Interview with Filmmaker Bryan Santiago (GRAFTON)

GRAFTON was awarded BEST THRILLER Film at the April 2021 THRILLER/SUSPENSE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I had a meeting with a potential manager and I told her I was working on a feature for years and years titled MIASM, and that we were so close to getting fully funded and then we didn’t. She asked me why I haven’t made a short, to which I gave a blank stare over the phone. That blank space was filled with an idea. Grafton.

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

That conversation with the manager was November 2019, I finished the script January 2020, and we were set to start shooting March 13th, 2020. But then COVID hit and it all got postpone. Luckily, we were able to shoot in Vermont (which has very low covid numbers) in late August and had post finished by December 2021. So it was a quick turn around!

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

Playful Nightmare

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

Covid

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

It was so exciting because up until that point I had had so few reactions from people I have not met.
It was so valuable to hear so many different perspectives from people who obviously love the art of filmmaking.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It was a combination of things. I had recently moved part time to Vermont from New York City and I found people’s generosity and kindness overwhelming, while simultaneously suspicious of it. The way the story was developed was partly a mix between my own life circumstances, my love of the original Twilight Zone, and the true story of Paula Weldon and her disappearance in an area called the Vermont Triangle located in the forgotten town of Glastonbury.

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

The Shining

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

I think it’s amazing honestly. Keeps everything organized and is great for discovering little known festivals I might not have known otherwise.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Vegan Tacos

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

I am working on creating Grafton the series (just finished the first draft of Episode #2) as well as trying to resurrect my feature film, MIASM. Can’t seem to let that one go!

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