The Landlord

The vanishing of a hotel employee prompts an emergency phone call, raising questions about a local woodsman.

After graduating from Virginia Tech in December, 2018, I went quick to work on my first feature-length project, A Story Revealed (2020). However, many months of editing quickly created fatigue, especially in conjunction with my concurrent obligations—working full-time, researching graduate schools, and auditing three cinema classes, courtesy of my generous professors. The Richmond 48 Hour Film Project provided a wonderful opportunity to return home for an extended weekend, forcing myself to break from my established routine, and once again enjoy the fresh spirits of a new adventure. A Grey World (2014) and Clock-Boy (2017) were produced for one-week competitions, but never before had I attempted to create a film, from start to finish, in merely two days. 

Jared Hottle and I created The Landlord for that very Richmond 48 Hour Film Project in July, 2019. Amidst several heat strokes and two sleepless nights, it was enjoyable work for everyone involved. The film was practically self-funded on a budget of roughly $300, utilizing most of my own personal equipment and props. In regards to location, The Landlord was filmed entirely in my hometown of Mechanicsville, Virginia, on a lot of land generously provided by some acquaintances. The idea spawned from our admittedly hasty attempt to write a story which fulfilled all of the following required elements of the competition. 

 

New to the experience, we ultimately tried our hand at crafting a script on the fly, within the time discipline, as opposed to molding a pre-planned story around the specific, required elements. In retrospect, this was not the smartest of moves with respect to the competition. We changed our ideas many times between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, leading to many laughs and much stress. Nevertheless, our choice certainly made for a worthwhile endeavor. The final product is prefaced with a disclaimer indicating that it was "mostly" completed within the time limit. This is to say that what you see underwent another hour or two of color-correction and technical edits, so to make it as presentable as possible. 

 

All in all, we're proud of our six minute horror short, which was written, shot, and edited by a two-man team, one summer weekend. We hope you enjoy too. 

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Crew

Directors

W. Trent Welstead

Jared Hottle

Writers

W. Trent Welstead

Jared Hottle

Producers

W. Trent Welstead

Jared Hottle

Photography

W. Trent Welstead

Jared Hottle

Taylor LaBrecque

Original Music

Nicholas Potthoff

Editor

W. Trent Welstead

Production Assistant

Taylor LaBrecque

Poster Designer

Jared Hottle

Cast

The Landlord

Jared Hottle

Kurt Sarmast

W. Trent Welstead

John Marsh (Voice)

Jared Hottle

Emergency Responder (Voice)

W. Trent Welstead

Stills

Production Photos