Amidst the troubles of 2020, Bigfork High School Senior Gabe Grende adventured down to the city of Butte to help on the set of director Michael Polish’s new series Bring on the Dancing Horses. Interested in filmmaking since childhood, Grende began officially working on film sets in 2019. Grende explained that “Michael found me through an organization called the Montana Institute of the Arts […] He saw something in me that I feel nobody ever really did and it was something that I did not know either and have yet to figure out. This sparked multiple opportunities down the road that granted me a possible career in this cutthroat industry.”
As school was beginning this year, Grende traveled to Butte where he then began managing school on top of the busy filming schedule. “The hardest part was the hours. Juggling both school and a 60 hour work week was near impossible to achieve. However with the help of our amazing teachers and administration, I was able to make this all work. At the end of the day I really do have this school to thank for this amazing opportunity.” Though he sometimes had to miss classes due to strange hours, he managed to make up all of his work thanks to things being online this year.
Also, while in Butte, Grende was able to make friends with many of his new coworkers. “The best part about Butte was probably the friendships and connections that I was able to make while I was there. I’ve never really been a part of ‘the boys,’ until I met this really spectacular camera crew… They taught me a lot and I was really lucky to have begun this line of career with such kind people,” said Grende.
Now that filming has wrapped and his senior year is quickly coming to a close, Grende is looking forward to his next step. In the fall he will be going to The Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Seattle.
Grende remarked, “Working on a series in Butte was an enlightening experience. I was able to operate with technology that was beyond any that I’ve ever worked with. It was also a privilege to be able to watch the director, Michael Polish work.”