This article originally ran in the April 2014 issue of AVN magazine in a series of interviews with Elegant Angel Productions directors. Click here to see the online digital edition.
Asa Akira has been directing since May 2013. "Nine months ... I could have had a baby," she said with a laugh when AVN spoke with her. Her first directorial effort was Gangbanged 6 with Alexis Ford and Chastity Lynn.
"It felt like a natural decision. I was not directing myself, but I did do my first gangbang for Elegant Angel. I love getting gangbanged, so why wouldn’t I love directing a gangbang? Looking back, if I could do it over, I would not select that as my first production. I didn't realize how much goes into it. I think it came out well, but I wish I had saved it for later because I know so much more now. To manage seven guys, find a location that's cool, there's more to it than a regular boy/girl scene. I got home from shooting that first gangbang and I thought, 'This is more exhausting than getting gangbanged.' Directing it was a lot more work than performing."
Akira likes to shoot real sex: "My favorite thing is when two performers just go at it, and to capture that. I think that's what's so special about Elegant Angel, that the performers get to genuinely make a connection and generally fuck however they want. As a performer, I know that for so many of us, our favorite company to shoot for is Elegant Angel. There are no sex stills, there's no softcore. Once the sex starts, it's 30 minutes of nonstop sex, however you want to do it. It's genuine sex that we're shooting, and I would never want to mess with that."
Akira brings the attitude of a performer to her directing. She makes it a point to match people with who they want to work with. "Even if I have to go through the agent. A lot of agents don't like us communicating directly to talent, but I always try to. I think it's really important that people work with people that they want to work with. Why spend that kind of money if you're going to put two people together that don’t like each other? There's nothing like two people fucking for the first time. That's an amazing thing to catch. I also make sure the girl gets the makeup artist that she wants. As female talent, that is SO important to me. If I don't feel pretty, I'm not going to do my best. I'm thinking all the time about how gross I feel. I also try to pick comfortable furniture for people to fuck on. I don't know how many times I've had sex on a desk and I don't ever want to do that again or put that upon someone.
"Aside from the sex, what I really love shooting is interviews. I am genuinely interested in what the girls are like outside of porn. I like to get into their heads and see what brought them on this path. I think that comes from my always wondering about myself: What brought me here? I don't know. I had a totally normal childhood. My parents are still together. My dad is present. I was never abused, sexually or in any form. No drug problems. It baffles me why I'm in this industry." She also likes finding out about the personal development of new talent: "Some of these girls had fucked, like, two people before they got into porn. They're discovering their sexuality on camera, and it's cool to me to see these women who are pro-porn, pro-sexuality. It's like this new wave of feminists. And there's a lot of us. And I think that's pretty awesome."
The two movies she's proudest of are Asian Bombshells and Performers of the Year 2014.
"Two totally different movies. I wanted to shoot Asian Bombshells, obviously, because I'm Asian. I'm all for pushing the Asian girls and making a bigger presence for them. The girls were really nasty and I love that. Every girl gave an amazing performance. Performers of the Year is not quite as nasty, because the girls are newer and they're just starting to get their feet wet. A few of them did their best performance ever, and I got to do really in-depth interviews. For me that's a lot of fun."