We had the good fortune of connecting with Charles Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charles, can you tell us about what you are most excited or proud of in terms of the business you’ve built?
American Glass was a project built to support the local community artists and the feedback we’ve received to support the artists we’ve chosen has been phenomenal. The artists that we selected and were able to start showcasing has been educational and given us an abundance of knowledge on both the art itself and how to best support this endeavor as a business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The most exciting part of American Glass for me was the amount of educational information and getting a look inside an artist’s inspiration. Being based in San Diego, I feel we are at a huge hub of individual talent but there is very little exposure that produces opportunity for our artists. Not that there are none, but I feel that there could be more. American Glass was a project that had been discussed before but never really molded life until we got a team that was 100% dedicated to the project. While busy running my primary business, American Glass was a group of volunteers who have a passion of cinematography and wanted to provide exposure to the art community through that medium. From there, we had aimed to take it much higher, eventually evolving into an art gallery showcasing works of art shown on the series as well as providing a place for our featured artists to craft their works locally as well as a place to sell their work. One of the biggest challenges that has halted our work currently is that of funding. As earlier mentioned, the staff was compromised of a fully volunteer base so everything from the production filming, commute, editing, etc was all done on each volunteer’s time and money. Eventually this became a burden and we were unable to continue working on the production and has been placed on a back burner. We are, however, still planning on continuing the production and pushing to our end phase of attempting to obtain the gallery storefront to further support the project. Lessons learned…well, one of the biggest mistakes I would say I’ve personally encountered is that of staffing. Lots of people are eager to help and it can be appealing to want to allow as many people to help as possible, but sometimes this can cause distress between teams, arguments between staff, and overall delay progress. As hard as it may be to find that “good fit” person on your team, it’s best to make careful consideration of those you do allow to help as it may cause more issues than worth. I’d want the world to know that looking around your local city you may just find talent that you vibe with. Not all artists are going to fit what your tastes are but that’s exactly why we wanted to showcase these talented individuals and see how that can make an impact on their lives. Some of our artist teaser trailers can be seen on YouTube under our American Glass channel, direct link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChFyqZSsx9_AGM1JBZpFAzg
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego is a huge tourist location so I suppose it would be dependent on likes/dislikes. Since we have a few categories to choose from here I’ll just list a few I’m find of: Eats: One of my most recommended places since I started this is San Diego Sliders Company. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, they’ve got a slider for that. Check them out at sandiegoslidersco.com Drinks: I’m personally not a huge drinker but I did enjoy the environment at The Merrow. Local artists perform and I was able to see people I’m personally close to take the opportunity to chase their dreams and perform in front of a live audience of strangers. Visit: Everyone kind of does Balboa Park or the Zoo, so let’s not do that, haha. While there are other popular spots like Old Town, I’d prefer something more local and less touristy. There’s an Art Crawl held in Barrio Logan that supports local businesses and artists that’s pretty transportation friendly. On this crawl you can see local artwork as well as stop into Border X Brewery and Barrio Dogg. The crawl is held the second Saturday of every month. Another option is the farmer’s market in Ocean Beach held every Wednesday. Hang Out: Shameless plug here, but outside of quarantine I’m usually at the office (Sindicate Entertainment Group) which holds independent events Wednesday through Saturday. Division 23, Rough Draft, and Little Miss Brewing are just a few of the local breweries around the office you might catch me. One place I usually always go to when I have an out of state friend in town is the Yogurt Mill in El Cajon. I grew up there so it’s kind of a way to remember childhood memories as it’s one of the only places still around and as close to as what I remember as a kid. Everything else has steadily changed over the years but that at least has the same homely feel.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are a lot of people who deserve credit here, I couldn’t even begin to imagine on how to tackle this project without their assistance. Brandon Shirinski has been the heart and soul of the project. He has made continuous efforts to connect with artists, obtain footage, put together demos and make sure we have everything we need to properly get a shoot done. This project would never have got off the ground if not for him. Julio Calle, like Brandon, has placed incredible amounts of passion and support into the project. From onsite filming to critical feedback, Julio has supported the project and proved to be an irreplaceable member of the team. Kevin Burke for his precision eye on helping ensure that the cinematography was up to par. Kevin has provided resources and support to the project time and time again ensuring that we were able to progress. Gabriel Band, one of our highlighted artists, has been full of support since day 1. Offering advice from an artist’s perspective, helping with coordinating materials, talking to other artists, Gubs is an all star. He would frequently check in with us to see how production is going and how he could best assist in the process. Colin Atkins was our first artist that we introduced in the series and one of our biggest supporters in the process. Colin and his family have shown incredible support promoting our vision and making this production possible. All of our staff has been critical to moving on during the production stage of the project. Artists and staff alike have dedicated numerous hours and supported bumps in the road to make this happen and are all greatly appreciated. More info on our staff is available on IMDB under American Glass or direct link at: https://m.imdb.com/title/tt10044700/fullcredits?ref_=m_tt_cl_scc
Sindicate Entertainment Group LLC