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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Midnight Meat Train

Sunday, March 25, 2007
Underground Night Shoot
Friday night after attending the Strictly Background screening, I learned it finally got its IMDB entry.
Then Saturday morning I got a same-day call for a night call for Midnight Meat Train, a suspense/horror film based on a Clive Barker story, and helmed by Godzilla: Final Wars director Ryuhei Kitamura.
Vinnie Jones
plays a serial killer who preys on subway passengers, and Alias and Wedding Crashers star Bradley Cooper is a photo journalistic who suspects Jones as being the killer. That is not a story spoiler, as that's far less information than the feature's trailer reflects.
We had a 7:30pm calltime at the Vermont/Santa Monica Red Line station. I just took the train to the stop. I met with PA Katie who brought me over to holding, where I had "breakfast," and waited to be signed in by Josh, a friendly, energetic fellow who not only seems a cross between Jack Black and Kevin Smith, he agreed with me it's pointed out to him a lot...
I was booked as a transient; the first set up had me at the bottom of the main escalators with two transit cops, played by Gil Tafoya and the very funny Danny Bunch. We did some business that was deliberately to amuse ourselves as technically we were Deep Background. One would probably really have to look to see us for that bit. I start sitting against the cement wall: they help me up and ask me as to my condition. After two takes the crew was checkin'th'gate.
I was changed out, by way of being given another jacket, this one dark red and black plaid, and made of nice thick wool. This was great as there was a stiff breeze all night, creating a slicing and dicing to the bone effect. Down on the platform it was not as brisk, but the jacket still helped. As I was now a New Character, I retained my glasses.
One of the shots we did was a practical special effect: Jones (with hair!), sitting in a spiffy suit, as pedestrians wander by at blurry, near-light speed (a few moments of which are in the film's trailer). This was accomplished with the camera filming at two frames per second, and our walking by just a tiny bit slower than normal walking speed. Jones sat with a "book-end" like devise to keep his back straight as he sits.
This film is set, btw, in a Generic City: the regular MTA route maps were changed with a route map that was almost amusing in its "genericism"...
After lunch (spare rib, corn and excellently steamed asparagus), a few of us were to get on and/or off the train. It was now past midnight. As we began filming before the trains stop running, we actually had "civilians" traipsing through as well. Now we had the place to ourselves, and had a train to ourselves, similar to the K-Town Super Frog shoot. As the train stops, I get off and head up the escalator. Later on, the train stopped way off base, by about four feet. Automatically I jokingly said aloud, "Well that's wrong."
"It's another scene," said a woman suddenly next to me: I realized it was one of the feature's stars Leslie Bibb.
All the shot set-ups seemed to be two to three takes and they'd move on. I heard from those working here from the night before, that they were so desperate not to pay overtime, they were signed out at eight hours, spot on at 4am. This night they were still working, so we did get over an hour overtime, signed out at 5:12am (I got home by 5:35am).

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Upcoming screening
One of the email lists to which I subscribe provides information on various movie screenings in and around town. Considering the October season, I see what horror films might be showing, and came across that Midnight Meat Train was scheduled to screen at the New Beverly Theatre on October 29th and 30th. I contacted and notified Joshua, who I'd met and befriended outside of the project, when he recognized me at GallifreyOne. As indicated, Josh had been an AD on Midnight Meat Train and we respectively indicated keeping an eye out to let the other one know if it was to pop up, considering for a time the film was to be released a few months earlier, and simply wasn't.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
At the New Beverly Theatre
I finally got to see the ne'er released Midnight Meat Train. If it ever hits DVD, I know I can catch myself with a few frame-grabs, via freeze-framing. Clive Barker introduced the film and was quite entertaining with his dry British wit (as well as explaining the mystery as to why the film got pulled from release). Apparently the film's main champion at Lionsgate left, and those remaining decided to be, as my mother would say, penny-wise and pound-foolish, even to the petty decision to have the film only released in dollar theatres, making certain it did not turn a profit or get any popularity. To its credit, when the animated Lionsgate logo came up, the audience dutifully gave the Lionsgate title card a resounding Boooo....
The movie itself was pretty good for essentially a splatter film, with some very good suspense, and while I foresaw the main major aspect of its story's predictable resolution, I did not foresee the other, almost darker secret...
As anyone who knows me is well aware, I never give out spoilers, and I won't even reveal the MSTie line that came to my head when the secret was finally revealed... but I can say that my one-word MISTie line in my head had to do with the title of a well-known horror film on which my mother worked (albeit not listed in her imdb credits), and on more than one occasion to which even Homer Simpson has referred...
I had hoped to get a photo of myself with Clive Barker, but while it had been strongly implied he would return to introduce Candyman, which was shown afterwards (considering he never got into discussing the feature during his talk before Midnight Meat Train), it was clear that Barker had already left.
Candyman star Tony Todd was scheduled to introduce the feature (or at least the double bill), at the following evening's showing. Both nights Candyman was shown after Midnight Meat Train, but I'd seen that film when it came out and... well... I really wasn't all that impressed with it: I found it surprisingly kind of lame for a Clive Barker film.

Tuesday January 20, 2009
Upcoming DVD release
Via preview trailers on the Saw V DVD, I stumbled across the fact that Midnight Meat Train was being released in February on DVD. Annoyingly, the DVD trailer has a few slight truncations to the original trailer, including but not limited to truncating the sped-up sequence, effectively removing the few frames in which I'm visible. I immediately put the feature into my Netflix queue, to frame-grab the freeze-frames in which I am visible, to wit:

Geoffrey Gould in ''Midnight Meat Train'' Geoffrey Gould in ''Midnight Meat Train'' Geoffrey Gould in ''Midnight Meat Train''
During high speed sequence, I pass from the left to the middle
behind Vinnie Jones, then I head into the arrived train which departs.
Geoffrey Gould in ''Midnight Meat Train'' Geoffrey Gould in ''Midnight Meat Train'' Geoffrey Gould in ''Midnight Meat Train''

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

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