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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Mildred Lewis's Chapman University film project

Sunday, April 24, 2005
Submission and audition
Generally, I start a report page on New Projects pretty much when I've been cast. The normal course of events of a student film is to submit, have the audition, be cast (where applicable), and the shoot would usually be that coming Saturday and/or Sunday, or possibly the following weekend.
This one cast a couple of months prior to its April into May shooting schedule. Between the time of my being cast and my working on this project, I was actually was cast and finished worked on three other student films, plus an Under Five contract role gig for Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Out of the other then to-date fourteen student film on which I'd worked, most had been shot almost immediately. Only a small percentage had Actual Rehearsal Time, which was great, but they were also Very Local.
I submitted for it, "despite" it being a Chapman University project, as well as because it was a Chapman project. I had not worked on one there, and only knew it was down in Orange County. I had begun to learn my way around via the Orange Country Transit Authority (OCTA) bus system, and their bus route guide was/is substantially more comprehensive than the schedules for the Los Angeles area MTA.
I was contacted by the project's producer Robert and an audition date and time was set up for Saturday. Sides and driving directions were emailed to me.
As I take public transit, I obtained my own travel information by looking over the OCTA system map. Unfortunately, I had not been aware that Orange County has two Chapman Avenues! And they parallel each other: one in the far north (across which I naturally came first), and the one I wanted in the deep south of Orange County... where the Real Chapman University sits. I mistook the two colleges on the north Chapman Avenue as being the college I sought.
As I always schedule myself to be about an hour early for things (auditions, interviews, shoots, et al), particularly to places and locations previously to which I've not been. I arrived at the Wrong Place/s a good two hours prior to the time windows to which I was barely scheduled. Thankfully no specific time had been set: I was all but given the day to get there. But I knew they were starting around 10am and I had wanted to be there by about 9am.
Discovering my error, I quickly deduced how to get to my real destination, and I also had learned that OCTA used a similar Day Pass deal as MTA has, so I didn't pay bust-out retail on the four or six different OCTA buses I had to take throughout the day.
The bus I ended up having to take dropped by at a MetroLink station two or three blocks from the campus. Unfortuntely these commuter trans only run on weekdays, rendering their existance meaningless to my weekend needs. I found the Chapman University campus by about 10am and as there was some sort of massive orientation or such going on, I was able to procure a campus map and find my audition room (thanks also to asking a student who turned out to be someone working on the same film project as it was).
I met with the writer/director Mildred Lewis, who like Robert it turned out, were both east coaster folks as well. I did my cold read, and Mildred had me do a few adjustments. The two seemed intrigued with my Badger nickname and moniker, and Mildred eventually decided to incorporate this into the role.
Mildred walked me out, explaining the project would shoot way down in April. I pointed out the only real scheduling conflict I had was Friday, April 29th, not merely it being the date on which my alleged birthday is traditionally celebrated, but the premier screening for one of my student films, in which I was the lead and villain. Providing me with her email, Mildred insisted I remind her, in case she would be able to attend.
Over the course of the next several weeks friendly and informative emails were exchanged and a shooting schedule began to be shaped.
Sadly, rehearsals were scheduled when I was unavailable, mostly weekdays or on weekends on which I was already booked and shooting other student films.
I did have to remind them of my unavailability Friday the 29th (as a few references of possibly Filming That Day had come up), but it came down to a Sunday May first as the shooting date for me.
Even at the audition Mildred stressed transportation could be provided. I checked the transit and there was no way down to there from Hollywood arriving before nine to ten in the morning. It turned out OCTA buses barely even run on weekends, and they seemed to be methodically scheduled to miss any and all of their own connections, so one would have to wait 55 minutes or so for the bus for the next leg of one's trip. That certainly eliminates and/or negates any compliments over the MTA system.

Sunday, May 01, 2005
It had been previously arranged that I had a "5:30am calltime" in that Mildred would pick me up at that time. As for being in front of the camera, it had been indicated more like 11am. The day before, calling in to a page (I wouldn't have a cell phone until late 2007), Mildred was apologizing that the calltime had been pushed, so she had to pick me up at 5am instead of 5:30am. I called her back and confirmed I'd be ready and waiting by 5am. She also assured me I could drowse while waiting for them to be set up.
As planned, Mildred retrieved me and we got to Chapman before 6am.
After checking in, Mildred and I headed back out and procured Krispy Kreme donuts for Craft Services.
As it would be A Considerable Amount Of Time before I would be needed, it had already been suggested I get some more sleep. I slept on some cushy chairs near her office, access (and the Internet) to which I was given access. So, after a nap I was able to handle some of my email.
After changing into my suit, I had my make-up done by Angela, for whom this was her first film for which to do make-up.
I was brought to set when... lunch was called.
Okay, not the exact moment I arrived at set. Mildred introduced me to the crew, and while set up continued, I ran lines with the film's co-star leads. After a few run throughs, I was told lunch would be coming, consisting of Chipotle, which essentially was telling me I Wasn't Going To Be Fed. Thankfully, upon learning I don't eat Chipotle, they took down my fast-food wishes, which were provided. I did learn that a wrap party had been planned, unfortunately (for me), the evening of Friday May 6th, during which I had the premier screening of the USC student film Greenwald's Amazing Garden Tonic down at USC on which I worked as a supporting role.
Back from lunch our scene went very quickly. As previously discussed, I brought with me various badger items to set-dress my desk.
They began with a wide, master shot through the window at the three of us. After a camera rehearsal or three, we did a couple of takes. Each of the guys got their single-shot coverage, and we recorded some wild-lines.
After my close-up, and the pick-up shot of my putting down the small desk sign, the last of us (as well as principal photography on the entire project), was wrapped.
I was impressed by the speed and efficiency of the crew. Back at Mildred's office, I changed and had enough time to do some Internet stuff before Mildred took me home.
I had been informed over lunch that possibly some additional pick-up shots might be done in June or July (this film's actual post-production was a substantial amount of time away), though it turned out no pick-up shots for me were required.
Mildred returned me home, our chatting the whole way. She hopes this can be expanded into a feature and/or a television series; assuring me a role in either project (or both). If it were made into TV series, she would/will endevour to have me as an ongoing guest star or certainly a recurring character.
I might miss the wrap party, but I very much looked forward to seeing this in its finished form.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
A received update
A day or so after I'd sent some film festival information to Mildred (and asking how well was the project progressing), and her responding it was going well ("slowly but goodly"), and that a composer and picture editor are at work and that she's looking for a sound person, those of us of the cast and crew (I would surmise), received from her a to-the-point project progress update, that: "Editing is underway! We have a terrific picture editor and composer. Just wanted to give you an update and hopes that you're enjoying a terrific summer."
Then... silence.

Wednesday February 09, 2011
The lost project
I moved the content of this report to this site from its old page in November 2008, at which time it was over three years and I still have no idea as to whether the film was completed, screened, abandoned, or what. As of this date (Mildred's birthday, actually), it has now been almost six years. No word as to the other projects, or whether even a copy of my scene could be provided for a variant of my demo reel. Mildred has not responded to any of my polite occasional email/s months (then years) later, my politely inquiring as to the film's progress and/or status.
In the years to come, the irony remains that technically I am "in touch" with her, via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, et al, and while she'll respond to genering greetings, any inquiry as to the status of Ghettopreneurs is met with silence, not even obfuscation.

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