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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
The Color Red
Erik Bishop's
Gnomon School of Visual Effects student film

Saturday October 27, 2012
Audition / cast
The Paranormal View, the live weekly radio show I cohost, airs Saturdays from 5-7pm pacific time. Normally I only miss it when I have a shoot or audition or investigation. For this Saturday I'd been offered to audition for their short The Color Red, earlier in the week for which I'd submitted. The audition was at the rather unusual time of 7pm Saturday, and while local to me (over at Highland Avenue just south of Sunset), I still had to leave my show at its 6pm halfway point. Normally I do the outro for the show's second break, but offered to outro the first break during which I could depart, ironically the evening guest, psychic medium and author Sally Richards, being a friend of mine, promoting her new book.
I arrived at the audition location at about 6:40pm, and the sign-in sheet reflected about 10-15 other actors having been auditioning since about 4pm. Had I even suspected a 4pm start, I'd have notified my co-host/s and gotten there around 3pm and waited to be Seen First, and possibly could have been back in time to cohost the remaining 75% of the show instead of missing 50%.
One guy was waiting before me, and was brought in whilst I hit the bathroom to make sure I was properly done up. The walls were thin and I could hear the guy's tone in the audition. The casting notice indicating improv, which is one of my strengths, as is Cold Reading.
They had the guy in there for a while, it was past 7pm when he came out. As we were each wearing shirts and ties under lab coats for the doctoral role, we pleasantly and tongue-in-cheek greeted each other, "Doctor..." as he headed out and I prepared to be called in.
Project producer Christopher Nightingale introduced himself to me, and introduced director Erik Bishop . whose relatively soft voice seemed to be being absorbed by the room's acoustics. I was told that Christopher (who was also handling the camera-work for the audition), would be reading opposite me. The bit would be a television interview; he had specific scripted questions concerning the topic of human cloning (the premise of the project, and of which the doctor character was researching), to which I would improv my responses.
We did it twice. The first time I went through rather straightforward, a bit cold and logical. In retrospect I realized in both takes I seemed quite talented in actually responding with somewhat evasive answers.
For the second take, Christopher suggested that the interviewer and I were also longtime friends, and we respect each other. While this did not change the questions being asked, it got to shift my perspective of the character. What do good friends do, particularly with different points of view?
They riff on each other (watch almost any The League episode). So I switched on my natural, MSTie-riff mode, and pleasantly evaded his answers with far more snarkiness. At one point asked how I could sleep at night (considering my research and position), I replied along the lines of, "I have two cats; they haven't had any problems." Christopher went to ask the next question when it hit him, and a snicker turned into a guffaw and then a laugh, joined by Christopher and the others. We were able to continue (I had simply maintained a pleasant smile as [(as the doctor character], I sat, politely awaiting the next question), after which I was thanked and we were done.
Around 10:30pm Christopher called, amusingly "reminding me" that I had "recently auditioned" for them and the project (as though it had been several days rather than about three hours earlier), and I was offered the role of Doctor Fincher, and was told the shoot date would be November 10th.

Sunday November 11, 2012
Script and shifts
Erik emailed me the script (at least the interview scene); I neglected to enter that previously, the shoot date had been shifted to the weekend of the 17-18th, settling on filming in Sunday the 18th. This move briefly conflicted with the schedule of Overeasy but as it was, both film projects' schedules had shifted. Sunday the 18th was fine for The Color Red as the shoot dates for Overeasy had shifted to Tuesday the 13th and Thursday the 15th.

Saturday November 17, 2012
While working on the Overeasy project, I had been sent the "callsheet" for The Color Red, which I retrieved when I got home, reflecting a 10am calltime at a green-screen studio less than two miles from where I'd been staying. Producer Tanny had texted me while I was on set (my phone is on Silent when I'm on set, but between set-ups I check and came across it in the early evening), asking if I'd received Erik's email, which I had but had not time to reply, indicating wardrobe request/s, et al.
The "callsheet" (not quite a proper callsheet, more simply informational), also indicated the project was indeed titled. The Color Red. According to the "callsheet," I'd be facing off with Michael Uhlman as the interviewer. With a 10am calltime with a noon first-shot target, if they stuck to the schedule, I suspected I could be wrapped by 2-4pm.

Sunday November 18, 2012
I'd been battling to learn the tongue-twisting lines since receiving the script, but while technically easy hearing, or wasn't super easy saying. I did not bother with the bus; I walked and spoke aloud my lines (working at saying them with the pages at my side), and arrived at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects on Cahuenga at Santa Monica Boulevard by 9:40am for my 10am calltime. The front gate guard directed me to the sound stage at the far end (of course), at which I came across Christopher who had arrived around the same time.
As we waited for the rest to arrive, Christopher and I chatted, the Brit rather impressed with my ability to do an accurate British accent.
The restroom to which we had access was within the jaw-droppingly impressive Art Gallery in the next building over.
while initially I was unsure as to why a 10am calltime when even the "callsheet" listed the first shot at noon, when my friendly co-star Michael Uhlman arrived, I found he had been having the same tribulations as I as far as the challenging mouthful lines were concerned. We ran through the brief scene numerous times as they set up inside the small airplane hanger-like green screen stage.
Eventually we were brought in, the "entire set" being two lab stools on which we sat, with a metal table between us. Everything else visually, as far as the laboratory in which we were sitting, would digitally be added in later.
Despite the scene's chronological brevity, Michael's interviewer lines and my near-technobabble responses were still not exactly off-book letter-perfect. However, thankfully, Eric stressed the script was a guideline; as with the audition, we were free to improvise. To we actors, this meant more that if we remained to the context of the line, the actual wording of the line was pliable.
Running sound, Edmond Smith set us up with our body-mics, and Christopher ran slate (Tanny ran slate when Christopher went out to get our lunches).
Michael and I actually liked our scripted lines, our having a tricky time actually saying them as written notwithstanding. As we're the sort that do better learning lines Whilst Rehearsing (and neither of us had had anyone against whom to play the scene to learn it), we did the best we could.
There were actually about fourteen set-ups, and while we had about two or four takes per set-up, the actual Next Angle Set-Up is what took much of the time. Our Director of Photography Ryan Chapman, had his work cut out for him. With the green screen wall behind us, the lighting had to be far more specific, plus the large room was not really built as a Sound Stage, per se. Its metal walls which rose to meet as a dome ceiling created a nightmarish echo effect. The simultaneous lack of sound-proofing forced us to hold for passing motorcyles, low-flying small airplanes, etc. We also had an unwelcome guest: a very loud, non-stop cricket Somewhere in the small building. Eventually they learned if they scared the crap out of the cricket, it would stop, and by raising the automatic metal garage-door seemed to do the trick, for a while at least. I pointed out to Christopher that at worst, we could come in and ADR our lines.
We ran the scene for each set-up, some inserts and pick-up shots were added, and after lunch, the last set-up was a crane shot that would look straight down at us.
Christoher took some behind the scene shots that Tanny promised would be sent along; after Michael and I were wrapped, the film's second scene (which actually would be inter-cut throughout the interview scene), would feature Tanny, her own set consisting of a white chair and white table, and the background of which would also be added digitally. I'd asked Erik about the pre-vis to see if I could see artwork as to what he had in mind for the digital sets, visually, but either he did not understand my question/s thereof, or he didn't have any pre-vis artwork done up yet. He told us it could be "up to two months" for the film to be completed, which we barely a hiccough to me considering some projects on which I worked took 6-9+ months to complete.
Michael I were wrapped at about 6pm, a bit later than anticipated, but thankfully the buses were remarkably cooperative (ironically, in that each was several minutes later than their schedule), so I was able to get up to the open dinner party at which my longtime friend, author and online radio host Amber Grayson Vayle was a guest, to which she had invited me so we could finally meet in person.

Click on thumbnail for Full Image
Geoffrey Gould with fellow co-star Michael Uhlman behind the scenes, working on ''The Color Red''
With fellow co-star
Michael Uhlman
Producer (and performer) Tanny Jiraprapasuke behind the scenes, working on ''The Color Red''
Tanny Jiraprapasuke
behind the scenes,
working on The Color Red
Geoffrey Gould behind the scenes, working on ''The Color Red''
DP Ryan Chapman,
director Erik Bishop, and
producer Christopher Nightingale

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