Sunday, July 24, 2005
Leigh had paged me late last night (10:30pm), stating that my "one o'clock calltime" had been changed to 2:00pm.
I called her back to thank her for the update, as I'd not been told anything other than twelve noon.
So Sunday I arrived at Museum Square in front of the SAG offices by 1:40pm.
Clearly the crew had only just arrived themselves, and were setting up.
Chris later told me they'd run extremely late last night, so to avoid the turn around time, everything had had to be pushed.
Delaney and a few others erected a tent to shield craft services from the sun.
Apart from a goodly amount of soda, the craft services were even more meager than the first day on which I worked.
This makes sense under the presumption that if they had no budgetary resources to pay me for the third day, how could they afford munchies?
(At one point later during the afternoon, Natalie let me head over to the nearby Ralphs so I could get some munchies of my own I could eat.)
A new make-up girl was there today, the smilingly pleasant
who did my make-up shortly after doing make-up for David and David's wife
who is portraying Roger's ex-girlfriend Kate.
Cindy agreed I am not the first person to see a strong resemblence in her to Ashley Judd.
Later as we swapped On What We've Worked, she related how her First Job was as a waitress for
Eyes Wide Shut.
Wearing very comfy clothes, such as a white sleeveless tank-top, I was greeted by
the producer with whom I'd spoken on the phone while at the
He graciously and sincerely thanked me again for coming out today.
I stressed I'm committed to the project, my acting work ethic, et al, and he agreed he would count on me for future projects, including SAG mainstream projects for Day Player and higher credited contract roles.
He also agreed with my Long term Thinking; that once this film sells, I do get paid, for three SAG Day Player Contract Role days.
I learned Johnny would be the casual passer-by who notices Roger has had a bird dropping hit his jacket, and point out such as being good luck.
He changed into a snappy looking business suit, which (now covering his arms), almost belied how he obviously does a lot of working out.
Johnny's scene was shot first, as he had to leave early.
Once he was complete, Johnny provided me with his mailing location so I could mail him a copy of a DVD I could burn with my to-date aquired student films.
While he got I can do comedy all but second nature, he almost mischeivously suspected I could do Dark Roles, and I assured him that
in at least one of the shorts
on the DVD I would send him, I played the villain.
Curiously, despite the camera positioning for Johnny's walk-by could easily be the same angle for my walk-by, they spent the next sequence with David and Cindy (as Roger and Kate) with the young actor playing their son (who name I did not obtain, as again, no callsheet was provided me).
Some of this was delayed a few times due to the sun going behind an occasional stubborn cloud.
My own bit, which I guess could clarify as a pick-up shot as it was a single angle, took two takes.
Literally two to five minutes in front of the camera.
And I wasn't in front of the camera until 7:30pm...
During the long warm day (thank gods for a breeze), things got a little... weird.
For one thing I had noticed that throughout the day Delaney was not the happy person she'd been the previous two days on which I'd worked.
While I figured she was busy and/or the long schedule might be getting to her a bit, I literally only noticed her smile once the entire day, and that was to a set of people walking by who most likely had asked what was being filmed.
But when she'd arrived she acted as though I was invisible and never said hello.
And then later while I was reading, a few hours before I was needed, she sat down next to me and had paperwork for me.
"I already filled out the paperwork to reflect all three days," I pointed out, having done so on the first day downtown.
"Yeah well," she said with what almost seemed like a growl.
"As you wouldn't fill out these," she exagerated, referring to paperwork I had indeed already filled out, and properly so.
"You have to fill out this."
She handed me what suspiciously implied I was not a Day Player, which my role is (particularly if the feature is sold).
I could almost agree up to a point.
I did get a page from a Theresa at the project's payroll company,
but she gave a long distance number that I couldn't reach.
Expecting her to call again, I updated my outgoing message to include asking Theresa for A.R.T.'s hardcopy address, so I could forward to her clarifying documentation she hinted at needing (as apparently she couldn't understand and/or comprehend the concept of someone who's studied enough law as to assert his own rights).
I never heard back from her.
Before he had left, Johnny and I discussed that aspect, and he did state he saw check (or checks) made out, so I will (or should) be getting paid for the other two days.
Considering A.R.T. has no paperwork regarding me consenting to any withholding for my agreed-upon compensation of private labour, it should be interesting to see if Theresa lets the project pay me for the first two days, or whether A.R.T. would commit theft of service (they would, and did).
But now Johnny had left.
Had he been there I'd have inquired about it with him.
It did not directly state I was "atmosphere" or "background" or even "featured background."
I made sure I'd added the term Day Player at least twice in connection with my name, and with my regular legal name I use
Geoffrey Lawrence: Gould
and stressed that my Screen Credit Name being
and that (as a Day Player), I was playing Mr. Whitney.
As always, in case A Fast One was being pulled, I made sure (twice) to add the term
All Rights Reserved,
so as not to prejudice such rights, relying on the
California Commercial Code
(CCC § 1207),
(this private-sector work being done within the California state Republic an'all [not at all to be confused with the ficticious entity corporation/s named CA and/or STATE OF CALIFORNIA]...).
Without thinking, I handed the completed form to Delaney before asking her for a photocopy.
"We don't have the facilities to do that here," she said automatically, which at the time I believed, due to the outdoor location, and it being a Sunday.
I suggested the copy be mailed to me, and she muttered rather non committedly as she walked away from me.
No matter what word had come out of her mouth, the tone was clear: Don't Hold Your Breath.
This seemingly uncharacteristic attitude concerned me greatly.
When Delaney returned from handing in the form, I pointed out that as there was a Staples within walking distance, and that I certainly had time with which to do so, I could have it photocopied and they'd have the original and I would have my owed copy for my records.
Her faced filled with mysterious concern as she waffled about that being difficult or so.
I always wonder why people have such a problem simply doing what they're supposed to do: someone being deliberately obtuse just baffles me.
Why is it when something is to be done a certain way, more time is spent arguing why it can't be done, taking longer time than it would have taken just to do what should be done in the first place?
Delaney did suggest maybe I could talk to Her Producer about it.
"Which one?" I said politely and smiling.
I'd noted actually a few producers attached to the project (even beyond those I'd met), listed on callsheets that at least at which I could look.
she said simply.
She led me over to the street corner facing the La Brea Tar Pits, where a corner of the restaurant patio there was something of a paperwork HQ.
I was introduced to smiling Ian Bounds who pleasantly shook my hand.
He politely listened to my practical and helpful suggestion how to acquire my owed copy of my paperwork, and he seemed to become surprisingly evasive.
As I had time before I was needed, and more than enough time to get it copied and return, I was surprised that he suggested I wait until After They'd Filmed Me, at which time I could get my copy of the paperwork.
"Excellent!" I said, having acquired his Word I'd get what I should receive anyway and for which I shouldn't even have to ask.
And a person is only as good as their Word.
At 7:30pm, once I was done, I returned and Ian kept scooting back and forth to the location.
I had honourably brought over my blue bag to suggest it be "collateral" that I'd return the original form when suddenly I noticed something unsettling.
Right next to Ian was a functioning multi-purpose printer.
One that photocopies.
One that would have had my owed copy in my hands moments after Delaney had given the original to Ian.
It had been there before too but I was more focused on Ian than really looking at the printer, or I'd have pointed it out when he and I had first met.
Delaney had spoken so quickly that there was no way a copy could be made for me at this location, that I would err on giving her the benefit of the doubt she was not actually lying to my face: she may not have been aware of the printer, or that it could photocopy right here on the spot.
But why would Ian not correct me about my Staples suggestion, clarifying that once I was filmed he could photocopy the paperwork Right There and give it to me?
He actually had not said that he couldn't, but with my Staples suggestion, his glaring omission of the facts at hand were disquieting.
Ian did photocopy my paperwork and gave me my copy, immediately indicating how/that I "couldn't change anything," as though I would or that there would be any point to changing or altering a photocopy when they had the original anyway.
Perhaps this was first time doing this (filling a producer position)?
Maybe I was the only worker he'd ever met who is either professional and/or honourable (and Ian wasn't expecting honour and/or professionalism)?
Was Ian suggesting, hinting or warning that someone in production might at some point alter or change the original...?
As it was, I reassured Ian of the actual and true facts at hand: the paperwork copy is for my records, and Ian and I diplomatically concurred we were both Covering Things by his disclaimer and my having my owed copy.
I had already discussed my status with Johnny previously
(that if the project sells, I'd have three day's SAG pay
[not just two]
coming to me as a Day Player Contract Role),
so I chose not to add
that the paperwork copy is being retained to prove I had worked this day, in case (as he may have implied), anyone (in production) choses to... prevaricate...
(that if the feature sells),
that falsely I was only Featured Background or such this day (instead of still being the principal role of Mr. Whitney, finishing my scene)...
Fortunately, apart from the slightly odd taste that all that strange backstory intrigue left in my mouth, I am still quite honoured to have been a part of this project.
Chris Falk's vision and passion for this project is contagious.
He's calm, cool, collected (at least, I never saw him otherwise),and I see a good film making career ahead for him.
As David said his goodbyes and thanked me again for my coming in today, he told me my reaction for my shots were hilarious and spot on for the bit.
Chris assured me I would be invited to any and all Wide Awake screening(s) later that year or early 2006.