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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
Double Twin
ESPN Promo spot

Sunday October 24, 2010
Standing for over nine glorious hours
A few months earlier I renewed with Atmosphere Casting, which does a lot of commercial background work. In mid-October I got a call from them regarding my availability with possibly two-day work on a Minute Maid spot but sadly the second of the two days I had a committment. Thankfully they called again, this time for an ESPN promo spot.
While at the DGA waiting to see a screening of the just-released Hereafter, I called the recorded info hotline Saturday afternoon and learned it was in Carson at the Hope Depot Stadium and that my calltime was 7am. Having previously managed to get to a 6am calltime in whittier, I suspected I'd be able to pull off this as well.
Once home I was able to deduce that I could get there by 6:35am if all went well. Sunday I awoke at 3:25am, showered and walked the dog, and headed over and caught the local bus at 4:15, getting me to the Red Line, and getting off at the 7th Street Station, where I had to wait nearly fifty minutes for the first bus to Carson departing at 5:47am. I ended up walking to 7th at Spring, as notices indicated there be no bus service at the 7th and Flower stop between 6am to around 1:30pm, and while 5:47am is before 6am, this was the MTA which easily could "neglect" to take twelve minutes into account, and start the line several blocks away. Either way the bus arrived and off I went, arriving at Avalon and Victoria at 6:35.
The hotline provided the stadium address on Avalon, but parking was Gate D, and the hotline gave no indication as to where that was located. It was on Victoria... I found a security guard who thankfull knew where was the production, on the other side of the stadium. Noting the blood-red morning clouds as the sun began to near the horizon, I foot-ran the perimeter and managed to arrive still a few minutes before the 7am calltime.
The hotline had clarified I was playing a tennis match Line Judge, and that wardrobe would be provided. The production's PAs seemed to be unclear about how specific was this instruction, but eventually I was shown where was wardrobe, and they were happy to see me. I was done up "head to toe," as they said: black cap, blue spandex-like shirt under a dark zipped-up jacket, dark sweat pants of sorts, small white athletic socks (which at the end of day I was allowed to keep), and white sneakers.
No breakfast was provided, but we were warned that in advance. At first I was under the impression this was to be an AFTRA shoot, but it turned out to be SAG promo rates, which for SAG was a hiccough higher than movie/TV background rate, but it was strongly indicated this might be for twelve hours, and while we wrapped at 5:30pm (even though some of us got our paperwork at 5:40pm), the ninety minutes might not be counted as overtime.
The storyline of the promo is an homage and send-up of the 1970s style Doublemint Twin Doublemint Gum commercials; occasionally they played the jingle that I presumed would be playing for the spot. They had three sets of twins: two sets were female, a pair or twenty-somethings, a pair of teens as ball-girls, and the pair of tennis players playing doubles. As the teen girls were not actually ball-fetchers for tennis matches, they were unaware that generally ball-girls and ball-boy kneel when at the net-line, so at once point from the nearby video village at the end of the court, the 1st AD shouted to them the unfortunately worded direction, "Girls, get on your knees!" (which everyone heard, much to our predictable amusement).
The twins were fantastic tennis players, even able to do some incredible trick shots that one might suspect on seeing the spot as maybe CGI. Nope: these were the real deal, including but not limited to running up to a passed-them ball, and hitting it back over the net from between their legs.
Playing one of the Line Judges, I was situated behind the players, in the stands about 200 background. At my left (screen right) were similar Line Judges who'd auditioned, one of whom being the bearded Michael Kaufman Michael Kaufman whose appearance on an episode of Modern Family had just aired the previous week.
The hour lunch was called spot on time at 1 and amazingly we were actually back on at 2pm (often times with shoots lunch-return can be 5-10 minutes past the half or hour mark). At 4pm those of us in SAG noted we would normally be into overtime, but Michael mentioned later he was certain we were being paid for twelve hours. I suggested that could be for the non-SAG, but agreed we'd know for sure when we received our private-sector compensation for our labour. I did not have cable so noted I've little to know way of knowing once this would start airing.
Towards the end of the day, before actual full on wrapping of people began to take place, the camera placement was clear those of us against the back wall were clear of the shot. I sat in the seats, a welcome relief after so many hours having to stand. Next to me a fellow was hastily plugging away at his Smart Phone as another gentleman came up to me and asked if I was "the guy" from Strictly Background. As I concurred it was I, the phone guy next to me chuckled that he had been in the process of looking it up on his phone, to clarify that it was me before asking.
Earlier in the day I'd met Tammy Ridenour who offered me a ride back to the Red Line at Vermont and Sunset. When we wrapped, I discovered she was a soccer fan, and as a LA Galaxy vs Dallas game had begun whilst we were close to wrapping, each of us had production wrist-bands that allowed us access to the stadium itself, and there was no barrier between our empty being-used tennis court and the soccer arena. Even during the last hours of our shoot the rim of our aspect of the stadium had numerous lookie-loos at the production. Amusingly, I was able to re-enter the stadium with my blue bag this way without being subjected to the metal detectors through which ticket holders had to go. While I don't actively follow sports (and I never bother watching them on TV), when I attend a game love I do enjoy watching.
After lunch the somewhat clear sky had been replaced by complete overcast. Throughout the day I had been noting the Mares Tail clouds, figuring rain would be the next day, but it came early, and as we watched the rest of the soccer game it went from misty to precipitation to mist and occasional rain. While the weather tried to make up its mind I got to watch David Beckman play and do an amazing side-line ball-save.
The game ended with a Galaxy-team win and we were back in his car and headed out by 7pm. The traffic on our return, being post-game and in light rain, was predictably horrific, but Tammy was gracious and drove me all the way home (in the Small World Department, to my astonishment, I'd later learn via her Facebook that Tammy is married to Les Manoney, for whose project I'd recently auditioned...)

Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''
As the on-court Line Judge for the
tennis-based ESPN Promo Spot "Double Twin."

Production underway for ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''
Production underway for the ESPN Promo Spot
"Double Twin" at the Home Depot Stadium.

Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''
I'm standing at the left behind them.
Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''
Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.'' Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''
Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''
The right side of the "Y" in Crazy
ends at my feet.
Geoffrey Gould in ESPN Promo Spot ''Double Twin.''

ESPN Bryan Brothers Doubles Commercial
Australian Open Preview

(on YouTube...)

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