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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

All You Need Is Plove
Oliver Riley-Smith's USC student film

Tuesday October 27, 2009
Late the previous week I'd submitted to the USC student film All You Need Is Plove, and Monday night I got a call from producer Stephen Michael Parsey, asking me to come down and audition. The time window fit fine with my day-job work schedule, and I went straight down right from work. My printer at home had decided to insist on a non-existant paper jam, so refused to print out the sides that were sent to me. As cold reading is a strong suit for me, I clarified they'd have sides there.
Held in the only second floor room in the Carson Building, located next to where the original George Lucas Building stood, I went over the sides while another audition was going on. I was rather stunned that the original Lucas Building had been demolished; I'd been to auditions and shoots at the new building, but wasn't aware the old was would be removed utterly.
Being next, I went in and met producer Stephen and British director Oliver Riley-Smith. The film is a dark comedy about a love-jilted man who founds a cult for other love-jilted people, and it devolves pretty much into a suicide cult. My audition was for that of a brainwashed cult member whose mutual suicide with the leader is interupted as the leader gets a text and hastily departs, much to the befuddlement and anger of his follower/s. Stephen wore essentially choir robes, ironically close to my blue and gold high school choir robe colours, though this set of robes had a red trim down each sleeve, and was slightly more purple than our colbalt blue.
I made the choice of one single "change," as it were; more of an addition. Instead of just seeming enraptured and dropping dead, I went from enraptured to a look of puzzlement as the poison would start to take hold and I glanced at the cup and said, "Wait a min--", at which point I keeled over. The two loved it, laughing uproariously, and I was offered "the role" on the spot. Ironically a couple of nights earlier at my friend Maria Olsen's film festival screening of Die-Ner (Get It?), she indicated getting the gig right at the audition, and my mentioning that'd not yet happened for me. Usually even if I nailed an audition, they would contact me later, even if only after a few minutes. This was the first time Right In The Room they made sure I was available for a November first shoot date.

Wednesday October 28, 2009
I tend to stay up a bit late, and came across a late-sent congratulatory email from Oliver Riley-Smith, collectively thanking those who have been cast, conveying, "You truly made me laugh so hard, and I think that the shoot is going to be great fun thanks to your hilarious performances." He then went on to suggest, "I thought it would be interesting, and a great way to get into character, if all you you brought your own box of 'love litter' for the shoot - this is the collection of romantic tokens from your broken relationships - notes, trinkets, love letters, locks of hair, little gifts that your ex gave you - that you have brought to the cult meeting to destroy, and thus purge your pain. It doesn't have to be too much, just eight small items or so, and we won't actually destroy them!
"Also, if you could possibly take a photo of yourself with a friend of the opposite sex and email it to me by Friday, then I will print them out and we can add them to your boxes - it should be someone who might look like they were your ex, and it should be of you two hugging, smiling, something happy. I think it would add a great detail to the scene. Also, you can choose the box or bag you bring them in - for example, it might be a woven shopping bag, a black briefcase, a jewelery box, or an office supplies cardboard box - something that your character would choose to bring these tokens in. It should be something you own, I don't want anyone buying anything, but again I think it will add to your character. I have attached the script, and as you can see it calls for two of the Plovers to bring 'special' or funny items - in the script it is a dog collar and a cucumber, but it can be anything."
While ironically he neglected to actually attach the script to the email, I felt the prop use was a good idea (at best an opportunity for some great visual sight gags). I knew I certainly could assemble a few interesting items, one of which I knew I'd have to include (if anything to see if it would be accepted), would be a good sized Dalek "figure" [photo here for those unfamiliar with Daleks]. I figured I could have it amongst what else up with which I can come. I felt this would make for a great visual in-joke, as the majority of people who really know me know my affinity for Daleks, plus the director being from Cambridge, England...
I inquired of my roommate whether she would be open to the "couple" photos. Obviously no kissing shots, but a few "Ah we're together and happy" type shots. She begrudgingly agreed to it.

Thursday October 29, 2009
Photo, pretty much
My friend claimed to be in a rush but still agreed to do the photo to be used in the short. Using her iPhone, we snapped off numerous shots experimentally, but she was too rushed for another set once I had the angle right, so the photo focuses on her dog's shoulder and me, and her face is relatively in the shot, her normally being a perfectionist notwithstanding. As I still cannot quite get the angle of her iPhone, the shot came out badly-lit, dark-orange, unfocused and blurred photo, one can just about make out my face and what seems to be her forehead and, hidden mostly by a large dog's shoulder (even his face was out of frame), a set of eyes.
She emailed the photo to me so I could forward it to the director, which was done; he responded positively and with thanks that he'd received it.

Saturday October 31, 2009
Final preparations
Emails were received providing the Melrose/Normandie neighbourhood location (which also happens to be Olly's domicile). My own printer decided it had a paper jam, no evidence to such an effect notwithstanding, and as the very final version of the script was received Friday evening, I had no way to print it out to study it. The scene from the sides for which I read was noticeably absent, so I began to think I'd become something of a glorified featured background, but at that point it still remained to be seen.
Olly relayed his request we create "love litter," stuff that would be from our broken-up relationships, which in my case would include the photo taken the day before. For the rest I placed into a small plastic container (so most if not all could be seen), a photo envelope, a small dragon figure, and the Dalek, as well as movie ticket stubs and previous month bus passes. In general, a collection of what I call Random Funny, as they are seemingly so random.
My calltime was to be 11am, so I get my MTA directions and was all set for the next day's shoot.

Sunday November 01, 2009
The MTA was being a bit uncooperative, and I arrived a couple of minutes past 11am, but I'd called Olly to indicate such and there was no problem.
Time-wise it was a long day, for a student film; the cultists were wrapped around 7:30pm, but never throughout the day was it ever boring nor did it ever feel like a long day. The crew were pleasant, director Olly and producer Stephen even took turns working the boom mic. The sides at the audition implied a goodly supporting role, while technically, apart from the three main character principals, the rest of us were (very) Featured Background, but we were at least treated as though we were principals.
Once we got going, and my "love litter" was brought out, Olly was surprised and amused at the inclusion of the Dalek, and had no issues with it being used. I was amused and surprised that several of the actors recognized what (and from what) it was.
One of the very first thing we did was the tearing of the prop-photos. It was a one-take thing; the camera was from behind the cult leader David so of my prop photo all one could see (as well as the prop photo Ginger Pennington used), was the white back (Ginger Pennington played Marie, one of the three principals).
One aspect that I probably should have done differently; at the top of our scene we do a "My name is ______ and I'm a Plover." What I thought was a run-through or rehearsal was actually shot, and we each used our own given names. Hope that doesn't come across too weird; normally I would not call myself Geoffrey in a film, I'd most likely use Lawrence, the second half of my given name, and a surname from my mother's side of the family.
The meal was pizza; I found out early enough to relay I don't eat pizza. Asked what I would like, I accuratedly pointed I'm inexpensive to feed: a McDonalds double-cheeseburger [plain], medium fries and a medium regular coke [light ice]. I figured it not only was it inexpensive, but I could collect a few current Monopoly game pieces. The pizzas arrived... and two 2-liter bottles of diet soda, but no McDonalds (and no regular soda). Just before I figured I'd have to go forage (which wouldn't be the first time on a student film, and at least at the corner were a few small grocer type stores), someone pointed out a single-cheeseburger had been procurred... Carls Jr. Oops. Carls Jr.'s burgers are Just Tolerable to me; their fries are edible despite generally being pretty nasty; even reheating them I was only able to eat about half of'em, but it was still better than having to go forage on my own (beyond my walking down to the corner to procure a regular soda so I could have something to drink after the food).
Considering his email signature, I clarified that Olly prefers that to Oliver. As his professional name is Oliver, one may note early on in this report I shift from referring to him as Oliver to calling him Olly, once we began working together.
Sporting a rather Pat Priest blonde hairstyle, co-star Ginger had a good sense of comic timing, and at one point (I think during lunch), revealed being from Kentucky. I pointed out my best friend (who eventually would, based on results, publically and openly lose her mind, and days later betray me), was from Bowling Green but I happened not to mention my then-friend's name (I didn't learn until later that the two did know each other...!).
While still light out, Olly brought us to the front yard for a photo shoot, intimating they'd be photos possibly for the DVD cover or such.
It looks like it should be a funny little movie. Can't really say much more as yet, as it could end up having spoilers.
Fellow cultist Lisa Mayo was nice enough to drop me at the Vermont/Santa Monica Red Line station; as luck would have it I only had a five minute wait, and at Universal one of if not the last Rapid Bus of the evening was backing up to come 'round for its pick-up, getting me home by around 8pm'ish.
It may have been my own email, but Olly and Steve had some difficulty getting attachments to me (script, callsheet, et al), but they had copies of each for me. When I got home I noticed the callsheet only listed the three main principals, none of the cultists. I emailed Olly requesting a list, so I could credit them here, as well as find them on the IMDB, MySpace and/or Facebook (my having already found and linked up on Facebook with Lisa Mayo and Ginger Pennington).

Tuesday November 03, 2009
Appreciative acknowledgement
Stephen Parsey sent out a nice thank you email to the cast and crew:

Date: Nov 3, 2009 2:09pm
Thank you all so much for coming out to work with us on our short film "All You Need Is Plove." The shoot went very smoothly, owning to your preparedness and professionalism on the set, and we greatly appreciate your time and effort. The final cut of the film will be completed in approximately 5-6 weeks, at which time Olly will get in contact with you regarding DVD copies of the movie.
Until then, here's wishing all of you a happy holiday season and best of luck landing your next gig! If you have any questions or issues that arise in the mean time, please contact Olly or me via email (we are both addressed on this email).
Thanks again.
Stephen Parsey, Producer, "All You Need Is Plove"
It may seem an odd thing to add here, but very few student film makers have the professionalism to take the time to say Thanks. I've been lucky many have with projects on which I've worked, but certainly not all do the same.

Tuesday December 08, 2009
Olly sent us an email, to wit: "We've been working hard on 'Plove' and are happy to say that the film is finished and ready for screening tomorrow at USC. I know this is short notice, but if anyone would like to come and see their work, along with some of the other student films from my class, then we will be holding a mini festival in room 110 in the School of Cinematic Arts building. The festival is split into two sections, during which all audience members must stay in the room, but I haven't been told which section I'm in yet - either 12-2pm or 2-4pm. Also, could you please send me your address so that I can mail you a copy of the film. All best, and thank you so much for all your hard work."
"Sadly" I had a commitment early Wednesday evening: a screening of An Education, after which was a Q&A with the rising starlet Carey Mulligan, of whose work I've admired since Blink.
I RSVP'd and provided my mailing location for the DVD copy.

Monday December 21, 2009
I received the DVD; being a dark comedy, the film was more Highly Amusing than laugh-out-loud funny. My friend had nothing about which to worry (as I continually assured her to no avail); the shot of us actually tearing up the photos was not used, most likely for the fact the images already faced away from the camera as it was.
The cultists still come across as featured ("we have no lines") background, but Ginger makes up for that in her performance.

Click on a thumbnail for full size view
Geoffrey Gould as Plover cultist in ''All You Need is Plove''
As the Plover cultist in
All You Need is Love
Ginger Pennington behind the scenes during ''All You Need is Love'' shoot
Ginger Pennington
behind the scenes
Behind the scenes: the cultists of ''All You Need is Love'' director Olly Riley-Smith
The line-up: the Plove cultists behind the scenes
(albeit in Olly's front yard).
Geoffrey Gould With Ginger Pennington and ''All You Need is Love'' director Olly Riley-Smith
With Ginger Pennington and
director Olly Riley-Smith
Geoffrey Gould with ''All You Need is Love'' producer Stephen Parsey
With project producer
Stephen Parsey

Monday May 23, 2011
Second project
Olly contacted me to participate for a shot for another USC student film project, a spec-commercial he'd also written entitled Inspiration...

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