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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
Oliver Riley-Smith's USC student film

Monday May 23, 2011
Olly's Cannes Do outlook...
The evening before, I got a text from Oliver Riley-Smith from USC who wrote and directed All You Need is Plove on which I worked. He was doing a USC-based Spec Commercial titled Inspiration, and asked after my availability the subsequent evening, for a 5-10pm shoot.
I replied that due to bus schedules, I might need a ride home, and we negotiated that while I'd probably be wrapped by about 8pm, if I hung out until 10pm'ish, a ride home could be provided.
As it turned out, the Echo Park location was such that if I were wrapped at 8pm'ish, I would probably have little problem really getting back to where I'd been staying near Pasadena, so everything seemed to be working out there.
The private domicile being used was a few blocks from the nearest 603 bus stop, and thankfully I was being characteristically early, as the street was short enough the bus got to its end without even announcing the street stop (later I suspected that that street does not have a southbound stop, only northbound). Thankfully the 603 runs with uncharacteristic frequency for an MTA route, so I didn't even have to wait five minutes to get back to Allensandro at Baxter. Then I arrived at Allensandro and saw that Baxter, up which I had to walk, essentially was straight up, at seemingly a 45 degree angle! Halfway up the first block I was thankful in the knowledge at least heading back to the bus would be downhill... and then I reached the crest of the rise, at Alvarado, only to see the street drop again at the impossibly steep angle, valley out at Lake Shore Ave, then rise tauntingly again up to Lemoyne.
I reached the location understandably sweaty and half-exhausted in the humid warmth near the end of the afternoon. Inside Olly greeted me warmly, pleased I was able to participate, and was sincerely apologetic about the horrific hike I had up and down the insanely steep streets.
I was offered snacks and soda and a chance to relax and (considering my sweating), cool down before being made-up. Olly told me he'd seen me in The Maiden and the Princess; it turned out he was at the same May 15th screening I'd attended at USC; I told him that I'd spotted his name in the credits the same evening for the short GoldenBox (as second assistant director), but I was not aware he was in attendance as well.
I showed Olly the upscale casual shirt I'd brought, which he had to veto as it was "too blue;" the main male character in the scene would be wearing blue (ironically I'd literally bought the shirt the day before). Olly provided me with a grey shirt which worked: I wore my brown jacket over it.
Garrett Nichols came in to play the main male character at an advanced age. Olly was not aware Garrett and I had worked together before, on the Jerry White USC short Greeters, though Olly didn't find it overly surprising, knowing how "Jerry gets around," being involved in numerous projects and such.
Chinese food was brought in for lunch (this was not the start of the shoot's day: it was going into its second half; we actors were a different aspect of the short). Olly explained to Garrett and me that the short is a spec commercial, which if selected, could be shown at Cannes, as well as possibly lead to Other Things.
Talentwise we were joined by Audrey and Jhil, the former being one of the bedside mourners (as was I), and the latter being the mourned, at peace as on her deathbed the end of her life comes to its close. Jhil was made up to look older and understandably far more Sickly.
As with Plove, Olly is one of those Extremely Well Pre-Prepared Directors, so everything was set up, and we were brought in, Garrett with his kneeling next to the bed, going over Happy Memory photos, Audrey knelt next to Garrett, and in a chair I sat behind him; standing behind Audrey was Arne Gjelten. I thought to myself I should have brought a copy of Roberta Grimes' book The Fun of Dying for the bedside table (essentially for the irony, as well as it being the perfect book to give to anyone whose condition is terminal), but most likely being so On The Nose, Olly probably would not have been able to accept its use.
After a couple of camera rehearsals and a few takes, the main shot was done, and I was wrapped. While we stepped out for the camera to be set up for the next shot, Olly thanked me, and notified all the talent that the finished product would be on YouTube "in about a week," and that he certainly would let us all know when it was up.
Olly got Andrew Nackman to scoot me over to Allesandro so I would not have to traverse the insane hills. As it was, the next 603 was a only a minute or two wait; the connection/s therefrom got me to the second to last bus of the evening up towards where I've been staying.

behind the scenes for the student film short ''Inspiration''
Oliver Riley-Smith on the bed with Jhil McEntyre;
Garrett Nicholes and I, with Audry Tommassini.
behind the scenes for the student film short ''Inspiration''
Looking down Baxter from Alvarado to Lake Shore Avenue, with
Baxter Street mockingly rising up to Lemoyne in the distance,
a perfect example of, "You've gotta be [effin'] kidding me...!"
behind the scenes for the student film short ''Inspiration''
Conveying the insanely steep angle of the four
blocks of Baxter Street I had to traverse on foot.

Wednesday May 25, 2011
On arriving home from the first of two days of the Drowned shoot, I opened an email from Olly, reporting that while the commercial will be uploaded soon, that what with the commercial framework (limited number of seconds, as well as limited number of seconds per shot), the deathbed scene only shows Jhil and Garret now. Olly did convey that a second version would be created and uploaded as an 'actor's cut' which would contain everyone (I called it "the extended, director's edition").
I assured Olly that I would, of course, still promote the "official" version, and urge my friends to vote for it (e.g., entering a LIKE vote for it at its YouTube page).
Almost minutes later, Olly replied, providing the YouTube Link for the video.
For the moment, I provide here the direct YouTube Link so you can go there directly, view it there, and select the Like button.
When the contest voting is over, I will embed the official version here, as well as the Extended, Director's Edition"...

Oliver Riley-Smith's video submission for the
Ogilvy & Mather Create or Else Cannes Competition 2011.

When ideas leap from one place to the next;
a visual journey exploring creative connections.

(official version)

Sunday May 29, 2011
Discovering some completed, unfinished business...
Friday the 27th, working on the USC Thesis film The Films of Avi Krum, on which my USC director friend Jerry White worked sound, I asked after the progress of Dog Eared, on which Jerry had also worked sound. He was astonished to learn that I'd never been notified that it had been complete nor had I been invited to its screening. It also turned out I had forgotten that Olly had been one of the Dog Eared project's producers, and I could have asked him after it when I worked on Inspiration (d'oh)...
Jerry assured me he'd contact all those who dropped the ball regarding [not] keeping me in the loop on Dog Eared, and Sunday morning I sent an inquiring email to Olly as to whom to contact at least in my receiving its DVD copy.

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