Media Kids Get a Rare Chance to Spend School Day on Set

Welcome to Mercury StudiosThe first day of school usually consists of scrambling to new classrooms, getting homework and various syllabi and facing the dreaded unknown during lunch, but for a handful of lucky iPatch TV students, their first day took place on a television set in Las Colinas.

Dreamworks Producer and Sneak on the Lot CEO Chet Thomas contacted media sponsor Jennifer Holcomb on August 20th with an opportunity for her and her students. He asked if she would be willing to be in Glenn Beck’s audience for a show discussing student film makers, and she said yes. The only catch: filming was set for August 26th; the first day of school.

“I contacted all of my advanced students and asked them if they would be willing to represent Wylie and discuss their experiences as student film makers, and they all jumped at the chance,” Holcomb said. “We have incredible talent in Wylie, and I wanted for the students to get the recognition they deserve.”

However, Holcomb had to work with the producers to push back filming into the afternoon.

“It all came together,” senior Ben Gallegos said. “We got to see how a real TV studio works, and we sat in the front row, ready to answer questions.”

On the set discussing the issues with Glenn Beck were Chet Thomas and his Sneak on the Lot partner Darrin Fletcher, along with legendary producer Gerald Molen.

“There, in front of us, was Steven Spielberg’s partner,” junior Chandler Stroede said, speaking of Molen. “Everyone has seen Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List. Gerald Molen made these, and he was right there, ready for us to ask questions.”

The conversation turned serious, though, and Beck was shown a trailer for a project called The Abolitionists. Thomas and Fletcher’s new program featured special ops footage of Navy Seals rescuing children trapped in the sex trade, explaining that no greater social issue existed, and that it was something they were called to do in order to help save lives.

“I couldn’t believe how incredible this show was,” senior Emily Sharp said. “We got to see it premiered first, with Glenn Beck. It felt like we were all part of a Hollywood group, and we were.”

The show finished and each of the students were welcomed to the VIP area, and Molen arrived shortly after to talk with each of them about their passions and pursuits.

“He (Molen) shared his work ethic with me and gave me advice on how to make it as a performer,” senior Jacob Hemsath said. “He won an Academy Award and took the time to talk with me and with all of us.”

According to Molen, it’s all about having a strong work ethic in order to make it in Hollywood. He explained that he started by volunteering on the set, and within 10 years, had 400 people working for him.

“Today we got to learn from the best of the best, true Hollywood insiders,” senior Amy Crone said. “This has been the best first day of school I have ever had.”

Chet Thomas and Sponsor Jennifer Holcomb with students

Chet Thomas jokes with students

Legendary producer Gerald Molen

Students at the Glenn Beck show