G-Star school featured on TODAY Show

Nation gets inside look at the innovative school

- You have never seen anything quite like it before.

In between history, science and math you can make commercials, movies or work with rock stars.

G-Star School of the Arts is the largest acting, film and production school in the country, all inspired by the unlikely founder, Greg Hopner.

A hair dresser turned movie producer turned businessman who saw an opportunity.

With a lot of passion but no experience in education, a decade ago he started building G-star with state of the art facilities.

"It's not only the newest sound stage in the world but the most technologically advanced stage in the world. You can do full burns in here, shoot any underwater scene in the world here," he said.

Then he pitched Hollywood. The deal? Production companies could use the school's studios for free the if they used the students as interns. The result? Real world, hands-on experience.

The students have worked on more than 50 motion pictures along with dozens of commercials, videos and productions like one by Digital Domain, the eight-time Academy Award winning visual effects company known for movies like "Titanic" and "Tron".

Commercial director Anika Killen said it is a valuable partnership and gives students a competitive edge. "I was very impressed by the students."

At a time when so many schools are failing, this is an A-rated school. 99% of its students graduate. 97% go on to college. And there is a unique atmosphere.

One teacher you may recognize, Ron Palillo. He was once better known for his own classroom antics as Arnold Horshack in "Welcome Back, Kotter," He teaches acting.

He credits the school with giving students a critical ingredient most schools have cut. "You need science, math, reading, of course. But without the creative spark you'Ve got nothing but drones. You have semi-intelligent drones walking around."

For the record the students don't have to audition or be straight-A students. It's first come, first served. The only requirement is they have to want to be there and they have to follow the rules.

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