The Prince Of Porn

the films of Gerard Damiano Sr – Restored

Tag: The Devil in Miss Jones

Acclaimed cinematographer João Fernandes talks for the first time about being “Harry Flecks”

João Fernandes is the biggest name in adult film cinematography, that you’ve never heard of. He is responsible for shooting many of the finest examples of “Golden Age” porn, including “Take Off”, and “Through the Looking Glass”. He has worked with directors such as Doris Wishman, Armand Weston, Anthony Spinelli, Jonas Middleton, and even blaxploitation star Fred Williamson. Born in Brasil, he studied film at NYU under Haig P. Manoogian, who also taught Scorsese, and cites Fellini as his greatest influence. His collaboration with Gerard Damiano Sr. began in 1972, on the film “Deep Throat.”

 João Fernandes & Jerry Damiano of the Set of

João Fernandes & Jerry Damiano of the Set of “The Story of Joanna” 1975

João shot all of my father’s most acclaimed films, including “The Devil in Miss Jones”, “Memories Within Miss Aggie”, and his masterpiece, “The Story of Joanna.” The two shared a dream of someday working on big-budget Hollywood films. For this reason João used the “nom de porn” Harry Flecks, (taken from the Arriflex camera that he preferred), at a time when his resumé might have prevented him from getting “legitimate” work.

Following “Joanna,” at the peak of the “porno chic” era, João and Gerry went to California together, to shoot the ill-fated “Once Upon a Time…Tomorrow,” a straight film that was never released. While on the West Coast, João made the necessary connections, then returned to New York to pack his bags. He made the move to California and before long had realized his dream. During his career as a Hollywood cinematographer, he shot “Children of the Corn,” “Red Scorpion” and “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.” In 1984 he shot “Missing in Action” which starred Chuck Norris, and began a working relationship with the kung-fu superstar that lasted for many years. He went on to shoot eight more films with Norris, as well as his TV series, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” even directing a number of the episodes himself. If you combine his film and television work, with his work in adult film, João has been credited as Director of Photography in no less than 93 productions.

Georgina Spelvin and Gerard Damiano Sr. in a scene from

Georgina Spelvin and Gerard Damiano Sr., in a scene from “The Devil in Miss Jones”, shot by João Fernandes

As a kid growing up, I knew João as a close family friend. I remember that he was usually the most handsome guy on the set. All the women were hot for him. Even my little sister had a crush on him. Still today, when Larry Revene and I met with the actresses of the “Golden Age”, they all asked about him, with a glimmer in their eyes. The last time that I saw João was more than 40 years ago, during the production of “Once Upon a Time”, in California. I was all of nine years old. For all these years he has retained his anonymity. Now retired, he was finally willing to speak candidly about his career in porn.

João Fernandes with The Crew of 2

João Fernandes with The Crew of 2, Ashland Oregon, July 2015
Photo by Gerard Damiano Jr.

Today, João lives in beautiful Ashland Oregon, with his wife of more than 30 years, an actress whom he met on set, she in front of the camera, and he behind it. We spoke at length, and he told me, “I learned an enormous amount of my own craft working with your father.” We watched “The Devil in Miss Jones” and “Memories Within Miss Aggie” together, and it was evident how far he had come since filming “Deep Throat” just two years before. He felt that “The Story of Joanna” was his best work with my father, perhaps the best work of his adult film career. Larry had worked together with João on “Take Off” and had great respect for him. I enjoyed listening to the two old DPs compare notes about films, cameras, and the people they both knew. João showed us his reel, which contained shots from a number of his films that showcased his most elaborate camera moves, most dramatic lighting, and highest production values. My father would have been proud to know that a shot of Terry Hall descending a staircase from “Joanna” made the cut.

In Hollywood with the most recognizable porn star in the world… Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy is not only a “Legend of the Golden Age of Porn”, he is, literally, the most recognizable porn star in the world. More popular today, than he was while at the peak of his adult film career, which spans 4 decades, Ron has starred in more than 1,400 films, directing 182 of them. He is known for his quick wit, and the rare ability to perform autofellatio on his 10-inch member. AVN (Adult Video News) has ranked him No.1, on its list of the Top 50 Porn Stars of All Time. Ron has found new generations of fans as a reality star, appearing in “The Surreal Life”, and he has appeared in dozens of mainstream films, including “Ronin” with Robert DeNiro, and the cult classic “Boondock Saints.” He can also be seen in music videos by Guns N’ Roses, Sublime, LMFAO and many, many, more.

I first met Ron in 1983, on the set of “Who’s Fantasy Is It Anyway?”, which was Gerard Damiano Sr.’s first shot on video feature. He appeared in 4 films for my father, including “Consenting Adults” and “Inside Everybody”.  In 1985, he starred in “Flesh and Fantasy”, and was given top billing, which was very unusual for a male porn actor at the time. My father shot this comedic retelling of his “Devil in Miss Jones” at Adventure Studios in Queens, and on location in upstate New York. It featured Ronnie as “Mister Jones”, whose bargain with the devil goes awry. Larry Revene and I both worked on this film.

Ron de Jeremy

Ron de Jeremy
“The Adult Rum”

We caught up with Ron in a seedy motel in Hollywood, which served as our soundstage. He regaled us with stories of his career, which he delivered with impeccable comedic timing, in a pure “stream of consciousness” flow, punctuated by licks on his harmonica. He ran down all of our batteries, filled up all of our memory cards, and kept us biting our lips to keep from laughing out loud and ruining the take. One thing that I was surprised to learn about Ronnie, is that he, too, was born and raised in Queens, New York.

Ron was the subject of the documentary film “Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy”, and has told his own story in the New York Times best-selling autobiography “Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz.” Recently he has lent his name to a brand of rum called Ron de Jeremy.

You can find Ron online at ronjeremy.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealRonJeremy, and like his fan page at facebook.com/TheRealRonJeremy

with Ron Jeremy, Hollywood California, July 2015

with Ron Jeremy, Hollywood California, July 2015

In Hollywood with “The Goddess of The Golden Age of Porn”, Georgina Spelvin

Georgina Spelvin  in

Georgina Spelvin in “The Devil in Miss Jones”

When she  met my father in 1973, Georgina Spelvin already had an impressive resumé. A classically trained dancer, she had appeared in “The Pajama Game” on Broadway, dancing for Bob Fosse. Her love of filmmaking led her and a group of fellow artists to found “The Pickle Factory” in Greenwich Village, New York, in the late 1960’s, where they made protest films against the Vietnam War.

Georgina's Broadway Headshot

Georgina’s Headshot from her Broadway Days

An accomplished film editor, with experience in all aspects of production, she applied for the job as caterer for “The Devil in Miss Jones”. When she showed up at the office for an interview, Jerry was auditioning John Clemens for the role of “Abaca” (The Devil’s Advocate), and asked her to run lines with him. When she left that day she had gotten both the catering job, AND the starring role in the film. “The Devil in Miss Jones” made headlines (as “Deep Throat” before it), but this time it was due to critical acclaim, rather than scandal. And Georgina was (in her own words), “skyrocketed from oblivion to oblivion”.

We found Georgina living in the lovely Hollywoodland section of Los Angeles, just beneath the iconic sign, together with her partner of more than 30 years. She regaled us with tales of working on “Devil”, as well other films, which she later made for my father, such as “For Richer For Poorer” and “Fantasy”. Now well into her 70’s, her formidable intelligence and quick wit, have only improved over time. She has recounted her extraordinary story in a memoir entitled “The Devil Made Me Do it”, which is available on Amazon.com. Read her blog at: http://georginaspelvin.blogspot.com/

The Crew of 2 with Georgina

The Crew of 2 with Georgina Spelvin and her partner John, Hollywood, July 2015