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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
Broken Hearts Anonymous
Jaz Kalkat and Westley Eldredge's
Brooks Institute Student Film

Saturday September 27, 2009
Rehearsal / read-through
My good friend Michael Beardsley was cast in the lead in the student film comedy short Broken Hearts Anonymous being done at Brooks Institute. As there were a few roles still uncast, he strongly suggested me as one of the roles, and the producer/writer Westley Eldredge had had Mike contact me to inquire. I accepted the request, and soon Westley added me to the contact list, and I was notified of a Sunday rehearsal read-through in North Hollywood.
I was all set, even when it came to light it was the Saturday I'd committed to cat and house-sit for my San Pedro friends; initially my plan was to go down very early and spend the day, feed and play with them and make sure when I left in the early evening that they had enough food, water, and that their litter boxes were all clean. I chose to rethink it; my friends were leaving Friday evening and returning Sunday, so I went straight down from the rehearsal and stayed overnight as well.
The read-through went all right. We met at the Avery Schrieber Theatre on Magnolia, a back room space having been reserved. Mike was already there as was Jason Baker playing Danny, and Jaz Kalkat, who I did not know at first was the director (usually with student films the writer is the director). I found out when I'd indicated my take on the role of Tod: the role has two lines and essentially is a straight-line character, seemingly very shy and introverted. The difference is that he's gay. Strangely, the script refers to him as "a flamboyant hermit like creature." While flamboyant and hermit are not two words one generally sees together, flamboyant almost always refers to one being gay. Indeed, the line in which he speaks of his significant consistantly other uses the pronoun "he." While we were waiting to be let in to the back room, slowly roasting outside despite being under a canopy, Jaz Kalkat essentially concurred with my take on Tod, and at the time seemed open to letting him be straight so the line doesn't distract from the moment (e.g., I don't come across as gay, the line is funny either way, but to make it funny and pathetic, the audience could be caught off guard, stopping to try to make sure the lines imply Tod is gay). The only shift would be the pronouns from he to she; leaving Tod as a broken wreck Regular Guy would be more realistic than my trying to play it fey or such. I figured we'd see on the day.
It turned out no one thought actually to check the door, which was unlocked. We quickly sat in the welcoming air conditioned room and ran through the script a few times.
Westly arrived and gave a few notes, but not in any toe-stepping manner. Who I (mistakenly) presumed was the DP, video taped our run-throughs and the proceedings in general, as though for a Making Of sort of featurette. The shoot would be the second weekend of October: I'd be needed only on Sunday the 11th.
They were still missing a few actors needed/uncast with which to fill a few of the roles; Jason read a few of those characters, then I was allowed to read the Beefcake character. Our lead actress Katy Burton arrived somewhat... late... and we ran it again with her.
Katy and Mike stuck around as the rest of us were wrapped. I quickly headed to the Red Line to downtown and got to San Pedro by about 1:30pm for the remainder of the day and evening, catching the 8am bus back the following morning.

Tuesday September 29, 2009
One more rehearsal... scheduled
Westley notified his cast and crew of the last rehearsal being Monday October 5th, from 11am to 1pm. That probable date was raised at the read through, so they were already aware I'm of those annoying actors who has a day job... Also attached was the contact sheet, so I was able to update the information above as to Who Is Who I've already met, et al.
The Sunday October 11th shoot would be in Ventura, but no specifics were provided at the time. Mike and I already discussed previously my getting out there with him.

Sunday October 11, 2009
Support Group Shoot
Whilst walking the dogs the evening before, I realized that the following day was the Broken Hearts Anonymous shoot, and that I'd need to call Michael for travel arrangements. Once home with the boys, Michael called me before I could even get to my phone. We set up a pick-up time and Sunday morning we headed out to the Brooks Institute (Saturday evening I had also been sent a callsheet, but as an Excel spreadsheet, and I do not have Microsoft Office with which to open it).
Sunday morning we were just a tad early that we had enough time with which to stop at a Ralphs supermarket at which I was able to acquire some meager provisions in case the student film lacked proper craft services (good thing too: only water and some fruit was provided).
We knew going in it would be a long day. As the film's lead, Michael had been shooting with them the previous three days (I learned that female lead Katy Burton got replaced). Now they filmed the support group's two scenes, meaning wide establishing shots, and multiple coverage shots for the various group members with lines. Jason Baker as Danny did his opening lines first, Ilka Urbach as Melodi did her segments next. An important character in the script only called Crying Girl was played by Jennifer (who resembled a mix of Billie Piper and Sarah Alexander), a very pleasant young lady both fascinated (and amusingly creeped out by) the paranormal, so obviously that became a well-discussed topic as the day moved along.
Nowhere in the script is there a mention of snacks and/or a snack table for the support group, but one is set up as such. Whoever did props obtained numerous items that ironically would unlikely be used as snacks for such a weekly meeting: three or so boxes of Cheese-Its, filled bowls of peanuts, chips, et al. Considering how deep background is the table, it's unlikely even to be in focus. I had to wonder as to why the expense; considering its location, they could have had a plate with a small bag of chips, and some empty bowls to represent Other Items we wouldn't be able to see anyway.
Lunch consisted of pizza, so technically I "wasn't fed." Earlier Westley Eldredge had gone out and retrieved for each of the talent a single 16 ounce bottle of specifically requested soda, but I'd neglected to ask after what was being procured for lunch. Had I realized it was pizza (which I do not eat), I might have asked after an easy McD order... As it was, with no actual lunch "provided for me," I snagged some of the surplus peanuts from the food props going unused in the support group room background.
My coverage was one of the last things in the day filmed, as generally tends to be the case, strangely enough. I "only" have two lines in the comedy short, thankfully both of them funny.
Jaz told me that post production would probably be about two months; a screening is planned and he plans at least on two film festival submissions, rendering the short submittable as an entry into the IMDB. Mike and I took various photos throughout the day. I still have photos left on my one-time-use camera, while he was able to email his to me after he got home once he'd dropped me off at home (the first set, below).
Looks like it should be a pretty funny film.

Tuesday February 16, 2010
DVD copy update
Westley Eldredge dropped us an email with an update on the status of the DVD copies. We were assured the production had not forgotten about us and that they are still working diligently on finishing up the DVD/menus. He understand this process was taking longer than expected and he apologized, indicating there had been a lot of unexpected bumps happened, and he asked everyone to bear with them.
After working on over sixty student films, I just wait and the DVD comes or it does not. Westley's email was sincerely reassuring, and was far more honourable than some student film makers for whom I've worked...

Monday April 19, 2010
Audio update
Michael Beardsley notified me that he'd heard from Jaz Kalkat with the following update:

Monday, April 19, 2010 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: Broken Hearts
I am doing the final sound mix on broken hearts and it's been tough cuz the origional sound team really screwed us. Anthony is doing the 1st pass of sound and soon as he is finished up I'll take over. We had to restructure our movie a bit but I think it's still entertaining. I hope to have it done and printed soon as west an Anthony are done shootin their short this up coming week.
I'm really sorry it's taking so long.

Friday July 23, 2010
Forthcoming DVD copy
An email from Westley Eldredge conveyed both apologies and thanks for our collective patience regarding the Broken Hearts Anonymous DVD copies, requesting addresses to which the copies can be sent, adding had it been up to him, we'd have had our copies months ago, as well as the hope to work with us all again.

Saturday August 04, 2010
DVD delivery
The day before, Westley emailed us and asked for certain addresses, but indicated hand-delivering DVDs, including but not limited to my place. I let him know I'd most likely be out (I was), and he left it at the door.
I thought it was pretty good, although I confess I was a but disappointed that the original ended was changed/omitted (Michael as Randall and Jennifer Whitney as the Crying Girl next to me ending up together, or at least leaving together).

Click on a thumbnail to see full image...
Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title''
Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title''
Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title''
Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title'' Geoffrey Gould in ''title''

''Broken Hearts Anonymous'' support group
The Broken Hearts Anonymous support group
(the empty chair is photo-taking Michael's).
Geoffrey Gould with Jennifer Whitney: ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Geoffrey Gould as Tod with
Jennifer Whitney as "Crying Girl"
Being body mic'd for ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Geoffrey Gould being body mic'd
Geoffrey Gould's coverage for ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Geoffrey Gould awaiting line's coverage
Behind the camera on ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Behind the camera on Broken Hearts Anonymous
Michael Beardsley plays Randall in ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Michael Beardsley plays Randall
Carissa Garcia with Jason Baker as Danny in ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Carissa Garcia as Cassie with Jason Baker as Danny
''Random Guy 2,'' Geoffrey Gould and Jennifer Whitney in ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
"Random Guy #2" with Geoffrey Gould and Jennifer Whitney
Carissa Garcia and Ilka Urbach as ''Melodi'' in ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Carissa Garcia as Cassie with Ilka Urbach as Melodi
Geoffrey Gould, Jennifer Whitney and Michael Beardsley in ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Geoffrey Gould, Jennifer Whitney and Michael Beardsley
Support group cast for ''Broken Hearts Anonymous''
Support group cast
''Broken Hearts Anonymous'' crew
The crew

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