LOS ANGELES - Adult star Briana Banks has left Vivid Entertainment to start her own production company, Briana Banks Entertainment. The new label will launch in January at the 2009 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.
"I felt it was time to open a new chapter in my life, and to make a product based on my own vision and what my fans what to see," Banks told AVN. "There are no burned bridges or hard feelings with Vivid; they respected the fact that I wanted to move on to new ventures."
Banks is looking to sign a select number of exclusive contract girls. She emphasized the importance of finding the right performers, and treating them well.
"My main goal is to focus on the talent, and to recognize that without them we don't have a finished product," she said. "I want to create a better support system and a better work environment for contract girls. We're being very picky; we don't want to have 12 girls. We want to take two or three girls and build them into stars."
Banks confirmed that she will star in her company's first production, which is scheduled to roll in late November for release in 2009.
"I've put together a great team to back me, and we've been working really hard for about a month and a half getting ready to shoot," Banks said. "I don't want to give away too much, but I can say that my fans will not be let down. It will be a little more hardcore, but still pretty. The first movie is more of a high-class gonzo - it's not going to be a cheap $10,000 production. We hope to do some high-budget features; we will mix it up to give all the fans what they want."
Banks told AVN she in negotiations to reclaim the website BrianaBanks.com, which is currently owned by Playboy as part of the Club Jenna acquisition. She also plans to use her own domain BrianaBanksReloaded.com as a platform for her company.
"We will be doing DVD and Blu-ray, but we'll also be doing streaming scenes for the Internet and developing ideas for mobile," she said. "We have all kinds of ideas and concepts; I never got the opportunity to learn how to direct, but now as the president of the company I will get the hands-on experience with all aspects of how a movie is made and distributed."
Born in Munich, Banks grew up in Simi Valley, Calif., and got into the adult business in 1999 after answering an ad for nude models. The gorgeous, 5'9" blonde quickly became one of the industry's most in-demand performers, moving from down-and-dirty gonzo flicks into glossy contract-girl features including the Club Jenna bestseller Briana Loves Jenna.
But even as her career took off, Banks suffered from problems with substance abuse; she took a two-year hiatus from the business before returning at the AVN expo last January.
"I've been clean off drugs for few years now," she said. "And that's part of what led up to this; you clear your head, and good things start to happen."
When Banks announced her new company to fans on her My Space blog last weekend, Vivid was not yet aware of her plans.
"We heard rumors about Briana starting her own company but she hasn't called us herself yet," Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch told AVN on Wednesday. "We would be happy to help her in any way we can. We are sure she will be successful and we wish her the very best."
Banks is working out a DVD distribution deal for her company, but said it's "too early to announce the details." For now, she's excited about declaring her independence.
"I want to thank all of my fans for the support; I'm excited to give them something new that's coming straight from my heart," she said. "I've worked my butt off in this industry, and it's time for me to make my mark."
For more information and updates, visit myspace.com/brianabanksreloaded.