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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Wednesday June 05, 2013
Really wanted
After a severe dry spell, I got a call from my booking service about a three-day shoot on what I was told was a TV pilot titled Comet starring Justin Long, slightly over eight years earlier with whom I'd worked on the feature film Accepted.
The shoot, however (with a 7am calltime), was in Fillmore, and neither of us even knew precisely where that was. My computer was being annoying, and I had to call back once I got my wonky Firefox browser to stay on a Google Maps tab long enough to find it was way outside public transit range, on the far side of Simi Valley.
Moments before I could call back, I got a call from Abigail who was doing wardrobe on the project. I had to tell her I was about to report to Booked that there was no way for me to get there.
Shortly after conveying the results to Booked, they called back; it turned out they wanted me so much (portraying a bartender), that they were arranging to have a PA or such to retrieve me each shoot day (and presumably get me back at the end of the day). They would let me know if that was a Go.
I was floored. Soon aware I was back on the skins, Abigail called back, indicating if I had black shoes and a black belt, to bring them along. Booked had not yet notified me to confirm, so I called back, as I had a Business Call from 7-7:30pm+, I called to indicate my awareness that Someone was coming to get me in the morning. I was told they'd be in the office to about 9pm, so I'd get all the pertinent information.
Just before 8pm got a call from second AD Stephanie indicating my calltime would be 9:30am, so they'd be working towards an 8:30am pick up for me (I knew I'd be ready by 8am...).
Later when I checked the call-in info line, which turned out to be totally inapplicable to me, I heard that those checking in would go to the local railway station as passengers thereon.

Thursday June 05, 2013
Shoot, day 1
My ride arrived, the very pleasant Chad, who, after we'd been talking for a time about worldly things, I asked whether he was an AD, PA or what. It turned out he was one of the producers on the film; he'd initially bought the rights to Into the Wild, although due to the Studio System, he goes uncredited. It also turned out he lived very close to me, so his being my ride was in no way out of his way.
Without much traffic, we arrived before my calltime, and the voucher was a surprising single page, no intrusive government forms either, which is always fine by me.
There were ten of us, nine passengers and myself as dining car bartender. In wardrobe, Abigail and her friendly crew Tiffany and Y.J. did me up nice.
We were brought to set around noon, and they continued setting up the shot until eventually breaking for lunch around "1pm." Justin and Emmy Rossum were brought in, and Justin was as friendly as he was on Accepted, chatting with us about films he seens recently, far past and those to which he looked forward to seeing with great anticipation.
Lunch was okay: good mashed potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, and some mystery-meat meat-sauced meatloaf thing that was nearly crossed the threshold of being Far Too Spicy.

(Remember that I do not believe in providing storyline spoilers myself [such often currently and/or eventually being readily available Elsewhere notwithstanding]; in my report/s I generally convey indications of where most likely I can be seen.)

Back on set, it was noted that they needed At Least One More person in front of the bar, so they wrangled Chad into doing it. This was amusingly ironic as, on the drive up, I'd mentioned his looking familiar (which he gets a lot), but he stresses never having done anything in front of the camera. Eventually when they shifted angles, and it was clear we were unlikely to be seen, or at least not read us properly, Chad departed.
At one point I did show Justin the good frame-grab photo of "the two of us" from Accepted, which he found hilarious (jokingly saying he was no longer "as attractive" as he was back then), and he endevoured to re-create the shot. Due to time constraints, we weren't able to manage it, but indicated we could try again Saturday. At the end of the day he was kind enough to take another photo with me in a more "proper" with-each-other pose.
We were wrapped, and being 7:15pm+ notwithstanding, we were signed out at 7pm. The production offices were in Sherman Oaks, literally a block away from my mail-matter rental box, a solid 44 miles away, but they only gave us 14 miles, essentially using a loophole of a surrounding 30-mile radius around the production offices. At the end of the day, Stephanie assured us they would clarify with SAG as to whether this was accurate, as negating 30 miles for people driving 44 miles (and even some driving even more than that), was not exactly very equitable.
As I changed out back to my civies, I indicated to Abigail my earlier noting someone's copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and one of her crew was finally reading the series, the rest of them already having done so. It turned out Abigail was into cool, spooky and paranormal things, so I gave her my information on The Paranormal View, and how she could listen to the show.
Understandably, Chad couldn't leave right away, but not too long afterward, they did finally wrap for the day, and after a quick meeting, Chad scooted me home, our looking forward to an albeit early Saturday call (7am), as between basecamp and the set sits a winery that apparently has a wedding and reception scheduled for Saturday, so we don't yet know how loud they could choose to be. The reception wouldn't start until 7pm, so a goodly portion of filming could get done. As it was, today got in more than expected, plus some pick-up shots to handle stuff from the day before, the day before being the first day or principal photography of an 18 day shoot schedule.
I did inquire as to how it was the project seemed so keen to have Me (enough to have me picked up and brought home each day), when "normally" they could just someone else. Chad told me that the film's director Sam Esmail really liked my Look.
In my train dining-car bartender outfit for ''Comet,'' Day 1
In my train dining-car
bartender outfit
With Justin Long at ''Comet'' train location, Day 1
At the end of Day 1
DVD frame-grab: Geoffrey Gould in ''Accepted''
Original Accepted photo, the pose
of which (with me behind him),
Justin wanted to try and replicate.

Saturday June 08, 2013
Shoot, Day 2
Chad and I arrived at basecamp at 6:45am for the 7am calltime, still in time for breakfast.
During the morning a few of the group went in, the rest of us waited in the near-set holding area, pleasantly chatting amongs ourselves. We did not get used until some time after lunch, which was more exotic than the day before. Thankfully I was prepared with my own meal, as it were.
With the rest of the backgrounders, we finally went in and after a few takes over the course of maybe a half hour, we went back to holding for another hour or two, and were wrapped. The music from wedding next door was certainly audible at holding, thankfully not on the train car. After we wrapped, and I'd changed and was signed out at 6:36pm (the time being after 6:45 notwithstanding), the music was all but hushed by the distance from basecamp.
Realizing there was less than fifteen minutes left on that evening's edition of my weekly live radio show The Paranormal View, I hopped onto Skype with my phone and got called in, able to say Hi and Bye, as it were, giving out the show's link information, etc.
As the show began to wind down, I noticed Justin and various higher-up crew (wardrobe, et al), arriving from the set, indicating they'd wrapped for the day. Chad showed up and I closed out my phone call, albeit most likely not quite cleanly as the Skype on the phone is different than on my desktop and I closed out the call by rebooting the phone so it would be sure to disconnect.
In the car Chad conveyed that he would be unable to transport me the following day, our mutually realizing too late had we been earlier aware of this, I could have seen if any of the backgrounders lived close enough to me. As it was, neither of us had any idea. We established that (certainly Most Likely), one of them could provide me with a lift back.
We hit majorly heavy traffic close to home, once on the 101 after the 170. Chad worked at finding alternative transport when Brian, one of the backgrounders who had my number (though not one to whom I'd thought I'd given my card), called me to report he'd had his own transport issues, his car's clutch having burned out and his having to have been towed home, forcing Brad to take into account that as well.
He narrowed it down to an intern to retrieve me, but shortly after dropping me off, Brad texted me that the production's transport van would pick me up at 5:10am. While this would get me to the location by about 6am (for a 7:30am call), at least I'd Be There, which worked fine by me.
I thanked him, and hope/d I could be of service to future projects of his, reminding him (actually as we said our goodbyes when he dropped me off), that I'm not "just" a background performer: I'm an Actor (Who Does Background).

Sunday June 09, 2013
Shoot, Day 3
The transport van picked me up at 5:20am, with one other passenger, who was brought to a fenced parking yard in west Burbank from which he retrieved a truck to bring to the location. The van went from there up to the location, getting me there at 6:15am. I checked out some of the nearby local stores, which were very quaint, and being Sunday, understandably closed.
Breakfast was available just around 6:45 or so, and the background actors began to show up shortly thereafter. A mature British woman named Barbara offered to take me home, "as a Plan B," if no one else was able to do so. It turned new friends such as David Lopez, Perry Karidis, Cean Houston and Hailie Kaye did not live as close to me as did Barbara and/or not going directly home at all.
Abigail and her crew dressed me up in my bartender outfit, which it turned out I did not have to use. Chad had said the night before on the ride home that I would not be seen (as the bartender); all those angles had been shot. At about lunchtime they indeed wrapped the interior train location, and we headed back to the main basecamp, after having spent four+ hours talking and enjoying each others' amusing company; a few were brought onto the train (Perry and Haikie, I believe), but not all of us, and certainly not I.
Back at basecamp we met the New Ten: those new-faces background (including but not limited to Brittany Dandridge), that were to be on the train platform we knew would be the next bit, at which 2nd 2nd AD Mikhaela Rosen directed us where to move when.
Before I could even be concerned about whether I was being wrapped and sitting around until the rest wrapped (what with all the bartender angles handled)., Abigail had me change out, and with my own jeans, I work a near white, pin-striped shirt, hidden beneath a long-sleeved grey sweater (the scene is set in late fall or so, hence our wearing wintery clothing while being filmed in high summer temperatures).
It was standard crossing to and fro; I was stepped out at one point during reverse angles as (as the scene progression would happen), I would be seen in the first part of the scene, at which point I enter the train with some others, but when I was sent down for the reverse that clearly would have me bi-locating (even more obvious than was already being done), after the first take, one of the crew noticed and pointed out I shouldn't be seen on the platform after I'd noticeably already boarded the train.
We filmed until about 6:45pm or so, and were signed out at 7pm (by then being 7:15pm notwithstanding).
Once in her car, Barbara indicated "being a private person," and I assured her I could remain quiet through the trip south. This apparently did not stop her from occasionally instigating mini-conversations, but she dropped me near her place, which was close enough for me to catch the bus at Santa Monica Boulvard and Fairfax, so I was back home by about 8:45pm.

The ''Comet'' background gang, day 3
David, British Barbara,
Hailie and Perry at the right
(didn't get the name of the blonde
mega-Taylor Swift-fan in the middle,
aka "Celeste" on Glee).
Brittany and Cean between shots on the railway platform in the ''Comet,'' day 3
Brittany and Cean between
shots on the railway "platform"
''Comet'' clapboard, day 3
Production Clapboard

Monday June 10, 2013
Another first
I received a call from the film's Production Coordinator Sandi; apparently with the I-9 forms being filled out Sunday (lawfully, such being non-applicable to the private sector notwithstanding), the identifications coercively utilized on the forms had not been visibly verified at the location. No mention of my rights-reserved form other than what she was asking of each: a photo of one's identification one "had to" provide. At her request I simply made a quick SmartPhone photo of my California state Republic identication and texted it to her, which worked fine.

Friday June 14, 2013
Going to my rental box, the previous Thursday's check was not there; at the time I suspected that that could have been my going there in the morning. I did check the IMDB and found the Anonomous Content film Comet now has its own entry, as well as a January 02, 2014 release date scheduled, so I updated my countdown page to convey that.
(I "only" mention Anonomous Content as the cool company did a couple or three of my early principal commercials).
I did go back in the early evening, but no (somewhat Much Needed). payment receipt was forthcoming this date.

Saturday June 22, 2013
That is, with the first check delayed, I waited to the end of the second week for the rest of the checks and got all three at once. I was surprised to learn the first check was delayed for us, but as it's such a low-budget indie, I didn't worry about it: what private-sector compensation for labour I received was much needed and much appreciated.
I did find it strange that the check for the ninth was dated the 14th, whilst the checks for the sixth and eighth were dated June 17th and 18th, respectively.

Wednesday January 01, 2014
Throughout the months, no apparently press or promotion for Comet has surfaced: no Facebook page, no trailer/s on YouTube; the film seems to have become a ghost. Even stranger, and could just be a coincidence, the IMDB entry for Justin Long does not list his "filmography" (though the phone app version of IMDB does).
Looking around I was able to find the film having a simply-existing, bare-bones wikipedia entry, still listing January 02 as its release date, but no mention of it regarding local theatres, even the art houses, all of which I checked.

Sunday June 08, 2014
Glancing through this year's Los Angeles Film Festival guide, I came across two showings for Comet, one in the evening of June 13th (already listed as sold out), the other the afternoon of June 18th. Considering its IMDB entry has updated the feature's release date information, this constitutes the film official premier.

Thursday June 18, 2014
I got to the Regal 10 an hour early; the queue behind me filled up nicely, and we went in about ten minute prior to showtime. The feature was introduced, with Q&A afterward by the film's director Sam Esmail and editor Franklin Peterson. After the film which I greatly enjoyed, I congratulated the two men; Franklin recognized me right off as the bartender, and Sam recognized me as well. Both were amused by my photo with Justin from one of the days at the location.
Like a surreal, dreamlike (500) Days of Summer, I was quite impressed with it. I was unaware Franklin had edited Safety Not Guaranteed, a great oddball film I enjoyed, or I'd have mentioned it to him.
As for visiblity, I can be seen about to board the train, while understandably soft focused. When Justin and Emma cross into the dining car, I am far more visible as the bartender, at the extreme left of the screen.
Just before they opened the house, I learned that my friend Rhoda Pell had played a homeless woman in it. Her main action was omitted, but she confirmed she was who I suspected was she; as Justin speaks to Emma on the phone (unaware she's hung up so she can sing to the radio), a side shot does show Rhoda sitting in the background, far more out of focus than me.

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