Early friday morning I received a facebook message from my dear friend Fred. Fred and I make movies together on a fairly regular basis. Here is one of them!
So friday morning myself and the others who worked on this film get this message on facebook.
As you can read someone had used our film to win a Christian Film competition. Not our story, or our plot but the actual film. We all were obviously upset and were trying to think of how to deal with it. First we tried to figure out who the girl was. So we went to this Band’s page that posted about the video.
So this Christian band was taking credit for the music in our film….which they didn’t make. We also saw that this girls name was Maggi Chamberlain. Watching the video all the way through we noticed that she went to great lenghts to take our names out of the credits. Even making up fake names for the actors in the film. Citing herself as the Director:
Citing the band as the music:
We also saw at the end of the film that she claimed this as a student film as UNCSA
Our impulse was to inform the competition of her cheating. But we realized this would mean the end of her student career. So we first tried to contact her. Someone had tagged her on a post on Facebook below the video on the Chantfield Band post. So we went to her account.
Her account was set to private and we couldn’t get ahold of her this way. We ended up sending this message to her Vimeo account dealing with the issue in what we felt was a “Christian way” to deal with this. She after all claimed to be a christian as well as this band.
We wanted to first give her the opportunity to do what is right.
We didn’t know if she would ever check the vimeo as the video was posted a little over three months ago. We tried to find another way to contact her. We found her twitter account.
Her twitter account was ALSO set to private so we couldn’t contact her. But she had her BLOG linked to her twitter.
Her Blog featured all sorts of posts about God and being a Christian which only made me more upset that she had stolen our film. The more we went through the page (yes this is starting to seem obsessive on our end.) We started to realize that this girl is actually kind of a big deal in North Carolina.
She is a local musician that made the front page of some magazine and tours to San Franciso.
We then upon further digging discover that she is dating the lead singer of this Worship band called…..CHANTFIELD!
So now things are starting to come together. We start coming up with the hypothetical scenario that probably happened. Where this girl was cramming for some class film project and couldn’t make something in time so found some video online that she figured nobody had seen and used it and the boyfriend helped her cover it up. After this constant back and forth of trying to get in contact with her Freddy decided to see if the school had information about her. So he called up the school and the school said they had no record of a Maggie Chamberlain ever attending.
So we start doing research on this band to try and get ahold of them. Turns out this band is actually a huge deal. They seem to be a worship band with 1,800+ followers on facebook.
They are some local hotshot band that get’s to play every Tuesday and Fridaaah on the local radio station. Had an album release party at the local walmart.
Even sell the album at Walmart.
And we realize that by busting these guys we could tear down an entire church community with this whole scandal. So we start thinking of what to do when Freddy gives me a call.
Freddy calls me up and says that he went to look at some of the people that commented on the Chantfield page. And these accounts don’t have any friends or they are set to private. Nearly Every one of them.
He says that he thinks somebody has made this all as a prank against him. He doesn’t think the band is legit. To which I say there is no way! We have photos and video of the shows! Plus this whole boyfriend girlfriend thing. There was a youtube video of how much they love each other. and A video of the girl singing a happy birthday song to the lead singer of Chantfield. Plus they had this Walmart show and were on magazine covers.
These people were real. I said there wasn’t a chance. There were twitter accounts for the band and the lead singer and all these photos of him and the girl.
I told Freddy this had to be real.
I got together with some friends later and told them all about what was happening and how weird it was. And how something seemed very off about it. So I went back and looked closer at everything. Starting with the girls blog. (Real detective work ahead.)
Upon actually looking you could easily tell this was photoshopped. But I still couldn’t believe that someone would go through these measures so we checked the venue website.
They were closed on the alleged concert date. In fact….it was the only day that week they were closed.
We then looked at that magazine cover and noticed…..PHOTOSHOPPED.
But what about this worship band!????
This was all photoshopped as well.
But I’m sitting there going they had those YOUTUBE videos of the song he wrote for her!
I didn’t even bother to check below and see that youtube pulled the actual artist for the songs.
And then I instantly thought of this movie Catfish.
The movie revolves around this guy who meets a family through some artwork of one of his photos and builds a relationship with this family through facebook. And then the mother introduces the guy to her daughter. And the guy and the girl essentially “date” for about six months till he starts to realize something is off. She sends him this song that she covered for him “Tennessee Stud” and he likes the music and another one of the songs she sent him that she wrote. He liked it a lot so he googled the lyrics. and found the EXACT same mp3 by another artist. The girl was lying about playing. He then found the EXACT mp3 of some girl playing that cover of “Tennessee Stud” much more entails but he eventually had enough and decided he would go meet the girl in Michigan and get to the bottom of all of this. Upon knocking on the door he found that the whole thing was a sham. This woman with quite a sad life had created this world of people and had been talking to him as both the MOTHER and THE DAUGHTER. She had two separate cell phones. There never was a daughter. The woman created over 15 facebook accounts that she would get on and communicate to the accounts and the guy. Seemingly this whole world of friends that actually doesn’t exist. She took photos of some random model she found on facebook and took all the photos from her account and pretended to be her.
We decided to watch that movie again last night. And then afterwards we remembered that there was a video of Megan Chamberlain singing on youtube under that guys account. So we pulled that up and googled the lyrics to the song she was singing.
And this came up.
So there was but one step to make.
Google Megan Slankard.
So we went to her facebook account.
Same Default photo and all.
Megan Slankard is a rather famous musician all the way across the country in San Francisco.
Somebody all the way in North Carolina (presumably) is posing as her online. But not only her but as several other people. Seemingly this person’s main focus is on Megan and her boyfriend and her boyfriends band but why?
The facts that we came to was that there is no band. There is no Maggi Chamberlain, There is no boyfriend and there never was a film competition that this girl won. Someone just happened to use our film in their grand scheme of deception. In fact the only connection we seem to have to this is they seemingly liked our film and wanted to use it as part of their fictitious lives. At first glance nothing seemed out of the normal. We were duped. But at closer look it was rather obvious.
We have since notified Megan Slankard and are waiting to here back from her. All of the videos and songs under Chantfield band seem to belong to a band named Starfield. We have traced Chantfield’s fake videos to at least 4 different youtube accounts that cross comment on each account. We have notified Starfield as well.
Whoever is posing as Megan has been doing so since November of 2010. As of yesterday evening the twitter and facebook accounts are still being updated on a regular basis. This person is still posing as several people online.
The original post notifying us of the stolen video.