• Country: United States
  • Initial release: July 27, 2020 (United States)
  • Film Director: Mike Thompson
  • Running Time: 16 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 7.5

Welcome to cMovie Asia exploration of the captivating sci-fi short film “Blackbird” directed by Mike Thompson. This thought-provoking film delves into the intersection of technology and human emotions, offering a unique perspective on consciousness uploading and the consequences of a severe car accident. Join us as we delve into the visionary world of “Blackbird” and uncover the story behind its creation.

Director’s Vision: Turning Personal Experiences into Art

“Blackbird” holds a special place in director Mike Thompson’s heart as it allowed him to work in a genre he has loved since childhood: science fiction. But more than that, the film served as a coping mechanism for a personal experience. Years prior to the film’s inception, Thompson’s wife underwent surgery, and although the initial prognosis seemed positive, the need for a second surgery later arose. This triggered intense fear and sadness within Thompson, leading him to express his emotions through the creation of a short script.

A Genre Piece Inspired by Sci-Fi Classics

Drawing inspiration from cinematic masterpieces like “Solaris,” “Blade Runner,” and “Starman,” Thompson decided to transform his personal script into a genre piece. He was captivated by the way these films explored vast concepts such as space, artificial intelligence, and alien beings while still maintaining a powerful love story at their core. Thus, “Blackbird” became a heartfelt tribute to these films, pushing the boundaries of what love can truly be.

The Story: Uploading Consciousness and Life-Altering Decisions

“Blackbird” centers around a husband and wife who find themselves debating the idea of uploading the wife’s consciousness to an artificial intelligence (AI) system following a severe car accident. The accident leaves her impaired, prompting the couple to explore the potential of technology to preserve her essence. This moral and ethical dilemma forms the foundation of the film, raising questions about the nature of identity, love, and the potential consequences of tampering with the boundaries of life and death.

The Cast: Bringing Characters to Life

The talented cast of “Blackbird” brings depth and emotion to the film’s characters. Chris Petty takes on the role of Matthew Scott, the husband grappling with the decision of uploading his wife’s consciousness. Sarah East portrays Sarah Scott, the wife at the center of the debate. Additionally, Chris Taylor appears as a Sebastian Synthetics Employee, Rebekah Lynn Dow lends her voice as a Sebastian Synthetics Rep, and Derek Sawyer portrays Chris, a pivotal character in the narrative.

The Crew: Collaborators in Crafting the Vision

Behind the scenes, a dedicated crew worked tirelessly to bring the vision of “Blackbird” to life. Adam C. Thomas served as the First Assistant Director, ensuring smooth operations on set. Tommy Baker took on the role of First Assistant Camera, capturing the film’s stunning visuals. Russ Allen supported the team as the Second Assistant Camera, while Tim Miller expertly handled sound mixing. Andrea Ahl contributed her talents in production design and hair/makeup, and Marshall Shartzer served as the Art Director. Kristina Kubrick took charge of costume design and wardrobe, with Janelle Stevens as the Key Grip and Alex Lemon as the Grip.

Post-Production: Crafting the Final Product

The post-production process of “Blackbird” was a collaborative effort to refine and enhance the film’s impact. Mike Thompson, Thomas Johns, and Austin Sheehan undertook the editing, ensuring a seamless flow of the narrative. Derek Sepe, MPSE, contributed as the sound editor, adding depth and richness to the audio experience. Visual effects were skillfully handled by Christopher Shiner and John Wheeler, while Thomas Johns took on the role of colorist. Andrea Acs lent her expertise as the trailer editor, capturing the essence of “Blackbird” in a compelling promotional piece.

Gear and Technical Specifications

To capture the film’s stunning visuals, the crew utilized a Sony A7sii camera paired with a Rokinon Cine Kit for lenses. Lighting was accomplished using Quasar Science and Aputure equipment. The post-production process involved editing in Premiere Pro and color grading in DaVinci Resolve, resulting in a visually captivating final product.

Awards and Recognition

“Blackbird” has received critical acclaim and garnered attention in the film festival circuit. It was nominated for the November Award at the Indie Short Fest, recognizing its excellence in the sci-fi genre. The film’s thought-provoking narrative and exceptional execution have captivated audiences and industry professionals alike.

1 Film Review

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  • “Blackbird” is not only a remarkable sci-fi short film but also a profound expression of personal emotions and experiences. Mike Thompson’s vision, combined with the talent and dedication of the cast and crew, has resulted in a thought-provoking exploration of consciousness, love, and the impact of life-altering decisions. By weaving together elements from classic sci-fi films and his own personal journey, Thompson has created a cinematic experience that resonates deeply with audiences. “Blackbird” stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and the ability of art to provide solace and understanding in times of personal struggle.

    Through its narrative, “Blackbird” challenges us to contemplate the boundaries of our own humanity and the potential consequences of technological advancements. It reminds us that, ultimately, love is at the core of our existence and that the choices we make in pursuit of preserving it can have far-reaching implications.