Blackbird USC Thesis Film

Hi Family  & Friends,

We are a group of creatives from different walks in life with one shared passion, FILMMAKING! Currently, we are raising money for our project Blackbird, a graduate thesis film for the University of Southern California. Our film is a hopeful tale about a woman who works for an airline cleaning planes, but dreams of being a pilot. Throughout her journey she faces self-doubt, learns to chase her dreams, and defies the odds. 

 Meet our lead character Sherri Johnson:


 She is a young woman who grew up in the projects of Newark, NJ.  She works day in and day out cleaning planes.


However, she has bigger dreams. She wants to become a pilot. When she asks for time off so that she can take her flight exam, she is met with resistance and persuaded not to focus on flying. Filled with self-doubt she begins to question if she is even smart enough to become a pilot.


However, through the help of friends she finds the courage to step out on faith, risk losing her 9-5 job, take the exam, and get her wings!

So I know what you're thinking. How will we make this film?

We've partnered with an amazing group peers to film this project. We will be filming mostly in Los Angeles. If we raise enough funds, we are hoping to film in our Director's hometown Newark, NJ. We are seeking donations to help make this film possible. Some of our major cost is filming on location inside of a plane or at a studio with a standing set designed as the interior of a plane. As you can imagine, a film of this caliber is costly. Hence we are working hard to raise funds to pursue this venture. 


It is our goal to raise $38,000. This sounds like a large sum to raise, but we believe all things are possible. And with your help, we  know we can make this dream a reality!

 Why should you invest in us:

1. You know what it's like to have a dream. Someone has invested in you and now you want to pay it forward.

 2.By investing in us you are investing in someone who is telling a hometown story, that wants to reach back and help make a difference in the community.

3. You will be investing in undiscovered talent right before it breaks into Hollywood. You will be able to say you helped build our careers and will get to share in this success.

4. You want to help female and minority directors get a chance to tell stories that are important.

* **If that's not enough here are some prizes!


    Blackbird Prizes:

    $1 - Digital  Thank you and your name mentioned in the credits as a supporter of this film 

    $5 - A big HUG & a super FLY top secret handshake for film supporters & all previous prizes

    $10 -  A shoutout on social media & all previous prizes

    $20  - Exclusive private link to behind the scenes footage & all previous prizes

    $50 - Exclusive Digital Download of the film & all other prizes

    $100  - Bronze Wings Donor classification in the credits. You will also receive your
    very own WINGS that pins to your shirt & all previous prizes

     $200  - An invite to come to set while filming in either Newark or Los Angeles
      (no travel or accommodations provided)  & all previous prizes

    $500 - An Associate Producer credit in the film & all previous prizes

    $1,000 - Executive Producer Credit in the film  & all previous prizes
    (excluding Associate Producer credit)

    $5,000 -  Silver Wings Donor classification in the credits, Signed Script & all previous prizes

    $10,000 - Golden Wings Donor classification in the credits, Signed Movie Poster &
    all previous prizes

So family and friends, if you can give -- please donate today! There is no donation that is too little. Every penny counts! 

    The money raised will pay for the following:

     Camera & Sound Rental -30%

     Set Design -10%

     Costumes - 5%

      Props -10%

     Locations/Travel - 30%
      Meals - 5%
      Post Production -10%

***If you do not have the means to donate please help me by also sharing this page with your family and friends!


My name is Nicole L. Thompson and I am a filmmaker from Newark, NJ. I'm a hometown girl who hasn't forgotten her roots. It is my dream to use filmmaking as a vehicle to change the world. I began studying filmmaking at the age of 13 and every year since then I have been working hard towards my dream of becoming a director. Over the years I've made several short films that has opened doors for me to intern at the Cannes Film Festival, NBC Universal, and the TV Academy. Most recently, I directed a short film called Summer of Justice at Warner Brothers Backlot.


At the moment, I am in my final year, studying to receive my MFA in Film in TV Production at the University of Southern California, the same school that alum Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Black Panther), Shonda Rhimes (How to Get Away with Murder, Grey's Anatomy) and George Lucas (Star Wars) studied at. I am learning filmmaking from Hollywood's best and brightest.

 Everything I've learned all culminates to this final project, a THESIS Film!

A thesis film is often what creators use to get recognition  and meetings with people in the industry to launch them into making feature films! With this film we  want to inspire the youth to be anything they dream of. By telling this story we  want people to learn no matter the obstacles ahead of them, with hard work and persistence they can achieve their dreams. You too can fly!

This film was inspired by my grandmother who worked many years cleaning planes to provide for my family. It is also inspired by Bessie Coleman who was the first African American pilot. With this film I pay homage to them. On June 15, 1921 Bessie Coleman received her license to fly. Many moons later on June 15, I was born, so I feel a very special connection to telling this story. In fact I believe, I was born to tell it. I thank God for making this opportunity possible.

It is my hope to use this film to inspire the next generation of kids to chase their dreams and dare to be anything they put their minds too. 

Please support our campaign and Help us Spread our Wings!

Donations (0)

  • Maria Termanini 
    • $30 
    • 6 mos
  • Baldwin Williams 
    • $100 
    • 9 mos
  • Khiry Carter 
    • $20 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 13 mos
  • Christina Cowart 
    • $75 
    • 14 mos
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Nicole Thompson 
Newark, NJ
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