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
Left: 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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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, <![if !vml]><![endif]>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.
What are your current exercise goals and the routine you
are using to reach those goals?
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.
Tell me all about your wife and children.
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.
Which of the bodybuilders you filmed was the most fun to
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.
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
Which physique do you most admire of all those 30,000
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.
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?
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
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 can order
some of Wayne’s wonderful videos and DVDs right on the
www.gmv.com.au or email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org His products are high in quality as is
The ladies might want to purchase
an inspirational video such as "Fitness
Women of the World," or
Cory Everson's workout video (click on the pictures to
<![if !vml]><![endif]><![if !vml]><![endif]>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.