Trail Tales Cast Interview with Doug Seus: Bart's Trainer and part
of the Family
Interview conducted on: December 18th, 2001
approx 7:15pm MST/4:15pm in Hawaii..
yes i was on vacation, don't hate me cause I hate humidity
First, I'd like to thank Doug and Lynne for taking the time to
talk on the phone.
They have their hands full with all the great work they do,
including the training of their new stars: Tank, Lil Bart, and Honey
Bump (Lil Bart's Sister)
Virgil Vogel, director of the episode, DECOY contacted
Doug and Lynne after seeing Bart's work in a film called The Bear.
**side note: Bart and the Seus Family had worked with Mr. Vogel
on a Television Series called CENTENIAL years before**
Storyboards and a script for the episode were sent ahead so that
Bart and the Seus's could prepare for the role. Although Doug and Lynne
recall different seasons, the general concensus is that the episode was
filmed in the winter season. **winter was Lynne's guess, and Doug
agreed she was most likely right... after all Doug is a smart man..**
Either way, Doug said that the trailers used to transport the animals
have climate controls, including air conditioners and misters so that
the animals are always enjoying the best of conditions.
Even Arizona's drastic climate changes had no affect on Bart.
From a young age, the bears are introduced to many different climates
to acclimate them to the any possible filming condition. This is done
for their own comfort and they are eased into these experiences through
Doug and Lynne's care and knowledge.
When asked what kind of instructions they gave to Stephen
Baldwin, Doug said he got the same talk that everyone gets, one really
important rule... let the bear make the overtures. When the actor is
first introduced to the bear, Doug talks with the actor, throwing the
emphasis off of the bear and allowing Bart to feel comfortable. Doug
says, until the actor and Bart feel comfortable, he stays in between
I asked Doug about Stephen and Bart, how they got
along. Doug said that Stephen was extremely adaptable during his scenes
with Bart. Doug went on to comment on Stephen, saying that he was such
an energetic and free-spirited young man, very nice and gracious.. much
like Brad Pitt (Tristan/Legends of the Fall).
Taking a moment, Doug informed me that Virgil Vogel passed on about
four or five years ago (1995 or 1996). Doug described Virgil as a top
notch director, always in control and said he acted like a goodnatured
gremlin. **now before you 80's children start breaking out the Mogwai
traps... i'm sure he means the -mischief maker- kind of gremlin**
Now, one of the best decisions Virgil Vogel made was to
cast Doug as Bart's owner/friend in the show. Doug says he was shocked
when Virgil said, "Get in there and do the part." Boy, are we glad he
Doug recalls that the filming for his 'death
scene' seemed to go on-and-on-and- well you get the picture right? So
much so apparently others noticed that scene in the episode. The day
after the episode aired Doug headed into his favorite coffee shop back
in Utah and was greeted by the local jokers who told him that "We
thought you'd never die!"