Never on the Ghost was a horror short by Ted Phillips in collaboration with David Como. It was recorded on VHS-C format media on May 1, 1994, but was thereafter lost. It was rediscovered in February 2020, and was finally edited and released to the public on March 26, 2022. It is his first film with beginning and ending credits, as well as his first film with a post-credits scene.

The short starred Nick Phillips, John Como, and Ted Phillips.

TV-14: V


Synopsis

Teddy and Nicky hike through the woods. A werewolf attacks them, and they flee to their camper to hide, but Nicky disappears en route. Mourning the loss of Nicky and believing that the werewolf has gone, Teddy leaves the trailer again, but the werewolf immediately grabs him and devours him. After feeding, the werewolf returns to the woods. Another hiker, who has a firearm, sees the werewolf, implies it is not the first one he has seen, and kills it.

History

For many years, Ted Phillips had forgotten that he ever produced Never on the Ghost. On September 5, 2008, David Como, who no longer lived in New York, contacted Ted on MySpace.com to catch up and reminded him about the production. Since dramatic changes made to MySpace since that time, this message is no longer extant.

After being reminded about the short, Ted still couldn't remember when it was produced. On August 27, 2009, scholars finally agreed that, based on subsequent events and the state of the forest in the footage, the most likely time was Thanksgiving 1991, since it was a custom for the Phillips and Como families to meet on that holiday. This would have made it his first short ever produced, and he believed that it had been recorded on VHS format media. Scholars deduced that Ted's cousins, David and John Como, had that afternoon showed the family a movie they had made using a video camera, that the film inspired Ted, and that he persuaded his cousins to allowed him to make Never on the Ghost with them on the property, with this experience leading to Ted learning that John Phillips also owned a video camera, and that he could be producing shorts at home.

However, at a birthday party occurring on February 8, 2020, David Como, whom Ted had now not seen in over 20 years, again remembered this video, and located it within minutes. The discovery revealed that it was actually recorded on VHS-C format media, and that it was actually produced on May 1, 1994, which completely upended the historical theories. A team of Ted Phillips, Dean Leggio, David Como, Bill Como, and John Como transplanted the VHS-C into an old VHS of James Cameron's Titanic, so that it could be viewed at the event, since an adapter was not available.

Never on the Ghost was transferred to Ted Phillips's custody on that day, with plans to digitize, edit, and distribute. He uploaded the completed edit to the Cracked Egg Studios web site on March 26, 2022.

New Chronology

On May 1, 1994, John Como used a werewolf costume that he had to play a practical joke on Nick Phillips. Ted was inspired by this, and used this opportunity to convince everyone to make a video that day. While it was not Ted's first short, nor his first live-action short, it is likely to have been Ted's first scripted short actually produced, and was the inspiration for his Werewolf project.

While Ted was responsible for pitching the idea, it was David Como who used his connections to acquire equipment, supplies, access to the shooting location, costumes, and convinced a reticent John Como to play The Wolf. Thus, he was awarded the producer credit.

Since the Never on the Ghost footage was left behind at the Como residence, Ted determined he may need to reproduce something similar.

In July 1994, while the family was on Ted's Make-a-Wish vacation at Disney World, Ted saw a werewolf mask at a vendor in the Magical Kingdom, near the Haunted Mansion, and convinced John Phillips to purchase it. This mask would make its first appearance in Giant Monsters.

In late 1994, now having access to a werewolf costume, Ted Phillips began pre-production of a horror film which was titled Werewolf. He created VHS box art, and worked with Korin White, Robert Mickelsen, and others to develop a script and cast. However, since John Phillips would not grant Ted use of the VHS-C camera at this time, this project would be delayed indefinitely.

Noteworthy Details

Unlike many other early works by Ted Phillips that omitted credits entirely, Never on the Ghost features both beginning and ending credits sequences that were filmed on location. The beginning credits were originally filmed with a musical score played by David Como on a jukebox. However, due to potential licensing issues, that score was replaced for the 2022 release. The film included a post-credits scene, which was not typical for a 1994 film.

A majority of the footage suffered from an unnecessarily loud tractor that was being used on the date of filming on a neighboring property. Using some techniques, it was possible for editors to make dialogue more audible, but at the expense of quality.

The original ending credits titles, which were written on poster paper and filmed on camera, were not used for the 2022 version, since they could not be reasonably integrated into the separate ending sequence, and because the titles were almost completely illegible on modern displays. Archaeologists have been able to infer the original credits to a high probability of accuracy:
1994 ending titles
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(AND OH, AREN'T THEY CHARACTERS!)

TEDDY PHILLPS(HIMSELF)
NICKY PHILLIPS(HIMSELF)
THE WOLF(JOHN COMO IN
WOLF MASK)
NAMELESS PERSONTEDDY PHILLIPS

BASED ON AN IDEA BY
TEDDY PHILLIPS

SCREENPLAY WRITTEN BY
TEDDY J PHILLIPS AND DAVID COMO

SOUND EFFECTS BY DAVID COMO

CAMERA OPERATION BY THE
CAMERA AND DAVID COMO

FILMED ON LOCATION IN
MILLBROOK, NEW YORK SUNDAY
MAY 1st, 1994
Categories: 1994

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