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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Sons and Daughters
pilot TV episode Anniversary Party

Monday, September 19, 2005
Demoted cook [and nearly buried Badger]...
Friday while still on the Garfield 2 set, I was contacted by my calling service, being notified I was booked for Monday on the TV series Sons & Daughters, filming in Pasadena. I already knew that, ironically, Garfield 2 was also to be filming that day in Pasadena (my then-booked seven days for that feature was at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills).
My calltime was 7:15am, and as I take the bus to Pasadena a lot, I knew exactly which one to take, and I arrived at the crew parking by 6:30am... a little earlier than even I'd actually anticipated.
I was shuttled to the location, the coffee shop/restaurant Shakers on Arroyo.
I met AD Mike Caron and, being early, I was shown where was our production's catering truck where I had breakfast.
I discovered this was some reshoot scenes for the pilot for the series, which I already knew was scheduled for a March 2005 start, as a mid-season replacement on ABC.
A similar scripted improv-style such as Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sons & Daughters is mostly hand-held cameras and (as AD Louis Race at one point indicated), "Five minutes of improv to get a one minute scene."
I was booked to play a cook for the episode, the day's shoot involving three scenes that in the episode were three different days.
Now I have no firsthand knowledge and can only base my conclusions based on results, but it seemed as though one AD (at the time I was certain it was the 1st AD), based on results, seemed to have something against me personally. In the first scene I was placed in the deep background with my back to the camera, I presumed (being the cook an'all), so I could be used later.
Later however, he wouldn't place me in the kitchen area, even after wardrobe put me into the cook jacket (their being fully aware of my cook "status," and such being right on my voucher). I sat through the second scene shot, out of camera range.
After lunch, he declared I was going to become a "civilian," and I was "demoted" to restaurant patron.
I had learned that the actor playing the brother Cameron (to Jenna played by the lovely Amanda Walsh), was Fred Goss, the episode's director and series co-creator.
They filmed the scene between Cameron and Jenna as Jenna indicates her passion for singing. I was just outside of camera range again, but for a retake of the scene, I was brought forward and with another guy, was placed into a corner booth where I/we could view and react to her singing.
Then a cameraman took up right in front of our booth table.
I still watched as though I were part of the scene, watching Amanda (as Jenna) get up to sing Paula Abdul's Straight Up to demonstrate to her brother her fearlessness of even bursting into song in a restaurant.
Her back was to me, but I watched and reacted as though I were camera visible. I was visible to the affable Fred Goss, who, after the take, wanted some reaction shots of patrons, and insisted on a close-up of me watching and reacting.
The 1st AD seemed measurably resistant to this idea (of my getting a close-up), but his attempt/s to have the director move on was veto'd by the director, and they filmed a couple of takes me watching and reacting.
To avoid any glare, we worked it so at the moment of My Reveal (Amanda moving so the camera had a clear shot of me), I removed my glasses as though better to see her. Showing my glasses come off maintained continuity should any previous shot show me as I'd been wearing them.
We were wrapped at 4:18pm, meaning unlikely any official overtime.
I thanked the pleasant crew members with whom I worked (Mike, Dawn Stewart), providing them with my contact-information card.
Fred Goss thanked me personally, indicating having loved my/The Look I gave Amnda. I had learned that early in the day he had gone to the wrong production catering truck: that he had gone to the Garfield 2 catering truck by mistake! Boop! I told him (apart from my having done close to the same thing on a commercial shoot years ago), that synchronistically, I'd been working Garfield 2 all the previous week, and would again be back on the the following day, albeit in Beverly Hills.

Tuesday March 07, 2006
Out of the sett
I did see the pilot of the sadly short-lived series, and therein my watching the character Jenna singing was worthy of a frame-grab, had the entertaining series continued on long enough to become DVD'able.

Tuesday May 05, 2009
Setting the record straight
Reality is perception. Facts are not necessarily the truth, while truth is not always factual.
If an elevator door opens and seven people step out, and you're not paying attention, when asked you easily might declare that six or even only five people emerged. One's experiential memory may not always be as initially thought: a prime example being how I remember the scene within a late 1970s film in which my mother worked as opposed to seeing the same scene thirty years later.
Film maker Jason Connell scheduled a special screening of Strictly Background during his Hollywood-local United Film Festival. After the well received screening, during the Q&A, we were asked who was the Best Star with whom we'd worked, and who was the Worst. I named Megan Mullally for our working together on the omitted scene of Stealing Harvard, but I couldn't think of a Worst Star, so I went with the jokey quip, "I've had some 'bad' ADs..." which got a laugh.
I could and should have left it there: I related my AD story from Sons & Daughters. In the anecdote I did not name the show, just my memory of what took place that day.
When the festival host Sal asked the audience for a question, one fellow in the audience piped up, "This is more of a comment for Mr. Gould... I was the AD on that project."
The audience both gasped and laughed while Jack Richards went for some kind of joke I couldn't even begin to acknowledge, but his brief chicanery provided me the moments I need to recover from being simultaneously stunned and amazed that out of all the stories I could have said, here was the one story I chose and here was someone saying he was That Guy.
Understandably, I had to make sure; when the audience response had calmed down, just to clarify I asked him, "Now I didn't mention the name; what was the project?" The fellow (who did not identify himself, and I could not see him in the darkened audience), correctly identitifed it as Sons & Daughters.
I pointed out, "That's some awesome synchronicity." Pleased that I could give him the opportunity of Equal Time, I simply asked, "This is brilliant: so what actually happened?"
This gave him the chance to set the record straight as he had perceived it. He said I had "not" been booked as the cook (I didn't remind him I was listed on the callsheet as such); that the cook was to be someone More Ethnic (considering whoever they eventually had as the cook was never filmed [or at least never shown], that wasn't a problem for me).
He did refute trying to talk the director out of having me in the shot; he claimed he'd placed me there. Maybe for that aspect it was a different AD than the one who previously had given the appearance of having the issue/s with me.
When Q&A was over, I was unable to find the man so as to speak with him and thank him for setting straight the record, and he did not seek me out. His sudden disappearance raises the Big Question to which I suspect no answer would be overtly revealed.
As clearly I may have misinterpreted the actions of one AD, and/or thought the same one was at the end of the day, will the fellow in the audience be a Good Man? My having allowed him the opportunity to convey his side, will he either move on and put this aside as a Good Man would? Or (my having provided his testimony here notwithstanding, as in front of all I promised I would do), would he "prove right" what I initially thought of his disliking me personally, Bad Mouthing me to other ADs and projects for my relating what I personally may have inaccurately interpreted three years previously? Either way, having crossed my life path, there's always Badger Luck for him (positive or negative), depending on his choice/s.

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