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Jamie's personal Blog

Are you Thinking About Becoming a Budding Film Maker?

There are sure to be some of you out there who are considering becoming the next Steven Spielberg! Like me – Jamie Squillare, when that thought entered my head, you’re probably going to need a bit of helpful advice. I spent many a long hour trawling the internet for tips and hints on getting started and I thought it would be a good idea to share what I found. Also I have bit of knowledge from set. You can check my professional experience in IMDb. But let me share what I find useful:
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  1. Ask around to see if anyone you know has some equipment you can borrow or look into hiring. Before you go to the expense of buying your film making equipment save yourself some money by giving it a go and spending as little as possible. All you really need is some sort of camera. You could even use a smartphone.
  2. Don’t be over ambitious. Try shooting something simple first. Aim for maybe a ten minute film rather than stretching yourself with half an hour or more. Even the best movie directors probably started out with short and punchy films.
  3. It’s all about the location. Draw up a list of possible locations and base your script around them. Even the most mundane location can be made to look interesting when the script is right.
  4. Work within your limitations. List the resources you have available and write a story to fit in around them.
  5. Watch your favourite movies closely scene by scene. Examine some of your favourite scenes in close detail. Look at what the characters are doing and the camera angles.
  6. You’ll need some help. It’s easy to find fellow film makers to help with the shoot. A producer, a director, a cinematographer, a sound recorder and an editor are the roles that need to be filled. It will be possible to double up on some of these roles.
  7. Test screen your first cut. This is an important way of finding out if you are on the right track and you will attract an audience.

These are just some basic things to think about before you get going. Film making requires time, investment, a compelling script as well as believable actors and actresses. You will also need set dresser like Jamie Squillare. Don’t get put off at the first hurdle and keep trying out different ways of working. Whether you’re looking to embrace a new hobby or make it your career, film making should be fun and enjoyable, however big your budget. Take a look on YouTube there are countless people taking the plunge every day and the results can be amazing.

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Eco-friendly Home Improvement Ideas

Environmentally concious home owners are always looking for ways to improve their homes and make them as “green” as possible. I – Jamie Squillare will always try to be as “green” as possible. Here are some ideas and tips to save you money on your energy bills and take care of the planet. You may find more in my Pinterest boards

UNDERFLOOR HEATING – popular in new build homes this type of heating can still be installed in older houses to great effect.

Jamie eco-friendly

INVEST IN SOLAR PANELS – although expensive to install they do provide long term savings. Any excess energy can be sold to the National Grid.

LOFT INSULATION – you can recoup the cost of good loft insulation within two or three years. Use natural or recycled materials whenever possible.

LOCALLY SOURCED MATERIALS AND LABOUR – buy your materials locally and hire a builder from just down the road, rather than all across town or another city.

RECYCLED FURNITURE – much more furniture is now available on the market manufactured from recycled materials.recycled furniture

WATER BASED PAINTS – oil-based paints are less energy efficient. Water-based paints often contain natural pigments and are easier to dispose of.

CAVITY WALL INSULATION – an uninsulated wall is nearly as wasteful as an uninsulated loft.

REGULAR SERVICING – having your boiler regularly serviced will keep it running at its best. Older models are inherently less energy efficient so upgrade to the latest model when funds allow.

BUY SECOND HAND – don’t fall into the trap of always buying new. Ebay and the plethora of high street charity shops have a wealth of perfectly usable furniture that is still in fashion.

DON’T HAVE THE THERMOSTAT SET TOO HIGH – is it really necessary to be sat around during the winter in a t shirt? Do you really need the water to be scalding hot? Set the temperature on your thermostat a couple of degrees lower and you’ll be amazed at the savings you make.

DON’T LEAVE THINGS ON STAND-BY – if you took stock of your energy consumption you’d be surprised at the amount of energy wasted keeping your electrical equipment on stand-by.

DOUBLE GLAZING – home design doesn’t always mean fancy and could just involve picking an attractive design for your double glazed windows. Replace your single glazed windows to keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. And go for wood rather than UPVC or metal. They’re much easier to repair, have a higher insulation value, last longer and are less polluting.

REPLACE YOUR OLD STYLE BULBS WITH ENERGY SAVING ONES. Although no longer available to buy thousands of you still use them in your home. They have come on in leaps and bounds since early days and are far more energy efficient.

If everyone try just one of these advice, we can spend less energy. So please think about generation after us. Jamie Squillare suggests you to keep it “green”.

Opulent Home Design Ideas

If you have a home that has the space and the perfect setting, there is nothing quite like opulence to lend glamour and sophistication to it. Who has not dreamed of having an opulent home at least once in their life? Luxurious and elegant home design ideas are not hard to come by and what is best about home design and décor today is that you really do not need an interior designer to decorate your home for you. With some thought and creativity, you can create a plush home that is sure to be the envy of everyone you know!

Top 5 Design Ideas for Opulent Homes

With a few accessories, you can create a luxurious home that is grand and guaranteed to have your guests in awe when they walk in. For opulence, try these 5 ideas to help you get started on designing your home as grandly as you wish:

  • Renaissance or colonial furniture: One of the most important parts of decorating a home is selecting the right furniture. If you are looking for grandeur, there is nothing quite like Renaissance or colonial-style pieces to furnish your home. Elegant and stylishly-curved furniture with intricate carvings and dark, rich colors will give your home a majestic look and feel.
  • Jewel-toned paintsJewel-toned paints: The best color palette for the walls of your home would be rich and royal shades such as reds, deep blues, rich greens, etc. Gold and topaz tones will also give your home an opulent look. If you prefer to stay away from too much color, you can always opt for grays, marble whites, beiges, etc. The best thing about the going neutral is that it will always look fabulous with any accessories that you desire for your home.
  • Rich and royal fabrics: One of the staples of opulent home design is rich fabrics for your upholstery and curtains or drapes. Silks, velvets, satins and brocades are great choices when you want your home to look fabulously royal and luxurious. Tassels that are ornate and beautifully-embroidered cushions will complete the look!
  • Ornate light fixtures: To give your home opulence, you cannot go wrong with chandeliers and light fixtures made of brass. You will be amazed at how grand your home looks once these are fixed to ceilings and walls. Crystal chandeliers are always in vogue if you are looking for luxurious and in today’s market, you can find them in a myriad beautiful designs and styles.
  • Jamie's favorite persian rugsBeautiful carpets and rugs: There is nothing that says elegance and opulence quite like rare and beautiful rugs in different parts of a home. Dark hardwood floors are, of course, a must but in areas that need floor covering, opt for exquisite rugs from the Orient and fabulous Aubusson carpets. Not only will they look sophisticated but warm and inviting as well.

Home décor stores today have a much wider selection of items compared to a few decades earlier. You can decorate your home easily in whatever way you wish. With the right idea and lots of imagination and creativity, you can have the perfect home design for that oh-so sophisticated and opulent home that you have always dreamed of.

For more luxury ideas visit my G+ page https://plus.google.com/+JamieSquillareDesign/

Aspiring Actress

After I – Jamie Squillare wrote about how to become a set designer, now I’d like to tell you more about actress. I have no experience but I have the chance to work with many amazing and aspiring actresses.

Need to know more? Ask me – Jamie Squillare!

If you dream of becoming an actress, performing on stage in a drama or a musical, you need to discover which path to take. Take a look at the hints and tips below to easily determine if this is the career for you:

Acting classes are an ideal place to start as here you can work with other actors as well as taking direction from the team. You can learn essential skills for acting alongside training for quick responses and cue attention. You’ll also be taught the differences between stage and film acting and be able to take part in scenes on stage. Class discussions will give you the additional confidence you need to face your critics!

Once you’ve decided which type of acting you’d like to pursue, it’s a good idea to research and study actresses that you can identify with. Visit your local theatre to take in the plays and make an effort to watch people going about their daily lives to get a feeling for emotional and facial expressions to help you develop your character. See if you can add depth by learning another language or by playing a musical instrument. Read as much as you can in every genre to expend your knowledge and understanding.

My top 5 actresses

When you start auditioning you may find this quite stressful. Look for original monologues to excite the director! You’ll need to get a professional photographer to take head shots of you, then make electronic copies in case you need to email them to agencies. Make everything look professional for the best impression. Get footage of your acting work and make sure it gets to the casting director. Finally get a licenced and franchised agent by searching online for casting workshops in your area. This will give you the opportunity to meet a number of agents and directors at the same time.

The Actors Equity Card will ensure that your work is not misused and also provides you with health insurance. Equity actors will have access to a greater number of auditions and will get to participate in workshops and seminars ongoing, so it’s of great benefit for you to join the union.

As you gain experience you’ll find yourself working closely with the director and the scene designers who’ll discuss with you the stage set design. It’s vital that they have your input as they need to be assured that each scene depicts the true feeling of the story. Be aware of all the props on the stage to ensure that nothing is out of line. Make sure that the clocks on the wall say the same time as the clock on the mantelpiece and the alarm clock! Simple errors can completely destroy the realism of the production.

As you find your niche in the acting world you’ll need to be persistent to make your living as an actress!

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Feel free to ask me – Jamie Squillare. You can add me +JamieSquillare on Google plus or on Facebook JamieSquillareOfficial

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I want to be a Stage Set Designer

If you’re creative and imaginative you could be ideally suited to working in stage set design. As one of LA set dressers I – Jamie Squillare would like to share my opinion about designing so you could easily decide is it your profession. If you’d like to work in film, TV or theater this may be the perfect job for you. This guide will help you determine if you’ve got all the attributes you need to become a successful production or stage designer: You don’t actually need any qualifications to enter this line of work but it will help to have a university degree in an art-based subject. You’ll need artistic flair as well as practical drawing and model making skills. Being able to research, show great attention to detail alongside problem solving skills and having better than basic IT knowledge will all be invaluable. Presentation and communication skills are also essential as you’ll be expected to work within a team as well as within budget! You’ll also need to be able to work under pressure as deadlines must always be met.

If you need more information Behind the Curtains at the Theater just ask me – Jamie Squillare

The work as a stage set designer starts at the beginning of the production planning process until the opening night and includes sketching design ideas to show what the sets will look like for each individual scene. Taking into account the available budget you’ll work with the director and the production team to study the script and discuss ideas. You’ll have to research the details for the production and ensure the costume and make-up are appropriate. Any overseeing of set building and decoration will be your responsibility too. You’ll spend much of your time in theater workshops and depending on the production you may be required to travel. This career path normally starts with you becoming an assistant for a designer or as a trainee in the art department. As your experience grows you can work up to the position of stage set designer. Practical experience is essential to build your portfolio which shows your design work to potential employers. If you get involved with locally based community theaters and student theatres for example, this will all add to your credibility. Your portfolio should be continually updated as you develop your craft. There are many stage set designer courses that you could enrol on to help you on your chosen career path. Many designers are self-employed and work on a freelance basis. You may become involved in exhibitions and corporate events or go into film after starting in the theatre, and there may be opportunities with television commercials or music videos.

Once you’ve had a few years’ experience the choice is yours! I made my!

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Behind the Curtains at the Theater

So we have the movies, television and of course the internet complete with live streaming. There are festivals, concerts and the list goes on, sometimes it seems like all the world really is a stage, but for all that I still don’t think that there’s any entertainment that beats a night at the theater.

Why? It’s hard to quantify but part of it is the intimacy. Films are made for an audience of millions, television for anything from hundreds of thousands upwards but even the biggest theater can only seat a few thousand and around the country there are multitudes of tiny venues; school halls, church halls and community centers. The performance is live, put on just for you the audience of the night, and even if you go to see the same play three times, every one will be in some way a unique experience.

Even the smallest and most humble of performances carries something of a sense of occasion. And so it should. It’s not just the actors on the stage that make the event happen. There’s a whole team working behind the scenes to get a production live. They’re responsible for the costume, the stage set design, props, special effects and maybe music too. Let’s not forget the prompt, sat in the wings ready to cue some poor frozen actor who’s momentarily forgotten his lines. There’s make-up to consider and don’t forget the sound production and lights.

There’s so much that goes into making a play happen, so many people who invest part of themselves into those few transient hours that it’s really no surprise that there’s an energy in live theater that you’ll never find at even the biggest Oscar winning film.

Stage set design

When you go to the theater, you’re part of the performance too. Any actor will tell you that on a good night the interaction between audience and performers makes the evening flow. Another time the audience is cold, unreceptive and try as they might, the folks up on the stage just can’t bring them to life.

So, next time you’re planning an evening, consider something you might not have done for a while. Forget the blockbuster, and please don’t let inertia keep you in your chair while you tell yourself that when you can see the best in the world from the comfort of your own home there’s no point in leaving your home.

Go to the theater. Hit Broadway or support a local amateur production. Who knows, that rather captivating young actor you see might one day be one of the leading lights of this fascinating world. You might admire a clever set, put together on a minimal budget and be seeing the early work of someone who will one day be behind the scene star of set design.

Dress up, make it an occasion, clap loudly, laugh at the jokes and maintain a respectful silence for the moments of high drama. However good or bad the production turns out to be it will be unique, you’ll have been there and you’ll be helping to keep arts alive.