Catching Up With Nic Cramer and Why He’s Rooting for Rob Black

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Scotty Schwartz you’ll remember is the kid actor famous for freezing his lips to a flag pole in the family classic, A Christmas Story.

Scotty, last night, is licking his lips at the prospect of the Chateaubriand on the Benihana menu. Me, I’m mentally licking my lips over the waitress serving us some pre-dinner fare. Though not intentionally, she shows me there’s still life in these 66 year-old pants and one of the reasons why I’ve gravitated to Japanese porn.

A more succulent woman I haven’t seen. Nic Cramer joins us at the table. I haven’t seen Nic in a Samurai’s age. He looks hale and hearty, maybe put on a couple of pounds, but haven’t we all. I first met Nic through Taylor Wane, and Nic wrote a gossip column for AVN before moving on to directing.

Cramer’s still got the old, old trophies, and he’s won back-to-back Best Director awards. Nic was in Sweden visiting family and has returned to porn realizing like a lot of us there’s nothing to return to. Manwin saw to that.

So Nic’s been working on his alternative career, tending bar in Hollywood and loving it. I tell him if I had to do it all over again, and having grown up in the bar business myself, I’d take my Hawaiian shirts and live the Bryan Brown lifestyle in the movie Cocktail. Nic and I then get into a discussion about Tiki bars.

He mentions how on one evening, Alec Metro, Mickey G and Steven St. Croix walked into the bar he’s working at though not together. Metro, I understand, got his life together and has a good job in the mainstream film industry; Mickey G. is understudy to a Beverly Hills chef and trying to become the next Gordon Ramsey.

St. Croix as you’re no doubt aware, has returned to the business after a stint in Cannes where the story was he was some gigolo to a French socialite, and when that didn’t work out returned to the states. At least that’s the story, although St. Croix explains it as pursuing an art career in the south of France. All of that news was a surprise to Cramer.

Speaking of art, I’ve been dying to ask Cramer about the Time Warner lawsuit over the parody Splatman that ultimtely brought down Mad Dad Dan’s company, Fresh Video.

This was when the mainstream really took an exception to porn parodies. Nic explains that it was never his company, that he was providing Dan with scripts for such “satires” as Nic calls them, like Married with Hormones. [No, Jeff Mullen wasn’t the first to do a Married with Children parody.]

According to Nic, Time Warner got wind of the movie because Tony Tedeschi went straight to their booth at one of the trade shows when Hollywood and porn shared the same floor space. Tedeschi, who played the Penguin role, went over with the movie slick and made the announcement offering to sign autographs.

About a week later, said Nick, Fresh Video was hit with a pile of legal papers about 6-inches thick. Time Warner demanded that the master be destroyed, the movies recalled and Fresh cough over something like $5 million.

When it became apparent that porn doesn’t make the kind of money everybody thinks, Time Warner settled for alternatives. This was happening about the same time Fresh Video got hit with another lawsuit from a company in Utah claiming to have the same name. That’s when Dan switched company names to Hip Video but eventually went out of business.

Nic said he lost touch with Mad Dad Dan but remembers him as a guy who always had money making ideas- not always legitimate- and remembered Dan hiring muscle to accompany him to the bank often with as much as $90,000 cash in weekly deposits. Nic for awhile roomed with the company’s salesman Keith Again, but Keith flaked on the rent and took off for parts unknown.

Nic tells me he’s been following with great interest Rob Black’s verbal assaults on Frank Koretsky. And Nic will tell you the same thing as I, that Rob’s a lot smarter than people give him credit for.

“It was obvious the first time I met him,” says Cramer who wound up suing Koretsky.

As Cramer was riding his hot streak as a porn director, he signed a two-year, $4.8 million exclusive contract with Koretsky to direct 48 films. Not videos. Films. Two a month.

Koretsky subsequently reneged on the deal and Michael Koretsky told Cramer, unhappy? Sue. So Cramer did and wound up winning a settlement although there was a counter-suit from the Koretskys.

In the end Cramer’s lawyer wound up getting a third, Nic got the rest which amounted to six figures but said the whole experience wore him out. But Nick who’s been there, is living vicariously through Black’s comments

Cramer said he wishes Rob all the best if a lawsuit comes down the pike as Black has predicted.

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