S.CA DEN Members Get Red Carpet Treatment for Discovery Atlas Premiere!

Dsc01077 There is only 1 word that comes to mind….. WOW!!!! 

DEN members from around Southern California braved the crazy LA traffic (there was a HUGE accident that added another hour to most of their commutes!) to attend the WORLD PREMIERE Screening of DISCOVERY ATLAS!

The night began with a walk up the red carpet at Hall Davidson’s home in LA. (A HUGE Thank You to Hall, Gina, and Sherry for all your help!) After their long drive 50 DEN members with their families and friends joined together for dinner, networking, and fun.  From high up in the tree house to poolside, the teachers chatted away about the excitement of the night.  (Let’s just say that there were a few teachers who actually took the day off of school just to get ready!)TreehouseSummer_and_prudenceCypress_gang Family_event Fredendall_gang New_friends_1 Poolside

Then it was time…. teachers took one final trip down the red carpet (even pretending to be movie stars and avoid the cameras) and carpooled with  new friends that they had made down to the Arc Light theater!Brett_papparazziFinal_walk


Private_screening The BIG MOMENT had arrived and we were greeted by the Discovery team, who made sure we had the appropriate wristbands for access to the after party and led the group to our private theater!  Everywhere you looked across the theater you could see our teachers! 

It started with a welcome from the Executive Producer and Discovery’s very own CEO Judith McHale.  Her speech was inspiring as she spoke about the true purpose of Discovery….. "Discovery of Your World."  The crowning jewel was when Judith addressed our DEN teachers… thanking them for their work and letting them know how excited Discovery was to have them as special guests!Judith_speechDate_nightRandy_pops_popcorn


We enjoyed the screening, which featured an overview of the next 4 ATLAS shows… China, Italy, Australia, and Brazil.  Immediately the teachers felt connected with the characters and wanted to learn more.  They CAN’T WAIT to watch the full episodes!

  Just when we thought it was over, we were instructed to head toward the 7th floor…. Of course not before I took our "DEN Family" photo in front of the theater.Arclight_family_photoElevator_ride

Up the elevator we went and when the doors opened…. WOW!!!!  Teachers now walked down a sparkly black carpet and took photos in front of the official "ATLAS Premiere" backdrop.  This is also where we ran into the brain child behind ATLAS… Shannon! We spoke with us for a few moments and introduced us to their team!Red_carpet_time Ray_and_jannita_1 Ray_and_bryanAtlas_team


Further down the carpet we entered the dome!  Each of the 4 countries featured had a cutout shape projector screen that played clips from the episodes.  In the center of the room, performers from each of the countries entertained…. and to the teachers delight, servers carried around appetizers that matched the performers country!

Australia_boomerang Beckys_translation_den_rocks Australia_cutout Australia_rep Chinese_dragon

Our DEN was definitely AWE STRUCK as they hob nobbed with Discovery Channel Executives and even spoke and enjoyed Tiramisu with CEO Judith McHale!Judith_takes_time_to_talk_to_teachersTiramisu_with_judith  Randy_and_kerri_with_producer Shannon_marie_and_tom Toasting_the_night_1Frank_and_gang Cheers

And as the evening came to and end… teachers did not leave empty handed as goody bags were waiting by the door and we took and savored 1 final moment letting the real stars from deep inside us come out!Goody_bagsHall_captures_the_momentDsc01190

An INCREDIBLE night was had by all.  I have let several details out and know that my TERRIFIC DEN is chomping at the bit to tell you all about it.  So… let us know what you thought of the evening.  Let us know a new DEN member you met?  Who from Discovery Headquarters you were able to talk with? What was your favorite part of the show?  What episode are you most anxious to see? What was the highlight of the after party?


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  1. Ray Waller said:

    Oh yeah…Jury Duty in Riverside what more can you ask, I almost forgot to call in at 6am, they said see you at 8:15!
    What an INCREDIBLE NIGHT…I can’t wait to see the Oct 1st premiere after the taste in the ArcLight and amazingly we got to take them home! Thank you Discovery! Most memorable, the Gondola heritage and sacrifices and dedication and inspiration to continue the heritage and to become a part of the tradition in Venice. Seeing my peeps from SeaWorld and just reliving another incredible DEN encounter. Words cannot express my gratitude for the gifts, wisdom, and experiences the DEN has brought to me and enabled me to share and give them back to my colleagues and students. Keep them coming I cannot get enough, blessings to all.

  2. Katie Warren said:

    What an awesome, incredible event I was privileged to attend! From the red carpet and balloons greeting us at Hall’s home to Discovery ATLAS to the post-Premier party – my head is still spinning with all we saw and learned and enjoyed. I met Mark who works with Ray in Corona-Norco. We talked net ops, LCD projectors, and Inter-Write pads at Hall’s. I talked with Jannita and Hall from Discovery and Shannon who really put the show together. I had a wonderful discussion with Tracey, from Lion Films, whose company was in charge of the CHINA production. My favorite part(s) was watching the segments unfold – and looking forward to seeing each one in its entirety as well as the incredible photography and video that makes each episode so individual and unique. I’m anxious to see all of the episodes but really want to know if the gondolier gets the job! Walking off the elevator and seeing the sparkling black floor, the blue glow of the igloo-like sphere, and the dirge-like sound of the didgeridoo took my breath away. The food, beverages, and performers were “icing on the cake”. Thank you, Discovery, for a most memorable evening and the glimpse into what promises to be a remarkable series in Discovery ATLAS.

  3. Susan Little said:

    Discovery has created an awesome program. I was blown away by the images and the stories shared in the Atlas program. It really showed the commonality we have as well as celebrating our differences. The information about each country was presented in an way that captured your attention. My hats off to those who worked so hard to bring us this awesome program.
    The after party was magical. I enjoyed the way that each of the countries showcased in the Atlas program were experience through the entertainment and the food. It was wonderful to experience a small piece of the culture of the countries we had just experience in Atlas.
    Thank you to Discovery for allowing myself and my guests to be a part of such a magnificent night.

  4. Sue Fredendall said:

    I have not been able to take my wrist band off. Why? Because everyone that sees it wants to know why I am wearing it (They think I have been in the hospital). I then have another opportunity to explain the most wonderful evening and all the opportunities I will have to use this program in my classroom. The evening was incredible and I thank everyone involved for this unique experience. Thank you

  5. Sarah Johangiry said:

    Hello Everyone!!!
    It was incredible!!! I would first like to thank everyone who helped make this spectacular night possible! I, my sister, my best friend , and my husband had such a wonderful time last night. We could not stop talking about it on the way home! We felt so special to take part in this event.
    First, thank you Hall, Gina, Sherry, and Jannita for the fantastic pre-party! It was so nice to see everyone, and we all enjoyed the yummy chicken and salad.
    I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Megan and Brett before we left for the big event. I really enjoyed our conversations over the course of the night, and I look forward to seeing them soon. My husband really enjoyed meeting Hall, and we found out that he used to teach at the community college where my husband and I met.
    The presentation at the theatre was very impressive! It was very cool being part of a Premiere!! The photography and story lines in the films are amazing. I love to learn about other cultures and to travel. When you watch the films, you feel as though you are really there. Eventhough, I want to watch all of the movies, I can’t wait to learn more about Brazil. Carnival is fascinating, and learning about the different regions will help my husband and I plan for a trip to travel there one day! I recommend watching the films to everyone! You will not be sorry!
    The after party was so much fun and full of surprises. My favorite part was the dragon dance. We were out looking at the view when the drums started to play! Wow, out jumped a dragon to entertain us! It was so much fun. Surprise after surprise all night long is the best way to describe it. The food was excellent, and the goodie bag was a great way to end the night.
    The best part was sharing the evening with all of the wonderful DEN members I have met over the past year! Overall, I had a blast! Thanks again to everyone!!!
    I look forward to reading about everyone’s experience!
    Love, Sarah

  6. Bryan Stephens said:

    Last night was awesome! What a great job Discovery! The videos are great. The concept is wonderful. I cant wait to see all 30 countries! Thanks also to Hal for opening his home and having the “small” group invade his home and his “treehouse”. I am looking forward to watching the China video. I never really had an interest in China until this video. The pictures are amazing and the changes in the country are Unbelievable. The statisics are mind boggling! Once again thank you all at Discovery and thank you Jannita for a wonderful night!

  7. Ray Hernandez said:

    Hollywood here we come – So Cal DEN style. I can get use to the celebrity lifestyle. “Discovery really knows how to treat their teachers.” This is a quote from one of the teachers I spoke to during the Atlas premiere. I think her words summed up my feelings best. During the evening I met up with a teacher who actually taught at my school 3 years ago. She came as a guest from a fellow DEN member and was just in awe (as I was). She asked in awe, “How do I get in on this?” I down played the whole event and said that this was usual treatment for DEN members – I’m terrible, I know. But really, if you missed out, this is exactly how I felt. Discovery did an excellent job of not only producing world class material (Atlas), but also of making me proud to say that I am part of Discovery. As the others mentioned already, the show was a blast, but the way Discovery went about the whole event was just as great. Thanks, Discovery. I’ll be tuning in to all these great episodes. Lastly, to all the DEN members (especially my fellow sharks), it was great seeing you all again. Blessings. Ray H.

  8. Chuck Hobbs said:

    What a fantastic night. My wife (a teacher as well) and I braved the rush hour traffic to fight our way to the Arclight from South Orange County. Finally collapsing into our seats minutes before the show, we caught our breath and watched the slide show. When the actual premire began, we were blown away. It was so amazing to be able to zoom into a single life in a country as huge as China. It really felt like the next evolution of Google earth! Both my wife and I got so emersed in the different segments that we wanted to be able to see the entire series right away. It was so facinating to see the beautiful country in places we can only dream of traveling to. The people that they chose to follow were real people with real lives. We can’t wait to find out what happened to the gondaleer. Did he get the job? The night would have been great if it had just been the movie, but the after party was a blast. We especially liked the man from Australia who was playing the digerydoo (I know I spelled it wrong). The only bummer of the night was that we had to take off to pick our kids up from the sitter in Rancho Santa Margarita and missed out on the goody bags. Oh well, next time. Thanks Jannita and Discovery for such an amazing night!

  9. Ray Waller said:

    I forgot to mention how professional and sensational you all looked, but I must say our “DEN mom” rocked the house and looked MARVELOUS!!!!

    We love you…SoCalDEN

  10. Suzanne Wesp said:

    Hats off to Discovery, Hall, Jannita and a host of others!!! What a great evening from the conversations with old friends and new at Hall’s house (Thanks to Hall and his wife for opening their home to all of us.), to the spectacular beauty of the Atlas preview to the after party tht made us really feel like members of the elite. I talked with teachers from Fontana, La Crescenta, Frank from AFI, Hall, a fellow teacher from the Diocese of Orange (Genny) along with others. The after party was so much fun. My husband and I kept wondering what was going to happen next and what food was going to be served from the next country. Accolades to Discovery for their Atlas programs. I can’t wait to see the entire series. While seeing the piece on Italy brought back memories of my visits to Venice and Siena, the previews of the other countries just made me want to visit them so I could create new memories. I was so excited about last night that I, too, kept my blue wristband on today (No, kids, the wristband is not related to the cast on my hand. It’s from a World Premiere I attended last night in LA.) and showed the previews from the Discovery website to all my students and told them they should record the show on Sunday (since most of them wouldn’t be able to stay up to watch the whole show). I even showed a couple of my fellow teachers and got them excited and they now want to become DEN teachers. I can’t wait for Sunday nights – and not just for Desperate Housewives! Thanks, Discovery, for inviting us teachers to be part of your celebration last night.

  11. Sandy Paul said:

    Thank you, Discovery, for a fabulous party! We can’t wait to have our students watch at home (as well as our own families). The quality of the multimedia and the scripts was amazing. The decision to focus on individuals in each of the countries will really have more of an impact on our students. I wish I was better with names but talked to several people from Discovery, including the gentleman who helped design the DVD labels. The program event planners were also fantastic about sharing how they accomplished the projected images on the countries. Several of us thought it could be adapted for a really special Open House at our own schools. Jannita, thank you also for making certain we were all invited. Such special events help us all to feel that our occupation is viewed as crucial by the Discovery Channel executives. Teachers rarely have the opportunity to attend such corporate events!

  12. Jen Kraft said:

    WOW!!! I hope our premiere at One Discovery Plaza is just as exciting tonight! I can’t wait!!!

  13. Kathy Martin said:

    Wow. Thank you, Discovery for a memorable evening. Not even and over-turned big rig on the 405 could keep us away from such a fabulous event! The evening was more than worth the wait in traffic. It was a privilege meeting Ms. McHale and Shannon and her team. I enjoyed having the opportunity to thank them for their efforts and Discovery’s committment to education. The program is breathtaking and I cannot wait to have my students (and my own children) watch Atlas on Sunday. After talking about it with my students, we are all eager to find out about the gondolier. What a unique and marvelous idea: to present these beautiful places on our globe by connecting us with the people.
    Thank you, again, Discovery, for your fabulous programming and for inviting us to the party afterward. One surprise after another. It was like nothing I have ever attended and I am sure I will be talking about it (non-stop) for days!

  14. Judy Williams said:

    WOW! Susan, I was glad you said that you didn’t take your wristband off right away. I too, wore my to school the next day and it was the perfect opportunity to share with students and teachers the wonderful experience I had had the night before!

    I enjoyed speaking with the Discovery people who produced, directed and got to experience first hand this awesome presentation! they truly know how to make teachers feel they are worthy and have an important responsibility in sharing with our students.

    i felt like a “star” too, as we left by guarded elevators with a “goodie bag” in our hand that we didn’t have to pay any tax on!

    Thank you again, Discovery and DEN “mom” for the opportunity!

  15. Kerri Long-Campbell said:

    I had such a great time! It was wonderful of Hall to open up his home to us. His backyard porch was like visiting Disneyland’s Tarzan treehouse! Also, I still can’t get over how awesome the new series, Atlas, looks. The cinematography was amazing with the 360 degree camera angles and the colors were so vibrant from each country. The stories that were introduced about each continent made me so curious that I want to watch on Sunday nights to find out more. The after party was so exciting, too. The whole evening was spectacular. Thank you to Jannita and Hall and all the Discovery Execs who thought of us teachers and made this happen for us.

  16. Debbie Allinson said:

    What a fabulous night! I took my 17 year old daughter who is applying to a film school and needless to say it was a LIFE-CHANGING experience for her. Discovery ATLAS is a sensational production filled with the most amazing visual imagery. We were in awe of the concept the discovery team has put together-that of storytelling while portraying the cultural aspects of China, Australia, Brazil and Italy. Did it make you want to travel and explore the world?? OH YES! well, we couldn’t make the Party at Hall’s house because of the traffic, but the party afterwards was fabulous. The focus on each country was amazingly portrayed from the food to the talented performers. Of course getting hit in the head with a boomerang and get run over by a chinese dragon was a lot of fun too! Thanks Discovery, DEN and all for a wonderful evening.

  17. Bev Matheson said:

    Thank you Discovery for providing an incredible evening at the movies. My daughter and I are still talking about the amazing event and how excited we are to watch the upcoming series. There are no words that can describe how beautiful the photography was in the show. We can’t wait to host our own screening party for teachers at our school.
    We really enjoyed being treated like stars, which included a red carpet treatment at Hall’s house. This was provided by none other than Jannita, Hall, and his family. Thanks for your hospitality! (We love you!)The after party was perfect. From the performances, to the food, to networking with others,not one detail was left out. Thanks again to Discovery for showing teachers how much you care.

  18. Margi Johnson said:

    Ditto, ditto, and ditto!!! I was a wonderful event, and I so appreciated be appreciated by those who organized the affair. I haven’t stopped sharing just how impressive the quality of the movie was, and, I too, wore my bracelet for the next two days. I cannot wait to share segments from these fantastic programs with my students as we explore world geography and ancient civilizations!!!

  19. Brett Harvey said:

    As I said to Hall Davidson the night of the premiere, I joined DEN because I knew that Discovery wouldn’t start something like this up without doing it first class. The Atlas Premiere confirmed this. What a fun experience for teachers to feel like Class A Socialites for a night and get served food and drinks. The films look fantastic and it was a memorable opportunity to meet the producers of the shows at the party. There is a big level of anticipation for the shows now. Great experience – let’s do it again!

  20. Genevieve Kahlweiss said:

    Discovery is # 1 in my book. I had a great evening and I enjoyed seeing so many of my DEN friends. There is a real bond that takes place at these events. I was able to meet serveral new DEN teachers and over dinner at Hall’s home we talked “shop” (tech teacher projects and applications). Again, Discovery made us feel special, especially with rolling out the red carpet and giving us gift bags at the end the the evening so we could go back to school and share the goodies.
    I assigned my 8th graders extra credit to watch the show on Sunday night and write a reflection on the show. I think the Altas program is fabulous and gives a real person to person experience when you watch it. Thank you Discovery for inviting us teachers. Thank you Jannita and Hall for all your hard work for putting this event together for us. I really enjoyed every minute of the evening.

  21. Marie Belt said:

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to attend this event! My husband and I attended, along with several teachers from my site…We had a blast and felt like movie stars! I have to say that Discovery treats its teachers very well! Every event I have had the privilege to attend has been top notch!
    We were able to miss traffic and enjoy the hospitality of Hall and his wife…thanks so much for inviting us to your home! The Atlas screening was terrific…I can’t wait to see the rest of the shows and look forward to the new countries to be highlighted…the stories really made me interested to learn more about the countries and the characters…I mean People!
    The party afterwards was absolutely beautiful! I loved all of the performers from all of the different countries. And having the opportunity to talk to the director and executive producer of the China piece was fabulous! They were so passionate about their work, and so unassuming and modest about their accomplishments.
    Thank you to Discovery and Jannita for including us in this wonderful event!

  22. Cristina Soto said:

    I want to say, “THANK YOU!”. DISCOVERY is a tremendous supporter of education.

    It was an honor to be invited to participate in the ATLAS screening.

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