Catch us live on BlogTalkRadio every

Tuesday & Thursday at 6pm P.S.T.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

USA - CA - How to Become a ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Bike Captain

Chris Gorden

Prashant Gupta/FX
The culture industries are made up of a vast number of jobs that perform very specific functions that bring us final products in TV, film, music and other popular arts. In this new semi-regular Speakeasy feature we’re calling “Odd Jobs,” we’ll examine people spending their working life behind the scenes in a unique and unusual way. Today we speak with “Sons of Anarchy” Bike Captain Chris Gorden, who’s been with the show since day one and largely in charge of procuring, placing and caring for the numerous motorcycles that the show uses – without bikes, it would be tough to make a show about an outlaw biker gang. As the show rides into its final episodes over the next two months, Gorden recalls how he earned the title of Bike Captain and the ins and outs of his “Sons” life.
“I used to be a professional snowboarder and my career was coming to an end. It’s a young man’s job. People that I had grown up with had family who had worked in the industry – stunt men, transportation, they’d done various things. I really didn’t have a clue with what I was going to do with the rest of my life at 22 years old. Hadn’t put a lot of thought into my future beyond action sports and figured ‘OK, that door is closing. I need to find a new door to open.’ Someone that I had grown up with offered me a job and said ‘You want to come help work on a movie?’ It was literally as simple as that.”
Courtesy of Chris Gorden
“Within the industry, there’s coordinators and captains. I was working with our transportation coordinator who oversees all of transportation – his name is Joey Soriano. Joey’s job to facilitate everything – all the actors trailers, all the equipment, all the moving of the equipment from point A to point B. It’s also his job to oversee me and make sure I’m doing my job. Which is to provide picture vehicles and bikes and the method they should be done. He and I were working on a show, when he got the call for['Sons of Anarchy']. He told me ‘Hey, I got this new show, it involves Harley-Davidsons, it’s a big biker show, I think you’d be the right guy for the job.’ I said ‘OK, let’s go, let’s do it.’ The rest is history.”
Courtesy of Chris Gorden
“We’re working somewhere between 12 and 14 hours a day. Unfortunately, not all of my day is on set with the toys I first fell in love with. I’m now having to deal with budgets and breaking down scripts and speaking to various vendors.”
Courtesy of Chris Gorden
“I’m very much like a casting director, for cars. I have to read the script and go ‘I see this character riding this type of motorcycle or driving this type of car.’ I shoot that past the producers or directors and they either say ‘Chris, you’re brilliant!’ or ‘Chris you’re an idiot, try again!’”
Courtesy of Chris Gorden
“They had originally shot the pilot without the group that’s currently here. The studio looked at it, and wanted to recast. So they hired a whole other group of people, which I was a part of, to re-shoot the pilot and immediately go into shooting 13 episodes. So we had two weeks with a small amount of money to either procure the bikes used in the original pilot or go out and build something similar. And hit the ground running. It was being thrown into a frying pan – ‘Oh my god, we gotta do what, in how much time?’ Obviously, a whole group of people who had never worked together, doing 16-18 hour days, in 100 degree weather, with black motorcycles – it was just chaos. Absolute chaos for those first 3 or 4 episodes. It’s been great ever since.”
Courtesy of Chris Gorden

 The final season of “Sons of Anarchy” airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. EST on FX.