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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
Half Off, Presentation, Test, Glasses, and Clothes

Tuesday November 29, 2010
I got a call from Laura Skill from Advanced Casting. She had spoken with my calling service, and they conveyed my issue/s with transport, and she wanted to clarify with me personally that I could make a two-day 7am call in Van Nuys. I knew it'd be another all-nighter transport, as I got to do for the Raising Hope shoot, though in this case if all went according to plan I'd be arriving a bit before 5:30am for my 7am calltime.
I certainly wouldn't be late.
One thing Laura did not yet have was wardrobe information. She was able to give me with the Van Nuys location so I was able to figure out in advance how I was going to get there.
A strange power brown-out rendered useless my computer for a few hours, and dimmed the place's lights as though they'd all be switched with 25 watt bulbs. This ended in the early evening, and with full power restored I was able to retrieve Laura's email blast with the information, still without wardrobe requirements. The email did indicate the project was for Charter (cable, I presumed).
Just past 9pm Laura called with what information she had (the general vague notes wardrobe provides); one scene would be casual, jeans, sneaks, t-shirts, but 80s pastel/s (not exactly my wardrobe), and for another scene more business'y, dress shoes, et al. She's not really supposed to request I bring options, but she and I both know the drill. If I bring Just Me, wardrobe will be lost. If I bring every piece of clothing I own, they'll have everything for me of theirs already laid out. (Thankfully on many projects when I've only One Look [one outfit to wear], what I bring on my back generally works for them fine.) I ran a wash for what I would wear on my trip, and at half past midnight headed out to await the last bus of the night for that route at 1am...

Wednesday November 30, 2010
Weebly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey
I managed to get to the Saticoy Studios by 5:30am; understandably, it was closed up tight. The caterers actually were parked at the curb, waiting as well. An all-night donut shot was across the way so I spend some time there, nursing a chocolate milk and two donuts.
Around 6am, the gate had been opened but not so many lights turned on. After checking around I found an unlocked door, and what was either a security guard of the place's manager didn't seem to mind where I went, so I waited in the studio stage-set.
There stood a green-painted office'y set, seperated down the middle by a red line, which later would be marked as International Dateline Line.
It should be noted that working on a commercial is significantly different than working a movie or TV show. On a commercial, it's more familial and friendly; the main difference between principals and "background" is the pay-grade: beyond that, everyone is very friendly.
The rest of the backgrounders arrived early, around 6am+, all long before the 7am calltime: I met Frank Barwah (who apparently Knows Everybody and vice versa), who agreed to carpool me home that night and to and from the next day; Robert Barish of the mischievous smile and twinkling eyes; and Melissa Miller "as the pretty scientist" (as she wrote out her name so I could credit her herein), our both forgetting having previously worked together.
The catering truck was finally set up We were met by AD Brady Sloan, who showed us where was Talent Holding (all Talent, not just us), where I met the spot's lead Chris Fogelman (who recognized me, his having written and starred in the feature film Tripping Forward on which I worked and shown for the feature Strictly Background...).
Soon we were shown to wardrobe: Azalea Lee checked me with various Casual Wear, and eventually I was suited out with (and remained in), my own business attire look (including but not limited to wearing my own Cool bow-tie), along with a lab coat. I apologized that had I been aware, I'd have brought my own lab coat, which surpised them I'd have. As it was, due to what would take place later, I ended up not bringing it in Thursday morning.
As the morning progressed, whispers began to abound that this was a multiple commercial campaign; SAG Rep Steve Celentano confirmed this, that it was five spots shooting over the two-day shoot, also meaning Chris Fogelman was not merely the lead principal, but was Spokeperson level, which is substantially greater (status and pay-grade), than being Just Principal.
The concept is that the fictional facility being set on the International Dateline, allows one (Chris at least, anyway), to step from today/the "past" into the "future," as beyond the Dateline becomes "the next day/date." This premise was the basis of some comical aspects that certainly took the concept of Weebly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey to some new places. In one spot identical party balloons are on either side: as I'm on the today/"past" side, they're fine. The "same" ballons are more deflated on the Next Day side, a la the balloons being "24 hours later" (as though the Dateline works that way).
Each spot had another principal apart from Chris: Alan Abeyta (on "casual Friday" in the spot Half Off), Tomas Boykin (wishing Chris good luck on a next-day presentation Chris indicates having done in the spot Presentation), Sharon Omi (unaware she's suggesting a temporal paradox, at least in Chris's mind, in the spot Test), Collin Christopher (in a space-suit; I'm not sure how that bit of apparently special effects should look in the spot Glasses), but somewhat pleasantly surprisingly (the next day): Caroline Fogarty (for the spot Clothes), who recognized me as well, our having worked together before on the Arla commercial "Cow," though during the shoot date, neither of us could remember that being the project on which we'd worked.
Lunch was called on time, but we had some nice overtime, wrapping at 8:30pm (plus working with smoke, and [at least for all my clothes save the lab coat being mine], a wardrobe bump).
Brady signed us out at 8:30pm, although Azalea waylaid us and requested hanging onto our (own) clothes overnight, so we really didn't get out until 8:50pm.
Frank scooted down to the 101 and 134 as he lives in Pasadena, close enough for us to carpool: we agreed with the next day's 8:30am calltime we should leave where I'd been staying by 7:00am. We were astonished at how strong were the winds, which had blasted out of nowhere: it'd been a very calm day then in the late afternoon the first of the season's Santa Ana winds came so strong that the radio news reports were conveyong 94+ MPH winds.
Back where I was staying, just as I went to start updating this page, the power cut out.
It would remain out until about 3:30pm Saturday (thankfully in time for me to do my weekly radio show).
I had only just begun charging my phone; I had enough power to call Frank to let him know the phone might not last the night to wake me, that when he woke up (about 5:30am, he said). Later I realized my former phone was off to the side, plugged in, so it had a full charge. While I could not make calls with it, I could use it as my wake-up alarm. I had just enough power left in my regular Not-Smart phone to text Frank that I would be able to be up and ready for his 7am arrival.

Thursday December 01, 2011
The long dark
I was up and ready; at 6:55am I was out at the curb, when suddenly Frank appeared, on foot, at the corner. I wondered how lost might he have gotten to have parked his car to walk to find the street. It turned out he'd parked as a fallen tree was blocking the side street down which he'd driven.
The massive amount of power outages from the night before was due mostly to the astonishingly high amount of trees that had been pulled out of the ground by the unforgiving winds through Pasadena, Arcadia, Altadena, and Temple City. Shredding off massive branches and tipping over full trees were only part of the problem: as Frank drove down Lincoln, one of the traffic lights had been torn from its moorings.
The fallen trees snarled up traffic beyond belief. Thankfully Frank took my advice just to go around it. We headed up the 210 to the 118 across the top of the Valley, and exited on Balboa, just off which is the Saticoy Studios, so we still arrived in plenty of time.
The spots with Collin and Caroline were shot this date. In each spot the rest of us, as scientists, pretty much were in the same spot, to look uniform to the full set of commercials.
I discovered a lot of others had been affected by the savage winds. It turned out that Brady literally lived a few blocks from where I'd been staying, and his power was out as well, as was Azalea's and such.
Caroline was done by the time lunch was called, so she stayed for the food (impressive serving size of steak), and we got a photo together, which I later found ironic as she request for the Arla report her photo not be displayed.
The rest of us wrapped at 4:15pm; with the rush hour traffic having begun, we returned the way we came, over the Valley instead of through it.

Click on thumbnail for Full Image
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
Geoffrey Gould in
Charter commercial
campaign series
Robert Barish in Charter series commercial campaign
Robert Barish
Chris Collins in Charter series commercial campaign
Chris Collins
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
with Caroline Forgarty
Charter series commercial campaign backdrop
The backdrop outside our windows
Charter series commercial campaign International Dateline Line set
International Dateline Line set
Charter series commercial campaign International Dateline Line set
International Dateline Line set
Chris Fogelman rehearsing in Charter series commercial campaign
Chris Fogelman rehearsing
Thursday morning after the Santa Ana Winds
Frank and the Thursday morning
after the Santa Ana Winds
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
The resulting Santa Ana Winds'
destruction as seen Thursday morning
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
Destruction from Santa Ana Winds'
as seen Thursday morning
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
Local damage: Memorial park
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
Local damage: Memorial park
Geoffrey Gould in Charter series commercial campaign
Local damage: Memorial park

Wednesday December 28, 2011
Almost full circle
For my private-sector compensation for my labour on the five spots, I received payments (via five checks), which will assist considerably for a few months...
The next/last aspect is either catching them airing, or finding the spots online...

Friday May 04, 2012
Ah, there they are... most of them, anyway...
My having joined the free I'm On Film site, the Admin (with my permission), uploaded to my profile several frame-grabs from projects on which I'd worked. For no good reason I decided to Look Around online and came across a few of the Charter commercials. Not all those that were filmed, but four at least, and nearly all of them had had their titles changed, which is not surprising.

Charter Communications Commercial 2012
the one with Caroline Fogarty

The 24 Hour Test, in which I stand [removed]

The Presentation [removed]

$200 Credit [removed]

Saturday May 05, 2012
Testing, testing...
After posting the previous day's update on my Facebook group, and Sharing it therefrom to my regular profile, I got a thanks from Robert, as well as his notifying me that he'd learned some were "test commercials," that were not (to be) aired. Makes me wonder whether the Halls commercial was "just a test," hence it never airing...

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