Suburban Supernova

a saga of space travel, high school, and mortal anxieties


A plucky and determined kid, Esther was once a great adventurer, traveling the stars in the spaceship she built with her best friend Jordan. But on one journey, they crash land on a mysterious planet and a dark being is awakened: the incarnation of Esther’s deepest anxieties that consume her growing up and lead to her isolation. Now, in high school and on the verge of losing her co-pilot, Esther must confront that darkness to  save her relationship with Jordan, win back control of her life, and refuel her love of adventure.

Director’s Statement:

Original Concept Art by Meghan Boehman

Once upon a time, in the magical land of the suburbs, kids dreamed of what awaits beyond the stars. In a place where a blanket fort can erase the concept of time and the walls of a cricket infested basement disappear into a cavernous labyrinth full of monsters, a red wagon becomes the ultimate spaceship that can take you anywhere in the universe. 

None of that will last. Like a supernova, the blinding, brilliant implosion of a star, we will all grow up. I did, faced with the burgeoning voices known as anxiety and depression. Entering high school, a voice grew louder and louder in my head, call it self-doubt at best, self-loathing at worst, I turned against myself, selfishly and unfairly pushing away all those around. Meanwhile my true love of storytelling faded away into just empty dreams. Too introverted to see that everyone faces their own harrowing voices, I shriveled up. That child all but disappeared. I almost let him go.

Suburban Supernova is a story of reconciliation, of acceptance, or growing up by holding on tight to the child within all of us. Of a girl and her spaceship, once a beacon of adventure, now a husk collecting dust in her garage. Of fighting to hold onto the people that can not only save you but make you the best version of yourself. Of a dreamer’s journey back. Beyond the supernova. Into the infinite.

Suburban Supernova © 2019 University of Southern California