Starseed + Her Psychic Warriors, Episode 1: Utopia

Chicago, Illinois | Series


Sophia Pierre

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

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This campaign raised $5,130 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

37 supporters | followers

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Starseed, an alien refugee and her Earth friends Alice, Wren and Sage go on hallucinogenic trips to the Mindscape: an alternate plane of reality that can be explored through topographical manifestations of one’s realm of thought, where they confront each other’s inner demons as well as their own.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

The film industry appears to have fallen into an unyielding cycle of remakes which I suspect is due to the assumption that those who read books do not enjoy movies and that those who watch movies cannot read. This series is a multi-media interjection that will prove there is another way.

The Story

In this series, Starseed and her Earth friends Alice, Wren and Sage go on hallucinogenic trips to the Mindscape: “an alternate plane of reality that can be explored through topographical manifestations of one’s realm of thought.”

On their psychic journeys their practical concerns like money, food and shelter meet with their anxieties and innermost desires and force them to confront questions about their sexuality, their egos and their ultimate purpose on a cosmic scale.



The Mindscape and the comics backstory.

Episode 1:  "U T O P I A"

Starseed and her earth friends Alice, Wren and Sage go on another hallucinogenic trip
to Starseed’s realm (her mind) of the Mindscape (the collective unconscious) where
they get a glimpse of what Starseed remembers of her homeworld. Upon arrival Alice,
Wren and Sage are separated and have to get help from others in the Mindscape to
track each other down. On this trip they have a run-in with their old foe, Spectre and get
a taste of Starseed’s perspective on her original Earth arrival story.


Starseed's homeworld, orbiting the star Taygeta.







Hadar Zusman in the role of Alice and the beings she meets in Starseed's realm of the Mindscape.


We began shooting in September and went on hiatus at the end of October to protect our cast and crew from the second wave of Covid-19. This bought us time to be even more prepared to resume shooting as vaccines become more readily available in the spring. Despite relaxed updates from the CDC we continue to follow a strict mask-wearing and sanitzation policy. Our production staff diligently monitors Covid safety compliance and we have a very small crew on a very large sound stage which allows for sufficient social distancing. All members of the crew have adopted new modes of working to accomodate to our new-found circumstances that will only continue to streamline our workflow long after this Pandemic is behind us. 



In only two months we’ve shot nearly half the episode already! Production starts back up this summer, but before then we have extensive preproduction work left to do.


Daphne Nitsuga in the role of Wren


Thank you to those that have shown so much support and devotion to this story already. I know for you all it’s hotly anticipated and long overdue. 



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Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Costume construction and Set Dressing

Costs $1,000

We have extensive design work left to do for costuming, props and set dressing.

On-set SFX and glam-rock makeup

Costs $2,000

We have professional on-set hair and makeup to transport us to an alien world.


Costs $1,000

Monetary or in-kind contributions to keeping my cast and crew nourished are eagerly encouraged.

Equipment and Insurance

Costs $2,000

Monetary or in-kind contributions to lights, camera and sound are crucial to making this happen.

About This Team


As the writer of a story that I began as long ago as junior year of high school, I have devoted my life to acquiring the skills necessary to tell this story. I have assembled a team of the most imaginative, delightful, skilled and hardworking young creatives in the Chicago area to help me bring this to life. This is a team that is a fusion of SAIC (read School of The Art Institute of Chicago) artists and videographers, Columbia College filmmakers and young working professionals.


Production designer, Mari Xiao is a senior at SAIC and my art department companion on almost each and every set I've been on. She is known for her great eye, creative solutions and ability to make magic happen with whatever she's given. And the more you give her the more you'll get! 


Cinematographer, Looloo Xiao (center) is an SAIC alumni and a frequent collaborator of mine. He shot everything that we did in 2020 and will be handing the baton over to a new Director of Photography while he is away. I miss my friend dearly and can’t wait to work with him again.


Producer, Moon Pyinyar is a senior at Columbia College, Chicago and one of my most trusted co-conspirators. I took this photo of him on the set of Looloo Xiao’s Paternal Synonym, our first project together, which we shot the summer of 2020. As co-producers we learned how to make our cast and crew feel like they were at summer camp despite the looming presence of the global pandemic. Seriously, I made french toast for breakfast and we gathered around a fire-pit for our wrap party.


Director of Photography, Atticus P. Kjar is an independent filmmaker and one of the most resourceful people I know. He has such remarkable initiative and brings amazing energy to set. He is always so eager to help and just loves his craft. Our team is very grateful to have him coming aboard this project as our 2021 DP. The image above captures his first day on the UTOPIA set.


Production Coordinator, Lena Padua is an independent artist and filmmaker, born and raised here in Illinois, just outside Chicago. Above she is pictured next to Looloo on a location scouting trip for the wilderness scenes in UTOPIA. Her and I met on Looloo’s set of Paternal Synonym through Moon Pyinyar. She has been my go-to for creative solutions ever since. She has a way of making something out of nothing and rising to the occasion like no other.


Hair & Makeup lead, Jasmine Perry & costume co-lead along with Carly Trujilo can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary AND she can do so in the nick of time. She can see the vision, work fast and has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. The above photo was taken on the first day of shooting “Utopia” and features one of our lead actors, Morgan Bicknell getting ready to play the role of Sage. 


Prop Master, Dylan Shueler really understands that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. All the neon gun-toting you’d expect from a space western is courtesy of his ingenuity with materials. I’ve learned so much from him about what can be made from recycled materials and a bit of spray paint! 


Current Team