Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The First Failed Sequel: Part II


By the end of 2011, Philip had enough money to do another shoot so he assembled the main cast including Gene Snitsky  of WWE fame, Ryan Jimmo of MMA, Bryan Jennings the son of the original Manos Sheriff, Diane Mahree who played Maggie in the original, Bernie Rosenblum, the kissing guy in the car/cameraman, and me. We also had Jay Lee, Rick Zunck, the documentary team, Phil, some local actors and support. We all assembled in El Paso for five days to do those scenes. By that time, I had a clearer view of Phil’s business strategies and what he termed as his “wacky deals” while often boasting his great negotiation skills.  During the five days in El Paso, Gene Snitsky quit and was convinced to come back, Jay Lee, our director quit and then decided to finish the scheduled shoot because that's who he is.   Our El Paso coordinator, David Garcia quit while we were in El Paso and Phil convinced him back because we could not have completed our work there without him.  David arranged everything! 
Our leader massaged every story so he was never at fault when things don’t go well by painting himself as either a victim or as just wacky Uncle Phil who wants the best for everyone and in his excitement, sometimes makes little mistakes. When backed into a corner or accused, he would strike out turning the tables with belittling comments, negative pointed remarks and then finally indifference as in “Well, if you don’t want to do this, fine, we’ll just go find another Debbie" or "It is what it is”. When things were going well, he would create stories using fictional people as great supporters, or embellish a small detail to appear as the hero.

Sometime around then he began talking of doing a restoration of the original claiming he had found a copy of the film. He told me that Bernie Rosunblum, the original photographer on Manos, had a copy and he (Phil) was working on a deal to obtain it. Bernie then had a stroke in Nov 2011 upon which Phil called his wife and said “Well, too bad about Bernie. Guess he can’t be in our movie now”. She was so upset that they refused to speak to him again.  Phil called me after that to say “I think I put my foot in my mouth” After then went to Rifftrax to see if he could work a deal with them to get that copy and restore it with his help so they could be partners, with them footing the bill. Rifftrax then obtained their own copy somewhere and cut him out.  About the same time, I heard about Ben Solovey, a young film student in Los Angeles who had found the original Manos workprint in an ebay auction in a box full of old  films. He then set out to raise money and restore his print. I told Phil he should connect with Ben and that maybe they could work together and help each other since they had the same idea of restoring it. Phil ignored that and then posted on his website that he was already doing a restoration and then he began talking about Ben as some creepy kid. When Phil realized that Ben had raised over $45,000. in less than 3 months on Kickstarter for his restoration, Phil contacted Ben. At first friendly, then began to threaten him saying he (Phil) had found the original copyright to Manos and that Ben better team up with him and give him the rights or he would take it by force.

Phil told me he had the copyright and three of the best attorney’s in Hollywood working Pro Bono on the case.  Those attorneys agreed he had a valid copyright. He also said he had created a partnership with Joe Warren, Hal Warren's son to do this and that Joe now could demand licensing fees from anyone doing anything with Manos from here on. I expressed concern about how that would affect me, my planned career concerning Manos and all the projects people created out of love for the film.   He said that I could be assured that Joe listens to him and he would make sure that Joe shares with dad and I any money that comes from the licensing, etc. I did not believe any of that and began my own research as to what I can and can’t do regardless of their claims. Also, during all this, I learned that Phil was claiming publicly that he was in charge of dad and I and that we would not do anything without his permission. He represented us to Rifftrax in this manner. When I heard about that, I told him he clearly has no right to say that and does not represent us. He became very angry, yelling that we are supposed to be a team and stick together and if I didn’t want to be part of the family, so be it. I wouldn’t get to share in the future bounty and could merely be an actress in his film. He also expressly forbade me to communicate with Ben Solovey who I had become friends with. 

Many other things were going on at the same time that I wasn't aware of until later.  Suddenly I'm told that Rifftrax is doing a live show of Manos in Nashville in June 2012 and that Rupert Munch Senior (remember him? It's in part one so I'll wait if you need to go back) will get to do a Torgo Skit for the audience and that the trailer for his Manos sequel will screen.  I was told I need to be there. My reply was that as things presently stood, I didn't think I should.  I was told (again) that he could just go get another Debbie.  My answer to that was one of the few satisfactions I got to feel up to that point. "Good luck with that.  I am Debbie"

 Soon after that, I was contacted by the El Paso Film Festival about making an appearance at the annual Classic Film Festival where I would be a special guest on August 5th 2012 for the screening of Bens restoration, and to talk about my role in the original.
They would be showing Ben’s restoration and I knew Phil would have a fit  so I didn’t tell him knowing that if I gave him an opportunity he would sabotage it.  Ben decided he would tell Phil and get it over with several weeks before the show so that he would have time to deal with any interference. Phil then demanded a $10,000. licensing fee from Ben in order to proceed. Ben refused and then ignored him after his (Ben’s) IP lawyer looked at the “copyright” saying it was nothing more than an application and therefore not valid. As I was boarding my plane to El Paso from Portland, Oregon on Friday afternoon August 4th, the Artistic Director of The El Paso Film Festival called me and said they had just received a call from Phil.  His lawyers were insisting the screening of Manos be canceled because it would be illegal to proceed and since the Film Festival was in full swing, there was no time to investigate, especially because they were contacted late Friday afternoon.  I got on that plane having no idea what was coming next.

Since you are already here, check out some of my artwork on tshirts.  

                                                                   The Master Tshirt


                                                           Frank Zappa as The Master

                                                                       and my podcast
                                                                 Jackeys Hand of Horror  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The First Failed Manos Sequel : Part One


I first learned of Philip Francis from a music video he had posted on You Tube titled “Take it Easy, Manos Style” in June 2010, which can be seen right here.   Take it Easy: Torgo Style  
I contacted Philip through the wonders of the internet and he gave me a phone number asking that I call to discuss a project he was working on.  When I called, the person who answered had me hold while he got another guy with an odd New Zelandish/ Australian type accent who told me his name was Rupert Munch Senior.  He said he was the guy who created the music video and who played Torgo. He went on to say he had several projects in the works concerning Manos and wanted to know if I would be interested in participating.  I told him that I was interested in anything Manos.  About then, the accent dropped and he revealed he was the initial person who had answered the phone.  A bit eccentric, but what the hell.  It’s about Manos.  He told me he had attended ComicCon as Torgo and had the idea he would continue developing his version of the character. He was hoping to connect with Rifftrax, Cinamatic Titanic and anyone else in an effort to create some projects with support.  Torgo at San Diego Comic Con    Over the next year he wrote a script that included my dad and I and anyone else from the original he could find.   We spoke often as his plan developed and he went on and on about how, if his film ever made money that my dad and I would be compensated with percentages that are unheard of in the movie business and how everyone thought he was crazy to offer so much, that nobody but him would do such a thing.  All verbally and without stating what kind of numbers he was talking about.  We would share in all the merchandising and that he had already worked a deal with an action figure company to make our action figures. He asked if I would be interested as an artist to create the art and many of the props for his film as my dad did in the original. I would be able to sell copies of my work with his help and make more money. His script was titled Manos, Search for Valley Lodge and I had agreed to play the lead role of Debbie Morgan, the grown version of little Debbie from the original Manos. He began collecting other notable cast members, found a Director of Photography, put some money together to get started and began making tangible plans for shooting his film. He convinced my dad, Tom Neyman to reprise his role of the Master in a cameo scene and sent him $500.00 as an enticement. In May 2011 he came to Oregon for 4 days to shoot my dad’s scene because my dad was unwilling to travel away from his family. The group that came to Oregon was Philip, Jay Lee our Director of Photography and a documentary crew who are making a documentary about the sequel to “The Worst Movie Ever Made”. They all stayed at my home and the home of my friend, Rick Zunck who was chosen as Assistant Director of Photography. Philip convinced Joe Warren, Hal Warren’s son  (Hal, the director of the original Manos, died in December 1985)  to loan us the original Master’s robe he had so my dad could wear it for his scene. We were thrilled to see it again and to know it had been so well cared for, but were sad to have to send it back since that was the deal Philip had made.  That was when we learned that Joe had The Masters painting and it, too was safe, but we would never have it back either.   
If I was blind to all the red flags up to then, I should have seen them on that first shoot.  Four days for one scene.  Granted, it was a The Master and Torgo scene, but still.  

See you next Torgo Tuesday for part two of this epic and ridiculous story.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Debbie Does San Diego Comic Con

I just got back from my epic Southern California trip yesterday afternoon.  Three weeks all together and I interviewed six different people for my Jackey's Hand of Horror podcast including Dwane Whitaker, the pawn shop dealer in Pulp Fiction.  I only say that for reference.  Dwane and I had a great chat on a number of subjects.  That episode will air on Thursday July 26th.   https://soundcloud.com/handofhorropodcast

I had an amazing last minute opportunity to attend a panel at the Los Angeles You Tube Space that was moderated by Felicia Day, who I was honored to meet and chat with briefly afterward.  The panel was "The All Female Showrunners Panel" and included Willow Polson who is creating the new project we're working on.  I talk a bit about that a couple blog posts ago.

For the big event, I attended San Diego Comic Con last Thurday, Friday and Saturday as part of the Pulsar Entertainment booth to promote the upcoming Web Series and Comic Book titled Manos: The Debbie Chronicles.
It was an incredible experience in so many ways.  Was a blast hanging out at the table and seeing how many people figured out that I was the little girl in Manos and The Master is my dad.  Wish I had a Go Pro set up to get the reactions, as it would make a funny compilation of surprised expressions.
The networking over those three days was more than hoped for and will take some time to absorb and organize.  The energy, crush of people, sound and visuals were at a constant maximum making the whole event both exhilerating and exhausting.  Fortunately, the two day drive home to Oregon gave me some good time to reflect and sort it out. 

Just got back yesterday afternoon and am already hitting the ground running.  Much to do for all that is coming. 

Enjoy the photos of San Diego Comic Con and I'll be back next Torgo Tuesday.















Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Headed to San Diego Comic Con

Short post today because I'm preparing for San Diego Comic Con.  Not only is it hard to believe I'm actually going, but that I'm going as part of a really cool project.

Short post too, because I can't say much about that project yet, other than it is both a web series and a comic book,  titled Manos: The Debbie Chronicles.  Very much looking forward  to sharing a lot more about this upcoming weekend where I'll be signing at the Pulsar Entertainment LLC booth #1235 at San Diego Comic Con, July 19 - 22.  I plan to be there all four days so if you attend, I hope you'll stop by.

While you're here now though, I hope you'll check out my Jackey's Hand of Horror podcast.  I'm still on a learning curve (but who isn't?) and feeling really good about the development.  We still have some polishing to do but I love the segments, the ideas, the special guests and my team.  Enjoy.

Jackeys Hand of Horror

For the next upcoming episode I had the great pleasure of chatting with Duane Whitaker who played the pawn shop owner in Pulp Fiction and yesterday I interviewed an amazing young woman with a popular YouTube channel for another episode.
Please consider clicking that follow button while there. 💗💗💗

Here are other ways you can find me, see what's happening in the Manos world and connect.

https://www.facebook.com/Debbiesmanos/

https://www.facebook.com/GrowingUpWithManosTheHandsOfFate/

https://www.facebook.com/Jackeys-Art-338570813299450/

Manos: The Hands of Fate Fan Club
Join us, won't you?


Manos Returns screenings and movie information 

https://www.facebook.com/manosreturns/

https://www.manosreturns.com/


...and... a fun little article about me in

 Weed Aficionado Magazine 

See you all next Torgo Tuesday when I tell you all about San Diego Comic Con and share a few photos.  One goal is to get a better photo with Felicia Day than the one I got a couple weeks ago. 😜 She looked fine.  Me? Not so much.



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Debbie Does Los Angeles

I make a goal of getting a blog post out on Torgo Tuesday's, but if you follow me here, you'll know that's not always the case.  Sometimes it's more like Wobbly Wednesday and even missing a week or three altogether when there's too much going on to sit down.  Time just slips away.
In this case, Tuesday turned into a really busy day and Wobbly Wednesday became catch up day.  No idea yet what to call Thursday.

I'm in Southern California for a couple weeks and for San Diego Comic Con next weekend.  When coming down here for extended times, I try to arrange meetings and visits with people in the area to make the best use of my time as possible.  At this point, between all my connections and upcoming projects here and other connections and projects in Washington State, Oregon makes a nice home base.  Good thing I've got a great car and enjoy road trips.
 Tuesday became much more than I had expected.  I had an appointment in Studio City to interview                                                                      Duane Whitaker 
on Jackey's Hand of Horror Podcast.   We had a fun visit and catch up.  The first time we met was in April when we were both guests at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland.  Although Duane's biggest claim to fame is as the pawn shop owner in Pulp Fiction, he is a writer, producer and acting coach as well.

 I did pretty well heading back to where I'm staying with a bit over an hour drive, and was feeling a little proud of myself when a message came through my facebook chat from Willow Polson, creator of a new web series titled Manos: The Debbie Chronicles and instigator of a comic series with the same title.  She says, "Did you get the invitation?"  After a string of confused back and forth, we realized I never received the email inviting me to an event in Los Angeles (an hour and 45 away) that looked pretty cool.  Problem was, the event started in 3 hours at YouTube Space Los Angeles.  After a brief internal struggle and with the realization that Felicia Day would be moderating the event, I jumped into action. I got myself ready and back on the road headed much the way I had just come.  What a great event it was.  I met so many forward moving and successful women in writing, film, You Tube and social media.  The All Women Showrunners' Panel was so full of information and inspiration tht I am still riding that wave and ready to go ahead with some new ideas.  Click here to learn a  bit more about the event  http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/genre-tvs-female-showrunners-talk-life-after-metoo




While there, I made sure to introduce myself to Felicia.  Debbie finally got to meet Kinga.  So great that I was a bit tongue tied, which is rare for me. Managed to remember to get a photo but my rushed planning ensured my phone would die at any moment for lack of a charge but managed to get a quick one snapped.  Not my most flattering but can't resisit sharing.  Heard she'll be at San Diego Comic Con next week with the Shout Factory booth so I'll see if I can get another chance.


I'll be there as well to promote the web series and comic as part of the Pulsar Entertainment booth number 1235.  If you attend the con, I hope you'll find me and say hi.   I'll have my books to sign and a few photos...and always a story or two.







Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Debbie Just Turned 59

It's been a while since I last wrote.  Busy, busy.


First of all, I had some Manos Returns Kickstarter fulfillment to do.  We all had been assembling the rewards for a few weeks and once the final items arrived, it was go time.  My house became the fulfillment center and I became the staff.  I had the lists, the packaging, the merchandise and a "planning how to ship" conversation with the one employee at our tiny Post Office.  Was exhausting, but the whole thing worked remarkably well.  A few days later the backers began posting about how much they liked our film and how we had honored the original film, the original cast/crew and the fans.  Best News Ever!



Manos Returns had another screening a couple weeks ago.  This time, in Seattle at The Grand Cinema.  My co-writers, Tonjia Atomic our director, and Rachel Jackson assistant director got to do a little Q and A with the small but enthusiastic audience.  The screening was great and our audience responded in such delightful ways at the moments we would have hoped.  My sister Juli came with me and we all had a great time.  Best Team Ever!


Just a few days after coming home from that trip, my new granddaughter made the decision to be born two weeks early.  I had talked to her previously about being sure to cooperate with my travel schedule and happily she did.  I was able to be there when she came into this world and one of the first to hold little 4 lb, 15 oz. Kylie Ivy Raye Jones.


I continue to develop my new podcast, Jackey's Hand of Horror while learning so much alongside  co- hosts Rachel Jackson, Tonjia Atomic, Nuria Aguilar and my granddaughter, Araydia with each episode.  So grateful to my support team too and Quinn in particular for all the recording and editing work.  Nothing happens without that.

                       Click here to listen to Jackey's Hand of Horror Podcast

 

Am preparing myself for my first hosting gig. Although I've been in front of many audiences and am quite comfortable, this is a bit more than a Manos question and answer before a screening.  I am already invested in being prepared in every way possible.

                                           Click for tickets to MSTease 3K


Before that, though, I will be a guest of the Pulsar Entertainment booth at San Diego Comic Con July 19th - 22nd to promote the new comic series coming up titled Manos: The Debbie Chronicles.  If you happen to attend, come say hi...if you can find me. It's in a big place. 

 

I just had another birthday yesterday and turned 59 years old.  I can honestly say that Manos is helping me to improve my health and I'm doing pretty good for 59.  Am very excited about what this next year will hold and for the projects that I cannot talk about yet.  A willingness for new things all the time, a vast curiosity to learn, and joy of sharing is what is keeping me young.  Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.  That's what makes it fun.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Debbie Does Lots of New Things



This year is busier than I've ever been doing Manos related things. Maybe that's not exactly true.  This is just a time when the accumulation of previous efforts are coming to the forefront and because of it, I'm traveling more.

So far this year, I was a celebrity guest at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland April 6, 7 and 8th. It is a small but mighty event with fervent film fans.  They love the obscure stuff and I found many Manos fans among them.  Cinema Wasteland Blogpost

My fellow producers, Tonjia Atomic, Rachel Jackson, Joe Sherlock and I  premiered Manos Returns at Crypticon Seattle on May 4th.  I also had a table as a guest for the weekend so we had a base. We all got to hang out with much of our cast and crew for a fabulously fun filled weekend.  Crypticon Seattle Blogpost
and take a listen to my newish podcast, Jackey's Hand of Horror on Soundcloud.  https://soundcloud.com/handofhorropodcast/jhoh-episode-7-crypticon  On this most recent episode, we discuss all things Manos Returns and Crypticon.  I'm really happy with how the podcast is evolving and I especially love this episode.

This last weekend, I was a guest at Meadowlark Comic Con, the first of it's kind in Medford Oregon.  I drove to Medford and spent Friday night so as to be prepared for the May 12th Saturday event.  Meadowlark Comic Con .  It was small as was expected for the first year but the people who came really enjoyed it.  There were a lot of kids in costume to meet the pink and yellow Power Rangers.  I saw a little hulk and even a princess or two running around.  The whole event was very well organized and I felt comfortable and welcomed.
The main celebrity guest was Mindy Sterling who is a charming and very engaging person. She loved  interacting with fans posing for photos with them.  I could kick myself for not getting a photo with her. We were both busy the whole day and then I packed up to drive home right after. (The next day was Mother's Day and my kids had plans)

.  Although I didn't get to visit with her much, she did agree to interview with me for my Jackey's Hand of Horror Podcast on an upcoming episode.  I can't wait to chat with her and talk about her career and life.


This is coming right up on Saturday May 26  Destiny City Freaky Con I will be there along with the producers of Manos Returns from 4 to 8 pm at Destiny City Comics in Tacoma Washington and then for a Manos Returns Screening at The Grand Cinema at 11pm  Manos Returns Screening  Will be a blast watching it again with an audience and this time in a real theater!

Here is another project that I am hoping comes to fruition. A web series titled Manos: The Debbie Chronicles.  Will keep you posted as the news comes my way.  If the kick starter for Candivan succeeds...This will happen.
Manos: The Debbie Chronicles Web Series

The new Bigfoot film Primal Rage Bigfoot Reborn is now available for rent on Amazon.  I had a small part, got most of my family in as extras and got to be a location coordinator.  It's a small thing but I was honored to be invited.  If you watch it, our scenes involve the tipi.

and... here's something else in the works. A new comic book creation by Pulsar Entertainment.  I am planning to be at San Diego Comic Con as part of their booth and to promote the project.  Right now, they have launched a contest, so, if you know anyone talented in the arena of the comic book world, here's something that may be of interest.  Manos: The Debbie Chronicles Comic Book Contest .  The winner gets some cash and a pass to San Diego Comic Con.  Hope to see you there.

One other thing I am just getting organized to do, is to write a screenplay based on my book, Growing Up With Manos The Hands of Fate  How I was the child start of the worst movie ever made and lived to tell the story.  I am inspired by both I, Tonya and The Disaster Artist.  The back story of Manos is every bit as interesting, and I think, pretty damn funny.  While you're waiting for this new idea, you can order a personalized and signed copy of my book from me   paypal.me/JackeyNeymanJones/23   $23. includes shipping within the U.S.

As busy I am with all these things, I've still got to do other things as well, to make a living. As creative people know, you throw a whole lot out and hope some sticks.  I'm still teaching some painting classes and need to get back to creating new art.  It all goes in waves, but overall, I lead a pretty interesting existence and wouldn't have that part of it any other way.