Glimpse of Hollywood: Valor Film Students Shadow Professionals

On December 14th-17th, Valor Christian High School’s Film II class got up close and personal with a professional film crew. UPtv production company shot four scenes of its upcoming movie Just Jake—a romantic comedy following flourishing country singer Jake as he reunites with his small-town high school sweetheart Amber—in the Valor Art’s building. Students watched all fifty-five members of their crew bring the auditorium, abandoned during Christmas break, to life. 

“Having Just Jake filmed on campus was a great opportunity for our film students to experience being on a real movie set right here in our own backyard,” said film teacher Ms. Gayle Kakac, who was not only an extra in a couple of scenes but also recorded behind-the-scenes footage of cast and crew members as they fulfilled their duties on set. Her students, she said, had similar opportunities.

During these four vital winter days, students had the privilege of participating in production. Many acted as extras in two scenes—as concert-goers and audience members—while a lucky few performed in the movie’s scripted talent show as violinists, singers, dancers, and artists. 

“Performing in the talent show was kinda surreal,” said Zach Buchold, one of Valor’s Film II students. “I’m used to tapping, but knowing it’s going to be on the big screen is insane.”

Additionally, Valor’s film kids shadowed professional movie-makers as they did their jobs, which meant an intimate view of their potential futures if they choose to pursue this passion. From directing to styling to script supervision, the Film II kids discovered the intricacies of movie creation and the precision with which each employee works, pertinent information for many of these young filmmaking hopefuls. 

“I feel very honored to have seen professionals work on a real movie scene,” said Madison Rosel, another film student. “Everything was very quick and organized. If it was your turn to perform you had to be ready.”

“It was a rare opportunity,” added Kakac. “I’m so grateful our students had this opportunity.”

Just Jake premieres on UPtv in March 2023. Tune in to witness our humble stage miraculously transformed into a rising star’s rural hometown. If you would like to know more about the production process, click here to watch a special news package made by the Valor Pulse team. 

“I am just so happy that I got to be a part of it,” said Madi Byler, our final Film II interviewee. “It was such an amazing experience… and I loved every second.”

Watch the behind the scenes of Just Jake: