A Snow

I love to travel, and cannot wait to explore more of the world, always along side my camera. I love, as a filmmaker, to have the power to take something, some other world, living in my head and show it to others, and just maybe somewhere along the line make a difference. In addition to the narrative work living in my head, I want to show others the reality that lives around us in other cultures, personal stories and places not seen by everyday eyes.

A Snow
To the Moon Productions
Brooklyn, NY
My Work in the Arts
Directing, Film/Video, Television
Travel and exploring the world while capturing discoveries on film to share with others and advance global understanding and appreciations.
Funds for my feature documentaries, "Solo No Puedo: I Cannot Alone" (currently finishing Production & starting Post Production) and the "Untitled Cancer Business Film" (currently in Development & Production).
An amazing finished film - a documentary on the culture, art, and history of circus across the world.
My Company - To the Moon Productions
World Circus Film Website
Fiscal Sponsorship
To The Moon Productions
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"World Circus" Documentary

  • US Festival PREMIERE! World Circus - Update 11

    The film will have its film festival premiere at the acclaimed Sedona International Film Festival February 27th, 2013, in Sedona, Arizona. 
    "recognized by filmmakers and audiences as one of the top festivals in the nation (and named the “Fest to Impress” by MovieMaker Magazine), the 2013 edition will continue a tradition of honoring those motivated by passion for their art and driven by a love for making timely, moving and important films."

    NOTES from Angela Snow - Director / Producer 
    • If you noticed, the film did not screen at Sundance. Considering the acceptance rate was only 1.4% of submissions (harder than getting into Harvard, which has a 5.9% acceptance rate), with over 12,000 films submitted, I feel no regret. I'll save conquering Sundance for another film! 
    • I have since submitted to 11 other top festivals. The amazing thing is, Sedona International Film Festival was the first to announce their films. The first answer, the first yes!
    • The film has been viewed privately within the circus community to a wonderful response. Showing in Sarasota, Monte Carlo, and San Diego. 
    • Recently, I realized that this past December (2012) marked 3 years that this film has been in production. Three years...that's IT! I can't believe it. Planning, filming, and editing, it feels like it has been 10 years.  

    Two screenings of the film, followed by a Q&A, will take place at the Sedona International Film Festival -  Wednesday, Feburary 27th at 9pm & Friday, March 1st at 9am 

    If anyone is interested in attending the screening in Sedona, Arizona, please let me know, I would love to see you there! I plan to organize local circus artists to greet guests on Wednesday night and hope to be joined by the film's cinematographer, Ian Issitt, and music composer, Charles Newman. 

    • Since the first answer from a Film Festival was a YES, I am going to take this good news as a sign of things to come - for future updates on film festivals, please visit the film's Facebook Page or Website
    • Before the screening in Sedona, the film will undergo a few edit tweaks, final sound mix, and color correction, create a poster, plus, as always, take care of paperwork. My schedule is back to checking my calendar hourly to make sure I'm at the correct meeting at the right time.  
    • We will continue to wait for answers from other festivals, as well as submit to at least another 10 festivals as their submissions open throughout 2013. Deals for distribution will be sought, screenings planned & DVD sales arranged. DVDs will be available AFTER the Festival rounds are made and distribution deals worked out. 
    • January 2014 - plans are being made to screen during the 38th Monte Carlo Circus Festival. Hope to see you all there!

    KEEP UPDATED & FOLLOW ON  FACEBOOK. Follow the film on TWITTERCheck out the WEBSITESpread the word.  

  • Finished! World Circus E-Newsletter Update 10
        Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, Children of all ages.... 
    ...or close enough to done that Friday September 21st, the film was submitted & shipped off to the Sundance Film Festival with fingers crossed that it will be accepted to screen this winter. An answer will come in December, so we have a while to wait. The film will be submitted to other top film festivals around the world to get the ball rolling for the film to be out in the world. 

    NOTES FROM Director / Producer Angela Snow 
    The film looks and sounds absolutely spectacular. It turned out just as I had hoped. A tribute to circus art, culture, and history around the world, as well as very personal stories and behind the scenes looks at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival.
     Some exciting things started to happen, and the film drew some attention from people that matter in the film world, so I put my head down and somehow raced to the finish line. 

    The finishing Post Production team really put the cherry on top of all the work Ian Issitt and I did filming in Europe, Canada & the US. 
    • EDITING: Emma Morris, award winning editor, whittled down the 200 hours of footage to tell a gripping, smooth, and deep story. That process took about 20 weeks. 
    • MUSIC: Charles Newman, composer and engineer/producer for bands such as The Magnetic Fields, composed an amazing sound track to the film that enhances the visuals and story beyond what I could have hoped for. There are also a few tracks of music that will be from well known, and lesser well known, indie bands.  
    • GRAPHICS: Vince Clemente, filmmaker & graphic designer, swept in & cleaned up all the graphics and text to really give the film all the pieces of a clean & professional film. 
    • OTHER ESSENTIAL PEOPLE: the translators, advisers, and those who gave feedback during test screenings lent their time and wonderful brains for the film. 
    IT TOOK THIS LONG TO FINISH BECAUSE.....Documentary filmmaking is NOT a quick process, especially since I've been working full time in the TV industry during this process. Just in this last month I was in New York, Los Angeles, and Alaska on TV shows. Over the last few years, I also made the not so minor move from Los Angeles to New York, where the city has welcomed me and the film with open arms. I've also juggled finishing my short documentary, "Runaway Circus", and screened it at festivals, continued filming on my next documentary in Peru, "Solo No Puedo", and started a non-profit with friends called, Yantalo International Volunteer House, to build housing for volunteers in Yantalo, Peru. I can hardly remember a time when I didn't set my alarm early in order to have meetings and work on the film before my "job" and then continue after hours into the night. But all worth it!   
      • There is paperwork and technical finishing details that I still have to take care of before calling the film finished finished. A Producer's job is never done! 
      • The film will be submitted to Film Festivals, deals for distribution will be sought, screenings planned & DVD sales arranged. 
      • Updates happen daily on
          FACEBOOK - so like the page to keep updated
      • DVDs will be available after the Festival rounds are made and distribution deals worked out.  
      • More patience.   

      I want to thank you all for your patience and interest in the film over these many years (since filming started winter of 2009). I have been so grateful to the generous donations and support that have kept the film going financially, as well as kept my sanity and motivation afloat. 


      KEEP UPDATED & FOLLOW ON  FACEBOOK. Follow the film on TWITTERCheck out the WEBSITESpread the word.  
    • Chocolate & Cookie Filmmaking Metaphors
      (This was originally posted on the blog by filmmakers of World Circus Culture - To the Moon Productions Blog)

      These just come to me as I'm working...so thought I'd share.
      en I finally get a scene translated that I have tried to edit into the timeline, it's like after looking at a huge delicious box of chocolate and trying to decide which ones to eat first, and then finally getting the little picture map of what is inside each chocolate. You have the answers and then you can really dig in.
      2. The whole long process of finishing my documentary is like following cookie crumbs through a dark, bleak, and scary forest. Every now and then I get a big cookie crumb and trudge happily ahead and then it's months till the next crumb and the doubt sets in. Am I on the right path? Is there even another cookie crumb ahead? Will all the crumbs actually even lead to a huge cookie at the end? No turning back now, I know there's no cookie crumbs left where I came from! So, we can just know there will be another crumb to inspire us, or pay us, and lead the way, and also know there will probably be many more dark spells in between, so strap on some comfortable shoes.

    • PRESS RELEASE - IndieGoGo Fundraiser

      By David Shade

      Angela Snow, filmmaker and producer, turns to alternative funding sources for her latest feature length film, World Circus Culture, a documentary portrait series about the circus. With just a few weeks to fund, the process is testing both the online fundraising model and the filmmaker's nerves.

      New York, NY (WEB) February 1, 2012 -- Independent filmmaker Angela Snow is turning to the Internet to raise funds for her latest feature film project, World Circus Project, a documentary portrait series about competitive circus. With funding as the first major obstacle to getting any film off the ground, current economic conditions don't make the job any easier. Filmmakers have to become more innovative in their fundraising tactics, and the independent filmmaking community has embraced sites like Indiegogo.com.

      Indiegogo.com is a major player in the emerging crowd sourcing market. Founded in 2008, the site helps small projects to raise funds through its marketing service as well as social media. In line with Indiegogo.com guidelines, artists have a set number of days to raise all the funds. Snow’s film has an 30-day fundraising window, from start to finish. Snow has allotted this amount of time to raise the $12,000 she needs to complete her film.

      When asked about why Indiegogo.com was appealing, Snow noted, "it’s a great community builder and helps me spread the word and update people easily. Having personally invested heavily in this project, it gives others the ability to help. The site is invaluable to my project. "

      Snow’s film, World Wide Circus, examines circus culture worldwide and focuses on the annual Monte Carlo International Circus Festival. In addition to covering the history of the circus, including well known circuses like Ringling Bros., Cirque du Soleil, and The Big Apple Circus, Snow followed five individual performers around Europe to understand what different lives these performers live and how their passions affect their journeys in this world. A feature-length documentary, World Wide Circus uses stylized interview portraits of performers to tell a universal story about life's most important lessons. Thematically organized around life lessons that reflect a wide range of human emotion and experience, the film seeks to reveal a larger more complex portrait of our shared humanity.

      Over 200 hours of footage has already been captured and now Snow is looking to raise funds to continue the editing work of Emmy Award and Academy Award winning editor, Emma Morris. The $12,000 that Snow hopes to raise from this campaign should see the process through the final edit. If the film is successfully funded, Snow expects to deliver the final cut before the end of the year. To learn more about the film, readers can visit the project's pitch page here:


      About Angela Snow: NYC based Angela Snow directed her first short films while a student at Columbia college in Chicago. Snow
 has worked on numerous projects as well freelancing on various commercial and reality television productions, including an intimate internship with documentary master Ken Burns. Her productions have won prizes in festivals in Los Angeles, St Louis, and Humboldt Park.

    • E-Newsletter - Update 8 - Editing

      The end is in sight! Editing has begun and it feels great.
      Check out the big updates below...and see the next steps, as there are always next steps!

      Become a FAN of the film on FACEBOOK. Follow the film on TWITTER. Check out the new WEBSITE. Spread the word.
      30 days to raise $12,000 - VISIT World Circus Culture on Indiegogo (see the new video!)


      Editor hired & editing has STARTED: I've always said I wanted to "do this film right" and that meant hiring a talented editor - so I did.
        • Emma Morris has won an Emmy for editing. Her work has also won an Academy Award and been an Official Selection at Sundance winning the audience award and the Filmmakers Trophy.
        • She has spent a month editing and funds are in place for 2 months of editing, thanks to recent donations.
      Filming is DONE after 3 final interviews:
        • July 13th in New York City- Paul Binder, Founder of the Big Apple Circus.
        • September 19th in Peru - in a village in the jungle of Peru, we filmed a small Circus and its owner.
        • December 12th in Tampa, Florida- Kenneth Feld & Family, owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
      Screening in Monte Carlo:
        • A 10min clip of the film screened Friday, 1/20 during the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, thanks to the World Circus Federation.

      Finalist in $5,000 pitch:

      30 days to raise $12,000
      (see the new video!)

      In order to keep editing and work with the award winning editor, to make this an award winning film....we need more money! So I've started an Indiegogo campaign where I have 30 days to raise $12,000. I am reaching out to the circus community that has began following this film as well as to other networks.

      A lot of you have been following updates on this film from the beginning and have supported it along the way, and I thank you so much. I ask you now to help spread the word, you never know who will be interested in supporting the film, I've had many surprises in the past with donations that proves just this!

      In this day and age, filmmaking has become even more of a collaborative effort....which just means you get to be a part of making a film!


    • Who & Where - 2 months of filming
      Thought I would share a list of all the locations we visited and interviews we conducted while filming. Impossible to get everything, but we certainly did our best in two months!
      (in no particular order)

      Monte Carlo
      • The Circus Festival
      • We filmed in London at Circus Space, the only Circus University in England.
      • Martin Lacey Jr. is originally from there
      • Filmed at Circus Ahoy with Roland & Petra Duss
      • Filmed at the Italian Historical Circus Documentation Center
      • Interviewed Antonio Giarola, head of the Documentation Center
      • Interviewed Francesco Mocellin - President of Circus Friends Association (Club Amici del Circo) & member of Commission at Ministry of Culture for Circuses
      • Filmed at Circus Academy in Verona, Italy (a circus school for circus family kids) & Interviewed Mr. Andrea Togni, Director.
      • Interviewed Valeri Fratellini (daughter of the famous female clown Annie Fratellini)
      • Filmed at the famous L'Académie Fratellini
      • Filmed at Cirque Phenix show in Paris
      • Interviewed Pascal Jacob, artistic director of Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain & Cirque Phenix
      • We can obtain footage of acts at the Festival Mondial
      • Filmed at Cirque D'Hiver in Paris - filmed a show and the beautiful building
      • Interviewed Francesco Bouglione (owner of Cirque D'Hiver)
      • Martin Lacey Jr. adopted home - Gold Clown winner & with Circus Krone
      • Filmed & Interviewed performers at the Krystall Palast Variety Theater Show in Leipzig.
      • Filmed Rob at Roncalli Circus - Essen
      • Film Troupe Yakubov at Circus Probst - Gelsenkirchen
      • Filmed Martin Lacey Jr. at Stuttgart Winter Circus – Stuttgart
      • Filmed Cirque du Soleil Troupe rehearsal
      • Filmed TOTEM Cirque du Soleil show
      • Interviewed Carmen Ruest, Director of Creation at Cirque du Soleil
      United States (filming soon)
      • Interview Kenneth Feld – Ringling Brothers Circus owner
      • Interview Paul Binder – Big Apple Circus founder
      • Interview Circus Historian
    • a blog per requests! - CLOWNS & HORSES
      I asked what people would like to hear about more on the blog and I got "Clowns" and "Horses" as answers, so here is a blog on stories about both from our Europe circus filming adventures.

      The main clown of our filming, of course, was Rob Torres, who competed in Monte Carlo, and next year will be with the Big Apple Circus. We met Rob in Essen at the Roncalli dinner theater, where he always called it a successful night when he could cause someone to run to the bathroom as they tried not to pee their pants.
      When we asked Rob to define his clown character he responded, "Define the character?…. The character is humanity."
      We spent a day in Germany with Rob and followed him as he met up with old friends he knew from performing in Canada. The two friends worked in a workshop space (an old barn on a farm) on a new act. The day was full of non-stop gags full of puns and jokes.... laying eggs, fart machines, fake dog poop...basically, lesson learned, clowns are clowns outside the ring as well.

      Another clown we interviewed was Caroline Simonds, aka Dr. Girafe. I wanted to interview her because it's a different side of clowning and interaction with the "general world". She basically started Clown Care in hospitals in France after working with the Big Apple Clown Care unit in New York. She is now the Artistic Director of Le Rire Médecin centered in Paris, France. But before all this, she fought the idea of becoming a clown, she wanted to be "serious", but for some reason it just kept coming back.
      A quote from an article on Caroline:
      "The clown for me is my medium. It is a ‘Here and now’ state of being - it is not a ‘yesterday or tomorrow’ one. I will never give up the clowning. It is my true form of expression, my art.


      In Monte Carlo, we tried to interview as many performers as possible. We were fascinated by the story of the horse act from Kyrgystan -Eshimbekov Troupe, who ended up winning a Silver Clown. Pulling Abdynaly, one of the leaders, aside for a moment we heard of the troupe's years and years of dreams to come compete in Monte Carlo. Abdynaly spent most of the festival limping around on a hurt foot, and had also suffered a major shoulder injury during one of the rehearsals. He said a shot from the hospital would keep him in the ring during performances and after hours a bottle of vodka. We had not seen their act yet, as we were always back stage, but one day near the end of our time in Monaco, we had a chance to sit in the audience and our jaws dropped during their act. With high speed galloping horses performers were dragged behind, flipped on and off, crawled under the bellies, and pyramids were created on the horses. Abdynaly was the bottom man on a tower of people jumping on and off galloping horses as they raced around the ring. We had never imagined his shoulder would have to take so much pounding in a horse act and were awed by the appearance of perfect health after what we had seen backstage. After each show we watched the horses and riders cool off, both human and animal's sides heaving to catch their breath and sweat dripping.
      I (Angela - Director / Producer) spent one night and two over 20hour days in Montreal Canada. This two day reminder of what life was like on the road filming in Europe made me ask, how did we survive two months of no sleep, few meals, and non stop activity? I really don't know, but damn is it fun!

      The trip to Montreal was for two purposes, to follow up with
      the Russian Bar act we followed at the Monte Carlo Festival and to present to and meet with the World Circus Federation. The Federation has be absolutely crucial with helping to gain access for filming and it was wonderful to meet many familiar faces I had met and interviewed while in Europe.

      You can see what the Federation is all about by visiting their WEBSITE.

      We followed the Alegria Russian Bar Cirque du Soleil act closely at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival in January, but was not able to visit them before the competition like we did the other four acts we followed. I decided to make the trip to Montreal to follow up with the troupe with the understanding of the importance of Cirque du Soleil's place in the world of circus. You can't have a film without them, plus this is quite an extraordinary act. And I have to mention, I didn't to want waste my months and months of emails with many different people and departments at Cirque in order to get permission to film this act.

      We also interviewed Carmen Ruest, Director of Creation at Cirque du Soleil, who has been with the company since the start!

      If you haven't watched the "Meet the Acts" video where you can see the Russian Bar Troupe in action, do so!
      It is a jaw dropping and breathtaking act lead by Aleksander Dobrynin, who developed Russian Bar in 1977. Two of his sons are flyers in the act. Nikita is the 15 year-old son who was literally born into the act. Alegria has been an over 15 year running show, which this troupe has been traveling and performing with from the beginning. At the age of seven Nikita began performing. Now, although he loves the travel of circus and the calming feel of flying, he says he want to go into computer engineering. Talk about a change in life style!
      Tamir, known as the biggest in the
      troupe is a porter (who holds one side of the bar, which catches the flyer). He is originally from a circus family in Mongolia and has been with the Troupe from the beginning. Tamir admitted in his interview that he holds life and death in his hands everyday as Nikita flies above him needing to land back on the skinny bar he holds, but he smiles and says the smiles, applause, entertainment and wonder he gives the audience makes up for this.
      We met the troupe for interviews in the rehearsal tent behind the big top for the new show TOTEM (A great technologically advanced and costume spectacular show). We got a backstage tour and then later were able to see the show. You would think maybe after 2 months of circus I would have seen what could be seen, but circus NEVER stops amazing you. One act with two roller skaters, began with moves which reminded me of figure skating. The guy would skate in a tight circle while lifting the woman into the air as she flew out vertically. And then you realize they are on a TINY circular podium of sorts, not in a huge ice rink, and unlike in figure skating where they do one maybe two circulations, these two fly around maybe 30 times in a row! Some acts I'm not even sure how to describe and their origins can be lead back to such explanations as Aleksander's to how he invented Russian Bar, "I decided I wanted to do something weird, something different than just a trampoline act."

      I hope the film can capture both the reality of the the behind the scenes life as well as the magic and art center ring.
    • CHAPITEAU.DE 1st ARTICLE, the English version!
      The online circus magazine Chapiteau.de in Germany is publishing a series of articles on the film. They translate it to German, so here is the English version.

      Check it out on the site....IT LOOKS GREAT ON THEIR SITE WITH PHOTOS!

      Introducing “World Circus Culture,” A Feature Documentary
      By Jessica Stewart
      Photos by Ian Issitt

      With over one hundred hours of filmed footage, the feature documentary, “World Circus Culture”, will reveal the realities of circus life on an international scale. Four acts, including Troupe Yakubov, the strap act from Kazakhstan, The Duss Family Sea Lions, Martin Lacey Jr., the lion act, and Rob Torres, the American clown, were interviewed and followed as each prepared for and competed at the 34th Annual International Monte Carlo Circus Festival. A fifth act, Barre Russe, performed and represented Cirque du Soleil for the first time at the festival, and will be filmed in more depth this May in Montreal. Filmmaker Angela Snow and Cinematographer Ian Issitt filmed and experienced firsthand the splendid personalities of these acts and awe-inspiring spectacles of circus culture, history, and artistic expression.
      Rehearsing through grueling last minute sword choreography and strap acrobatic training in Gelsenkirchen, Troupe Yakubov proves that language is no barrier in circus. Several Chinese-speaking performers had recently joined this Russian-speaking act from Kazakhstan, making communication seemingly difficult. With strong leaders determined to train the new members, the troupe’s sincere respect and trust for one another proves to be what holds this flying act together. When asked how the group communicates their response was simply, “It’s circus.”

      Communicating in six different languages is the Duss Family Sea Lions, who performed at Circus Ahoy in Rotterdam prior to the Monte Carlo festival. With Roland’s humor and Petra’s tenacity, these trainers care about their four sea lions like parents, as their lifestyle is like that of any family. Eating together, causing mischief, laughing, and experiencing frustration is a typical occurrence, whether it is Tino spraying Roland with water or Charlie jumping out of the pool racing to the ring to perform.

      Always ready for the spotlight, Martin Lacey Jr. creates a spectacle wherever he travels, with his sixteen lions, cages, trailers and police escort. With an explosive act, including a man resembling Elvis standing upon a disco ball, and “twelve plus one” lions, (considering any mention of thirteen is unlucky), Martin takes lion taming to a remarkable level of precision and theatrics. Beyond the performance, Martin states this is his life and not just his job, as he has even taken a sleeping bag into his largest male lion, King Tonga’s cage.
      Circus wouldn’t be complete without a clown to resurrect our childlike nature and cause audience members in Essen to laugh so intensely they near wet themselves. Despite performing as a lone figure competing against the spectacle of Martin Lacey Jr., Rob Torres does not let that stand in the way of his dream to compete in Monte Carlo, as laughs can be heard far outside the venues he visits. Rob allows all of us to temporarily step outside of ourselves and enter into a world of absurd fun.

      The Barre Russe Cirque du Soleil act presented a new variation on Russian Bar, led by Aleksander Dobrynin who developed it in 1977. Cirque’s innovative performance involves three bars and two or three flyers flipping through the air, often as many as 12 times in a row, each time landing back on the bar held by porters. Incredibly complex, yet appearing effortless, this act pushes the boundaries of classical circus.

      These acts had high hopes of winning the esteemed Golden Clown award. Rehearsals, personal reflections, preparing equipment, and getting pictures taken were all a part of the suspense leading to the main event. Despite such high stakes, this did not prevent the display of existing friendships like that of Martin Lacey Jr. and Roland of the Duss Family Sea Lions. Upon seeing Roland, Martin embraced him as he joked of feeding the sea lions to his lions. However, once these acts enter the ring the competition begins, all friendships are set aside, and the fight for the gold begins. With five phenomenal performances, three of which won an award for their excellence, the Golden Clown was finally announced and presented to the fearless Martin Lacey Jr. who continues to stun audiences with his dramatic spectacles.

      For more information, visit www.TotheMoonProductions.com/worldcircus.
    • the FILMING SIDE

      Most my posts are a lot about circus, which of course isn't a problem, but I thought I would write a little note just about the filmmaking side of things. Hopefully this will give you a glimpse into the process.

      The process of Pre-Production / Producing the film started well over two years ago, well actually, it was developed back in 2006. I'll keep this short, but the logistics and permissions were not easy to come by. Mainly just lots of people involved that all have to get their bosses bosses to say OK. Around Christmas 2008, I made contact with the World Circus Federation, through a circus friend. It took over a year, but with their help we secured all permissions needed, and Christmas 2009 we were sitting in a trailer on a circus backlit in Holland listening to sea lions bark.

      • A MONTH BEFORE WE LEFT I got permission from the Festival, I knew it was a go - or almost. I literally bought Ian and my ticket to Europe without having permission from all the acts or even knowing where they were in Europe, I just had to trust and know IT WAS HAPPENING.

      • Each step is really 20. Tracking down the acts was not easy, they're performing all over the world, and some don't even speak English. Just a week before we left things were falling through, the circuses where acts were performing didn't want filming on their property. Then, in a five-minute period just before we left, I got permission from the circuses and from Cirque du Soleil (a five tier and many month processes for permission). PHEW, best five minutes ever!

      • ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE. I decided an important, even crucial, filming component was making stops at circus schools, historical societies, fan clubs, etc. All of a sudden London and Italy were added to the map and there was no longer a fear of too much down time, now I had no idea how we would get from Paris to Italy in half a day in order to allow enough time to film.

      Tape stock, hard drives, extra batteries, sound equipment, borrowing of lights from good people, printing stacks of release forms and contracts and throwing in a few clothes, we crossed our fingers we didn’t miss anything
      • Two sunrises and two sunsets got me from LA, stopping in Chicago to meet Ian, landing in Paris, and driving through Belgium into Germany on the hunt for a our first hotel and a much needed night of sleep.

      • DAYS OFF. Ian and I joked (in that, “Oh, this isn’t a joke but we have to deal with it” way) our only days off were spent driving 7 hours, always getting lost, always arriving to a dark to unknown cities with signs in another language with no fancy GPS phones to lead us to our next home - our next hotel.

      • Our #1 rule (actually rule #0) was always bring the camera - you never know what there will be to film, I’ve learned that the hard way. Ian always had his camera on his shoulder running around, with what I can only assume was an ever growing right arm muscle, and I had my camera plus a large bag full of binders of paperwork and notes and maps, plus extra tapes, batteries, food, water....
      • We were on our feet all day, in all conditions, and Ian's boots did not pass the test, luckily he did. He went through about five bottles of supper glue and at one point the entire sole of his boot became a flap that could be bent back entirely. Oh supper glue, how good you are.

      • what you are filming and are YOU allowed? is the question asked if you have a professional camera. This is especially hard when you're in a foreign country. In Monte Carlo, we discovered Monaco is privately owned and EXTREMELY well policed, meaning hard to film.
      • OUR SCHEDULE was we usually got up around 8am, or earlier, and our days were non-stop, often forgetting lunch (bring power bars!) ending past midnight. We ended collapsed on beds and then sessions of answering my piles of emails that had come in during the day. OFFICE HOURS 12AM-3AM. Also, each night we had to transfer footage to the computer, often we barely had time for the transfer, we had to wake back up for more filming. 3 hours isn’t enough!

      • Producing and scheduling and booking hotels and interviews didn't stop when I left the states, I still had many holes to fill and people to follow up with. Ian always said he felt best after an interview, he felt accomplished and that all my emails had paid off. It was true and good to have that nagging optimism next to me

      • We got to Monte Carlo exactly half way into our travels. Once there, I had to constantly pinch myself as a reminder that "this was it" this was what everyone was waiting for. The greatest feeling was standing outside the tent doors as people in costumes ran in and out in the adrenalin rush right before a show. I could see flashes of Ian backstage, behind the curtain, running around after our performers, capturing moments that I could hardly imagine and that I knew I would eventually get to see along with the rest of the world.

      • We shot over 100 hours of footage.


      -->Let the editing begin! We still have some filming to do in Canada & the United States, but editing has begun. (Don't forget funds are still needed to complete the film! You can help & DONATE!)

      In Los Angeles, I am compiling notes and transcribing all the main interviews we conducted while filming in Europe. I thought I would pull some of my favorite quotes from the interviews to share. We did many, MANY interviews, but here are quotes from the ones I have transcribed to date. More to come!

      ENJOY! Spread the word. Support the film.

      TIM ROBERTS - Director at Circus Space in London & President of the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC)

      “I was just reading something about people’s pre-occupation with falling and how it’s one of people’s greatest fears. In circus arts, we’ve turned falling into an art form….and it’s still speaking about something quite important of the human condition.”

      “France recognizes a circus performer as an artist in society, as an actual profession. Where as, in English speaking countries I think it’s hard for them to accept that an artist is actually a job. How many times is an artist asked, “This must be really fun, what do you do for a living?” Well, we all accept the fact that movie actors do that for a living ….and if they didn’t do that it would be a very sad world indeed.”

      “I think symbolically circus marginalized itself by setting itself in fields, outside of towns… I think if you’re not there in front of people’s noses, you’re just there for a week and you’re gone, just mud and holes left, then you say, why would a government recognize it as an art form if no one can actually put their finger on it.”

      MARTIN LACEY JR. – Lion Act, England / Germany

      “To do it properly, it’s a lot of hard work, because basically what you see in the show is about 10 minutes and outside it’s all day. You have to be there for the animals and to take care of them; they’re like family. It’s not a job, it’s a way of life.”

      “I’ve learned a lot with the experience of the animals, and also with having young animals in the number, before I had all professional lions and now I have semi professional and professional. So, I have to really help them, I have to be there for them and give them confidence to do the act properly.”

      “I’m not scared of the lions, I respect them, I know what they can do. I know they’re a perfect killing machine, I know they can break an antelope’s neck with one blow of their paw. So, I know I don’t have a chance with the lions, so I don’t really think like that when I walk into the cage.”

      ROB TORRES – Clown, United States

      “I’m going to do a whole lot of nothing and try to generate as much out of that as far as laughter and silliness goes…And just have fun, and forget what position or status we have and anything else that is going on in our lives outside that particular circus and that show.”

      “For the most part in the US the term clown…it’s derogatory, if I’m a clown, then I work for birthday parties, doing this… It’s an easy job for people that have nothing else in America and its something that takes work and it is an art form here in Europe.”

      "The first step is you’re willing to recognize that you think differently than I do, and you're willing to get over those things. Then, find a way to enjoy life together. We have these borders that we’ve created with countries, and the idea that it’s not possible to work together, and circus proves, no, it is possible."

      We have returned to the U. S. of A. Culture shock is always worse on the return…plus recuperating, wrapping up production, and missing the Circus days. Back to reality? No thanks!

      I really couldn’t have asked for a better trip. We ended our trip in Paris and attended the World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow (FESTIVAL MONDIAL DU CIRQUE DE DEMAIN). Quite a different festival than Monte Carlo – the Sundance of the circus world – a younger crowd and less traditional. Great to run into many of the faces we had seen on our travels, really made me realize how deep into the circus world we had manage to dive in just two months. It was also great to experience the festival & Paris with my inspiration for this project, my Auntie Karen Gersch.

      This is my dream project, my biggest project, and some how I really think we've captured this world. I really think it will open many eyes.

      I will leave you with some of Ian and my notes from our travels. These rules stuck with us the whole trip and were often referenced along the way.



      #0. Always bring the camera. Always.

      Never turn when you want to (when driving).
      Instinct is the best way to live your life, EXCEPT when you're lost on the road in a foreign country. Just wait, because impulse does not translate.

      #2. It always works out.
      In a bind? No matter where you are, what language you speak, or how bad it seems, there will be a solution to land in your lap.

      #3. Ausfahrt. A driving tip.

      Ausfahrting is serious business. Ausfahrt only when you really need to. Don’t Ausfahrt too early, it can be really embarrassing, so if you accidentally Ausfahrt, it is polite to apologize and turn around. But if you intend to Ausfahrt, do, 'cause if you miss your chance there may not be another for miles.

      #4. Zentrum

      No matter where you are in a German town, there are endless "Zentrum" signs. They're EVERYWHERE. Should you follow them? That is up to you. Do you seek the Zentrum? If so, keep faith, NEVER stray, and follow them at every turn. If you do NOT seek the Zentrum, avoid at all cost!!

      #5. Always look around the corner.

      Do you really want to eat at Pepe’s Mexican food? Do you really think that ugly parking structure is nothing? Well you better go find out, ‘cause chances are everything you ever wanted is just around that corner. Looking for socks, Gluhwein, a Weihnachtsmarkt, new shoes, a grocery store or the best mac and cheese ever? It’s all there.

      #6. Left Left Left Left Left Left
      A rule for driving in England.

      #7. Third time's the charm.
      In Paris 3 tries should be expected to get on the right road.

      #8. Angela is always right.

      Muahaha. Fine, while this rule is obviously true, and was used as a quick reference # in arguments, in reality without Ian to prove wrong and challenge my stupid ideas & moods, this film and these travels would be nothing. :o)

      The awards were announced at a private dinner with the Prince and Princess of Monaco where sequined dresses and champagne were abundant. Ian and I were invited to attend and we were lucky enough to be able to film. The formal awards are presented at the Gala show in the tent the next night, but the dinner party is where performers hear the results for the first time and the reactions were PRICELESS!

      3 of our 5 acts WON BIG, including the GOLDEN CLOWN. Two silvers and one gold. Pretty amazing.

      Now it's off to Paris for 3 days of interviews and to see the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain. Then "home" on Feb. 1st, where it will be back to reality, editing, and whatever the future holds.

      ALSO -
      lots of NEW PHOTOS on facebook (click link)
      and NEW VIDEO (click link)
      Enjoy & pass along!
      PHEW. What a day for everyone. After 16 hours on our feet, 6 tapes, two 32 GB cards, and all our camera batteries the first show / competition of the 34th Monte Carlo Festival was over. It seems like a massive amount of footage - well it is - but we have to remember we were following five different acts, five different stories. And two of the acts have troups of over 10 members. We need more cameras, more people, more feet and shoulders to replace our hurting ones, but I think we did it. Then we got home and had to transfer all the footage to storage so we can erase and start over again tomorrow. I love when my phone tells me "alarm will go off in 3hrs".

      The next night -tonight - Friday -we were able to watch the show, because "program B" (there are 2 programs) doesn't have all of our acts in it. Quite an amazing show, about 3 acts got standing ovations and the crowed stood and clapped for almost 5min after the 4 1/2 hour show was over.

      I also witnessed this event today as Ian and I stood by the lion cages chatting with Rob Torres, the American clown, he was in his street clothes-
      A teenager with his mother walked up and interrupted "Mr. Torres, I just wanted to say hi and meet you, can I take your picture?" The boy was from Finland and was in town with his family for the Festival.

      We've made it to THE event - what its all about. Can't get much more circus than this and some how we've landed in the middle of it, doors wide open to our cameras.

      The permanent circus tent of the Monte Carlo Circus Festival sits in a park, castle to one side, sea in front, and cliffs behind.

      It is just wonderful to show up and see all the friends we've made on our tour of Europe this past month - and Day One of Festival filming was exactly a month into this adventure. Crazy to think back to Day One in Germany.

      We watched the clowns file out today for a photo opp with the Princess of Monaco. About 15 cameras flashed away as the sea lions smiled and the 4 clowns posed. Quite an event and it hasn't even started.

      Got some great interviews in Verona -

      The Verona circus documentation center. So many old books and posters!

      Interview with the President of the Circus Friends Association (Club Amici Del Circo) and member of the Commission at Ministery of Culture for Circusses.

      Filmed and interviewed at the Verona circus school. A boarding school for circus family kids ages 10-16. A very cool stop!

      We'll make the 4 1/2 hour drive to our apartment just outside of Monaco, which we will gladly call home for 2 1/2 weeks. Tomorrow we will meet Martin Lacey Jr. (Lion act) on the road with his trailers and 17 lions.

      We left Paris at 6am on the 6th to drive 10 hours to Verona Italy. Of course, it took us 45 minutes to find our way out of Paris, but once on the road the driving was clear with snowy mountains and
      endless castles as our entertainment.

      Margaret, an old friend, has joined us for a week of adventures. As a partial French speaker and good traveler she is a welcomed addition!

      We love Verona's cobble stoned streets and modern stores set inside century old buildings. I like that the language is close to Spanish, this is one country that if English doesn't work I can resort to Spanish and there is a chance they'll understand. Just add a big extra ooomph on any "e" or "o" with a hand gesture and you're good.A NEW ARTICLE was written on "Issitt" and "Snow" in REEL CHICAGO.com in the Indie Focus section. It is an online film magazine and a great article about the film!

    • NEW VIDEO - LIONS!!!!

      CLICK HERE! - New video.

      -Martin Lacey Jr., Stuttgart Germany 12/17/2009

      A little old in our travels, but finally found some time in Paris to edit something and get it up online. Of course, "finding time" means not sleeping, but who needs that thing?! Life is too exciting -- coffee, wine, cheese and bread will fix any lacking in sleep.

      Filmed the sunset over Paris today. Eiffel Tower and a golden ball. Hard to keep up with all the travels and what country we are in, but it was quite a sight to see.

      KEEP DONATING & SPREADING THE WORD! Money is on it's way!
      ?ui=2&view=att&th=125f1c13182bcf79&attid=0.1&disp=attd&realattid=ii_125f1c13182bcf79&zwWORLD CIRCUS CULTURE
      http://www.tothemoonproductions.com/worldcircus.html (FILM'S PAGE)

      Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and the start of a New Year full of everything you could ever want. I can’t imagine things much better. We have been to 5 countries and are only half done! Filming has met all dreams I had about the project. The people and stories are amazing and doors have been opened to us wherever we go.
      Follow us on our BLOG! http://worldcircusculture.blogspot.com/


      CLICK HERE -
      http://www.tothemoonproductions.com/circusdonate/ (new easy site)
      • Raised to date: about $2,700. MUCH more needed! Thank you so much for all the support, please help keep it coming!
      • Help us start the New Year with funding for the film! Donate $5 from your Christmas money or $100 from your holiday bonus. Everything counts!

      • We are filming at three circus schools in London, Paris, and Italy.
      • We are filming at one of the oldest perminent circus buildings in Paris - Cirque d'hiver
      • The New England Center for Circus Arts had a very nice write-up and link for the film in their January Newsletter.
      • FIRST VIDEO !!!- somehow we found time to edit a short video from some of the filming we have done so far.
      • PHOTOS have been uploaded to our facebook page - See US in action & all the ACTS - VISIT HERE
        Martin Lacey, Lion act – “It’s not a job, it’s my life.”
        Petra Duss, Sea Lion act – “I was a secretary and then met Roland and fell in love with him and the sea lions. I traded in my typewriter for a fish bucket.”
        Daughter in the Kazakhstan strap act – “Ok, I’m going to go fly now.”
        Rob Torres, American clown – “By being a clown, I never have to grow up"
        Tim Roberts, Director of Circus Space, London – “circus performers are metaphors for the human condition"

      Follow our travels with photos & stories on THE BLOG- http://worldcircusculture.blogspot.com/ ?ui=2&view=att&th=125f1afb89b5b036&attid=0.1&disp=attd&realattid=ii_125f1afb89b5b036&zw?ui=2&view=att&th=125f1b04e7adf005&attid=0.1&disp=attd&realattid=ii_125f1b04e7adf005&zw


      To unsubscribe to this "newsletter of sorts" reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

      *If this has been forwarded to you and you would like to sign up to receive this "newsletter of sorts" regularly - email tothemoonproductions@gmail.com or sign up on the website

    • NEWSLETTER 3 - IN EUROPE, VIDEO & Cirque du Soleil BIG NEWS
      Forgot to post this when I sent it....

      ?ui=2&view=att&th=12577a8750a36154&attid=0.1&disp=attd&realattid=ii_12577a8750a36154&zwWORLD CIRCUS CULTURE(FILM'S PAGE)

      We have arrived in EUROPE! Follow us on our BLOG for a NEW VIDEO & photos! http://worldcircusculture.blogspot.com/


      CLICK HERE -

      A NEW donation site. Much EASIER - payment method through credit card on Pay Pal or with a check.
      All still tax deductible & with rewards!

      Make checks out to our Fiscal Sponsor, Acrobrats, Inc. & reference "Documentary" on the “For” line. Send to:

      Acrobrats, Inc.
      P.O. Box 1970
      Madison Sq. Station
      New York, NY 10159

      • It's up to YOU! With being on the road I have to concentrate on filming and can't make my 100 calls a day for marketing and fundrasing, so I leave it in YOUR hands. PLEASE HELP. Don't procrastinate!
      • THE BIG EXCITING NEWS!! We have finally received permission to highlight and film an act from Cirque du Soleil that will be competing at the Festival. It's a stunning act & a really important name to have attached to the film.
      • Another NEW ACT is Troupe Yakubov from Kazakhstan. Just after they were accepted to the festival they have had to recruit 4 new performers from China. They are now frantically rehearsing, trying to make this new act as good as the one originally accepted.
      • New write-ups on the film - see CIRCUS HISTORICAL SITE and AMERICAN YOUTH CIRCUS

      • New countries! See updated MAP LINK Italy & Belgium have been added!!
      • While we're traveling I will update the BLOG as much as possible. Keep updated for notes on what town we're in, who we're filming, and PHOTOS & VIDEOS!
      THE BLOG- http://worldcircusculture.blogspot.com/


      *If this has been forwarded to you and you would like to sign up to receive this "newsletter of sorts" regularly - email tothemoonproductions@gmail.com or sign up on the website

      We're headed to the other side of the road. An interview in London and the New Year!

      Here are a few photos from our days in Holland with the Duss family Sea Lions.
      (a quick pull off the highway on leaving Germany landed us along this amazing and magic tree lined road)

      The number one thing I'm noticing on this circus discovery is how welcoming everyone is. Beyond welcoming....there just is no border between minute one friend and week long friend. This trip there is no time for "getting to know you", just a hand shake and then we follow our subject and new friend with a camera through their every step in life for a day or two. No one so far has blinked at what could be deemed an intrusion. Instead Ian and I are welcomed with tea and dinner.

      Merry Christmas.

      (from our Rotterdam hotel room with our tree)

      A strange one to be sure, but the Duss Family Sea Lions - Petra & Roland - invited us for dinner in their small trailer on the Rotterdam Circus back lot. We enjoyed pasta, wine, and good conversation with sea lions barking next door.

      A note for all visitors to the Netherlands:
      Beer = Bear. So, when you see a restaurant called "Bella Beer", it does not mean a restaurant with lots of beer. If you choose this for you dinner place (as Ian and I did Christmas eve) you have just chosen to eat at a child's themed bear restaurant. All food will come in bear shapes and you will be surrounded, wall to ceiling, with stuffed bears.

      Happy holidays to all!

      Still need to get us a present or feel like spreading good cheer?! Don't forget to DONATE!! http://www.tothemoonproductions.com/circusdonate/
    • LIONS
      We were welcomed into the trailer and life of Martin Lacey Jr., the lion trainer, yesterday. He travels with 17 lions and 12+1 of them (13 is unlucky) are in the show. Such huge, intelligent and beautiful animals. I don't think they could find such love anywhere else. As he says, "It's my life, not a job". He told the story of on one show the circus put him in a hotel too far away from his lions, so took a sleeping bag and slept in the cage with his largest white male lion, one he has had since a baby. He explains, if they are unable to be in the wild, the circus is a much better place for them than the zoo. Here they have something to do, they are intelligent animals and don't want to lay around all day bored.

      Today we complete the loop of Germany and head back to Essen for 4 days with Rob Torres, the American clown.

      We have stumbled upon some wonderful Christmas markets. Lots of lights, bratwurst, and hot wine on cobble stoned streets. With large snow flakes falling, it couldn't get much better.

      HERE IS A NEW VIDEO from a stop we made on the road driving from Essen to Liepzig.

      We're staying for three nights in Liepzig, a wonderful quaint and yet modern town. We arrived after dark Sunday due to getting lost, per usual. The cobble stone streets were FULL of people, but it sounded like the inside of a library. This town, even during the day, is full of people walking, biking, shopping and eating at the Christmas market, but still the calm quiet is consistent and...well... unusual (if we're comparing it to ANY U.S. town).

      Due to the amazing generosity of circus friends of friends and the Krystall Palast Theater, Ian and I are staying upstairs from the theater in a room along with the other artists in the show. It's a huge make-shift room with a small kitchen where the "stove" sits next to the box of a shower. But there's hot water, warm bed, and good people, what more could you ask for?

      The show - "Very British" - is great. It is a "Variete" dinner theater type setting with Circus acts from New York, Denmark, London, and Germany performing.

      Check out our first short video from our filming in Europe!


      This is Troupe Yakubov as they rehearsed at Circus Probst in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. We will follow them to the competition at the 34th Monte Carlo Circus Festival.

      Lesson from the beginning of the trip:
      1. Never turn when you want to (when driving)

      2. It always works out
      (Luck has been on our side. There have been a few bumps, as to be expected, such as the light bulbs for the lights we brought only being 120v and not the needed 240v. Now, where in Germany can we find speciality film equipment lights? The "helpful" front desk sent us to a Walgreens equivelant, not so much. So, we made some frantic calls and made a friend over the phone at a Lowel dealer in a town a few hours away. He checked for us, called me back (thank god my cell phone works) and will be shipping the lights we need to a friend of his in the next town we will be in. Lights in two days! Faster than shipping in the US. He laughed, "You were very lucky I answered the phone today, we are never open on Saturday." I said, "Well I'm glad I was lucky!". He simply responded, "Well it always works out, doesn't it."

      Yes, yes it does.

    A Snow has not set up a photo stream.