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On the Set of “Baron and Toluca”

February 09, 2022

Lasell University students Lily Stark ’24 and Lisa Ortiz ’24 traveled to New Mexico in November to intern on the set of Baron and Toluca, a sequel to the hit show Roswell, which aired from 1999-2002. The sophomore communication majors spent a week working on two episodes of the production as part of a directed study project advised by Professor Brian Wardyga.

Lisa Ortiz on the set of Baron and Toluca

Stark first heard about the opportunity to work on set from her neighbor, Majandra Delfino, a member of the original Roswell cast and star of Baron and Toluca.

“I took it upon myself to connect with her since she was in the industry I am most interested in,” says Stark. “She told me about the project and asked if I would like to be a part of it so that I could see how a set worked and get a feel for whether it might be something I want to do in the future.” With similar career interests, Ortiz joined Stark.

Wardyga was ecstatic about the opportunity for his students.

“It sounded like an amazing experience. The next step was to develop a directed study around the internships so that Lily and Lisa could receive college credit for their hard work.”

Luckily, he says, everything went smoothly. “It was awesome afterward to hear about their experiences and discuss them in class. Super proud professor here!”

The students’ time on set was a major learning opportunity, and covered nearly every department from sound to set design and more.

“It was easy to learn a little bit of everything,” says Ortiz. “Everyone on set was excited to share what they knew and had learned so far in the industry,” including things she hadn’t previously considered, such as the impact of rapidly changing technology on the cost of film equipment.

Lisa Ortiz on the set of Baron and TolucaStark and Ortiz helped set up scenes, work on prop design, set up dolly tracks, learned camera operations for different types of shots, and even got to stand in as background characters!

“Working on a production set has always interested me, and being able to do that was really inspiring,” says Ortiz. “So much goes into it that not everyone gets to see. I hope to carry the lessons I learned with me as I advance my career in radio and video production.”

Stark shares that gratitude: “Someone my age and with my level of experience doesn’t get to do this every day. Majandra took me under her wing and taught me so much about the industry. She also shared with Lisa and I what we should look for when finding jobs, particularly in a male-dominated industry. She told us about how more women are moving into bigger roles on movie sets, and I found it helpful to know that there is a sense of community between women in the film world. I left inspired knowing that not only was this something I wanted to do, but that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to achieve.”