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A different kind of circus story.
Circus Center
San Francisco, California
United States
6 Team Members

About The Film

Passion, triumph, and heartache. “Bizarre” takes a rare inside look at the lives of performers, instructors, and big top lovers working to keep the circus arts alive and thriving in America. The film follows rising star and world-renowned aerialists, acrobats, and clowns who have dedicated their lives to the circus. Part portraiture, part documentary, and part performance, this unique piece offers a window into what it really takes to become a professional circus artist.

“Run away and join the circus!” It sounds like fun and games, but it can be grueling and competitive. It takes more than talent and training to survive. And what’s vital to keeping the circus arts alive is cultivating the performers of tomorrow.

With guidance from world-class circus masters, “Bizarre” features promising youth performers in the Bay Area with serious dreams of working professionally in the circus. Through the Circus Center, San Francisco’s oldest 501(c)(3) non-profit circus performing arts education facility, both young and old enthusiasts strive to present the 1st Annual California Youth Circus Festival.

“Bizarre” is the next short project from Thirsty Girl Films shot on location at Circus Center in San Francisco, CA. April - June 2013.

A New Way of Storytelling

Everyone loves a good circus story. But what about a totally different perspective? The entirety of this film will be shot on the RED Epic, one of the best cameras out there. Blockbuster movies like The Hobbit and Hitchcock were shot on the Epic, giving our short film a truly magical and cinematic look. And in order to show the circus in a whole new way, “Bizarre” will include performances shot at incredibly high speeds on the Phantom Flex, a fantastic camera capable of shooting over 10,750 frames per second. Utilizing the highest technologies will open the door to a world the human eye has never seen before.

Inspire Passion for the Circus Arts

If you love the circus, then you’ll love this project. The film follows circus artists, both young and seasoned, as the Circus Center endeavors to host the 1st Annual California Youth Circus Festival. With your support, we'll capture the untold stories of circus giants who have shaped generations of American circus arts, including acrobat Master Lu Yi, aerialist Elena Panova, and clown Joe Dieffenbacher. 

Live performance is the easiest way to inspire passion for the circus arts, but it has the shortest reach. Through film, we are able to inspire audiences around the world who may not have access to live circus performance. For less than the cost of a ticket to a live show, friends, families, and future circus artists will enjoy one of the world's oldest artforms through the lens of one of America's most respected circus arts organizations.

Aim for the Stars

“Bizarre” is a film meant for the world stage and it’s our goal to reach as many eyes as possible. With your help, we’re aiming for top tier film festivals like Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW. State-of-the-art cameras coupled with the incredible stories of circus performers, both aspiring and world-renowned, “Bizarre” is destined to be an indie hit!

Where the Money will Go

100% of the funds received will go towards creating this visually stunning circus arts history book (of sorts):

  • Phantom Flex Rental
  • Professional Editing
  • DaVinci Resolve Color Grading
  • Visual Effects
  • Sound Design
  • Score Composition
  • Festival Fees 
  • Graphic Design
  • Festival Screeners
  • Press Materials


BIZARRERAISER: It takes a village to create a project like this, and our funders make it all possible. We want to meet you to say, "Thanks." That's why we're celebrating the end of this campaign with a 21+ dance party fundraiser at Circus Center on Saturday, April 13th, featuring live performances by a few of the youth artists in the film. A contribution to our campaign at the $15 level gets you an inviation to the event. At the $100 level, it's a VIP invitation. Only one invitation will be extended per funder, so make sure your friends contribute to our campaign before April 13.
Be a part of circus history. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Tell Your Friends

Spreading the word is as valuable as donating. Make sure your friends and family know about this campaign and BIZARRERAISER by using the IndieGoGo social media tools to share on your networks.

 Circus Center

Circus Center's Mission is to inspire passion for circus arts through training, performance, and community outreach. It is the Bay Area’s oldest 501(c)(3) non-profit circus performing arts education facility, specializing in acrobatics, aerial arts, circus skills, and clown. Circus Center offers all levels of training for children and adults, ages 7 and up. www.circuscenter.org

1st Annual California Youth Circus Festival

The purpose of the California Youth Circus Festival is to build community and promote and encourage youth participation in the circus arts in California. Circus Center is the creator of the event, and it is intended to be run and hosted by a different Californian circus arts organization every year. The festival is a non-competitive weekend of evening performances, presented free of charge to the community, hosted at Circus Center on June 14-15, 2013. A panel of local circus arts administrators and educators will provide valuable feedback to the artists on their performances the afternoon of June 16, before celebrating the close of the festival with a banquet and scholarship awards ceremony. www.caycf.org

Thirsty Girl Films

Thirsty Girl Films is an award-winning collective of passionate independent filmmakers and storytellers. We specialize in everything from cultural documentaries to high-concept narratives to stop motion animation. We take pride in our ingenuity and resourcefulness to get the job done right, without a spending a fortune. Through powerful imagery and experimental techniques, we strive to awaken the wonder and curiosity that hides within all of us, while pushing the boundaries in the art of storytelling. We are dedicated to bringing together talented individuals of diverse backgrounds that share the common goal of creating quality entertainment outside the studio system. We believe that where there is a camera, there is way to inspire. www.thirstygirlfilms.com

The Circus Center and California Youth Circus Festival logos were designed by Tracy Moon.

All Because Of YOU

We can't thank you enough for your interest and support. There are so many amazing campaigns out there, and we're grateful you're considering ours. Together, we can keep the circus arts alive and thriving for generations to come. A MILLION THANKS!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 129 people in 29 days
100% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$14,650 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 15, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD

    One streaming view of 'Bizarre The Film' and an official Thank You card.

    7 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $15USD

    An invitation to BIZARRERAISER, a fund-raising DANCE PARTY held at Circus Center on April 13, 2013 from 6-10 PM, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    55 out of 500 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $30USD

    A 16oz Circus Center Tervis Tumbler to sport at BIZARRERAISER, one invitation to BIZARRERAISER, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    5 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $50USD

    A Special Thanks credit at the end of the film, an invitation to BIZARRERAISER, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    16 out of 250 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $100USD

    A VIP Invitation to BIZARRERAISER, a Special Thanks credit, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    11 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $250USD

    A Bleacher Star at Circus Center with YOUR NAME on it, A VIP Invitation to BIZARRERAISER, a Special Thanks credit, a DVD, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    12 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $500USD

    A hardcover copy of "Private Acts: The Acrobat Sublime" by Circus Center aerialist Harriet Heyman and photographer Acey Harper, a Special Thanks credit, an 8x10 official film poster, a VIP invitation to BIZARRERAISER, a DVD, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    4 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $1,000USD

    A Co-Producer credit, a Lululemon Hoodie custom embroidered with the 'Bizarre' logo, an 8x10 official film poster, a VIP invitation to BIZARRERAISER, a DVD, unlimited streaming of 'Bizarre The Film,' and an official Thank You card.

    4 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
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