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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
Arla: "Cow"
European-airing commercial

Saturday February 13, 2010
Shoot, day one
The previous day my calling service notified me that through Alice Ellis casting I was booked on a commercial filming Saturday with a Possible Recall for Sunday. I was notified in advance that being shot on a weekend that private-sector compensation for labour would be twice [background] scale.
I would be a "ranting guy," which was vague enough we weren't sure if that meant homeless, business or business casual (e.g., businessman who's lost his mind).
The information was emailed to me (via which I was to confirm, which I did), and the map indicated being base camp only a few blocks from my day-job. I brought with me both outfits: I wore my business outfit, and in my blue bag a casual/quasi-homeless'y out. Wardrobe loved what I was wearing; I didn't even need to show the ties. I had learned I would be "ranting on [a] cell phone," and my own cell phone was approved as my "prop."
Walking the two blocks from the 7th Street Metro Red Line Station I arrived at 6:20am for my 7:00am calltime. Breakfast was fantastic (far better than the on-time lunch which was so-so and far too "exotic" food prepared).
The friendly Jordan from Alice Ellis checked us in, as he did for the previous Alice Ellis gig I did. They first took about half of the many background via a shuttle to the location; the rest of us were brought over around 8:30, to Pico and Grand. Whilst waiting I spoke with Tracy Weisert, who is quite a working actress on her own.
Joining us was Stacey, who later I learned grew up in my home town, rather close to the original main school, now simply called Pequannock Valley Middle School (she was also kind enough to drive me home when we wrapped). Also on hand was the super pleasant male model Trevor Brunsink (whom I met when he and I worked on Born To Be a Star), plus G.P., former roommate of Tafan (and hence G.P. also being in Strictly Background at the time).
The commercial will air in Europe; the production company generally is London based. Even by the end of the day I was a little unclear as to the exact premise of the spot. It involves a boy either walking a pet cow, or a cow "stalking" the boy. I was not used during this sequence.
We broke on time for a half-hour lunch (1-1:30pm), after which we were shuttled to, of all places, Broadway and 7th. Predictably the downtown streets were packed with cars, and the sidewalks were jam-packed with shopping pedestrians, many of whom were rubber-neckers and "bogies," as the crew began to call them... those who would watch so close they would be too close to the shot's framing. Amusingly, the local Angelinos in the background were wondering in advance why use this intersection in the early afternoon on a Saturday (particularly the day before a Sunday Valentine's Day)... based on results the production apparently thought downtown on a weekend would not be as crowded as it is; most of the background concurred had they scheduled the same scene Sunday morning first thing, it'd virtually be a ghost town and crowd control would be super easy. For that sequence I was deep background, just street crossings.
We moved up to half a block north on Broadway, for which the boy with (and/or being followed by) the cow (of which there were two, being traded off when one seemed she needed a rest), notices himself and the cow on a big-screen TV at the doorway of an electronics store. For this Jordon and I crossed each other from opposite directions. I was cued by Giselle, the very pleasant 2nd AD. At one point this late in the day Jordan clarified with me whether I was available for the next day, which I was. When the light was gone enough and we were to be wrapped, Giselle recalled I was to have a bit ranting into my phone, and I was recalled for Sunday. Sadly, most of those there with whom I'd been chatting throughout the day were not recalled, but we did have two hour's [twice-scale] overtime.
Once back at home I found Alice Ellis's email waiting for me, with the next day's 7am calltime and new location information had arrived, and I confirmed before grabbing some dinner.

Sunday February 14, 2010
Valentine's Day... though more importantly: project shoot, day two
Due to Sunday's transit having even less early morning buses running, I had to leave extra early and arrive at 6am for my 7am calltime, this time north of the 7th Street Metro Red Line Station, up at Flower and 4th. The previous day's perfect breakfast was "balanced out" by the same order today being made okay, leaning closer towards mediocre.
There were only a handful of us from the day before; the new background this day included but were not limited to Melissa ["Mimi"] Miller, and her friend Caroline Fogarty, Abdul Reid, and the highly intelligent David Zimbeck.
I never did get to do the Ranting Man thing; again it was all sidewalk crossings and such, as well as approaching an intersection at which was a staged car accident. Just as overtime kicked in, we went to the second location under Hope Street, where there were more sidewalk walkings as the cow and the boy crossed the main street.
Even with Sunday's lunch being an hour (1-2pm), we made it to 2.25 hours overtime this time, which I was told (and I need to confirm this), that with commercials it's not calculated in quarter-hour time segments, but once into any next hour, it's OT for that full hour, which would mean two hours fifteen minutes would in fact be the equivalent as three full hours overtime.
While saying my thanks and good-byes, I asked Giselle if she knew the Arla website URL, or if it even has a website (she had no idea). The previous night I'd looked for it, but while search term Arla brought up tons of results, apparently nothing came up regarding any European dairy companies. Tough to promote'em with a link here if their site is too difficult to be found, if they even have a site...
I walked the few blocks back to the Red Line and was home 55 minutes after our sign-out time, confirming it probably might have been more practical the night before just to have taken the MTA to home.

Sunday June 19, 2011
Spot found
On Facebook I came across a site that I knew "collects" commercial ads from around the world. I went back to their main site and checked what commercials I might be missing to no avail. So I figured, check google, and there was the Arla spot. I looked at it carefully, it was obvious it was the spot on which I worked, and sure enough, I spotted me in two aspects (technically three): as the cow leaves the curb to cross the street I can be seen in the opposite direction alighting the curb, so for a moment I "block" the cow. Then as the boy and cow approach the camera, two men also walking the same direction, suddenly I am seen emerging from screen left to walk away from the camera, but still my profile is there. Finally, as the boy looks down at the car crash, I am seen as approaching: only my legs are visible, and I'm carrying the li'l briefcase.
For safekeeping, I saved it both as a Quicktime file, and as a Windows Media Player file.

Frame grabs: click on image for full size.
Arla commercial ''Cow''
Stepping up onto curb,
just next to cow.
Arla commercial ''Cow''
Entering from left
behind blue shirt guy,
my hands in pockets.
Arla commercial ''Cow''
Top right of frame, my legs making it in.

Arlaź Biologische Melk Commercial (YouTube)
(Quicktime); (Windows Media Player)

Title role in holding for Arla commercial ''Cow'' On location on Broadway, downtown Los Angeles, for European Arla commercial ''Cow'' Making sure passing civilians don't touch/startle the cow as they're cleared to walk by
"Okay, nothing to see here..."
Arla commercial ''Cow'' Geoffrey Gould in Arla commercial ''Cow''
Melissa ''Mimi'' Miller of Arla commercial ''Cow''
Melissa "Mimi" Miller
(cropped out is her friend,
who feared people might
see her face...)
Sunday morning on Arla commercial ''Cow'' Arla commercial ''Cow'' Geoffrey Gould in Arla commercial ''Cow:'' Moo.

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