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Jade Castle Studios - An asset to the Carolinas

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Crystal Tyler.jpgJade Castle Studios is an asset to the upstate area, the Carolinas, and beyond.  It is a place where actors, performing artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, and artists of all kinds can meet and rub shoulders with one another.  You can attend classes or rent space for your projects such as a songwriter's club, writer's club or as a space where you could audition actors for your upcoming film.

Started earlier this year and operated by Crystal Tyler it is just beginning to take hold and needs your help.  If you are able to give just a small amount to assist with this well intensioned project it will help filmmaking and the performing arts thrive in the community and their will be some perks for you as well.

"Crystal and Jade Castle have been a great resource for me in connecting with other professionals. Whenever Other Vision needs to look for talent, I give Crystal a call. Through Jade Castle, she's already helped connect me with so many other great film professionals in the Greenville area." - Collins Abbott White - Other Vision Studios

If you can't afford to donate then please share this message with your friends so they can learn about Jade Castle Studios and how it might benefit them.

Learn more about Jade Castle Studios in the article below by The Greenville News and in my conversation with Crystal.

Jade Castle Studios.jpg

How long has Jade Castle Studios been in existence?

Crystal Tyler:  The location of Jade Castle Studios is fairly new. I secured the space in August of this year. However, the concept has been progressing over 8 years.

It all started when I first had an interest in film, back in college. I wanted to find other people in film, and I didn't know hardly anyone. Even the people I did meet, it was a very small amount. So, I made a myspace page and also a forum called "Jade Castle Film & Music Production Network", to help connect artists in film and music. And to showcase work.

It was a huge success! I met a lot of people. I started working on a lot of local projects. I helped producers find cast/crew, and cast/crew find producers. I cross promoted with a lot of artists and shared film news, etc. It was a great way to get more people involved and to network online.
After a few years, I moved away to NC and slowly faded from the film scene  in Greenville. While I was gone, the SCUFC (SC Upstate Film Community) was started by locals, and they sort of picked up where I left off.

When I moved back to Greenville in August of 2012, I reconnected with a lot of the people that I knew and had worked with before and I met a lot of new people through the SCUFC. And even though the SCUFC held meetings here and there, it was not quite getting the film community where we need to be.
I was convinced that it would take more than an online presence and a meeting here and there. Plus, I wanted to connect artists of other kind too. And to provide a space for them to work, learn and network.
So, I went on a search for a location and found what now is Jade Castle Studios. I think it is perfect, with offices/studio spaces downstairs, and also a multi use open space upstairs. Plenty of space to hold events, meetings, classes and also space to work and showcase work.

What kind of activities have been going on at Jade Castle Studios?

Crystal Tyler with Clapboard.jpg
Crystal Tyler: I was actually out of town filming for most of the month of August, but I got the space before I left anyway, because I did not want to chance someone else getting it before I got back in Greenville.

I returned the first week in September and immediately started setting up meetings with people that I thought would be good to speak with first hand about what my plans were and gain support and guidance.  This included some local filmmakers and artists, business professionals, and a reporter from the Greenville News. Jade Castle actually ended up front page Greenville News! I was also very busy with giving tours of the space to potential tenants, and other folks that may rent out the studio space upstairs.
The SCUFC (SC Upstate Film Community) held their September meeting at the studio, which was a huge success! We had speakers from the TV pilot "Morningside", which was filmed in the Upstate. We also had a film critic and myself acting as speakers for the meeting.

Other than that, the acting classes are held at the studio every Wednesday. It is a 12 week class taught by an Emmy Award winning actor, Ron Joseph. We have gotten tons of positive feedback from the students, everyone is really enjoying that.

I did try to hold other events at the studio, including an audition workshop and also kids and teens acting classes, but I did not get enough reservations for those to justify holding the events. Those have been postponed until after the beginning of the year. The kids and teens class instructor is amazing, and ran a very successful business for acting coaching and much more in Australia.

I also have  a few more classes I have coordinated. I am waiting to promote those until I see how things pan out. Since those are 5 or 12 week classes, I do not want to ask for a commitment from students without being 100% sure I can provide a stable venue.

One is a writing class and another is a time lapse photography class. The writing class instructor is a gem, with a  Masters in Cinematic writing and experience in writing with folks that have wrote for SNL (Saturday Night Live) and Top Gun, etc.  The photography class will be headed by a few different prominent photographers that are very talented in their field.

I have also coordinated with two local artists to plan an art show, to be held at the studio on Dec 14. Our plans for this art show is to showcase and sell local works (all mediums, also including photography),  but to also secure a local live painter to perform at the show. Crossing our fingers on that
I have other instructors waiting to see how the studio pans out. One being an intuitive healer and another being a dance/movement choreographer and instructors.

What are your future plans if you raise the $1,500 you need for December?

Crystal Tyler: :My future plans are to hold filmmaking classes, and visual art classes. Also, to convert one of the spaces in the studio into a sound booth for audio recording (musicians, voice over, etc.).
The possibilities really are limitless!

 I can see that you like music and the arts.  Tell me more about yourself apart from Jade Castle Studios.  What makes you tick?  

Crystal Tyler:  I love music. Sometimes music is the only thing that keeps me from going insane! I love all genres of music: from jazz to rock, techno to country, R&B to acoustic, rap to reggae and everything in between!

I love any and all art forms. It just amazes me. A human creating something from their soul is like playing God. To connect your mind with your body and create something..it's just magic. It soothes the soul and brings you out of this world and into your own world, where things are as you want them to be. And the affect it can have on other people..a work of art can inspire and spark someone else's imagination. A song can make someone else cry or smile, recall memories. How amazing is that?

So any kind of art/creation makes me tick. I get myself involved with as much as possible. I surround myself with it as often as much as I can. Right now, Jade Castle Studios and my freelance work ( film, video, photo) keep me busy. And of course time with my family and some me time. I am not involved in any other projects at this time.

Every day is productive. Even if I do one thing, if that one thing brings me a step closer, it has been a productive day. Heck, if I sleep away the day, I am recharging my mind and body for the next. No day is a waste. If Im breathing and still alive, I am grateful to have a chance to make steps forward to where I want to be or get what I need for myself and my family and/or well being.

They have the space and the vision. They need the support of the community to spread the word, attain tenants, attend classes and events and make this a reality for the arts community of the upstate. If interested, please contact Crystal Tyler at jadecastleproductions@gmail.com or (803) 537-1302.

Please help fund Jade Castle Studios and share this article with your friends  If you want to know how Jade Castle Studios is an asset to the community just ask these people.  I did.

"Jade Castle Studios is important to me because art is important.  From all angles, art stimulates and inspires.  Jade Castle Studios serves as a conduit for people in Greenville SC and the surrounding area as a place to find collaborators, supporters and an audience for the art created there.  Greenville needs and benefits from Jade Castle Studios, and so do I." - Gregg Jocoy

" I was the lighting director for "Rockin' A Hard Place," and met Crystal at the first production meeting. She was immediately immersed in every aspect of the production, and became the "go-to" person for everything. I don't know where she got the energy, but she was a tornado of knowledge and solutions. Anyone who follows her on Facebook can see how many projects she tackles at once. And she doesn't limit her efforts to her own work; she often serves as an agent on multiple projects, finding actors or crew members for everything under the sun. There is no questioning her passion about every facet of her craft, and that is evident in her dedication to Jade Castle Studios. She has informed, asked, begged, recruited, facilitated and invited the world to participate in the growth of her studio. Although I don't have the resources to invest or rent space, I genuinely hope it's a long-term success, and I don't hesitate to recommend it to anyone considering production of any nature. It's Crystal's baby!" - Jeff Sams

"Dan, working with Crystal has always been a pleasure. I know her as a friend of course, yet objectively her professionalism in film production was a talent I was not aware of till we worked together. On Cinema Purgatorio, Crystal exhibited amazing insight on how a production needs to be run. Not unlike Radar in MASH, she was always 2 steps ahead - knowing what need to be done usually before the writer / director. I guess what I'm saying is that Crystal has a keen sense of observation, reaction and delivery. She made everyone's job easier by going out on a limb - that extra mile. Jade Castle benefits greatly by Crystal Tyler being at the helm and although small at this time I have no doubt with added support JC will be a much sought after entity in the film and arts community here in Greenville. Very much a Jewel in our community. I am very proud of her."  - Lavin Cuddihee

"Dan, Crystal's passion for film and cinema is unmatched - she is dedicated to creating a community of like minded creative professionals, and Jade Castle Studios is a the forefront of that movement in the upstate and the region." - David Bruner Holloway

"I have worked with Crystal on a few projects.  I am based in Charleston but when she has asked me to come to Greenville I am happy to help her out. Crystal is a jack of all trades.  She does directing, producing, video graphing, and I know if I were in the upstate I would be camped right there at Jade Studios.  She is always willing to help out anyone who needs it and I hope all her dreams come true." - Meg Godfrey Lagares

"Carma, Inc organized and hosted The 3rd Annual Spartanburg Music & Arts Festival. As a courtesy to the performing bands, we like to provide them video they can use for future promotion. Crystal of Jade Castle Studios eagerly volunteered to provide the service. For two whole days, Crystal stood behind her camera to record the whole festival. A couple weeks later, we received the video. Crystal added an intro to each video, good sound quality and samples of each band's performance. She spent many hours working on this project for free. We are beyond grateful for her commitment! " - Renee Denton, Director of Carma, Inc - Supporting Local Music & Art

"I'm a professional driver 25 years. I had intentions of  getting into acting and when  I contacte Crystal she asked me about myself,  my skills,  and put me in very good contacts.  I got my feet wet real quick.  She worked so hard to make things happen and they happen fast.  I have made tons of friends in the film biz and got mentors that have helped.  If it were not for her  and  her experience in film I would have never gotten the chance. I have personally seen her acting skills and all her capabilities on a set and she is dynamite" - Wayne Yates

"Crystal did a great job taking my latest headshots and I received many compliments. Speaking as a co-admin of the SC Upstate Film Community, we are proud of Crystal for taking the initiatives to acquire a building that could be used by local artists and film production companies. We used the building as the location of our September meeting of the SCUFC and it was well received." - James Harvley, actor

Crystal and Jade Castle were invaluable to our shoot for 'Rockin a Hard Place'.  Her hard work and determination created a value that can't be overstated. I look forward to working with her again soon when casting  and creating our next project." - John Oliver A.L.E..

"Crystal & Jade Castle are a supporter of Live Music and the music industry in general in the Upstate of South Carolina. Always willing to lend a hand, help promote, shoot photos and more." - John M. Hoyt - Hot As A Pepper

"Jade castle is a vision for the future of Greenville, with film and art as its center. It is an idea that may be ahead of its time,but Crystal is trying to make it a reality." - Brian Carbaugh

"Crystal at Jade Castle Studios has been a huge help when I have needed last minute auditions. I normally drive all the way to Atlanta to get taped even if it's for a one-liner. She has definitely been helpful during those times, especially last minute ones!" - Alexandra Bartee

"There should be a place in Greenville for artists to collaborate and be creative.  Jade Castle Studios is bringing that to the Upstate.  As owner of The Film House I am a huge supporter of local filmmakers and I would love to see a place where they can get together and hone their talents.  Crystal has the tenacity and spirit to get the job done.  Her only concern is to bring Greenville's artists together and I believe she is doing just that." - Daryn Zongrone - The Film House

Nikole Hunter-Weber
"I have been an Acting Teacher in the USA and Australia for over 15 years, and with Crystal's help I hope to re-start my Pre-Teen & Teen Film/TV Classes early in 2014. Jade Castle Studios has the potential to be a Hub of Film and Artistic Activities and I am glad that Crystal has provided such a wonderful space and such excellent classes to enrich and diversify our local talent."  - Nikole Hunter-Weber - Head Instructor/Owner Queen-O-Drama Productions

"To me this studio represents a genuine opportunity.  To have a space dedicated to the purposes to which she has dedicated this building is huge for the Upstate. I am an independant film maker in the Greenville/Spartanburg area.  My company is called FireStar Productions and we do DVD reels and other necessary hard copy for actors.  My experience in working with Cyrstal is that she is a straight shooter.  You get out what you put in.  My business partner, Graham Zielinski, and I have had opportunities to help her out and she has always reciprocated.  If you help her out with this, you will definitely get your values worth.  This is the beginnning of great things here in the Upstate of South Carolina.  There is more to come if we work together." - Benjamin Ephraim Sickles

"Dan, I am teaching acting classes at Jade Castle . Crystal has been a support that you don't normally receive. she acutally sits in on a lot of the classes. what I see about her is she is always in the  state of constantly learning which is a sign of excellence for growth. Her mind and heart is there for all. It's a privlege to know her. A young woman with a old soul."  - Ron Joseph  

"Shhh, don't tell Crystal that what she wants is impossible. But then, I don't think she understands what that word "impossible" means. She wants to provide a place where artists, actors and filmmakers can meet to create, to teach and learn from each other, to work together? Yeh, right. Well, I'll tell you, if anyone can accomplish this, it's Crystal Tyler! 
The other day, I was working on a web series. Our lead actress didn't show up. I got on my cell phone to see if there might be someone I could call in at literally the last second. I came across Crystal's name and said to myself there's no way Chrystal can do this. She is so busy. I'll tell you what... within minutes Chrystal was there, and without ever seeing a script, delivered a totally brilliant performance! How many people do you know who can and would do that?! Then we went over to Jade Castle and filmed some more scenes! Between takes, Crystal starting taking headshots of me... the best damn headshots I've ever had! 
Crystal Tyler is absolutely the most enthusiastic, energetic, helpful, good-natured, positive force I have ever experienced in show biz... or anywhere for that matter! Please plan now to make use of the facilities at Jade Castle in Greenville. Help make Crystal's dream become reality. Let Crystal Tyler and Jade Castle help you." - Jeff Warren

"I've known Crystal for a few years now and in all of my years working in the independent film world all over the country, rarely have I met someone as passionate and as knowledgeable about the business and art of filmmaking. I'm talking both sides of the camera. She's an asset to any and every production and her positive attitude makes working with her a real pleasure.
There's a lot of talkers out there...people who talk a good game, but when it comes time to put up or shut up, they're quick to close their mouths and slink back to the shadows. Unfortunately the indie film world is filled with these kinds of people, especially in the Upstate (SC) area. Crystal is a doer. She says what she means, and she means business. Her passion and devotion to growing the arts community in our region is unquestionable. Simply put, she's been one of the most vocal of voices for sustaining a strong community of like-minded artists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers in the Upstate, and when it comes to networking, well, no one does it quite like Crystal.
With Jade Castle, Crystal has provided artists in all mediums a place to share, a place to collaborate, a place to network. Unlike other so-called artists communities in the area who are only about patting themselves on the back or boosting the egos of select 'elite' members, Jade Castle is about lifting up everyone, in all forms of artistic expression...she's about providing a place to learn...a place to grow as an artist. Where else can you find that kind of support in the Upstate?
I love Crystal. I think as an actress and filmmaker, she's phenomenal. On a personal level, she's amazing. She's supportive of everyone, never meets a stranger, and is always (and I do mean ALWAYS) willing to do whatever it takes to help an artist, a filmmaker, a writer, a musician...or anyone, for that matter. In the indie film world, we need more Crystal Tylers, period. And as artists, we need Jade Castle." - Kevin Woods

"Dan, I am a local actor from right across the state line in Georgia. I generally work in Atlanta but recent projects like "Morningside" have expanded the market in the upstate area. One of the main sounding grounds for the recent projects has been Jade Castle Studios. This initiative begun by Crystal is the only studio of its type, to my knowledge in the surrounding area. As such, it is a pivotal piece in this artistic community. Crystal is exceptionally kind and accommodating. Jade Castle studios has been a place to hear about upcoming projects, meet and network with local film makers, procure video and photography services, and take classes with some of the most talented people around. I am enrolled in the Acting class with Ron Joseph and make use of the studio on a weekly basis. There is nothing else like Jade Castle in our area and we should go to any length to preserve it for Crystal, ourselves, and the artistic community at large." - Austin Freeman

"Crystal is awesome. We have filming going on in NC, GA and the lower part of SC. Crystal stepped up and opened a studio in the upstate to attract filmmakers and talent to this area. I mean, this area already has a decent crew and talent base, but it hasn't been very organized. I think Crystal is trying to change that. I haven't been directly involved with the studio, with my busy schedule, but I hope to be able to soon. I have worked with Crystal on an indie project and I know that she is very passionate about Jade Castle." - Wallace Krebs

"Crystal is an amazing and talented writer, director and actress.  She's extremely creative, hard working, and goes out of her way to make sure that projects look their best.  Crystal has many talents and is a pleasure to work with.  I have enjoyed acting in several productions with her.  Jade Castle Studios is a huge asset for the film community in Upstate SC!" - Bill Kennedy

"Crystal's headshots really stood out for me, so I contacted her, we had a fantastic time and the shots I got have been beyond my wildest dreams. I am so pleased" - Trev Furlong

"Hi Dan, I worked with Crystal on Rockin' A Hard Place! She was extremely helpful as I think I left something behind on set almost every week... including my wedding ring! Crystal had my back and everyone elses. I really appreciated that. Truth be told, with the massive growth of the film industry in the southeast, there has never been a greater need for a rehearsal studio and learning space in this area. Crystal has the right idea with Jade Castle Studios. I look forward to teaching VoiceOver classes there sometime in 2014." - Dan Friedman - Sound4VO.com

"I had the good fortune of hiring Crystal as 1st Assistant Director for a television pilot called "Rockin' a Hard Place", shot here in Greenville, SC.  Crystal is such a dedicated artist. She is truly passionate about her commitment to bringing artists of all walks of life together. She has the unique combination of creativity and organization. Her innate ability to unite artists and give structure to an otherwise structureless medium is truly special. Greenville NEEDS a collaborative space like Jade Castle Studios and Crystal is the perfect person to lead the charge." - Tim Angevine - President at KOOLFLIX

"Crystal's vision for a "home" for artists to come together to share ideas, learn, and nurture each other's creativity is something the local art community has sought, and needed for a long time. I look forward to seeing all her ideas coming to fruition at Jade Castle. Her passion and determination to this project is definitely going to give the art scene here a chance to grow in to something amazing." - David Lockhart

"First off, I am a 17-year-old filmmaker, in my Junior year at Powdersville High School. I became friends with Crystal awhile ago, and recently, before the studio was even announced, I was one of those who was helping her find a location, and also giving out ideas to help her. To me, the studio is a place to make things happen in the industry of film and visual arts. At such a young age, it kind of frightened me at what steps I need to take, and what path to choose. With the studio, it's one less worry, and one more opportunity for me after I graduate, to have a successful career in the industry, as it itself continues to grow in the area." - Silas James Rowland

"I think Crystal has given her heart and soul to take a chance on opening a studio here in the upstate. It is needed and I applaud her efforts. I believe the problem is people don't have a lot of extra money to give. I'm hoping that by you writing about her and the studio will help her keep get the funds and keep it." - Mike Garland