One of the Murphy’s Laws states that whatever you aren’t prepared for will happen. So I was prepared.
(Excerpts from SKINFLICKS are in italics.)
I had backups for every light, cable, and connector; extra tools, tapes, head and lens cleaners; and written plans for every foul-up I could anticipate.
I strained the rental shop manager’s patience, rehearsing the details of equipment operation until I could white-balance the Hitachi SK-80 cameras and align their color tubes in my sleep. The video gods rewarded my preparation with the only shoot I’ve ever been on that didn’t have a single technical problem.
But you can’t prepare for the human factor. Especially when that human is making her porno debut.
The Memorial Day, 1979, shoot began with a “wet shot” of a
different kind: Convinced that Joe’s minor suggestions during the
opening scene of her porn career meant that she was screwing
up, Stephanie Bonds dissolved into tears. Playing both director
and father figure, my partner conceded that his l9-year-old love
slave “might be a tad sensitive for this business.”
Like so many newcomers, the Berkeley math prodigy was
nervous only about the acting; once the sex began, she relaxed.
Our “docudrama” Chained , about a neophyte guided through her
S and M fantasies by an experienced friend, was a scenario that
turned her on.
The chubby Texan, Michael Morrisson, was fascinated with
Stephanie’s pendulous, milk-white breasts. Like a huge hairy
baby with new toys, he kneaded, pinched, slapped and bit them.
He stung them with a cat o’ nine tails, leaving criss-crossed red
As detailed in SKINFLICKS, the sadistic Morrisson and the nervous, masochistic Bonds performed the most multi-orgasmic porn scene I ever shot.
With no equipment hassles, the shoot sped through six sex scenes per day. Compared to film, video was liberating.
The only cast hassle was Lysa Thatcher. The prima donnaish
star of American Pie refused to go into Montclair village for
a box-cover shot at a bus-stop bench. Instead, we had to haul one
of Joe’s benches into his driveway for a shot of Billy Dee trying
to peek up Lysa’s skirt as she ties a shoelace.
Despite skimpy stories and production values, our new features Chained, Peach Fuzz, and The Awakening of Emily were among the first adult videotapes with broadcast camera video quality.
“The fact that this was shot on video makes you feel like you’re sitting right next to the porn stars,” wrote a reviewer in Video magazine. “Don’t be surprised if your glasses steam up.”
I worried aloud about legal heat after Al Goldstein wrote that in Peach Fuzz Lysa Thatcher “looks more like a 15 year old high school baton twirler than a porn star.” But “Supertoad” Jackson said, “You should be celebrating. In my sales pitch, that line will be money in the bank.”
Next Post: Shooting All the King’s Ladies: Erotic Extravaganza or Error-Plagued Ego Trip?
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