THOSE WHO GO TO HELL…AND BACK: An Interview With Emmanuel Manzanares
Back in 2012, I had been about four or five years away from the online action community since its burgeoning began over at The Stunt People forum – the unfortunate perks of not having a working computer, sadly.
That year, a lot had changed within the community, and particularly with new additions to the fray, including folks like Emmanuel Manzanares. By the time I got acquainted with who he was and his work, his 2012 short, Dogfight, was the talk of the interwebs among the niche, and of course, as eager as I was to get back into the mix of things, it got my attention.
Getting to know Manzanares was a pretty slow process at first. We hadn’t spoken often, but I’d come to know him through small exchanges, as well as his interactions with his peers. His role in Dennis Ruel’s feature debut, Unlucky Stars, as a martial arts hitman, was a sizeable motivator to keep watch even as he continued to grow his stellar independent resumè through his YouTube channel for stunt collective, LBP Stunts Chicago, in addition to his collaborations with others.
My view of him shapened overtime as somebody who was pretty modest and wasn’t out to be a ham of any kind. This was sort of the impression I initially drew from him when I sought to interview him in 2016 following the release of Unlucky Stars – when he declined, I was determined as ever to add him to the list of priorities like Ruel and even Eric Jacobus at the time.
Needless to say, it was gonna take sometime until he felt comfortable claiming the spotlight. His personality hasn’t really changed much either seeing as he still gives worlds of credit and praise to his peers and the community for the shared growth he gets to benefit from. That includes one Vlad Rimburg, a staunch purveyor of high-energy fight choreography and stunt performance that pays homage to the hard-earned, tireless feats of Hong Kong action talent akin to that of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
Essentially, ask Manzanares where he gets his motivation and inspiration from, and he’ll be the first among many I’ve featured on this site to tell you, in a nutshell, that it takes a village. He’s definitely a product of the company he’s kept over the years having accrued respective stunt performance and fight choreography credits like Kickboxer: Vengeance, Divergent, Dope, The Last Ship, Max Steel, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Never Back Down: No Surrender, Logan, The Dark Tower, and video games like Destiny 2 and the Batman game franchise.
Some of his more recent work also lists the second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist and the first season of Altered Carbon, as well as S.S. Rajinikanth’s techno sequel, 2.0, and fiery 2018 thriller, Skyscraper. He recently finished work on upcoming fantasy romance drama, Above The Shadows, in which Olivia Thirlby stars as a woman who finds herself disappearing from existence, and the only way she can regain her foothold in the world is with the help of the only man who can see her: an MMA fighter fallen from his former glory thanks to one of her tabloid photos.
That film comes out on July 19 from Gravitas Ventures while an official poster quietly began making the rounds from Screenrant several days ago. I didn’t throw any questions at Manzanares about this particular production ahead of its release, but I’m highlighting it as a pivotal part of proliferating the very stunt professional I proudly got to hear back from a little less than a few weeks ago for this Q&A which you can now read below.
Emmanuel, it is a pleasure to share some insight from you this time around. I know you’ve been busy, and I trust it’s all for the best.
Thank you for having me Lee. Apologies it’s taken a while to respond. Work has been thankfully keeping me busy, so I would hope so!
I wanna get right to the thick of it with you and your history with LBP Stunts Chicago, and its sort of “emergence” maybe ten or so years ago as other teams were culminating. How did that group start up with you?
I’ll do my best to tell an abridged version [laughs]. My deepest apologies for my friends that read this and noticed if I messed up any details! Please feel free to correct!
Between 2001 – 2003, I founded the Stunt People forum via an old site called “Project J”, where forum members like Eric, Ulrik, Vlad, and various others would discuss the BTS of Jackie Chan films. From there that exposed me to the likes of SP, VJ Films, Zero Gravity, Reel Kick, Andy Long, Young Masters, Flat-Coin, Joey Min, Jabronie Pictures, etc, etc. This would lead me on the path to watch the indie action movement grow and be inspired by them to start making my own videos. But that first attempt wouldn’t happen until 2005.
That year, I had gotten five high school friends together, and we had started our first bare bones attempts at making little fight scenes on a borrowed Sony Hi-8 Camcorder. They were totally a wash, and never saw the light of day, but we had a lot of fun making them together. However, I felt like I really needed to study more HK films, and went back to the drawing board, as well as acquire a computer and editing software to teach myself how to edit on. A year later in June of 2006, I re-attempted some fight scene attempts and had also met some new friends along the way who just wanted to make silly and absurd shorts. With these old and new friends, I spent the whole summer filming a bunch of fights and comedy short films and posting them on the Stunt People forum for review. Luckily we weren’t banished from the forum, and we took that initial feedback and started to do more the following year.
From 2007 to 2011, there was a huge growth for the group. During this time I had previously met Alex Hashioka in 2006, and would meet Shawn Bernal the year after. In 2008 we would meet Keith Min and Jessie Bayani, and from there we formed a new group out of the old group. We would meet weekly to train for 6 to 8 hrs (and shoot), and we’d churn out a new fight or “short” every week, if not every other week. It was a great time for learning, training, making a ton of mistakes, and constantly refining our skills. We had eventually gotten to work with almost every major group from the Stunt People forum as the years passed (except Vlad and a few of the east & west coast teams), and some of us had gotten our SAG or AFTRA cards as well (before the merger!), which led us down a path towards professional stunt work in Chicago. As these years closed, we started to see new faces within Brendon Huor, Mickey Facchinello, Alex Meglei, Nate Hitpas, and Greg Poljacik being added to our ragtag group of training. By pursuing stunts and doing what we loved, we started to garner attention not just from the indie community, but the stunt community as well.
From 2011 to 2013, we hit our biggest strides with attracting professional work. We finally collaborated with Vlad on a major short film that led to a snowball affect of some of us being contacted by 87Eleven Action Design in 2012, as well continuing to gain more opportunities to train more and refine our stunt skills both in LA and Chicago. In 2013, the team as a whole finally got their big break when stunt coordinator JJ Perry had contacted me to work under him and stunt coordinator Garrett Warren for the film “Divergent”, which was to be shot in Chicago. I was very lucky to be able to help JJ & Garrett, and they hired almost everyone from the team to work throughout the production. It was a fantastic and huge learning experience to do my first big run on a production in my hometown, as well as learn and mentor under JJ & Garrett. After the film was completed, I made the big decision with my wife to move to LA from Chicago, and pursue stunts full time out there.
Flash forward to 2019 now, and while all of the 5 original members have long left since 2008, many of the newer members since then, and the rest of us from the old batch currently, have all continued to grow and prosper into varying degrees of success with our professional careers. I got to work with all of my indie heroes from the Stunt People forum over the years, as well as meet and collaborate with SO many talented individuals, and I owe ALL of that to my old film making friends whom I still keep in touch with. They have all taught me so much, humbled me, were patient with me through all of these years (but definitely told me whenever I was being an asshole, haha), and have prepared and allowed me to experience so much for what was to truly come. Without their own willingness and trust in my ridiculous passion and personal pursuits, there is no way there would have been anything that I have today. So without those original 5 friends and many more, there would be no LBP that it is today, or myself, really.
Was your trajectory from the get go to be a prominent player in the stunt community? Did you ever see yourself one day pre-visualizing fight scenes for guys Wesley Snipes, Dave Bautista or even Alan Ritchson?
Ha! Not a chance. My original intention was to emulate Jackie Chan. I wanted to be someone who could act, do stunts, choreograph, direct action, and tell stories. I wanted to do it all. Very quickly, I realized almost how impossible that seems. It’s not for everyone, so I slowly started to take myself out of the equation and re-learn from the ground up. How was I able to tell action AND story that I wanted to see and show to an audience? I constantly re-evaluated myself as much as I could and took more and more time to not get wound up trying to tell full shorts with action, but make and tell fights that had “story” through the choreography. So I directed and choreographed behind the scenes more, and performed only a little bit. Like a silent film, I tried my best to tell a story with almost little to no dialogue, because acting is hard! Plus for many of us, being full time actors wasn’t really the true intention, but we soon found out the importance of performing and learning to “act” through performance in our fights, which is integral to any performer.
By studying the martial arts stars we idolized at first, many of us realized that they were all actors and performers, regardless of their martial art backgrounds. We had to amp up our performance skills and learn how to perform better through their example! How to act in the scene and sell characters and moments within the fight, especially before, during, and after. The Stunt People forum at that time was brutally honest with their feedback to our work, but it was always to our benefit. It was the best film school and community around, because EVERYONE was trying to be better. EVERYONE was trying to inspire and compete with one another to see who could push what boundaries were being discovered at that time, and we ALL learned from that. I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t inspired by all of those folks back then, shooting and editing and putting out content on those forums. We all learned so much from one another, and that is what pushed a lot of our future growth post 2007.
In terms of me doing pre-vis and all that later in my career… I mean I really had no idea what that was until I started researching how to get into real professional stunt work. That led me to learning about 87eleven Action Design, and seeing their methodology, which I thought was really unique and interesting. However, I would never think such a prominent stunt organization like that or any professional stunt coordinator would ever hire a group of people like us right from the start. We’d all have to learn and grow through the processes of the stunt industry in our own way, but never would I have realized that doing shorts behind your alleyway or in the park for fun would ever pay off professionally. Yet here we are now, [laughs]!
You’ve seldom acted but I think some folks familiar with your work can point a few moments where you’ve done well for yourself – your role on Unlucky Stars as a martial arts hitman. Talk a bit about that project for us and what that movie meant to you.
Doing a film like Unlucky Stars was a blessing in disguise. I would learn so much from my peers making that film and to me, it must have felt like what making something like “Contour” was like. Just a ragtag group of guys who all had the same passion, and were just trying to do something for themselves. Many of us started to slowly make headway with our professional careers, but we still took the time to come out and help Dennis, Vlad, and Ken whenever they needed us. I always gave 1000% with whatever Dennis wanted, and trusted Vlad with anything he asked me to do physically. When you make these kinds of independent films/shorts over the years and ask or put people in situations to play personas they may normally not feel comfortable to do, you have to be willing to do it yourself. Jackie Chan said it best in his first autobiography, which is never make your performers do something you are not willing to do or perform/demonstrate yourself. I still hold true to this principal whenever I do my own work as well.
So with that said, Dennis originally wanted me to do a non-speaking or minimally speaking role, which kept expanding into more as the film evolved. I never questioned it, and I did whatever he asked of me, and gave it my best shot. That’s what you do. You just do your best and try your best to make it work and enjoy/trust the process as best you can. Otherwise, you never really learn. That’s just my two cents.
I’m very grateful to Dennis & Vlad for reaching out and involving not just me, but everyone on board that film. A great experience for sure!
You’ve also done a few projects I wish we could’ve seen more of, or revived or rebooted even. Like – I look at something like Those Who Go To Hell and I still see something that sounds fresh and full of potential if treated in certain fashion.
To be quite frank, I don’t enjoy repeating myself at all unless there is something to be learned or gained from it. An evolution of sorts. TWGTH is something that I pursued because I thought I could do my own version of a feature film, which is absurd. No one should ever try to make a full feature film for $3,000! [laughs] But that’s indie film making right? You go big or go home. I tried to make this noir feature length film a web series, but failed miserably. I tried to salvage what I could as I made it, but made countless mistakes and had to eventually stop. There was no point in finishing it not because I didn’t believe in it, but because I was asking for too much, demanding too much, and taking too much time to truly make things happen. I’m very appreciative and grateful of EVERY single person’s involvement in that film, both big and small, but it was a necessary wall for me to smash in to, because it has taught me so many lessons that I hold close to my heart to this day.
I think as filmmakers, crashing into these walls and learning from them are necessary evils. It is necessary for both growth and reflection, otherwise you don’t taste what it means to make a scene work from nothing. Watching as your perfectly planned schedule or script just went out the window because of variables out of your control (or because of your own poor planning and scheduling!) Not to mention being in charge of writing the script on my own, directing, choreographing, shooting, editing, acting in a supporting role, working with stunt people, actors, non-stunt people, etc… there was just too much to handle for a single person. But again, these are the types of pitfalls that any film maker should experience to varying degrees, in order to be battle tested for the real deal. These kinds of issues and obstacles occur on any set from indie to big budget, but you only learn how to adapt and improvise to find positive solutions with your crew if you’ve been open to learning from your experiences.
Look at how much indie action has matured since the inception of Zero Gravity, The Stunt People, and more. Everyone is making “test fights”, “short films”, “action shorts”, and so much technology is accessible to these newer filmmakers which is great, but the basic standards hold true. The story and performances have to match your vision as well as the size of that vision. You have to respect and be considerate of those that help you, especially for minimal to no pay. If I were to make a similar sized film in a different way, I would have to approach it with the respect it truly deserves, and that means treating the cast and crew properly like a bigger film (or as best/realistic as you can financially muster). Otherwise I’m just fooling myself. I think it’s only respectful to the performers I would involve, as well as the crew. But again, I only know this because of the colossal failure I experienced trying to make a feature film so early in my career. Also being on indie films like Unlucky Stars and watching my peers both struggle and triumph over the years with personal projects has taught me great lessons on success and perseverance.
Bottom line is if I do something bigger down the line, I hope to apply all the great lessons I’ve been learning!
You were also supposed to be in one of Micah Moore’s projects many years ago called Beat Down Boogie. He recently shared the trailer several months ago on social media and I admittedly got a bit overzealous.
Micah found out about Shawn and I via our postings on The Stunt People forum. Because Micah was a fan of our work and especially of Eric’s, he invited us all out to collaborate and help him with a pitch for a film that would be the proof of concept teaser for Beat Down Boogie. Eventually, we all traveled to North Carolina to film with Micah and his local crew, which was a super fun experience. However, it sadly seemed like Micah would not have the opportunity to truly create the film he wanted, which is understandable why he eventually pursued other endeavors with his career (hence the Mario and MGS/COD based concepts and web-series he would do).
I’m truly in debt to Micah for believing that Shawn and I had something to offer for his film, and it was a great experience working with Eric again as we had previously done for TWGTH the year prior. Overall I thought it was a killer concept that Micah had created, and it would have been amazing to see it executed under the original premise. Hopefully one day that may happen. Who knows!
I see that Micah is still creating some great new concepts, and working with some talented stunt performers in Atlanta. I always wish him the best, as he’s a fantastic film maker in his own right.
You credit your colleague and longtime friend Vlad Rimburg plentily for much of your own growth and recurring inspiration toward what you do. For anyone reading this and not in the know and should know, elucidate who he is to you and and the community, and what makes him stand out so well and deserving?
Vlad is probably one of the most passionate and hard working people I’ve ever met in my field. His brain and creativity are something else. Vlad is always able to make situations work out in some way, and that’s all thanks to his creativity and experience over the years, whether success or failure. He’s inspired me because I felt he was one of the few to truly make indie action feel raw, real, and fun at the time on the SP forums, which I definitely wanted to emulate in my own way. He always had great concepts both dramatic and comedic, and his style of action is just visceral and hard hitting. Plus he always brings out the best in the performers. All the outlandish ideas and characters he creates, and how he’s able to create a whole universe from nothing and execute his vision is great. He’s a wizard with the camera, and he’s taught me a lot personally in terms of direction, editing, shooting, working with others, etc.
Vlad really has done a lot for the indie action community, and the pro stunt community as well. He’s taken a chance on the entirety of LBP, as well as many other stunt performers who have gone on to have great professional careers, and he’s always ensured that these performers put their best foot forward while working with him, which only makes them look that much more amazing on screen. Vlad will challenge you in all the best ways as a performer, and force you to think out of the box and figure it out for yourself as a character performer. Doing a Vlad shoot is still probably the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done, mainly because you’re forced to do more than just perform a stunt or fight scene. You’re forced and pushed to perform as a character, and let it all out there. Otherwise Vlad’s camera doesn’t lie! [laughs]
Vlad’s process may not be for everyone, but he really looks for the best in his performers. You always have to work for it under his watch and in the end, the rewards are truly great. I look forward to seeing his growth and learning more with him as time goes on. Hell yea!
Talk about working on the second season of Iron Fist with Clayton Barber. You were in New York City for that series and it still pains me I never had the opportunity to sit with any of you. Was that your first time in town?
I’ve been to New York before a few times in my life, both for fun and for trying to experience the local stunt community early on in my career. Yet Iron Fist S2 was the first time I went for work long term in NYC, and was one of the major jobs that I got do and learn more with besides what was expected of me as a fight coordinator. I got to learn a LOT during that intense prep and shoot schedule, and I blended well with the style and tone that Clayton set to seek out for the season, and it was a great experience. Clayton and I had worked together briefly prior to this show on other projects, but this was the first real time we would be working together, and he was a fantastic mentor and stunt coordinator to work under. It’s safe to say that we all couldn’t have done Season 2 without someone like Clay to lead us through it all.
It was a fantastic experience working with the NYC locals, who all worked their asses off day in and out. I had a great opportunity to work with my fellow peer and fight coordinator Malay Kim of EMC Monkeys, as well as local NY fight coordinator Airon Armstrong, who brought a great wealth of kung-fu knowledge in his own right. We were this ragtag team of stunt performers that Clay brought together along with Ellette Craddock, David Armstrong, Hannah Scott, Shawn Bernal, Suo Liu, & Akihiro Haga. Through this core team, we were able to hire a lot of stunt talent to play featured roles, as well as work and cultivate newer talent from LA and NYC to perform to the best of their ability during the hectic run of the season. We just gave it our best shot and worked with what we had, and let it be what it is in the end.
On a final note, the cast and crew were amazing. It was a real great time getting to train with everyone and see every single actor and actress pushed to their limit in some way, and watch them all rise to the occasion. Like anything else, I wish we had more time for certain sequences, but I’m happy that a lot of that hard work from the actors is showcased throughout the season. They really put in the effort, and hopefully that resonates across the season as a whole.
Favorite moments from the show in no specific order…. and go!
Ah! There’s too many [laughs]! Uh… here’s some random ones:
• Crane Sisters fight in Episode 6 for sure. We rehearsed that fight the longest next to the Kun-Lun fight in Episode 2, and the opening and ending fights of the season. It was really nice trying to convince a bunch of badass women to just beat the crap out of one another (that’s wrong, sorry.) But what I really meant is that it was refreshing to see women fight like women on screen (a full group of minority women to boot!), and truly give it their all throughout the whole process. It was a really cool experience, and I can’t say more about the work ethic that Jessica Henwick has for herself, along with Lauren Kim, Jean Tree, & Ellette Craddock. Every fight that we did with Jessica, she just came in and killed it. Every time she felt like she wasn’t going to do a good job because she’s naturally hard on herself, she destroyed it. A fantastic role model for women and actresses alike. If you want it to be good, you have to put in the time! She always did.
• Working with director David Dobkin. It’s awesome to work with someone who has worked so closely with Jackie Chan, and then gone on to do something like Into The Badlands. We had a bunch of great directors throughout the entirety of the season, but it was really cool to see David trust Clayton as the stunt coordinator and help him lead that charge for the season’s action direction alongside show runner Raven Metzner, who was another gem to work with. A huge support from both of those gentlemen!
• Finding out that Finn Jones is a pretty cool DJ! He’s super into funk and soul music, and that always made training really fun with him as he’d play a lot of his favorite tunes. He would bring a similar energy to set, which was also fun while working out the fights with him.
• Watching Sacha Dhawan and Alice Eve transform into their villain roles was always a treat. They really dedicated themselves to training, and Sacha is a beast. Constantly training daily, even when sick. What a commitment they both gave throughout, and it shows!
• Working with a badass stunt team! I can’t give enough props to our core team and every stunt performer we flew in or used locally. They truly were amazing, and the work shows. I was very lucky to witness and experience that personally.
I’m curious about what films stand out to you nowadays. You’ve championed independent film and I thought there may be some sleepers you could recommend for us. For me, I really dug films like Upgrade and Brawl In Cell Block 99 – films like that which people generally don’t see coming.
You know, I haven’t been able to see many movies recently due to my schedule, especially at the theater. I really miss it. I try to watch what I can online from a digital copy, but it’s usually in between editing something, haha.
However, I did really enjoy Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-eda. It’s such a fantastic film. As much as I love action films, I truly enjoy and appreciate the simplicity of films made like those. We need to showcase all sides, not just pure action or drama for the sake of action. We need human stories, and I thought it was an excellent film. I’m a huge fan. The same with the anime film Mirai by Mamoru Hosoda. Both excellent, and great human stories.
Everyone in your company has gotten greatly busy over the years. A good thing, but I wonder if you miss playing with the old LBP crew? Like maybe get the band back together for Dogfight 2: Unleashed or something.
I want to clarify something overall about LBP as a whole. LBP Stunts is more like a collective. The group or “team” as it stands, isn’t so much a company as it is a collective of like minded people and artists. LBP stands as a platform where people can grow from and learn how to find their own self expression, and expand upon it. I’m all for the success of the group as much as the success of the individual. If we can help one another, fantastic. If the name helps the members grow in their own careers and sets them down their own paths, even better. Yet every individual is in control of their own destiny as much as they control how big or small they want to offer back to the group.
I find that by applying this process, when we do come back together in some way whether it’s through independent projects or major features or television, we can collectively share our experiences and new skills together, and apply them even better to our work. Because of our familiarity with one another, we only help each other grow together, and that’s a great feeling. By having this open door policy with the group, I find that my bond with the team members is strong because I always respect them for what they can offer as individuals, not just what they have to literally offer to the team. This allows me to really appreciate their growth as performers, or whatever they want to pursue in their career!
Of course I always miss working with the old members, but it really makes me happy to see everyone grow in their own way. To me that’s the coolest and greatest gift. I was able to see so many grow from humble beginnings, and now they’re finding their own way, and that’s awesome. I’m sure we’ll all reconnect in some way in the future as we always do!
You’ve got quite the jacket on you going forward according to what we see on IMDb in terms of fight choreography, training and action. Do you see yourself taking the mantle one day and directing your own feature? Are you writing or treating anything on the side?
I have my own ideas and thoughts in my head constantly swimming. I’m definitely looking to shoot something more long form in the future, but I used to try to force that sort of thing out all the time, and it never works out in my experience. So I think the next logical step is to plan it out more and then give it a shot and see how it goes. Prep goes such a long way, and every artist should learn to evolve, so I suppose I’m in that transition.
Of course I’d love to direct a feature one day, but I think because of my nature, I like to learn from everyone else first. I feel like I probably won’t really direct until I’m much older in my life and career, and hopefully I can tell a few stories and be done. Or you never know, maybe tell more. Until then, I’ll just keep experiencing new paths and learning how to refine both new and old skills alike.
What advice can you offer for anyone looking to congregate and assemble a collective like yours and so many others that emerged at the turn of the century to do what you do now?
I always tell everyone that asks me about shooting or working with others to just go find ANYONE AND JUST DO IT!!! I cannot stress that enough. If you want to learn, don’t be shy. The worst thing many people will do is not respond or just say no. Go find like minded people that believe in your cause and go and create with them. Be clear about your intentions and just have fun and learn together. If you want to keep pushing for more, then take the time to learn and expand those skills, as well as respectfully communicate those reasons to the people around you. Don’t just be satisfied with a few videos and call it a day. Be real with yourself and others. What are you trying to accomplish and why? What stories do you want to tell and why? What kind of performer or storyteller do you want to be? Learn from anyone and everyone!
When I met Chad Stahelski in person for the first time and asked him what I should continue to do in my career in order to grow, he said “do exactly what you are doing now, and go find and work with anyone and everyone.” What he meant is that I’m already taking the right steps because I wanted to go learn these skills on my own, not just because someone is telling me to do it. Also, because of the desire to work with different sets of performers, I am learning how to adapt these skills to a variety of performers, not just the performers I only want to work with. This only further allows me to experience a variety of situations and I have to learn how to adapt, improvise, and overcome the daily obstacles in order to make the best of the situation and day. By showcasing I can do this, I begin to open doors for myself to work with other stunt professionals and teams, and to continue learning a variety of experiences from production prep to actual time on professional sets. Setting these kinds of benchmarks for myself have consistently proven to be worthwhile in my career, always.
Whether you want to direct, action direct, fight coordinate or choreograph, making a video nowadays is hilariously easy. Finding an audience for feedback is WAY easier than when I started pre-Youtube or people before me started pre-streaming of any kind. There are so many outlets to express yourself and so much information out there to learn from. If you’re not satisfied with your progress, it just means you need to work harder and find the steps to make success for yourself and those around you who believe in you. Practice daily and reflect upon yourself. The more you are not comfortable, the better. Before you know it, these skills will continue to grow faster than you would think they do. However, it’s the consistency of this practice & repetition that keeps the growth constant for yourself. That type of discipline is not always teachable though. If you can’t handle running a small shoot with 2 people in the woods or park consistently for a few hours, then good luck trying to do that for your own major projects, let alone a professional set of any kind.
So get out there and just create! Have fun and be safe!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Emmanuel. It’s been about seven years since I began pestering you about your work and I’m glad you put up with me for this long. On that note, do you have any closing words to offer to readers as we exit this tete-a-tete of ours?
Technically, this isn’t a private conversion! [laughs] But I’m thankful for anyone reading this far. I know I have a lot of nonsense to say overall, and I’m still learning a lot myself. Here goes nothing:
Every experience, whether positive or negative, is a positive one. You can always learn from any experience in life, and usually the “negative” ones are the ones you learn the most from. Stay true to yourself and remember where you came from, as your actions will always come back to you in some way. Work hard, have fun, and keep learning. Don’t make excuses. Just make your own way and keep learning from it all. Love what you do, and it will always pay off in the end.
Life is simple unless you choose to make it complicated!!
Hell yeah, and thank you everyone!
Photos courtesy of Emmanuel Manzanares
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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