The Illusion Motorsports crew cut up a Sportster gas tank and lowered the tunnel so that they could Frisco-mount the tank on the backbone.
The Illusion Motorsports crew cut up a Sportster gas tank and lowered the tunnel so that t
HB: With clubs being so guarded how were you able to get a closer look inside?
John had experience in the world, he had friends that were in clubs in Oakland, and he was really the guy that facilitated and said, “Why don’t you get together with these guys.” So I was able to hang out with these guys up north. I got inside to a certain extent. Obviously not sitting in on church or anything like that, but I think they had a good relationship with John, and I was very respectful of that, and they knew what my deal was. So I came in and they let me hang out with them and they walked me through the clubhouse—that’s not unusual, guests are allowed into the clubhouses. So I got that experience, and I think I got a really good sense of who these guys were. They were really irreverent and funny and there was just a great sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, it’s really part of the culture. My other research in terms of the mechanics of the club, I didn’t get from those guys because I knew better than to ask those questions. So a lot of that research was just academic, going through other people’s research. Not bullshit books from an ex-biker’s point of view; it was literally academic, thesis, dissertations, and law enforcement stuff that people wrote up on how clubs work. So that research was very dry, academic, and factual. And that factual stuff was massaged a little bit so it had some dramatic weight, and then I incorporated my sense of the world and characters that I got from spending time with the club guys.
HB: Where do you get story ideas? Do they come from club members or do you just work them up?
My writers and I come up with the stories. Very rarely do I do any ripped-from-the-headline kind of thing. Cinematically, a lot of times I’ll guide it in terms of whether it’s emotional or has something to do with the family, Jax [Charlie Hunnan], or Gemma [Katey Sagal] and this sort of emotional arc we are playing out, then it will help shape my story. I have technical advisors (TA) on the show but I don’t go to them and say, “Hey, tell me a great story.” I just don’t want to do that. If there’s something in the script and I need to know whether or not it would happen in the framework of the club, I’ll go to my TAs and say, “Hey if this were to go down, what would it look like?” And then they can sort of shape things, but I just never want to feel like I am exploiting these guys. We’ll bounce the framework of some stuff off our TAs and make sure that it’s a framework of reality and be authentic as to what would that look like, how would that go down, how would members react to that if a member did this, how would the club react and what would the consequences be? And that’s where my TAs are very useful.