Reel Sisters kicks off our Online Business of Filmmaking Workshop Series on May 19, 2020 with Emmy award winning creative producer and development exeuctive Crystal Whaley. Ms. Whaley will lead The Business of Producing A Web Series workshop focusing on everything from pre-production and budgeting to casting! Learn about the art of Comedy Writing with award winning writer/actor/producer Chandra Thomas on May 21; Marketing & Distribution for Short Films from Zanah Thirus on May 26; and The Power of Pitching by Black Public Media on May 28.

Join us online from your couch for power Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions — gain knowledge to propel your filmmaking aspirations to the next level. Enjoy an evening of networking, fun and unlocking the limitless opportunities in film, television and entertainment streaming industry. Sessions will be held, 6 pm-8 pm on May 19, 21, 26 and 28, 2020.

Register for All 4 Sessions: $80 (SAVE $20)

Registration Fee: $25 per session.


Business of Filmmaking Series Schedule

May 19, 2020, 6 pm-8 pm

The Business of Producing a Web Series

Presenter: Crystal Whaley


Web series are a powerful medium that allow creators to gain the experience and exposure that can jumpstart their careers into television and film. Learn the steps of producing a webseries from concept through distribution with a multiple EMMY award winning producer.

May 21, 2020, 6 pm-8 pm

Laughs Wanted! Comedy Writing Basics

Presenter: chandra thomas


Everyone in the industry is still trying to figure out what content will look like after we move out of the current crisis. There’s one genre that’s making it on most of these post-crisis lists: comedy. In this interactive, two-hour session, we’ll talk through some of the comedy fundamentals before working with scenes from selected participants. Whether you make your uncle spit milk through his nose at the dinner table or have been told your funny bone must be broken, you’ll walk away with tools to bring humor to your writing. This class is perfect for beginner to intermediate writers of any genre!

May 26, 2020, 6 pm-8 pm

Marketing and Distribution for Short Films

Presenter: Zanah Thirus


Most indie filmmakers focus solely on creating the film, but give very little thought to distribution. This workshop covers marketing basics for narrative short films, and how to best distribute your content to your audience. 

May 28, 2020, 6 pm-8 pm

The Power of Pitching


Presenter: Black Public Media

Black Public Media (BPM) develops, produces, and funds media content about the African American and global Black experience. BPM will provide information on fine tuning your elevator pitch for presenting your film and tv projects to major distributors and entertainment companies. BPM will also discuss funding and distribution opportunities it has available for Black filmmakers and producers.


Crystal Whaley is a multiple EMMY Award winning creative producer and development executive in film/TV/digital offering a unique combination of cross-functional skills with over 15 years of experience with a specialized expertise in content development and acquisition, strategic brand initiatives and creative direction. Crystal is responsible for the overall financial sustainability and creative integrity of multiple shows/projects, including the oversight of all logistics necessary to meet creative mandates, broadcast standards and brand recognition. She’s developed, produced, directed and supervised award winning series TV, commercials, music videos, films and nationally syndicated and Peabody nominated documentaries for PBS and TLC. 

chandra thomas is an award-winning writer-actor-producer with a passion for character-driven stories highlighting marginalized voices. She writes for film, digital and theatre. Currently, chandra’s the sole comedy writer in the 2020 CBS Writers Mentoring Program. As an actor, a few of her television and film credits include LABOR DAY, 9-1-1, LAW & ORDER: SVU, BLUE BLOODS, and her comedy short COMPLETE SENTENCES?, which played at over a dozen film festivals around the country. Originally from New York, chandra has an MFA from Columbia University, is the child of West Indian immigrants, and hosts the IGTV artist interview-series SAY THAT AGAIN that currently has thousands of views.

Zanah Thirus, founder of Zanah Thirus Productions, LLC

Zanah Thirus is a producer, director, actress, and writer from Chicago IL who is featured as Diversity in Cannes TOP 10 FILMMAKERS OF THE DECADE. Since 2015 she has produced fourteen films, five of which are streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Her film festival credits include an official selection at Bronze Lens Festival of Atlanta (2019), Best Female Director Award (Cineplay TV Awards 2016), Best Director Nomination (Georgia Shorts Film Fall Festival 2019), and Best Short Film nomination at the Content Creator of Atlanta Awards (2019). 

Since launching her brand, Zanah Thirus Productions LLC, Zanah has shifted her focus to merging arts and activism though documentary and narrative storytelling. Her films surround subjects such as gender, race, politics, sexual assault, and mental health. 

Black Public Media is the Executive Producer of the award-winning anthology series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, and is the host of PitchBlack Forum, a biennial film pitching contest where independent producers via for up to $150K in project funding. BPM’s roster of funded programs include My Africa Is, Family Pictures, USA, and I Am Not Your Negro. 


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