Interview with Filmmaker Grace Wagner & Lisbet Byler (AFRAID)

AFRAID was the winner of BEST FILM at the April 2020 Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Grace Wagner: We wanted to create a film that shows the anxiety and fear we feel doing everyday tasks, like when we are walking to our car alone at night. A fear that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took us about eight months from conception to final export.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Intrigue and fear.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle we faced was in post production. We wanted the film to be the best it could be so we really spent a lot of time in the post process trying to pick the “perfect” shots and nail down the audio.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

At first we were nervous about what the feedback would be, but as we were watching it we were so happy and thankful for everyone’s in-depth thoughts!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

We were at a film festival in our hometown Lancaster, PA. We had talked earlier in the day about walking back to the car garage together, which felt like a very normal thing to do. As we were walking to the garage we started talking about how scary it is when we’re walking anywhere alone especially at night. Even with the street lights there’s an inherent fear we have that someone is following us or something is going to happen. We swapped stories about what we do to protect ourselves (hold keys between fingers, have pepper spray out, holding a pocket knife in our hand, etc). By the time we were leaving the garage in our separate cars, we were on the phone talking about how this could be a short film and that was where the idea started!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Grace: Silence Of The Lambs
Lisbet: Pride and Prejudice

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings about the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s extremely simple and easy to use and navigate.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Grace: Sleep On The Floor by the Lumineers
Lisbet: My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit

10. What is next for you? A new film?

We have a few scripts we’re currently working on and are hoping to produce the scripts at some point in 2020!



By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: