One bio has him in British Columbia at the same time another has him in New York, and they can’t seem to agree on where he worked and when. Confusing. The truth on the other hand is pretty straightforward especially when you check with the man himself.
Everhard was raised in Alberta, Canada. At 20, he did some website and still-photo work while attending college in Vancouver. One of his first shoots in the U.S. was for “an upstart director in Philadelphia,” Jules Jordan. Over the next few years they collaborated with such adult stars as Adrianna Sage and Jeannie Rivers, and then Everhard moved into full-time, full-speed-ahead performing.
In 2001, after securing his standing as a go-to performer, Everhard began directing videos for Anabolic and Diabolic Video. Mentored by Mike John, he gradually began performing less and directing more. Everhard moved to Red Light District in 2003, but when his deal exploded in a lawsuit in 2005 he moved to Evil Angel. Following several films there, he joined forces once again with Jordan, whose conpany now distributes Everhard’s eponymous product line.
Everhard has won a boatload of awards, and his standing with both fans and critics is solid. He was Rog Reviews Fan Favorite performer three years in a row and Critic’s Choice two years running, and has notched well over 850 performing credits and 80-plus directing ones. XBIZ spoke with Everhard at the end of November.
XBIZ: Forget the Internet versions and tell our readers what no one has heard yet, which is the truth about how you got started.
EVERHARD: As a kid I was a porno fan, but it seriously started with a girlfriend I lived with. We’d get movies on occasion. There I am, 18 or 19, watching them with her and she’d say, “Hey, you could do that.” Just to make sure, we’d try it.
XBIZ: So you “rehearsed” a lot?
EVERHARD: Sure, until we broke up. Then one day I’m looking in the paper, see an ad for porn models and call. This guy says come on down, maybe they’ll use me. I knock on the door, they open it and say, “Can you fuck a chick right now?” They had a girl ready to go, and needed somebody to do this scene with her. “Can you pop in about five minutes?” they ask me. So I did, and that was that. I thought, “No big deal, that was easy!” And I got $50, too.
XBIZ: Finally, truth meets legend. And then?
EVERHARD: I’m at home two days later. My phone rings. It’s the same guys, asking me to do it again. That’s the truth. I got a foothold in this business because they couldn’t find any guy who was able to get it up on command. This was pre-Viagra days, simpler times. Either you could do it or you couldn’t.
XBIZ: How has the transition from performer to director been for you?
EVERHARD: I still perform on occasion for certain producer friends, but it’s mostly directing now.
XBIZ: You’re a hands-on, Valley director. But how involved are you with everything else?
EVERHARD: I do it all, because it’s my name on the product. I do all my box covers, the editing, everything. I am a micromanager — for self-defense mostly.
XBIZ: Your camera of choice?
EVERHARD: A Sony HVR-Z1U at the moment, but I own a Sony EX1 Pro HD that I am going to start using.
XBIZ: With the color that Sony is famous for, and the clarity of HD, how do you balance everything to get that clean, blemish-free look of your “Jailbait” series, for example?
EVERHARD: Lighting, set design, it’s all critical, of course. We want to create the very best viewing experience for the viewer. Period. We don’t have any secret weapon, just the same KinoFlos and reflectors and stuff that everyone else has.
XBIZ: Why all the post effects today? Why use filters and effects when you have that beautiful HD material?
EVERHARD: I have a theory, and I challenge people to prove me wrong. HD is great, but when you talk about the final result, it’s all about the chicks. I like seeing hot chicks, as up close and personal as possible. But if you say you have a problem watching a hot chick in too much of a close-up because of that pimple on her butt, then the problem isn’t HD. It’s your chick standards.
XBIZ: Can you expand on that a bit?
EVERHARD: With lower resolution cameras, post-processed HD or crappy Flash clips on the Internet, you can’t see a blemish so more girls are beautiful, right? Only “A” girls are still beautiful in a well-made HD flick. If you’re shooting a “B” or “C” girl you don’t want to shoot in HD at all.
XBIZ: What happens on an Everhard set to bring all the pieces together in some memorable way?
EVERHARD: The on-set vibe is key. When it needs to be lighthearted it will be, and when we need to buckle down and get that shot right, we do that, too. It needs to be the right people, especially if there’s a new girl. You want her to have a good time, but you need her to do multiple things. The guy has to give a great performance, but bring something out of the girl that she doesn’t know is there, something energetic or surprising.
XBIZ: Like the TV reality show format?
EVERHARD: It’s more like “hyper-reality.” My movies meet you where you’re at then take you beyond. I am a big fan of Schwarzenegger and action movies, although I don’t have 20-inch biceps or go around blowing people up. But I can see myself doing something beyond the norm through these guys. We all want to be and do more than is expected of us. I’ve gotten tons of e-mail over the years from guys who said they “learned some moves” from my movies.
XBIZ: What’s the state of the industry today, from the performer and director side?
EVERHARD: Clearly, the Internet and digital distribution model won, and the DVD is dying. It’s going to hurt directors who haven’t established themselves because with the Internet model they are faceless and nameless. Now it’s “this content is from this website here,” and even if the content is good, you don’t know who’s in it or shooting it. I feel fortunate that I came along at a time when you could still make your name as a performer. I sure won’t be the go-to guy when I sail past 40. Our generation needs to pass the torch, but who’s there to take it?
XBIZ: What’s the view from the studio and corporate side?
EVERHARD: It’s like everyone said after 9/11. “It’s a different world now.” There will be more contraction, which hurts because people are making less money. But there ‘s a lot of bad porno out there and it has to get flushed, along with the opportunists who make it.
XBIZ: With this global financial mess, the focus will shift to saving money, but some companies will slash and burn without thinking. What are the smart money-saving moves?
EVERHARD: John Stagliano pioneered the idea that letting the porn creator keep control would put the money on the screen. Too much money ends up everywhere else. Creative destruction is the way out of this mess, with the world’s finances and the adult industry’s, too. Bottom-feeders going broke, that’s precisely the contraction we need, because the consumer hasn’t been given enough quality options. There’s horrible stuff online, but they know how to push and pull the traffic. And being good doesn’t mean people will find you.
XBIZ: Aren’t there some pretty basic economic principles at work here?
EVERHARD: Sure, supply and demand. And it’s a law, not a suggestion. When everybody had 40 bucks, they could get both the good flick and the not-so-good one. Now they are down to 20 bucks and can only afford one, so they buy the good one.
XBIZ: Okay, you’ve got all the big studio owners in a room. What do you say?
EVERHARD: Stop thinking shortsighted and short-term. Enable those who love the work to do their best. I used to work for Red Light, and David Joseph would say, “I don’t like porn and I don’t watch it,” and I’d think to myself, “You’re making the business decisions here?”
XBIZ: Quite the diagnosis, Dr. Everhard. Your prescription and prognosis?
EVERHARD: Porn is now a commodity, and it’s the Marriot, Holiday Inn and Sheraton that are cleaning up. There’s no money trickling down to the trenches. Eventually that hurts everyone, big and small. We have to go through the shakeout and it will be painful. But when the biz is left to those who believe in it and want to do a good job, the industry will come back. Look back at the Internet boom/bust cycle. The losers, the 80 percent that were hype, are gone, but the quality operations remain.
XBIZ: Got any ideas about the “next big thing”?
EVERHARD: The iPhone wave means a big and growing mobile audience. But unless we change the business model it would probably be like the hotel deal, where we get a few bucks and the gatekeepers keep the bulk of it. They don’t want to share it. We’ll have to stay tuned and keep an eye on that one.
XBIZ: What’s next for you?
EVERHARD: At the end of the day I’ve always done what I like, so I will keep doing it. I am a big fan of Eastern European blondes, so I hope to head back there soon. If you like nasty fat chicks in your movies, don’t buy mine. As far as the porn business goes, I’m not worried about the long-term. Quality companies, like quality people, will weather the storm.