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Essex native worked as Segment Producer for “The Challenge: All Stars 3”


by Sylene Argent

Photo submitted.

Last year, Essex native Jakob Skrzypa was a Segment Producer on the popular MTV/Paramount+ series “The Challenge: All Stars 3,” a spinoff from long-time running show, “The Challenge.”

  The series began to air on May 11 on Paramount+, and he is proud to have it on the airwaves for everyone to check out.

  Skrzypa called “The Challenge” the original reality show, with its roots going back to 1998.

  “I was a fan of the main show for a while, so I reached out. Because of some of my ‘Survivor’ experience [in Fiji], they brought me on,” he said, adding his job on “The Challenge: All Stars” was basically to make the challenges happen.

  On the show, there were two teams, Skrzypa and a local associate producer, and “We brought the challenges to life,” he said. “Whatever was needed for them, we made it happen.

  “They have really perfected the reality show format,” Skrzypa said of the series “The Challenge: All Stars.” He said the show has a little bit of house drama, where the people are living together, and the challenges are almost like a sport. “Other reality shows are nothing compared to what these cast [members] have to do.”

  Throughout the show’s existence, cast members have had to do some pretty extreme challenges, like jump out of helicopters, ride on moving semi trucks on an air strip, or plummet off of a building. “Crazy, crazy stuff.”

  Essentially, the show begins with 25 players, which narrows down to a certain number who then participate in the finale. From that finale, there is a male and female winner. Each episode has a daily challenge, and an elimination challenge.

  There is a cash prize at the end of the show for the winners, plus bragging rights.

“I really recommend people check out this show. It does have something to offer for everyone,” he said. “It is a really cool mix of high energy, challenges, house drama, stunts. It is a really cool, unique show.”

  The experience working for the show, “Was a blast. It was a really cool experience. It was one of the best production experiences I’ve had. The crew was amazing. It really was a well-oiled machine. They have been doing this for so many years now. It was just a great experience overall.”

  He said working in Panama for the show was a blast. “It is a really cool country. Really nice people. Lush jungle. It is night and day from Essex,” he said.  

  Skrzypa is currently working on a CBS version of the same format of the show.

  “It is just the most fun job I think I have ever had, to get paid to travel and throw people out of buildings and helicopters, it is pretty hard to beat,” Skrzypa joked. “It is a great crew. It really does feel like family.”

  Because of that close bond with others working on the show, the downtime Skrzypa had was just as rewarding as everyone often hung out together.

  Skrzypa is a University of Windsor film school graduate. He wrote and directed the short film “Balls,” which was shot primarily in Essex Centre, as a submission for the Rode Microphones’ “The World’s Largest Short Film Competition” in 2020.

In 2016, Skrzypa completed an internship with Comedy Central’s show, “Nathan for You.” In 2019, Skrzypa won Red Apple’s corporate, nationwide video contest, for his three-minute entry, “Small Town, Big Heart,” which featured former Essex Mayor Ron McDermott on the day of his retirement. He spoke about what Essex means to him in the film. 

  Skrzypa also worked on a sketch comedy channel called “Fun Uncle.”

  Skrzypa’s work can be viewed at: youtube.com/user/FunUnclevideos.

  Looking ahead, he is looking forward to working with Windsor’s Michael Stasko, who will step in as Director, on the film “Vampire Zombies... From Space!”

  He is excited to see this project move forward as the script was sold in 2020. He is a Writer, Co-Producer, and Editor for the film.

  The filming for “Vampire Zombies... From Space!” has been pushed back because of the pandemic, but plans are in the works to shoot it locally this August. Those interested in getting involved, or would like to invest, can log onto: www.vampirezombiesmovie.com/ to learn more.

  The plan is to secure two well-known Canadian celebrities for the film, and cast other actors from Windsor and Toronto.