Home | IMDB entry | Bio | Photos | Demo Reel | On-set Reports | Videos | Contact | Links | Store | Blog | Site Map

Back to Student Films Reports Index | Back to Reports Index

Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Leah Sargent's USC student film

Saturday November 15, 2008
A few weeks earlier, I was interviewed by USC film student Leah Sargent for her film project Curious, the outline of which she also emailed me. In a modern day vein of Alice in Wonderland, generally the look and context of the short film would be extremely surreal and dreamlike, containing numerous peculiar characters. My character was that of the Silly Man, accompanying an Authoritative Woman, the latter of whom threatens the leading lady.
Due to scheduling and technical difficulties, the shoot got pushed to the weekend of the 15th. As anticipated, I arrived early for my calltime, and my coverage was filmed. It turned out the woman playing the Authoritative Woman was stranded in traffic due to the recent local horrific wildfires. When it was clear she would not be there for many hours, the problem-solving writer/director Leah managed to puzzle out how to shoot the Authoritative Woman's shots with no one else. Generally the sequence in which I'm involved will show about five or more characters, none of whom would actually be seen interacting within the same frame. The closest interaction was cheated with the leading lady and "stand in hands" (and feet), wearing the Authoritative Woman character's outfit.
When edited together, as Leah calculated in Robert Rodriguez fashion, the scene would look as though it was filmed with scene's entire compliment of characters all there in the room at the same time.
Making such easier, the film was shot MOS (no audio/lines), so any post-production audio added should sound uniform.
Leah let me go instead of having me wait around for hours for a shot that literally would just have me off in the background.

Tuesday December 02, 2008
Off The Hook
I got a surprising number of calls all in one afternoon from a variety of sources. Bill Dance notified me that the December 9th shoot date for Alice in Wonderland had been moved to December 15th, my agent informed me of a next-day commercial audition for Radio Shack, and Leah Sargent called, asking after my availability for some ADR work on Curious. She suggested the next day around 4:45, but that would be during my scheduled commercial audition. We deduced the possibility that if at the audition I was seen quickly, and there from which I immediately head to USC, the possibility existed I could get there in time for her to use me in the USC ADR booth. She gave directions to the sound booth, just off the courtyard at which I filmed the USC film Subtle Collisions (one of the films a working DVD copy of which I never received).
When asked how well Curious turned out, Leah hedged (being really self-critical), but she indicated classmates liked it. I pointed out most likely this was A Good Thing, as they easily could have gone in the What th'hell is this? direction...

Wednesday December 03, 2008
The gods were looking down and smiling this afternoon: I got done all my errands and every bus connection was being extremely cooperative. At the beginning of my errands, as I emerged from the subway, just at the time a signal could be acquired, Leah called me, conveying that the times got moved so I wouldn't needed until around 7pm or so. So I didn't have to rush pellmell to get down there which helped considerably. After the audition, I took the Santa Monica Boulevard bus to the Vermont/Santa Monica station (the same station used for Midnight Meat Train), from there to Westlake/Alvarado, with still enough time to grab something to eat (correctly presuming that again I wouldn't be fed a meal), and bused down to USC.
On my arrival, they were doing some foley work, reflecting the wooded scrape of a chair being moved back from a table. I went into the foley studio and donned the headsets and watched the monitor the sequence of events for the brief scene. My ADR session took only a few minutes (the sequence looped about four or six times, each time of which I did my best to recreate the sounds I made on set). As I expected, the fact that the editing took care of who was there and who wasn't at any particularly time, due to the limitation of the short's total running length, the shot of my fearful expression at the Authoritative Woman's screams had to be omitted. Leah told me the screening would be December 13th at the USC campus Norris Theatre during the 3pm programming block. She also indicated the majority of the foley would be done by her people, not all of the original cast members were being invited (e.g., to do their own vocalizations): she really wanted me to voice my own audio.
With my home computer having flatlined again and my roommate giving another shot at repairing it, at the Internet cafe the following morning I reported the December 13th screening information on my MySpace blog, and with the disclaimer that that while welcomed, with my screen time being so "minimal," it wasn't a screening to which I was insisting/urging anyone go out of their way to attend.

Saturday December 15, 2008
My producer friend and I caught our "regular" Saturday matinee (that is, when we're both available and there's something we both want to see), in this case it was the okay Day the Earth Stood Still. From there she headed to meetings while I headed down to USC in time for the last two or three shorts of the previous program block of films. The second program block had seven films, of which Curious was the third shown. The colour saturation was such that had she not added the sizze sound to the drug placed in the drink, the drink's deep red almost hid the dissolving drug. The added sizzle sound drew one's eyes to the drug, which induces the remainder of the film. The short was quite visually dazzling, and Leah's sound design helped tremendously. The editing of the tea party scene was as flawless as I'd anticipated, and one would never suspect few people were actually on hand at the time of filming each person's bit.
I was unable to spot Leah between the previous and her film's program block, so amusingly, from my seat she and texted back and forth, that I was there and her positive response thereto. But afterwards, she all but vanished, and as she had put a jacket over the green outfit out for which I was keeping an eye, I began to suspect I wouldn't find her, and she had contacted me that she still needed me to sign the USC release; that she would bring it with her. I called her, expecting and getting her voice mail, relaying I was being unable to find her, and after another five or ten minutes I'd have to surrender to that fact and she and I would have to arrange another time for me to do the paperwork. Predictably, my action of leaving such a message caused my Doing the Magick, meaning less than a minute after disconnecting, there she was.
She was thrilled to see me, but not surprisingly, she'd managed to forget to bring the paperwork. We arranged for me to come by her place the following early afternoon, giving her time to spend the morning with her boyfriend before heading back to Indiana for the holidays and to France for a few weeks. Leah apologized again not having had time or funds with which to make the DVD copies right away, with which I had no worries, as at least she'd already notified me of the fact.
Ironically, after filling out the release form the next day, as I walked to Hoover for the northbound bus, I realized her home was at the end of the same street on which lived Murmer. writer/director Nicholas Kaye, as well as its co-star Brian Jordan Alvarez, both locations of which were used for Murmer the weekend after my segment for Curious had been filmed.

Sunday July 26, 2009
DVD copy received
Leah attended the USC screening of Strictly Background, at which she provided me with the DVD of Curious.

As the Silly Man in Leah Sargent's student film Curious...
Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious''
Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious''
Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious''
A flash-frame during the climax.
The end credits, the cast list freeze-frame blurred as the scroll goes about 50% faster than normal:
Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious'' Geoffrey Gould in Leah Sargent's USC student film ''Curious''

Back to Student Films Reports Index | Back to Reports Index site created February 29, 2008

All Rights Reserved Without Prejudice UCC 1-308
All Rights Reserved Without Prejudice CCC § 1207

Copyright © 2008, 2009, 2010