • Inspire internal staff with a project that embodies our “Porn Done Differently” slogan
  • Cultivate a larger audience of trans women and those who love them on our platform
  • Showcase Joanna Angel’s talent as a dramatic writer and director
  • Garner recognition during the 2022 award season

We took plenty of unorthodox paths as we set out to produce the film – not least of which was to feature a story that spread across multiple sexual preferences, involving some heteronormative sex scenes starring cis women and cis men (parts 1 & 3) and some sex scenes pairing cis men and trans women (parts 2 & 4). But any perceived “risks” paid off in the long run, with the film becoming a huge critical success and industry darling.

“Casey: A True Story” swept the awards categories in early 2022, including winning the Grand Reel at the AVN Awards – which I believe was a first for a trans-led film. This success not only validated and vindicated those who championed for this project, but also propelled Casey Kisses to even more recognition and acclaim than she had already earned in the years leading up to this milestone, propelling her into the next chapter of her illustrious career.

Lasting Influence

“Casey: A True Story” pushed at the boundaries of adult cinema, demonstrating the power of storytelling to challenge stigmas and foster empathy – and also the impact that comes from amplifying the voice of someone outside our team to bring fresh ideas and raise awareness of important topics and issues that affect us all. We have since looked for more opportunities to collaborate with creators throughout the industry with an interesting point-of-view and a hunger to match ours: projects such as STARS, Feed Me, Aged Out, Switch, and more would never have been possible if not for Casey blazing the trail. Her magnum opus stands as a beacon of optimism and authenticity, inspiring us all to bring our best selves to this lovely little thing called porn.

Click here to watch Casey: A True Story for free!

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