One of the most rewarding things about being a top bodybuilder is the number of interesting people you get to meet. I've met politicians, Hollywood stars, captains of industry, photographers, and thousands of wonderful people who just share my love of bodybuilding.
One of the nice guys involved in this sport that I consider a friend and one of the best assets to the field of bodybuilding is Wayne Gallasch. All of us who love this sport owe Wayne Gallasch a debt of gratitude for preserving on film the history of our sport.
Shooting film since 1968, some of Wayne's videos are the only record we have of the seminal events and early stars of the sport. I met Wayne in 1978 when he made several films of me at Venice Beach, California. Now as I have been training hard again, I have rekindled my motivation to get in the best shape I've been in in years by ordering some of Wayne's great films.
Watching the great stars of yester-year in Wayne's videos has motivated me just as seeing photos of these guys in magazines motivated me as a teenager. In other words, I have been able to tap into a teenage willingness to do what it takes to get in shape by recapturing the images of the men who inspired me to train in the first place.
Above: This is one of my favorite pictures that Wayne took of me. The beach is always a good place to take uncluttered photos that allow maximum display of the subject. His placement of the horizon at my waist to allow the sky to highlight my upper body, taken at a perfect time of day for the sun's shadows to highlight my development, all demonstrate Wayne's skill as a bodybuilder's photographer.
In filling my order, Wayne wrote me a personal note and rekindled our friendship. It was great to be in touch with a man that loves the sport even more than I do. We are planning to spend some time together when he visits the USA next year.
In the meantime, I thought I would introduce Wayne to those of our readers who don't know him with the following interview:
[ Richard: ] Wayne, it's so good to be in touch again. You are one of bodybuilding's greatest photographers and its premiere videographer.
One of the things that impresses me about you, Artie Zeller, Gene Mozee, John Balik, and a few others, is that you are an athlete in your own right. Take a moment to brag about your own accomplishments in the sport.
Wayne: Well, I did well enough in bodybuilding to win the Mr. South Australia title in 1968, but I became fascinated with capturing all the greatest bodybuilders on film. I began small, filming my training buddies in Adelaide in 1968, but flew to Perth, Western Australia, in May of 1970 to film the current Mr. Australia title holder, Frank Colombera.
By September I really began filming the greats of the sport with my first trip to the London based NABBA Mr. Universe, capturing Arnold Schwarzenegger's fifth and final Mr. Universe win. Zane won the overall Amateur Mr. Universe title that day.
The next year in Paris I filmed my first Mr. Olympia event. It was the beginning of filming many more Mr. Olympia events and IFBB Grand Prix professional shows. I've shot and produced more that 780 bodybuilding and fitness films and videos as at the end of 2004.
[ Richard: ] I'm very impressed. Now I'll embarrass you further by asking you to talk about the awards you've received in recognition of your contributions to recording the history of bodybuilding on film and video.
Wayne: Back in 2000 a Legends Reunion was held for me in Los Angeles at World Gym, with many of the famous guys attending who had been filmed by me over the previous 30 years.
One of the most famous to attend was Mickey Hargitay who starred in dozens of films, many of them being the Hercules genre. Also Gordon Mitchell who starred in over 100 films, many also of the Hercules genre. Plus Larry Scott, the first ever Mr. Olympia in 1965, Dave Draper, Tom Platz, Clint Beyerle, Ernie Santiago and many more.
In 2003, I received the Art Zeller IRONMAN award for outstanding achievement in bodybuilding cinematography. I have also received Lifetime Achievement awards from two of the local bodybuilding organizations in Australia.
Wayne: I have never stopped working out, as it helps me stay in top shape for the stresses of constant international travel. One has to be in very top physical shape for all the traveling and camera work and for dragging around a lot of gear.
My present training focus is on Concept 2 indoor rowing competitions where I presently hold the #1 world ranking for the 500m event in my age and weight category (lightweight) at the end of the 2004 season. I work out five days a week doing basic bodybuilding movements. But what I'm really doing is training for fitness and, I hope, long term good health.
I also train every second night on my indoor rower. I like to compete overseas in the British Indoor Rowing Championships which are held each November in Birmingham.
[ Richard: ] Tell me all about your wife and children.
Wayne: My business partner and wife, Tina, has been working with me since the 1980s, doing all the hard miles with me through thick, thin, and many migraines-hers, not mine!
My son Sean took over the editing of my work in 1994, so this is truly a family business with my family supporting me all the way.
[ Richard: ] Which of the bodybuilders you filmed was the most fun to work with?
Mike Mentzer would have to be at the top of the list. He was fantastic as he once said he would pose for as long as I had film in my camera. He would work till he dropped. Not only did he have a sensational physique he had charisma as well.
We worked together a number of times with my capturing him at his peak. His films, now sold as DVDs today, are more popular than ever, along with the Arnold videos and DVDs. They are the best and most popular two guys I ever worked with.
By comparison, Sergio Oliva was one of the most difficult film shoots I ever had as things were always against us.
The first time Sergio had just lost a very close decision to Arnold in the 1972 Mr. Olympia in Essen. Naturally he was not feeling too happy and did not really want to be doing a film shoot.
The second time with Sergio was in 1977 in Paris in winter. I made him stand out by the side of the hotel pool where it was very cold. It was probably my fault that that film session did not go more easily!
[ Richard: ] Which physique do you most admire of all those 30,000 you've recorded?
Wayne: Well, Arnold is the most famous. In 1972 he was guest posing in Australia up on the Gold Coast. I filmed the event, a Mr. Southern Hemisphere. I made a contract with Arnold to film him the next day in a pumping and posing bodybuilding movie pool-side.
This was in June 1972. He said "You will make a lot of money out of this - I will be very famous one day." His predictions were both correct as my film "Arnold - The Early Years" is usually my best selling video and DVD each month, and has been for some years.
[ Richard: ] What inspired you to film and videotape all these bodybuilders and shows. I don't think you were the first, but you have become the biggest, haven't you?
Wayne: I wish to leave behind me a comprehensive record of the sport I love. Much of it would otherwise never have been recorded, and now future generations will be able to look back and see just what made Arnold Schwarzenegger such an amazing bodybuilder-from the age of 19 to the present day as Governor of California. Talent spotting and recording young people I feel will be future champions is both satisfying and rewarding.
These days TV producers from USA and Europe regularly contact me for archival bodybuilding material on many great physique stars of the past, and in particular Arnold. The passion, which I first experienced in the late sixties, still remains.
You male baby boomer's might really enjoy the classic titles I have ordered such as Classic Collections Vol. 1 and 2. I just watch these videos over and over to psyche myself up for some great workouts. I hope to post some pictures of the results of my renewed training this spring!
Well, there you have it, boomers. A source of great inspiration for the New Year as you make and reach your new fitness goals.
Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC.
Richard Baldwin, Member. Legendary Physique, LLC.
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Copyright 2004. Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved.
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