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Production Notes
by Madison Liane


"For Rent" began with the idea to make a film centering around the fallout shelter in my backyard, belovingly named 'the hatch'. It's ten feet in the ground, surrounded by three feet of concrete, complete with electricity, a water filtration system, air circulation and bunks for three. A really creepy hole in the ground. My wife still won't go down there, but I like to take friends down the first time they come over. A real novelty, a relic from the Cold War.

I knew I wanted to make a supernatural horror film because that's my favorite genre right now, and I hadn't made anything in that genre. I started the story with the ending: a guy goes down in the shelter and gets eaten by a demon. Then reverse engineered it from there. A new renter made sense because he has no idea what the hatch is. Then I got the idea of a demon living under the house that gives the landlord powers. In return, the landlord has to feed the demon every now and then. That was enough to flesh out the script.

I recruited Hunter (Carson), and had auditions for the landlord. I managed to get a fairly well known character actor to read for the part, but Bruce (Elliott) really nailed the mysterious and almost innocent aspect of the landlord. That was really important to me because I didn't want to give away that he was the bad guy until the very end. I got Michael (Piccola) on board to shoot it and that was about it. I rented a little dolly, bought some china balls and we shot it in a night. Post-production took a long time because I was trying to get everyone for free. I went through a few different composers and sound designers before finding Chris (Geracie) and Aaron (Fryklund). Both were an exact fit. Everyone I tried previously had plenty of talent, but I really clicked with them. They brought exactly what I had in mind for the score and the sounds design, so the process was well worth the wait.

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