Sixth Grade kicks off new Documentary Project

Joe Lister

On January 18, the Sixth Grade hosted a project launch in the Duffy Center.

Ryan Holloway speaks with sixth grade students at the documentary project launch
Ryan Holloway speaks with sixth grade students at the documentary project launch

Sixth Grade Dean Mr. James Wasson led his grade’s documentary project launch. The sixth grade will be collaborating with the film production company Forge Apollo to produce a documentary about eight Malvern alumni.

As the launch began, Wasson said he was “really excited about this project.”

The launch showcased the company Forge Apollo, which was co-founded by Ryan Holloway ’03. Holloway, who attended Villanova, said that he first learned the joy of storytelling in Wasson’s class during his Malvern days.

“Some of my biggest intros to [storytelling] were in Mr. Wasson’s class,” Holloway said.

Holloway did not go directly into filmmaking after college.

“When I was looking for a job, I took an acting class in a studio in Santa Monica, and I really loved it,” Holloway said. “As I worked I came across a UCLA student film project where I met my now production partner, [Gabe Michael, and] we started to work on projects on the side.”

Eventually Holloway was asked by Michael to do shoot as an actor for Revel Casino in Atlantic City.

“It was really after that shoot that we decided to go out and find some investors and start our own company,” Holloway said. “That was when we started Forge Apollo, and it’ll be four years in February.”

Eventually, Holloway came back to the east coast, where he continued to keep in touch with his former teacher, Wasson.

“We started talking, [and we said] how cool it would be to bring some kind of opportunity to the younger kids,” Holloway said.

They started to talk about the new project based learning that Wasson was a part of at Malvern. Eventually they reached the idea of bringing an opportunity to the younger kids at Malvern. Soon, the Sixth Grade Documentary project was born.

Associate Director of Communications Mr. Jim Mack liked the idea, and he encouraged Holloway and Wasson to meet.

Mack even put in some of his own ideas into the conversation, according to Holloway. “Mr. Mack said it would be kind of cool to have a behind the scenes documentary,” he said.

Holloway won’t be able to be at Malvern often, but two members of his team will be on campus frequently.

“Tom [Smith] and Evan [McIntyre]… they’re going to be at Malvern on a daily basis. Tom’s going to be teaching the documentary process,” he said. “I’ll try to get in as much as I can but they’ll be there for the most part of the day.”

Holloway has some high expectations for the project.

“I’m so excited, I’m always surprised by young people and what they’re able to create,” he said. “I think they’re going to come up with some really cool stuff that surprises us.”

Multiple students spoke at the project launch, including sixth grader Logan Kelly.

“It was pretty cool, I thought that the overall idea of the project was really interesting. It’s really cool that we’re going to be involved in making a film,” Kelly said.

Holloway wants students to pursue this experience with an open mind.

“You never know what passion you’re going to unlock, you never know who you’re turning into this craft,” Holloway said.