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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
100 percent
Teresa Paoli's LAFS Student Thesis Film

Falling Stars
Kevin Merz's LAFS Student Film

Thursday, May 05, 2005
The previous week I had attended the Los Angeles Film School (LAFS) graduating class's thesis film screenings, mostly for the first screening of The Immigrants, in which I was the lead.
Our film was screened just before the break (it actually went "into" the break time which everyone was expecting after two hours), during which I was recognized and complimented and congratulated.
One such was film student Teresa Paoli, who requested of me my contact information so she could have me audition for her own upcoming project.
She contacted me a day or three later, and we arranged for the audition.
Teresa emailed me the script for her project, titled 100 percent. She had me in mind for one or two to three roles: a theatre worker, a TV pitch-man, and manager for a dating-service.
I read over the copy of the intriguing In The Not Too Distant Future type sci-fi/social commentary short. At the audition she had me read the TV pitch-man and the manager.
Afterwards, not to my surprise, I came across graduate Glenn Thomas, who'd directed me for The Immigrants. During this student-film-heavy time, I began to find that it most interesting that more often when I go to an audition (this also happens down at USC and UCLA as well), I synchronistically would tend to run into my previous directors.

Friday, May 13, 2005
Lucky Day
Just enough time had passed that I thought, as sometimes happens, the project had been cast, if not already filmed. Then late in the evening I received an email offering me the role of the Theatre Worker (I was told the revised script eliminated the TV pitch-man role).
It was scheduled to shoot that Wednesday somewhere in South Gate about 18 miles away, from 8pm to 11pm.

Saturday, May 14, 2005
Teresa emailed me back, relating the shooting location, the Allen Theatre in South Gate. Considering their web page indicates operating hours until 7pm, I'm not sure yet if it's a cinema, a live stage theatre, or a theatre normally just rented out for films (and that's their own office hours).
The film's crew would be leaving LAFS for the set at noon, and as I wouldn't be needed until 8pm (and I now had an address), I was able to coordinate that two MTA buses would get me there easily by 7:30pm'ish. I related this in my confirmation reply, indicating my gladly accepting of a ride back...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005
A-haunting we will go...
A morning email updated my calltime to 7:30pm. Also attached was the "updated script," curiously still containing the "eliminated" TV pitch-man notwithstanding. The MTA buses tried to get a little uncooperative with me, but I managed around that and still arrived at the South Gate historic theatre by 7:00pm.
Indeed at one time it was a movie theatre, and now the Allen Theatre hosts live bands... by the posters it'd generally seem to be extremely heavy-metal, punk, etc.
Producer Hidekazu Shimazu introduced himself (he also happened to be running craft services and the catered dinner). They were filming upstairs, so I chatted with some of the crew including Hilary Smith and Allen Theatre worker German Sanchez.
Teresa came down after finishing one of the shots upstairs. I was introduced to Paul Kapellas who was playing the lead, John. I had already met the film's friendly co-star Nathan Inzerillo, ironically playing a character named Nathan. When there was talk of guerrilla filmmaking, I was just about to make a reference when Nathan suddenly made the same reference I was about to make! When I pointed out the film title to demonstrate I knew to what he was refering, Nathan was astonished to learn not only do I know of the film The Wizard of Speed and Time, (and that I had even seen it), that I actually know of animator Mike Jittlov, but also that the little-known comedy feature was based on one of Mike's short subjects.
They continued to film upstairs, so while we were waiting the theatre's proprietor John Riley, along with German, related to a few of us some of the history of some of the theatre's hauntings, always a top subject for me. John indcated how every night they put up the seats, yet in the morning every single day, two of the seats, always side by side, will be back down. And not the same seats, a different set of seats in various parts of the auditorium.

Teresa politely kept apologizing to me for the delay. Being a professional actor, I know one of the top priorities of filmmaking (for an actor, certainly), is to Hurry Up And Wait. Wrapped, Nathan came down and I was amused at the jacket he got to wear. The film is set in the near future, and this outfit resembled something out of (the original) Battlestar Galactica. Teresa told me they'd been rented and actually were rifle wear of some sort. Its construction made no sense to me for gun work, even if "just" for target practice. The shoulder padding was on the left shoulder, and she had another one for me, also with the padding only on the left shoulder.
I changed into it; they had set up the box office for me. Hidekazu was running sound, so he set me up with a lavalier mic. We shot my li'l scene with three or four takes over my shoulder at Paul, then three or four takes over Paul's shoulder of me. I don't think it took more than twenty to thirty minutes, and I was done: wrapped.
It was well past 11pm, and while I suspect I might have been able to get home by bus, I had no idea how long it would take. Teresa's offer of a ride still stood, though understandably I had to wait for them to get the establishing shot, being filmed in the parking lot across the street.
So I went back to John and with his [wife?] and a young female worker, I got a few more paranormal stories about the South Gate Theatre.
With the last shot done, the day's work was wrapped. As the equipment was being loaded, a very friendly (and surprisingly submissive), young dog showed up out of nowhere, very tentatively begging for love and attention. As a lifelong animal lover, I was concerned for the dog's safety; while she had a collar, she had no tags, and there was no owner anywhere in sight.
The dog followed the three of us that headed to Teresa's car, and we could only hope the poor pooch would be okay and get herself home.
Teresa drove me home. Apart from a slow freight train and some directional challenges (and getting pulled over by a surprisingly understanding cop), I got in I think around just past 2am. Teresa told me it was their First Day of shooting for this project. They would be at it again the next day. Yikes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
The Rush Call that wasn't so much of a rush...
Teresa paged me with a slightly rapid-fire message to which I had to listen numerous times just to get the phone number. Working now as DP on Kevin Merz's student thesis project, she was requesting my helping out as being some background for a strip club scene. Apparently it was in an "Ivar sound stage," but not exactly at LAFS proper, though "next door," and yet part of it.
I took down Teresa's number for when I headed over to the Ivar/Selma intersection, and once there if I couldn't find them: to call.
I quickly headed out, caught a handy bus to Ivar and headed down to Selma, at which I could find no evidence of student film work, or any filming at all.
Arriving at the intersection at 10:15 for the 10:30pm calltime, I called Teresa on my cell and got a voice mail. I left a message that I Was There and looking for them.
At 10:45pm I had called again, and had even checked at LAFS itself; security telling me the only sound stages of which they were aware were the sound studios, which I'd already found but as the security affirmed, were closed.
On one or two of my messages, I had told Teresa that by 11pm I would have to classify myself as Abandoned. At 11pm, I headed up to Hollywood Boulevard which to my surprise supplied me with a bus towards home. I left one final message to relate I could not find them and that I had had to give up.
Nearly at the stop nearest home, my pager went off. Colour me surprised, I thought to myself.
This time it was Charlotte, the First AD for the project, titled Falling Stars.
Charlotte indicated I could be picked up, and left a number. From home I called and learned that they were in the parking lot across the street from the sound studio. I related I was home, but as I live so close by, we agreed I could be picked up.
Then she told me they were about to break for dinner. I had not been made aware (until that point), that this was to be a night shoot if not an all-night shoot.
I decided to nix the idea of being picked up. At that time of night, we could miss each other. If they weren't going to got to my shot/s for "several hours," I figured it'd be more practical either to walk or take another bus back there. Plus I can bring my big folding chair in which I could sleep while waiting, considering I had my day job in the morning.
I got back around 1am and was not needed until about 5am+. Good thing I'd brought the chair in which to sleep.
When brought to the small set, I sat on a couch with a young lovely draped over me (Kevin's girlfriend, it turned out to be).
When my shots were complete and other coverage was handled, we wrapped around 6am.
I was driven home with more than enough time to get my stuff together and head out to work for the day.

Friday, August 26, 2005
I arrived at LAFS at 9:40am for the 10am to 3pm'ish screenings only to learn upon my arrival that they were in fact starting at 11am, and that the screenings would run to "about" 3:30pm.
I wandered nearby and returned at 10:50am, to find the place nearly completely packed. I found a single seat near the front of the main section, apparently for a companion of a wheelchair bound viewer. Fortunately it turned out I was right behind Teresa and Nathan.
I was pleasantly surprised that Teresa had indeed already made the DVD copies of her film for her cast and crew!
Though the screening didn't have them, the DVD declared it had Italian subtitles. I found this odd, and apparently Teresa made all of the DVDs with Italian subtitles: there were no DVD copies sans Italian subtitles (and there was/is no option to remove them).
So 100 percent turned out pretty good.
A few nights earlier, Tereesa had me come in (at 11pm), to ADR one of my lines.
As I was available, I arrived at 10:30pm and we were done just before 11pm.
As the camera was an over-my-shoulder shot, there was no problem about lip sync'ing. I said the same line a few times: "Hey John, how's it goin'?" and once even said, "How's it goin', John?"
Finished film? The line was not used...
I did notice I was so backlit as to have mostly my hair visible, and at one point, my nose and a bit of left cheek, touched by a little bit of light. Falling Stars was set mostly at night, so the use of hi-def video was able to capture the lights of the city, as rather comprehensively described by Michael Mann for his audio commentary for the Collateral DVD.
I am visible, enough that later someone indicated noting I was in two films.
I was a bit surprised it was another take on the Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge "twist."
Most likely due to the fact that I brought in So Last Minute, in the Falling Stars end credits, while I am listed, I am listed as Geoffry Gould.
Afterwards Kevin Merz found and thanked me, indicating the DVD could be done within a couple of weeks to a month. I got from him his email (forgetting to mention my email bounceback attempt of a while back).

As of October 2011, I have never received a copy of Falling Stars.

Geoffrey Gould imdb entry
100 Per Cent
IMDB entry

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