Tag: Black TV Film Collective

In the dynamic world of independent filmmaking, Syd Denise Taylor stands out as a rising star, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. As the creative force behind Shades of Cinema, her production company, Syd’s recent film, “Gotcha,” has garnered acclaim at prestigious festivals, including the BronzeLens Film Festival, Afrikana Film Festival, AspireTV, and African Diaspora Network.

In a recent conversation with Syd, she shared insights into her journey and offered valuable advice for aspiring filmmakers. Let’s dive into the highlights of our discussion:

Navigating Tough Choices:
When asked about the most challenging decision she faced this year, Syd opened up about the difficulty of cutting an actor due to budget constraints. Despite the fear and uncertainty, she powered through, showcasing her resilience and determination.

The Impact of BTFC:
Syd spoke glowingly about her experience with the Black TV & Film Collective (BTFC). Participating in their screenwriting labs proved instrumental in her growth as a screenwriter, connecting her with filmmakers nationwide. The BTFC also played a pivotal role in linking her with AspireTV, leading to a distribution deal for her film. Syd encourages fellow filmmakers to engage in workshops, events, and labs through organizations like BTFC, recognizing them as potential gateways to opportunities.

Words of Wisdom for New Filmmakers:
In simple yet powerful terms, Syd’s advice to emerging filmmakers is to create fearlessly. She stresses the importance of attending film events, networking with peers, and gaining a thorough understanding of the business side of filmmaking. Connecting with industry professionals, securing mentors, and participating in relevant workshops can open doors to unforeseen opportunities.

Current Projects:
Syd is a multi-talented creator working on diverse projects. She is currently producing a podcast, “Reel Insights,” delivering authentic movie reviews by Black Women Filmmakers. Simultaneously, she is crafting a horror/comedy feature film titled “Dirty Dee,” exploring the impact of cancel culture on a renowned sex therapist.

A Vision for the Future:
Syd’s vision board reflects her commitment to pouring her most vulnerable self into her work, creating timeless films for the global majority. She aspires to achieve financial success from her films, engage in international speaking engagements, and foster a supportive community for fellow creators.

Inspiration and Self-Care:
Syd draws inspiration from trailblazing filmmakers like Mara Brock Akil, Kasi Lemmons, and Spike Lee. Her love for Atlanta, which she considers the Black Mecca, is evident in her vibrant community building. To sustain her creativity, Syd follows a self-care regimen that includes nature walks, hot yoga, sound meditation, journaling, spa dates, and a variety of teas shared with loved ones.

Syd’s Watch List:

Favorite Film: “Love Jones” for its relatable Black love story and the beautiful connection through poetry.
Must-Watch TV Show: “The Other Black Girl” – an essential narrative for Black women.

Character Identifications: Syd sees herself akin to Joan from “Girlfriends,” having transitioned from a corporate job to pursue her purpose, mirroring Joan’s unwavering focus on success.
Syd Denise Taylor, with her dedication, vision, and creative prowess, exemplifies the spirit of independent filmmaking, proving that dreams can flourish with resilience, community, and a passion for storytelling. Follow her journey on all platforms @shades0fcinema.


The BTFC presents Table Reads Ft. Joel Anderson Thompson

BTFC Table Reads are back like we never left! Our table reads feature professional writers, showrunners, and producers who will provide feedback on selected screenplays and pilots! You don’t want to miss this opportunity to sit in the room to observe and absorb insight from folks doing big things in the industry!

On Thursday, June 29th at 4:00 PM PT | 7:00 PM ET, join us for a virtual table read featuring screenwriter Joel Anderson Thompson (“Boomtown,” “House MD,” “Battlestar Galactica”).

You’re next so take notes and be ready to provide feedback to your fellow creators on their screenplays or pilots as well!

WRITERS! Submit THIS form to be considered for our next table read with Joel Anderson Thompson. Writers must be members to participate in this workshop.

ACTORS! If you’re interested in flexing your chops, submit THIS form to us and we’ll cast readers as requested/needed by the writers! Actors don’t have to be BTFC members to participate but first priority will be given to BTFC members.

NOT A MEMBER? No problem! Non-Members can sit in the virtual room and learn from seasoned writers for $15 per 2.5 hour session!

Meet Joel Anderson Thompson

Joel Anderson Thompson, TV writer-producer, instructor, and Invisalign wearer: Between projects he gives seminars on writing and is a part-time instructor at USC, UCLA-Extension, and other institutions. Joel brazenly escaped medical school and by some miracle if not well-executed extortion made his way into NYU to receive an MFA in writing for film, theater, and television. On the path to becoming a professional writer, his day jobs ranged from story analyst for Icon Pictures, Village Roadshow, and Gerber Productions, to teaching in the Compton Public School System, content writing for e-commerce and being a professional mayonnaise taster (while secretly hating mayonnaise).

His writing credits include “Boomtown,” “House MD,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Falling Skies,” Co-Creating and showrunning “Superstition,” Co-Executive Producer on “Krypton”. Joel also was a Co-Executive Producer on “Roswell, NM” while writing on Apple TV’s upcoming third installment of the WWII limited series “Band of Brothers”. Presently, he has two projects in development. One is a psychological-crime drama with Macro Studios. The other is a historical sports drama. He has also sold pitches to various networks including CBS, HBO Films, and Disney’s Stage 9 Productions.


Join us and get the information and inspiration you need to Make Your Work! RSVP today!

*Members, use your discount code to access your discounted ticket!

No refunds. This event will NOT be recorded.

Need help? Contact [email protected]!

Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for our BTFC Membership HERE

Follow us on Instagram @BlackTVFilmCollective


The BTFC presents The Art of the Pitch: Seed&Spark

Join the Black TV & Film Collective for an informative workshop on pitching your projects with Meghan Ross from Seed&Spark!

On Wednesday, June 28th at 5:00 PM PT | 8:00 PM ET, join us for a virtual workshop on pitching your projects with Meghan Ross from Seed&Spark!

Knowing how to convey the specifics about your project in a dynamic, succinct way can land you not only investors, but collaborators, audience members, and more.

This workshop will show you:

  • -how to prepare for a pitch meeting
  • -how to adapt your pitch to different audiences
  • -how to follow up

A workbook and a recording of the workshop will be available to ALL registrants!

Set your work up for success and join us!

Meet Meghan Ross

Meghan Ross is the Head of Creator Success at Seed&Spark and previously worked for VICELAND and SundanceTV. She’s also an Austin-based writer/director/comedian who was selected for Women at Sundance | Adobe Fellowship, Sundance Episodic Lab, and NewNarratives grant from NewFilmmakers LA & Warner Bros. Discovery’s OneFifty for her half-hour comedy Here to Make Friends (also her personal tagline). Her shorts made The New Yorker’s Best Shouts of 2020 list, she was nominated for The Webby Awards, and she hosted the late night show That Time of the Month for 5 years. Most importantly, Meghan’s an aspiring stage mom to her rescue pit-lab, Dreidel.


If you’re looking to gain skills and grow in the Film & TV industry this workshop is for you!

Join us and get the information and inspiration you need to Make Your Work! RSVP today!

This session will be recorded. No refunds.


*Members, use your discount code to access your discounted ticket!

Need help? Contact [email protected]!

Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for our BTFC Membership HERE

Follow us on Instagram @BlackTVFilmCollective


BTFC in Solidarity: WGA Strike Info Session

You asked for a deep dive into the WGA Strike – we made it happen!

Are you a non-union writer concerned about what the strike means for you?

Confused about whether you can #MakeYourWork without becoming a scab?

Concerned about the future of equity for writers in Hollywood?

On Friday, May 12th at 12 PM PT, join the Black TV & Film Collective virtually as we discuss the WGA Strike and how it affects us all!

This conversation features WGA members – Hilliard Guess and Barrett Helms.

Bring your questions and concerns to this info session and get the information you need to navigate the WGA strike.

Meet Hilliard Guess

Hilliard Guess was born in Detroit, raised in the ‘hood near San Francisco, youngest of five in a family pegged “The Cosby Show in the Ghetto.” Hilliard’s a fun, 80s style MOD/Rudeboy/Afro Punk with a knack for writing underdog/redemption stories in the bio, music, horror or murder-death-kill world. His knowledge of the craft and instinct for unique, flawed characters have won him attention or awards at Sundance, Nicholls Fellowship, Scriptapalooza, The PAGE Awards and NEXTV, to list a few.

Hilliard was a writer on the Russo Bros action SYFY series DEADLY CLASS and is an EP on the new rotating genres Digital Series TICKER. He keeps the lights on as an “assignment writer” and is busy developing TV & Film projects for some top producers in town. He serves on the following WGAW Committees: Co-Chair – Committee of Black Writers (w/Michelle Amor & Bianca Samms), Co-Chair – The Education Committee (w/Showrunner Jeff Melvoin) and he’s also a member of the LGBTQ+, Latinx and Genre Committees.

You can also find Hilliard on the cover and featured in the popular iTunes book “THE TOP 100 INDIE WRITERS IN THE WORLD.” Through his company Hilldog Productions, he produces TV Pilots, Films, POC’s, Shorts, Digital Series and Music/Historical Documentaries.

Hilliard also interviews A-List writers at the WGAW Theater, 3rd & Fairfax Podcast and his very own Screenwriter’s Rant Room

Twitter: @HilliardGuess @ScreenwritersRR


Join us at the WGA Strike Info Session to get the information you need to #MakeYourWork! 

This event will NOT be recorded.

Need help? Contact [email protected]!

Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for our BTFC Membership HERE

Follow us on Instagram @BlackTVFilmCollective


BTFC Producer’s Circle

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! On Wednesday, May 10th at 7 PM ET, join the Black TV & Film Collective virtually for the relaunching of our Producer’s Circle!

This event is open to ALL (member or not) so you don’t want to miss the opportunity to connect and build with people across the country!

We are gathering together to support the needs of producers to address:

the development process

best practices for pitching a project

tips and strategies to for production from pre to post

marketing the life of a project

and more

Whatever your end goals, this circle of producers is here to help you achieve success.

Producer’s Circle

Producing can be a lonely and isolating journey so our on-going circle is how we ensure that each producer within our ranks feels supported. You join the collective because our goal is to make sure our members “MAKE THEIR WORK,” so this is not only a space of learning and collective problem-solving to overcome resource challenges and production-related issues in an intimate and value-add way.

Led by seasoned producers, our Producers Circle is a vital community and energy giving environment that you need if you want to take your project over the finish line.


Join us at the Producer’s Circle and get the information and inspiration you need to #MakeYourWork! RSVP today!

This inaugural Producer’s Circle Open to Members and Non-Members.

Need help? Contact [email protected]!

Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for our BTFC Membership HERE

Follow us on Instagram @BlackTVFilmCollective


BTFC New Member Orientation

Join us VIRTUALLY on Sat. May 6th at 1:30 PM ET for New Member Orientation!

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet fellow members, share your ideas, and become better informed about the BTFC! If you have not yet signed up for membership but want to learn more, you’re welcome to join us!

The Black TV & Film Collective holds member orientation because we want to ensure that members new and old are aware of simple, easy steps you can take to maximize your membership. Now that you’ve joined our organization (or are considering joining), we want to make sure you both know the tools and resources that are available to you, and how to use them. This BTFC orientation session is important to ensure that you understand the process for seeking and lending help. We want to hear what you seek to gain from your membership and encourage you to jump right in and get involved. We also want you to meet each other!

If you haven’t had a chance to explore the BTFC website, take some time to review it. Come to our member orientation with an open mind and come with ideas on ways to make the BTFC better serve your needs!

➤ Staple BTFC professional development events

➤ The BTFC Member Database

➤ Ways to stay informed and connected with other members

➤ Ways to get involved

We’re looking forward to meeting you and helping you move forward in your creative journey!

See you soon!

Need help? Contact [email protected]!

Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for our BTFC Membership HERE

Follow us on Instagram @BlackTVFilmCollective


Become a BTFC member today!

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