Something Real

Pasadena, California | Series

Drama, Romance

Shanay Russell

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $3,135 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

36 supporters | followers

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This project was birthed out of a need to heal the Black woman. My purpose is to highlight the struggles of young Black women and provide a sense of hope and emotional healing. Settling, overcompensating, and reliving trauma can no longer be the standard for Black women. It stops now.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

I cultivate safe spaces in film for black people to hope and heal. Across mediums, my focus is on black life, love, and emotional healing. I am a Black female Therapist and Filmmaker. It is important for me to use my platform to highlight the Black experience and give back to my community.

The Story

"I just want something real". 

"Amen to that."

"Why is it so hard to just go for what you want, who you want, whenever you want?"

Yes, this is a real conversation. In fact, it's one of many that my friends and I often had and quite frankly still do have. For some it's as easy as making up their mind, finding the resources, and just doing it. For others, like me, like my friends, like so many other people I know--old insecurities, negative core beliefs, and past traumas seem to keep us from going for what we actually want. Something authentic, something real. 

That's me and my girls looking happy as can be! Who would ever think that we all, at some point, have struggled with pushing fear and past hurts aside to go for something real?

Anyway, this isn't a story about my friends and I. This webseries is just a microcosm of the world we live in and this is my way of empowering women to stop.

Stop saying no.

Stop saying yes.

Stop going along to get along.

Stop pushing down your emotions.

Stop isolating.

Stop letting toxic people hold you back.

Stop letting old traumas hold you down. 

As a Therapist, I have seen my share of trauma. For some reason people often believe that therapists are perfect and don't deal with the same things the general public does. THAT'S ALL LIES. 

If anything, I've learned that trauma can be so impactful and detrimental that even as a therapist you cannot do it all by yourself. It is important for me to cultivate safe spaces in my therapy room and in my production room. I see a void that needs to be filled when it comes to emotional healing for Black women and I believe that storytelling is an avenue for that to happen.

Something Real is a web-series that focuses on the life of June Letto and her two friends Shaya Beslaur and Rossi Andrews. Themes such as settling, mental health, physical health, childhood trauma, and more are shown throughout the series. Creating a webseries about their lives felt most congruent to me because although they are 10-15 minute long episodes they are filled with the emotional triggers, and sabotaging behaviors that women often experience and engage in. 

In the last several months we have seen an influx in content watching due to the mandates of quarantine. We have observed television, film, and other mediums be utilized to assist individuals in remaining calm, encouraged, and hopeful during a time of crisis. In addition, in the wake of an uncanny number of black indivdiuals being murdered by police and other prejudiced individuals, it is necessary to have outlets for the balck community to still hope, heal, and find joy. What better time then now to continue those efforts? What better outlet than visual storytelling to empower the black community?

I'm looking forward to sharing the ladies with you. I invite you to relax, sit back, and let them take you on a journey. 


What I want you to know most about this webseries is that I am advocating for emotional healing on and off the screen. After every episode, there will be a task of sorts for the audience to help drive home the theme of that episode. My hope is that each episode will challenge the audience members to not only enjoy and be entertained but learn, implement, and fully heal. Below is an example of what the end of an episode (task or challenge) will look like:

1. Audience members will click to watch the 1st Episode of Something Real.

2. At the end, a black screen with a small paragraph will appear.

3. It will read," Thank you for watching Something Real. We hope that it was not only entertaining but fulfilling and freeing for you to watch. As part of our mission, we aim to amplify black voices and assist with bringing about true freedom and healing on and off the screen.

4. Below we have a link to an organization that focuses on black art and reaching your goals.

5. Below that is a challenge for you to journal about past realtionships you have entertained because you decided to settle and please everyone except you.

6. Share your experience on our Facebook Page/Instagram Page and we will
highlight you in the stories/pages.

7. Finally, remember to check in on your friends. Everybody needs somebody and
if you are apart of the lucky few who have amazing friends make sure you cherish
them and show them that you're appreciative.


I want to invite you in on this process. I have found that true healing and true change can only happen when we support one another and contribute what we have to that cause. My contribution is the knowledge I have about mental health, Black women, and emotional health. My platform for contributing is through my web-series. My reason for contributing is to see young black girls grow emotionally healthy and mentally stable.

Now that you know mine, What's yours? How will you contribute? How will you help invoke change?


What Are Our Goals?

To ensure that the audience is able to not only be entertained by our web-series but learn and change in the process! 

If we raise...

$3,650: We will have met our Seed & Spark goal and we’ll be able to put your gifts towards production! This amount will be used for 4 of the 8 episodes we want to bring to the comfort of your home. 

$7,500: Something Real Season 1 will happen! This is our real crowdfunding goal for the four episodes!

$15,000: The visual and sonic quality of the series will be more professional with better color grading, sound mixing, equipment, broader reach, and this will be for all 8 episodes. 


How is COVID impacting our project?

COVID has indeed shut our project down once. But, we're thankful to have had that time to better strategize and perfect the quality of our project. We are committed to keeping our cast and crew safe by providing hand sanitizer, masks when necessary, and continual cleaning of each area we are in. We will have a set medic who will also serve as our COVID compliance officer. Despite COVID still impacting individuals all across the world we have decided to move into production. We believe that we have taken the safest measures possible and that each person working in or on this project will also feel safe and protected. 


How Can I Help?

1) PLEDGE! We appreciate all of the love, but the greatest way you can help is to invest in our campaign! No matter how much it is, every single dollar counts for us.

2) SHARE our campaign link on your social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.).

3) STAY ENGAGED! We love to hear from you so please follow us on here as well as on Instagram at @somethingreal_webseries

Lots of love!

Shanay & Something Real Team <3



Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.


Costs $1,500

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Costs $850

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Costs $1,300

The best cast on this planet! Who else can move this plot forward?

About This Team

Chris Morgan, a down to earth guy who loves to have fun, loves to laugh and make people laugh. Straight forward but cautious of feelings. He loves his wife and kids. Chris Morgan takes pride in where he comes from and humbled by the places he has been. He always has a vision and works hard to carry it out. 

Current Team