Middlebury student film goes viral
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | February 25,2013
MIDDLEBURY — Bianca Giaever asked a 6-year-old if she knows a story she would like to see as a movie and her answer has “gone viral.”
Giaever, who recently graduated from Middlebury College, illustrated 6-year-old Asa Baker-Rouse’s answer in the eight-minute video “The Scared is scared” that she posted on the Vimeo multimedia sharing website three weeks ago. It has been viewed more than 750,000 times.
“It’s completely crazy; an amazing thing,” said Giaever, 22, during a phone interview Friday from Palestine.
The film starts with a conversation between Giaever and her storyteller and it quickly becomes a moving tale of a bear and a mouse, a poll, pizza, piano-shaped cookie and a message that seems to resonate.
Seattle native Giaever said the idea for the film came about while talking with her film professor last winter break. They came up with the idea to interview kids, specifically 6-year-olds, and create their “dream movie.”
“I started interviewing a bunch of kids in Middlebury,” she said. “The interview with Asa seemed to be the strongest.”
Giaever met with Asa through her professor, Jason Mittell, associate professor of American Students and Film and Media Culture at Middlebury. Asa is a friend of Mittell’s 6-year-old son.
Giaever said the film’s story line did not really come out while the pair did the interview, but once she got into the editing room and she listened to more than an hour of tape, she had her story.
“Once I had the seven-minute story, we started talking about how can we make it into a movie,” she said.
Getting actors was not difficult and the production of it was very fast, the filmmaker said.
“I wish I had more time on it, if I knew that so many people were going to watch,” she said. “Production was a week and a half, maybe two weeks.”
“The Scared is sacred” was completed two days before Giaever graduated from Middlebury and two days later it was uploaded onto Vimeo. The reception is something Giaever never thought possible.
“I had no idea,” she said. “I knew it was appealing ... but can you ever predict these things?”
Vimeo designated the film as a “staff pick” and has since been viewed more than 750,000 times. Along with it being widely shared through social media sites, the short film was has been written up by several online news sites including the Huffington Post, CBS News and USA Today.
Giaever said the comments and messages from people around the world have been incredibly positive. It has appealed to people because of its universal theme of leaving a place, being uncomfortable and figuring it out.
“There are a lot of universal themes,” Giaever said. “This message is very comforting — a simplistic view.”
She said the film has a child-like nostalgia and it helped that Asa was incredibly cute in his storytelling.
“The point of the story is that you don’t really want to go when something is closing cause then you will have to wait to go back there,” Asa said in the film.
Giaever said her plans for right now is to continue to travel and visit friends abroad, but when she returns in March, she hopes to continue to make films like “The Scared is scared.”
“I will definitely find a way to continue to make films based on the conversations I have with people,” she said. “It’s exciting.”
“The Scared is scared” can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/58659769.