10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

News Feature 
Written by: on January 24th, 2016

Here at 10kbullets we are all about spreading the word about the films we love and went it comes to adult cinema there is no better website then The Rialto Report.

Here are links to their two latest podcasts.

João Fernandes: The Artist Formerly Known as Harry Flecks Podcast 57

João Fernandes was adult film’s first true cinematographer.

He started in New York in the 1960s shooting black and white soft-core sexploitation films.

Then he was the man looking down the camera when Deep Throat, Devil in Miss Jones, The Story of Joanna and other groundbreaking Gerard Damiano films were made.

He worked with Doris Wishman, Armand Weston, Jonas Middleton and many others. He was responsible for the visual flair of films like Through The Looking Glass and Take Off.

But his talent and success was a double-edged sword. How could he hope to turn his underground fame in a semi-legal industry into a mainstream career?

After years of struggling, he did find success in Hollywood, working as Director of Photography on Chuck Norris films, shooting movies starring people as diverse as Tony Randall, Tom Berenger and Christopher Lambert, and even directing episodes of the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger.

But all the time, he wondered: What would happen if Hollywood found out about his adult film past?

For years he denied his involvement in adult film – even when it eventually seemed to be an open secret. So when Ron Howard’s production company came knocking in 2005, looking for an interview for their documentary, Inside Deep Throat, he continued to resist, still determined to keep his decades old secret.

As a result the man himself has been a mystery. No one knew much about him. How did a Brazilian become porn film’s first visual artist, what does he remember about the notorious and fabled films he worked on, and does he have any regrets?

On this episode of The Rialto Report, the artist also known as Harry Flecks breaks a 50 year silence.

In a special extended interview, we speak to the man himself. Joao Fernandes.

April Hall of The Rialto Report writes:

Aaah… Billy Dee. It’s complicated.

I’d wanted to contact him for years. But accurate information about him was just difficult to find.

He was one of my favorite porn actors – who got started in the golden age of adult films in the 1970s and survived into the video era of the 1980s.

I heard he’d served in the armed forces during the Viet Nam years, or that he’d done time in prison for drugs. Some said he’d taught tennis at a nudist camp, but others remembered him having his own successful male stripping group before The Chippendales were famous. People couldn’t even agree on his race – was he black or mixed race?

And some said he’d left adult films to attend Bible College. He’d become a preacher, a Southern fire and brimstone evangelist, who shunned his porn past and wouldn’t welcome anyone asking about it. And so no one had heard of him since then.

I looked for him everywhere and eventually managed to reach him last year. The thing is I didn’t get a reply back from him until just a few weeks ago. It turned out that he was wary about talking about his career in adult films. He explained that when he stopped making films, he made sure that he really disappeared. Even his partner, actress Nikki Knights, didn’t know where he’d gone.

In the end Billy Dee agreed to talk. And it turns out he’s a salesman living in Scotland.

Like I said, it’s complicated.

April Hall interviews Billy Dee in this special extended edition of The Rialto Report.

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