Hobbyist, The. Entertaining Adaptation of Story by Fredric Brown
Hobbyist, The. Film Details
Director: George Vatistas
Fredric Brown (story)
Release Date: June 2016 (USA)* *IMDb
Film Festival Circulation
Release Format: TBD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Short, Crime, Mystery
Running Time: 9min
Social Networking: Facebook
A seemingly ordinary man seeks out a sagacious druggist in search of an undetectable poison, but winds up getting more than he bargained for.
The Hobbyist, produced by AireBedd Productions, is directed by George Vatistas and based on the suspenseful and clever short story of the same title, written in 1961 by renowned genre writer Fredric Brown.
The Hobbyist opens with a man, Sangstrom (played by Daniel Mitura) approaching a druggist (played by Robert W. Smith) inquiring about an undetectable poison. The inquiry is bold and immediately catches one’s interest.
As with most characters who are looking for poison, Sangstrom has ill intentions in mind for what he seeks. The story takes a clever, well-timed turn when Sangstrom realizes he may be in over his head, leading to a tense yet enjoyable standoff between the elderly, mysterious druggist and Sangstrom, the equally enigmatic customer.
Robert W. Smith captivates as the character of the Druggist. His performance lends a feel of mystery and fable to the entire film, and is inspired. Casting Director Kathleen Hanley and Director George Vatistas both deserve kudos for finding such an adept actor to bring this role to life. Smith expertly paces his lines, never rushing, which aids in the film’s delivery of suspense.
Daniel Mitura also does a great job as Sangstrom, conveying shifting emotions under the ever-changing circumstances. Mitura’s opening lines, intense and close-to-the-vest, are especially well-delivered and give the sense that Sangstrom means to use what he’s asking for, and without reservation.
The pacing of the film is spot-on. George Vatistas smartly takes his time in this adaptation of the ‘short short’ story of Fredric Brown. It’s clear that Vatistas knows how to create suspense.
Another aspect of this film which I enjoyed is the location and set design. The Druggist’s shop has a distinctly old-timey feel, cluttered with bottles, shelves, and papers, so well-conceived that I felt very much transported into another time and place. The production design is well-executed and enhances the story.
It’s no surprise that The Hobbyist has been screening frequently on the festival circuit and that it’s yielded several award wins, including Best Thriller/Action Short at GenreBlast Film Festival. It’s a very entertaining short film and makes me want to see what’s next for AireBedd Productions, producer David Munz-Maire, and Director George Vatistas.
You can find about upcoming screenings on The Hobbyist by following AireBedd Productions on Facebook.