Title: Ceilingwards

Collaborators: Flying Colors Studios, consisting ofAriel Jones, Delesa Lara-Castro, Francis Tiffin, and Zanay Phillips

Overview: Lindsey and Sarah are both performers who have suffered from injuries that might hinder their performance in  the annual show that their circus puts on.

Intended audience: Kids of all ages with an interest in running away to join the circus.

Objective of Film: That through determination and perseverance  ones dreams cannot be hindered by mere bumps in the road.

Soundtrack: Sounds of people practicing (both failing and succeeding), original scores,


In the beginning, Sarah and Lindsey both describe how their injuries affected their regular maneuvers in circus while seeing flashbacks of how Lindsey and Sarah were before the injury onscreen. Specifically, the shots are of Sarah doing clowning and Lindsey doing headstands in front of a crowd.  One of the elements that will help describe this sequence are colorful pallets we show onscreen. Meaning, due to the rich colors within the flashbacks, you can tell that these years were important to both Sarah and Lindsey.

The quote that ends this beginning sequence is of Sarah saying that she felt “stuck.” And as soon as she says that the colorful richness fades away to black and white and greys, signifying that this moment may be their last golden moment in their career.

We begin the next part of the introduction by showing the primary location of this documentary, Kinetic Arts Center in Oakland CA. A montage of shots are seen. We are also presented with views of fellow circus performers going through their motions in rehearsal. All the while, we acknowledge Sarah Tiffin who is at this moment laying on the grown holding her back and observing others around doing their regular performances. Voiceover of Sarah begins at this moment. She introduces herself and informs us (the audience) that she is a circus performer who trains at the Kinetic Arts Center. She tells us of her beginning interest in circus and how she got to this point.

During the continued voiceover of Sarah, the viewer will see picture stills of Sarah before she was in circus and while she was in circus before the injury occurred.

Lindsey is introduced at this point by a continued voiceover from Sarah in respect to Lindsey. After this occurs, in comes a voiceover of Lindsey in respect to herself. Like Sarah, she describes her background, the nature of her injury, and how it initially affected her mentally.

Transitioning to another sequence, we view Sarah outside of the studio showing her MRIs. This takes place at her home where she is showing the anatomy of her injury. Sarah reveals that during one of her maneuvers, she injured her back severely. She describes how she felt the moment it happened and what she’s been doing to cope with the drastic change in her life and mental state.

After this sequence, we see them both practicing in the Kinetic Arts Center. Sarah is shown first stretching. Her instructor is Frances Tiffin who also happens to be her older sister. Sarah describes how the injury has affected her self-esteem along with her physical being and overall peace of mind.

Sarah’s voiceover is heard describing her thoughts, emotions, and worries. She describes her favorite part of the rehearsal, her toughest parts of the rehearsal, and how she makes through the day.

Lindsey’s voiceover is heard now. Similarly, she describes her routines and the positive and negative of them. Onscreen, we see her stretching, doing flips, and headstands. We even have her doing rehearsals along with Sarah for an upcoming show called Circomorph, which they will both be in.

In regards to the previous sequence described, the audio will include ambient sounds of the studio. We will hear the voices of students, instructors, and onscreen music coming from the speakers.

Next we see talking heads of Lindsey and Sarah in another office room. They describe their overall view of their progress in coping with the injury. They both give their analysis of each other and share the lessons they’ve learned during this whole process. They also give advice on how to cope and her through an injury or identity altering event.

In the end credits, both Lindsey and Sarah can be seen sharing a laugh during rehearsals. The sequence closes with a boy juggling as another person moves a block in front of camera. The screen fades to black.


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