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Side Show "O"

When Lina Halligan, a trapeze artist with a family-operated traveling circus turns thirty, she’s convinced that losing her virginity is paramount. But, the nomadic life she leads makes the chances of meeting a male prospect challenging. Thus, she’s left with the only relationship she’s ever had, a mysterious violinist she dreams about, nightly. But when Lina’s strange and lusty friend Renee sets her up on a dreaded blind date, Lina’s dream man turns out to be the real deal.

Film notes

This film was very significant for me. Years ago I wrote a feature script called "Side Show O" to celebrate a dear friendship I had with an amazing physical theatre (commedia dell arte) clown and aspiring trapeze artist. Unfortunately, I lost the feature script in a theft, but felt compelled to make this short film. I knew it was a very ambitious film for a first-time filmmaker with a fairly small budget. But, I believe in the notion of "going big, or going home". This film was my Graduate Thesis, and was largely made possible by a "Most Promising Graduate Filmmaker Award" I received while attending the Dodge College of Film and Television. Because the film was so personal to me, and because so many people lovingly worked on this film for free, I knew the stakes were high.

We were in production for eleven days and shot in six locations. Thanks to the love and tremendous talent of many old friends (and new friends made on this film), I managed to stay fairly close to my budget. Costumes were designed by a dear friend, Christy Halcolm and additional costumes were provided by Deirdre Lyons, who also played "Renee" in the film. Much of the budget was spent on the processing and telecine of the film (we shot on 16mm), as well as the circus scenes, some that required "stunt" choreographers and support.

I chose to shoot this film very stylistically, and relied heavily on filters for virtually every scene. Red was often used when "Lina" was on screen, as she was coming into her sexuality throughout the narrative. "Renee" to was often shot with red, representing her lusty, sensual nature. Scenes introducing "David" used green filters to suggest the sickly and unsatisfying life he was living before getting fired from the home.

I made this film shortly after watching one of my favorite directors, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amelie. I have always loved Jeunet's attention to Production Design and his use of color, and he was a tremendous influence to me while in pre-production.

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Copyright © 2013 Sarah Barker

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 17 Jun 2013