It all began with a sword fight. An epic battle between good and evil in an aspen forest. And it ended with a good deed.
Mantecoza, a kick brass, steampunk web series was in Flagstaff this weekend filming scenes that involved swords, sorcery, an army of Goonz and just a little mischief. But of all the magic happening on the set the joy of helping a family find a camera they had lost almost a year ago was the true magic of the weekend.
Saturday afternoon started out normally enough for a show in production. Cast and crew stumbled out of bed at 6am in the morning to begin a grueling day of filming on location in elevations reaching 12,000 feet. Well over a dozen people were on hand to help with multiple cameras, set photography, wardrobe, fight choreography and visual effects set up.
The morning filming of our intrepid heroes finding their way into the land of the evil Lord Barr barely outpaced the thunderstorm growing literally right over our heads. While the darkening sky and towering clouds seemed appropriate for the scenes, it was a race to see if they could finish filming and get the equipment out of the elements and back to their cars before the downpour began.
The storm was (fortunately) short-lived and had broken by the early afternoon, then it was off to a beautiful aspen grove where the final epic battle between Lord Barr’s henchman Durrus (Marshall Glass) and the Minister of Wizard, Lady Chenna (Katherine Stewart) would take place. Fight Choreographer Timothy Makofske worked with the two actors to ensure safety amongst the intricate footwork of the fencing scene that involved both actors wielding a sword and a dagger each while the crew set up.
But it wasn’t til after the sword fight ended (How did it end? You’ll have to watch the series for that!) that the true magic began. While beginning clean up Marshall found a camera lying by a fallen tree. It was quickly established that it did not belong to anyone present on the set…so then who? The immediate thought of everyone there was to try to figure out how to return the camera to the owners. But how does one do such a thing? Well a memory card full of pictures is a good start. And luckily there was one in the camera. Cast and crew gathered around my computer to see if we could piece together any clues from the pictures that stopped some time in 2011. A last name on the badge of a newly graduated police officer, the birthday parties of two children with their names on their cakes and finally a connection to a gymnastic school were the only clues available.
A quick search on the internet revealed the gymnastic school was located in Phoenix. I contacted them Monday morning to see if the children were still attending classes there. Within 3 hours came the confirmation – yes they were! So within 48 hours a camera containing priceless memories that had been lost in December of last year during a vacation was back in the hands of a family who couldn’t believe anyone had taken the effort to try to return it to them.
The case of the Missing Memories solved and filed under Happy Endings.
For more information about the steampunk web series Mantecoza visit their Official Site at:
Shannon is an independent Media Manager who specializes in web series and independent films. She has also been a Script Supervisor, on set Photographer, Editor’s Assistant, author for Web Series Today and is the proud owner of an IMDB credit as “painter”. An avid photographer and classic camera collector she often can be seen at events with her 1969 Polaroid Land Camera and quite possibly at least 3 other cameras in tow.
You can contact her at [email protected] and find her on Twitter @shannon_shea