We're so excited to present our new blog series, Filmmakers of the Future! Each week we'll feature a young filmmaker (age 25 and under) and get the scoop on their experiences, projects, and advice for YOU. Without further ado, meet our first young filmmaker...Jamie Dolan!
Jamie Dolan, age 20, is from Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY. He is an actor, writer, and producer. He produced and co-wrote the feature film "Forgetting Sandy Glass" (post-production), and has written two other feature-length screenplays that are currently in development. He founded his own production company, Sandy Glass Productions. Some of his hobbies outside of the film business include basketball, trying out new food and coffee, meeting new people, and fashion.
I actually started out as an actor at an early age, acting in school plays when I was in 5th grade. But, it wasn't until freshmen year of high school when I found an acting school and began to study and try to learn the ins and outs of the business. As the years went on I continued to study. I kept pushing and fighting to be the best I could be, and to actually understand this business without getting ahead of myself and jumping in before I was ready. And that is one thing I strongly, strongly recommend that youth not do. Look, study, read, and listen as much as you can. Don't try to rush into the entertainment world before you're ready. Because it is a BUSINESS and you will get swept right off your feet. First impressions are everything. I know everyone wants that agent & manager, the overnight stardom. But that isn’t usually the case. Once you are strong and confident in what you do, you'll stand your ground and nobody can take advantage of you.
Tell us about a challenge you've encountered in media production and how you resolved it:
I studied every single day, every week for years in high school. I missed out on social gatherings and events. I was in class, I was out there networking, I was reading. I made a lot of sacrifices. Around age 17, I wrote my first storyline for a movie I wanted to make— a short film. I had put in all the time and work, I was ready to show something. I put together a small group of people, which soon enough fell through and went downhill. It didn't work out; everyone went their separate ways. What did that leave? That left me behind with an amazing story to tell, and a burning passion to bring it to life. I was back at square one, sitting there with a great story and a 34-page short film script.
Look, study, read, and listen as much as you can. Don't try to rush into the entertainment world before you're ready. Because it is a BUSINESS... First impressions are everything.
Well, I had a very small part in this film called "Creative Control", the film won "Visual Excellence award" at SXSW, and was picked up by Amazon Studios for a 2016 Theatrical release. I also just wrapped on a film called "Red Vette October”. The film is directed by David Williams, and produced by "Dark Ash Films". It is a film set in the 80's and I play the "all american football star". So that was fun and is set to release this year. Along with "Forgetting Sandy Glass" I currently have 3 other feature films slated for production this year. So, I'm just praying for the best.
Why do YOU make films?
I make films for a very specific reason: I have the platform to tell a story. I have a platform to potentially save lives, make someone smile, show people that there is hope, that there is light. When you're creating stories that people can relate to and feel less alone, it really makes a big impact on society. And knowing I have this opportunity is why I keep creating such powerful stories, in hope that I can help touch lives.
Who/ what are you inspired by:
I am inspired by anyone who is out there putting everything on the line to live their dreams. Those are the people I respect, and the people that I would try to help out. I'm not all for that “back-up plan", or pursuing filmmaking on the side. If you want it more than anything else, you'll put every last being into it and have faith and belief in making it reality. And I strongly do believe that if you have faith it will happen.
[with film] I have a platform to potentially save lives, make someone smile, show people that there is hope, that there is light.
Pick up a pen and a piece of paper— start writing. Doesn't matter how bad it may be, just do it. We are in a media generation right now; write short skits, make a YouTube video with some friends. Just get involved and try to learn and grow from actually experiencing it. And if you're just starting out, chances are that you won't be working on a big studio set and being able to gather experience. That is why I am telling you to start creating your own work. Even if it isn't good at first, you'll get better. And there is no better way to learn then to actually be involved. So take classes, read books, study new movies, study old movies, learn the ins-and-outs of the business. Prepare yourself as much as you possibly can so when the time comes, you are ready and better than ever.
Jamie's film "Forgetting Sandy Glass" is available for worldwide pre-order on Vimeo. You can follow the film on Instagram and Facebook. For more about Jamie, find him on Instagram and Twitter @jamiemdolan or visit the Sandy Glass Productions website.