Camp Nichols - A USC Thesis Film

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

Brandon Sparks

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $6,010 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

63 supporters | followers

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We braved a hot and stormy Alabama August to create this fun and touching film about summer camp, friendship and second chances. We're excited to bring you the story of Jessie, Zack and everyone at Camp Nichols very soon, but we need your help!

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Camp Nichols is a coming-of-age story that focuses on a female protagonist amongst a group of diverse characters. The creators advocated for strong diversity within both the cast and crew of Camp Nichols. We believe that the finished film will showcase that decision.

The Story

"No matter how old you are, camp is never easy."


Jessie is a young woman who is court ordered to community service as a summer camp counselor after being arrested. During her time there, she meets Zack, a young camper who has trouble fitting in. They'll learn together that it can be difficult to open up to someone new, but that friendships can offer a chance at growth and redemption.


For his masters thesis project at the University of Southern California, Brandon Sparks assembled an incredibly talented crew from across the country and brought them all to his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama to tell the story of Camp Nichols.


Through the heat, humidity and daily thunderstorms of an Alabama August, this crew worked long days and nights to bring this story to life. 


Now it's time to put the finishing touches on this project. Camp Nichols is currently in the midst of editing, but we need your help to finish up our post-production process! Anything you can give will help us work with incredibly talented editors, composers, sound mixers and VFX producers. 


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


Costs $1,200

Color is essential to any film. By hiring a colorist, we will be able to enhance the overall look for the film.

Film Festival Submission Fees

Costs $1,400

Film Festivals are very important because they help get films seen. We'd like to get Camp Nichols seen by as many people as possible.

Post-Production Sound

Costs $1,900

Sound is one of the most important parts of a film. We need help with paying for our sound designers and our final mix in the studio.

Composer/Studio/Music Rights

Costs $1,500

We are fortunate to be working with a great composer and we are looking to hire some great musicians to help enhance the project.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Brandon Sparks, Writer/Director 

Brandon was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While living in Alabama, stories became a large part of his life, and he found inspiration from the people and places in his hometown. During his undergraduate years at the University of Alabama, Brandon majored in Telecommunication and Film with a minor in Theatre. After graduating, Brandon headed to Los Angeles, where he is currently pursuing an MFA in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California. 

Thomas Horton, Producer 

Thomas hails from the coast of South Carolina, where he spent most of his youth building a strong work ethic in the restaurant industry. He stayed in South Carolina for college, attending the College of Charleston and studying Communication. After some time working in public relations, Thomas applied to Film and Television Production MFA program at the Univeristy of Southern California. At USC, Thomas found his drive as a producer in film and television. He's especially drawn to comedy and creating stories that are both funny and human with the friends and colleagues he's met at USC.


Marc Patterson, Director of Photography 

Marc is a cinematographer born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. There he experienced smothering humidity, Southern Baptist hymns, football Saturdays (and Sundays, Mondays, and some Thursdays), food fried to perfection, a surprisingly strong music scene, mowing lawns, and the best neighbors you'll ever meet. Currently pursuing an MFA in cinematography from UCLA TFT, the gritty South sneaks its way into most of his projects in one way or the other.


Jonathan Norris, Line Producer

Jonathan is a recent graduate from The University of Alabama with a degree in Marketing and a passion for film. He saw how seeing life from the perspective of fictional characters could influence a positive change in people and decided to follow the path of a producer to make stories come to life. Camp Nichols has been his largest project to date, filmed in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, where he had the opportunity to work with a diverse cast and crew. This film pushed him to see how powerful the collaborative process of film can be and how working with other people can enhance the story you want to tell. 


Emma Weston, Production Designer 

Emma was born and raised in Kent, just south of London, UK. From a young age, Emma has been captivated by art, design and film. She studied Fine Art at the University of Reading (UK), with her artist practice focusing on film character design through performance and video art. It had always been her dream to study and create films in LA. In 2014 she got her chance and enrolled in the University of Southern California's Film and TV production MFA. During her program, she discovered a love for Production Design, and she has spent her spare time working her way up many Art Departments of USC advanced projects and thesis films.


Stephen Thomason, Production Designer 

After making a number of short films at the University of Alabama, Stephen moved out West. Taking his talents to Los Angeles, he landed a job as an Art Assistant on the recently Emmy-nominated TV show, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, where he began his career. Working on short films and his own projects in his spare time, Stephen's post graduation period has been busy. He just recently finished a stint on Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the team he works with has not only employed him, but mentored him. 


Brooke Budnik, Line Producer

Born and raised in Atlanta, Brooke discovered film was what she wanted to do at a young age, and she hasn't looked back since. She is finishing her final semester at The University of Alabama this fall with a degree in Media Production and a minor in Art. She started working in the industry in high school, doing freelance PA work around Atlanta, and has continued to do so during her summers back home. She has worked for clients such as The American Cancer Society, Verizon, and Home Depot/ ESPN College Game Day. She plans to move back to home after graduation for a couple of years before hopefully traveling abroad to work on a narrative period series.


Dusty Fields, Production Sound Mixer 

Dusty is a recent graduate from the Telecommunication & Film Bachelor's degree program at The University of Alabama. During his time there, his studies focused on recording sound for scripted media and sound design. He also minored in music, and enjoys creating music for scoring purposes, as well as singing in Rock n' Roll shows. He currently lives in Atlanta where he is pursuing work as a Sound Mixer in scripted television and film.


Daniel LeVine, Editor

When he was 8 years old, Dan began filming sketch comedy shows around his house with his father’s video camera. He spent two years on his high school’s comedy man-on-the-street news team where he co-hosted segments and also edited them. The news packages were broadcast weekly throughout the region on the local FOX station.  As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, Dan became heavily involved in both improv and sketch comedy organizations, filming and editing dozens of comedic and promotional videos for each. After graduating with a degree in Advertising, Dan moved to Los Angeles to pursue an MFA degree in Film & Television Production at the University of Southern California. He is focusing on writing, directing and editing, with emphases on comedy and not getting into too much debt.


Current Team