About the Writer-Director
Whitney Ellis was raised in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. At a very young age she was involved in the arts from playing musical instruments, writing, theater, drawing, dance, and photography.
During high school, Whitney discovered her affinity for the visual arts when she picked up her father’s Pentax SLR camera and took a picture of a flower wrapped around a fence. Whitney’s high school journalism teacher saw her talent and encouraged to seek a career as a professional photographer. She spent the majority of her youth behind the camera, making short movies on VHS, publishing photos or editing Monty Python spoofs in the dark room of her church’s steeple.
It was not long after high school graduation when her nomadic spirit would lead her to travel the world. In 2005, Whitney along with 1,200 Semester at Sea students would board a cruise ship headed to Japan and find themselves nearly ship wrecked after being caught between two storms and struck by an 85 foot rogue wave. After days of rough seas, the coast guard successfully pulled the ship into safety at the port of Honolulu, Hawaii, where the remainder of their trip would continue it’s around the world tour by air and sea.
Shortly after her international travels, Whitney dropped out of a small Christian college in Denver, Colorado, declaring herself an agnostic that wanted to pursue a career in acting. She packed up her bags and moved to Hollywood at the age of 22. There she would be apart of Actors’ Lab Ensemble run by renowned actor Richard H. Greene. Whitney supported herself in L.A by working odd temp jobs and becoming a TV extra in shows like Las Vegas, History Channel’s Charlie Wilson’s War and in a Screaming Meme’s music video. It is through her pigeonholed experience of being cast as a “no-name” female character such as “Hot Girl #2” that Whitney realized that she wanted to be apart of the big picture (which she would later realize was the mise-en-scène) and to help give females a voice. As she waited for hair and make up, surrounded by props outside the West Hollywood sound stage, she began writing a story in her notebook. Later that night, she returned home and wrote a theatrical play for the first time. After completing the play, she discovered that she didn’t want to be a talking prop but rather a storyteller, a truth teller maybe even a journalist. So she packed up her bags again and head back to Colorado to pursue an education in Journalism.
At the University of Colorado at Boulder, Whitney fell in love with filmmaking when she saw Bicycle Thieves for the first time in her Film Studies 101 class. Instantaneously, she knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life making movies and telling stories. At the University, she completed two degrees, Bachelors of Arts in Film Studies and a Bachelors of Fines Arts in Film & Video Production along with winning the Virgil Grillo award for student filmmaking. She was also awarded scholarships to attend the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium along with a chance to study Film, Art, and Architecture in Rome. Whitney finished her higher education at Yale University summer session, studying screenwriting and crime television. While finishing her college education, she worked as Production Coordinator for Oscar nominated Executive Producer Henry Ansbacher who was best known for They Killed Sister Dorothy.
In 2011, Whitney moved to New York City where she currently resides in Brooklyn and works for six-time Emmy winning Executive Producer Al Perlmutter who produced Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers. She is an aspiring Writer/Director who continues to hone her craft and is pre-production for her first feature film I Fell in Love with a Psychopath.