Trygve.Com > Diary > JournalWeblogDiaryWhatsis - September, 2004
actor bodybuilder geek weightlifter
World Conquest
September, 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
picture with the xl1

because ... well ... why the hell not ...?

it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Monday, September 27th


Far from Heaven:

Shooting finally wrapped on "My Fallen Angel" just short of 10:00 PM after a 16-hour shooting day. The call time had been 6:00 AM, but I'd had some extra prep work that needed to be done before getting in front of the camera that day, so I'd gotten up at a quarter-to-two that morning. Long day.

The hours are erratic and often long, but at least I don't have to deal with rush hour traffic very often. Yesterday's shoot was downtowm, but at 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM on a Sunday, not even downtown traffic is too bad.

During one of the breaks where they were rearranging the lights for the next shot, one of the actresses asked me if I only played bad guys. I said, "no," but that wasn't such a strange question, since that's all that a lot of people have seen me do. She then asked if it was fun to be the bad guy.

I said it was, and in a lot of ways, it's also easier.

When you're the hero, you've got to come across as someone everyone can identify with--the "everyman" character. Yet at the same time, you should also be interesting, and combining both of those into one performance is challenging. Lose either quality, and your audience won't care about you or what happens to you any more, and that's bad.

behind the scenes with Mark Grove on My Fallen Angel

When you're the villain, you can get away with being a lot more quirky and weird. You're free to explore the expression of "interesting" without the fear of turning off part of your audience. If they hate you, then they'll cheer when you go down at the end. If they identify with you, they'll enjoy watching your fiendish plans and exploits develop along the way.

Either way, you've "won."

the Fallen Angel, tempting the senator's daughter

The hero has no such freedom. He (or she) has to save the world, help baby ducks get across the street, fight evil and evildoers, and maintain a wholesome mental outlook and moral compass...without getting boring, coming across as too "goody-two-shoes," or otherwise getting on the bad side of any of the people in the theater seats.

It's a very enjoyable challenge to be faced with, but a challenge nonetheless.

As the villain, it's a more central challenge to find the right level of "interesting." You don't want to play the same character in every movie--unless it's a sequel and you are playing the same character (but you still want to show some kind of progression and change)--and you don't want to play a particular type of character the same way that three hundred other actors have already done it.

Still, you have to be sensitive to how much screen time you have and how much room there really is for your character development. In some cases--especially when you're a bad guy--you may need to be stereotypical enough that a pan across the room you're in will be enough for the audience to identify you. If you're too interesting and different, the risk is that they won't believe in you. Villains are like Tinkerbell that way; they need to be believed in.

Thursday, September 23rd


Don't Touch that Eyebrow!

That may be a line most people don't hear too often. But, then, I was planning on shaving off part of one of my eyebrows for a shoot next week. I'd been told that I was supposed to have a large facial scar--so, I figured I'd remove the part of my eyebrow where it crossed the area to which the latex appliance was to be applied.

It's probably important to get the correct eyebrow, and it's probably important not to do it too early, just in case your large facial scar gets written out of the script a few days before shooting.

Like it did today.

We'll see what else ends up getting added, deleted, or changed before next week. But, in the meantime, no major shaving adventures for me.

bad guy style number seven

On Sunday I get shot. It's nice to know these things in advance. It's even nicer to know the camera angles and what effects are going to be used to simulate the bullet hit.

Should your wardrobe show blood or conceal it? Does it need to cover a squib discretely while bursting easily on cue? All of these qualities and more are very important and, mysteriously, thrift stores do not segregate their wardrobe options with these critical issues in mind.

That's okay, though. The bigger problem is that thrift stores pretty much only carry three sizes: "waaay too small," "waaaay too short," and "too short, tight in the shoulders, too wide in the waist." The good news is that safety pins and a little tape will do a lot for improving the fit of your wardrobe, even if you might have to do some quick modifications for different camera angles.

Wednesday, September 22nd



I may just have to create an online form to streamline the process of ordering a bad guy for your upcoming feature.

You could just check a few boxes, indicating whether you wanted someone cold and unflappable, someone who delights in general villainy and mayhem, someone unstable and erratic, or someone who's just plain psycho. Then you can get into more details about attitude, habits, styles, quirks, and do forth.

Helps to get the basic down at first and then you can get into the details. Most scripts can be played out several different ways--some tell you a lot about what kind of person you're portraying, others tell you very little...or even give you several conflicting impressions depending on which part you happen to be reading.

brown beret

Ideally, you want to be able to imagine this character's entire life history, where he is now and--just as importantly--how he got there. That might sound silly if you're only going to be on-screen for ten minutes, tops, when the editing is done, but you want to make those ten minutes as good as possible. It's a little like starting a scene a bit early and ending it a bit late: even if the goal is for the camera to capture just one line, the feeling and the timing are easier to master when you actually start the scene a few moments before that critical line

You might not actually get that sense of life history from the director, the writer, or anyone else--there's nothing that says you can't just make it up yourself and hold it inside your own head when you're being that person. It's like drawing a graph to fit the points you have to work with--and a few simple checkboxes like

Psycho? [ ] yes [ ] no [ ] keep the audience wondering until the end
would be a enough to start some mental scribbling.

Monday, September 20th


Second-Hand Hero, King of Dreams:

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with low-carb diets.

...well, except for the "love" part.

I know plenty of people feel great on them, have lots of energy, etc., etc., on low-carb diets. I just don't happen to be one of them. Which is too bad, because I personally still feel they're worth doing from time-to-time, even if it does mean a lot of time spent feeling tired and "heavy," some goodly stretches of feeling just plain yucky, having to fight against reduced endurance and strength, and a reduced ability to recover from exercise.

I figure it's like training for a few weeks with sandbags strapped to your arms and legs--or like training at altitude, which is a popular thing out here: cyclists and Olympic athletes come out here to train at high altitude so they'll be able to perform even better when they go back to sea level with all that extra air.

 ...this way you're free to imagine that my hands are doing whatever you'd want them to... 

But it's not without its drawbacks (some of which I just mentioned up there). Besides the whole tired-and-nauseated bit, you've probably heard before that you'll lose ten or more pounds of water right off the bat. That's a big part of its popularity--you see quick results on the scale right away. You haven't really lost much fat at that point, but most people don't care, they just like to see the scale moving. If you're a bodybuilder, however, you do care, since most of that water is draining out of your muscles as you exhaust your supply of intramuscular glycogen, and every gram of that which you store in your muscles carries with it four grams of water. That actually makes up a good portion of the size of your muscles. If you're not a bodybuilder, you may never notice, because you're not losing actual contractile tissue and all that sort of stuff, so you're really just losing a whole lot more muscle size and shape.

I've been on low-carb for a bit and I'm tired of it, but I've still got a little longer to go on this phase of my diet and training schedule. I miss having biceps, though. Makes my t-shirts fit funny.

Granted, I got the urge to snap a "how I'm doing" pic tonight while I was doing dips, incline benches, and shoulder raises, so maybe I'd look a little better in this pose if I'd been doing lat pulldown and curls, but that's for tomorrow night.

on a low-carb diet

Or maybe not; I don't really get a "pump" on lowcarb; mostly I just get sore.

BTW, you might have guessed from this picture that I'm using my camera remote with the extra-long cord. While it's certainly easier for me to use than the self-timer for satisfying a sudden late-night photo urge, you still run the risk of looking silly because you're taking a picture of yourself with a rather unsubtle camera remote control in your hand.

...but by cleverly framing the shot so that my hands are placed beyond the edge of the picture, you don't see the remote at all. In fact, this way you're free to imagine that my hands are doing whatever you'd want them to.

er, um...yeah. Maybe this wasn't as great an idea as I'd thought.

That settles it. I'll just have to master the art of operating remote controls with my toes. I'm sure this will have benefits in many areas of life, most of which I haven't actually thought of yet.

low-carb coleslaw

This time around, my favorite lowcarb food discovery is this "Walden Farms 'No Carbs' Sugar-Free Ranch Dressing." (Seen here starring in the bowl of cole slaw that I finished eating about four paragraphs back.)

It's got three huge advantages: 1) it really has zero carbs (instead of being made of vinegar and corn syrup like most salad dressings), 2) it's relatively low in fat (4.5 grams per serving), and 3) it tastes remarkably good.

I should point out, however, that nothing tastes quite the same off low-carb as on, so a lot of things that are knock-your-socks-off tasty when you haven't even gotten to first base with a bagel in three weeks drop to barely palatable once you've renewed your relationship with Cheerios.

Walden Farms Sugar-Free Ranch Dressing does have an equal share of disadvantages, however: 1) I've only been able to find it at a "Super Target," 2) it's a bit on the pricey side, and 3) it tastes remarkably good. On any flavor of diet, it's a challenge to find things that are allowed and also tasty--but not so tasty that they induce a manic feeding frenzy that results in your eating twice the calories worth of "diet food" that you would have eaten in regular food...and spending four times as much to do it, because diet food is always more expensive and comes in smaller packages.

At least I figure that anything with cabbage as the principal ingredient is fairly safe. I don't think I got too wild with my apres-workout coleslaw, at least not in the overeating department. I can't afford to, anyway: tomorrow it's supposed to turn from today's eighty-degree sunshine into rain and possibly even snow. That's going to mess up any plans I had for going biking, so I'll have to come up with some other way to get my blood pumping.

But I think I'll go to bed first.

Hey! I could even start practicing my operating-remote-controls-with-my-toes skills while I'm falling asleep. Guess I'd better go pick out a remote that doesn't have any sharp corners. G'night!

Sunday, September 19th


The Death of Television:

It happens all the time: a product or service comes out that creates a niche for itself, develops a sizeable and loyal fan base, and--having attained success--methodically eliminates all the features and qualities that said fan base was sticking around for. Usually this is followed by the company in question publicly bemoaning its declining fan base.

MTV is certainly the classic example, though far from the only one. After it had attracted a large base of viewers who watched it for the music videos, they proceeded to all but eliminate music videos from the lineup. The broadcast TV networks have been complaining for quite some time about their declining viewership, and while it's easy to blame the Internet or video games, I ran into a more compellingly possible culprit just the other day.

Starting Friday, we started running commercials for Asgard Entertainment's stunt and FX classes and workshops. Even though this is a relatively small campaign, it turned out to be a lot more difficult to do this time around than any of the TV advertising campaigns we've run in the past.

I can still get advertising space in the (expensive) prime-time slots, but 1) that's expensive and 2) the late-night action movie audiences have better demographics for something like this at a much lower price.

stunt training commercial
(Click image to play commercial)

Or they would have, if anybody still ran late-night action movies. Or any entertainment programming at all. Over the years, nearly all of that has been replaced by "paid programming": half-hour- or hour-long infomercials for instant no-money-down electronic herbal abdominal exercise machines, guaranteed to drop inches off your waistline and/or wallet.

Even if you could schedule commercials inside somebody else's paid programming, you wouldn't want to. I'm sure *somebody* is out there watching one of the twenty-seven channels that are all simultaneously broadcasting infomercials for combination low-carb deep fryer/universal remote controls, but that person might not be the best candidate for getting into stuntwork.

Unless, of course, we came up with a way to learn stuntfighting, highfalls, and acrobatics in the comfort of your own couch with only a few mildly painful electrodes strapped to your body. But if we did that, then it would probably be better to just get into the infomercial business ourselves. I bet we could set the record for most stuff blown up during a late-night infomercial. People would even watch that, I bet.

Friday, September 10th


Flipping Out:

So I've ended up shooting behind-the-scenes "making of" footage for the DVD extras on the upcoming movie, The Surfer King. Personally, I tend to prefer doing things in front of the camera to behind it, but I'm flexible. I'm just trying to cut down on the heavier stunt work because I've been injured for real too many times. (Whereas looking like you've been injured--or even killed--on film is all part of the job.)

It's a pretty laid-back movie to be working on, which is nice. I've been on too many sets where things were much more tense and the cast and crew were a lot more frustrated. It might surprise you to know that, despite the title, they aren't generally calling each other "dude" all the time.

behind the scenes with the XL1

Now, since it is a movie, they did, of course, adhere to the obligatory movie-scheduling paradigm where the stunts are scheduled to be shot at the beginning of the day when the performers are fresh and ready, but then after everybody gets there at their appointed call-times, the schedule keeps shifting around so that the stunts get shot at the end of the day after the stunt performers have been sitting around all day. In the case of the Surfer King, it really wasn't bad because it was a short shooting day and it was a warm and pleasant location, but this always happens. I don't know why.

Backflip with Surfboard

Mark Griffin of Asgard Entertainment has the toughest job: he's doubling Randy Wayne to do a backflip on a surfboard. It's not as easy as it looks, though Mark has certainly done tougher things before. Like most stunts, he had to do it the same way, over and over again, through different camera setups, so they could get all the different camera angles and frame rates they wanted, plus enough extra shots that they'd have plenty of flexibility if they changed their minds later about what would look best in the final edit.

So keep an eye out for the The Surfer King, currently scheduled for a 2005 release. Obviously, I'm looking forward to seeing what it all ends up looking like on the big screen (and what they end up using for the DVD extras when it comes out on DVD).

Friday, September 3rd


Thing a Thong:

After Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Universe 2004, stumbled during a fashion show at Westfield Shopping Centre near Sydney, Australia, accidentally tearing off her own dress (...and you thought these sorts of things only happened in the movies) Michelle Jasinski's picture as Jennifer Hawkins in Dragon and the Hawk has once again rocketed to the most popular single webpage on the servers out here, sometimes topping 1100 hits per hour.

jennifer hawkins from Dragon and the Hawk

That's not quite up there with the all-time hit record holders out here at Trygve.Com, The Furbeowulf Project and Evil on a Budget, both of which have occasionally edged over 28,000 visitors in a day, but it should tell you something about just how excited the world can get about the prospect of a brief glimpse of Miss Universe's undies.

I may have to rethink some of my ideas about the marketing aspects of film casting. Why bother with "name" actors if you can get just as good results at the box office by featuring somebody's underwear in your movie? Not only is used clothing generally cheaper than whole actors, it would only have to be a small part. In fact, where panties are concerned, it looks like the smaller they are, the least as far as audience interest is concerned.

Thursday, September 2nd


Ducts in a Row:

The September second issue of Network Computing Magazine is out, with a brief feature on me and the ISP that lives in my basement on the last page. Seems appropriate that I'd be in their "Affordable IT" issue, since I take a certain amount of pride in being a cheapskate.

network computing
artists conception

Personally, I don't think James Hungaski's artwork looks all that much like me, but I suppose a lot of people feel that way about drawings of themselves. I know I keep hearing how other actors look so much like me all the time, but 90% of the time I just don't get it. My mother, for instance, insists that I look just like Gérard Depardieu in Cyrano de Bergerac.

My nose might be a little big, but it's not *that* big.

I don't even own any brown pants. Though James did capture the high-water look, I usually wear boots to disguise the fact that clothing manufacturers have been conspiring against people of normal height for years.

But a bit of press coverage is always inspiring. In this case, for example, looking at their picture, I'm reminded that I really have to start working more on my flexibility again. (Which suffered horribly after my muscle tear some months back.) So, off to do some stretching.

trygve logo
what's new

- 2003 -


- 2002 -


- 2001 -


- 2000 -


Looking for somebody else's intimate personal secrets?
journals, burbs, and blogs--oh, my!

Tune in tomorrow for another episode


Trygve's Blog
Thailand VCD cover
Trygve's Digital Diary
The base of the tree