GTM – Terriers

The Gaming the Movies Column has been sent in to Kenzerco so here’s some odds and ends that didn’t find room in the article.

If you were to create Hank and Britt as characters, what might that look like?

Hank’s Issues (rules system-agnostic)

“No License” – Takes a risk cooperating with the police.

“Things Don’t Go Smooth” – If they park their truck on the street, it’s likely to get towed.

“Poor” – bounce checks to the ex-wife, always needing money.

“Self-Destructive Tendencies” – Doesn’t always make the smart choice.

“Recovering Alcoholic” – Tempted when under great stress.

Hank’s Plusses

“Connections – Police Department” – Hank really leans on his former partner, Mark Gustafson.

“Connections – Criminal Element” – He knows a fence for stolen goods and tech geeks willing to break laws.

Skills in Persuasion and Bluff

Britt’s Issues

“Dependent” – He’s in love with Katie which leaves him vulnerable.

“Has a Past” – As a former nickel and dime petty thief, Britt has old associates and old habits which can come back to haunt him.

Britt’s Plusses

“Connections – Criminal Elements”

Skills: Lockpicking, Stealth, B&E

Some great quotes from the show…

“Well, we saved her.  Who’s going to rescue our asses?” – Britt

“Robert Lindes is a prominent citizen. I’m not going to raid his house without probable cause.” – Mark Gustafson

“I could have walked away from this an hour ago eating shit and goodness knows I’ve eaten enough in my life.  But you killed my friend, so I’m going to destroy you.  And I just wanted you to know that.” – Hank

“You know, we just opened a huge can of shit into our lives.  Lindes has powerful friends.  Already had two people whacked.  He wiggles out of this thing and he will…” – Britt

“Yep, ain’t we got fun?” – Hank

“We’re too small to fail.”

“You know what I miss? Small talk. It greases the wheel of human interaction.”  Ray, the Money Launderer/Fence

“I wish I knew you when you were drunk.  I bet you were a lot more fun.” – Britt

“I hope you have a plan.” – Britt

“Cheat.” – Hank

Terriers Tips

Here is some added content for my upcoming Gaming the Movies column on the TV show Terriers.  This comes from the Terriers official F/X website.  I’m archiving it here since you never know when those sites will just disappear on you.

Cheating & Infidelity

  1. Your spouse looks hot because your relationship has gone cold.  Beware of sudden interest in personal grooming, new clothes, and working out.
  2. Here’s a reason to worry, you just got another gift for no reason.  There’s probably a guilty conscience hiding in the box.
  3. Tie me up, don’t tie me down.  Your sex life has suddenly taken an adventurous turn.  Is someone else teaching your old dog new tricks?
  4. We smell a rat.  Know why your spouse smells so good after a long day at work? A shower at the gym is one reason.  A shower at a motel is another.
  5. Is your mate driven to distraction? Extra-curricular activity could show up  as extra miles on the car.  Maybe the daily commute includes a secret detour.
  6. Guilty as charged. Credit card bills are a sure giveaway. Look for unfamiliar gifts, hotel visits, and bar tabs.
  7. People are talking. Friends are good at spotting a cheating spouse. If they drop a hint, pick it up.
  8. Moving violation.  Don’t use your own car to tail your spouse… unless you want them to know it’s you.

Interviews & Interrogations

  1. Don’t bark at people. Trust us, we know.  Yelling and screaming is not how you get people to cooperate.
  2. Ask a question, then listen. Really listen.  It’s like being a therapist or a talk show host. Make the other person feel like you really care.  They’ll reveal more.
  3. He said. She said. Men and women often see people differently. Men will notice physique, women will notice faces.  Play to these strengths when questioning.
  4. Yes or no? Neither. Ask open-ended questions that require an elaborate response. You’ll learn more.  Closed-ended questions get you nowhere.
  5. Mirror, mirror.  Subtly mimic the interviewee’s movements and speech patterns during an interview. Mirroring can get them to trust you and reveal more.
  6. What’s in a name? If you’re looking for a missing woman consider that she may have gotten married or divorced and changed her name.
  7. Body of Evidence. Ask questions you already know the answers to then watch the person’s body language when they respond.  It will give you clues to their other answers.

Tools of the Trade

  1. Save the date.  Use cameras that auto stamp time and date. They keep your timeline organized, save you from making notes and capture better evidence.
  2. Running on empty? Surveillance can take many hours over many miles. Make sure you have gas and snacks in the car. Being stranded and hungry sucks.
  3. Keep your Distance. Splurge on a great zoom lens. Your pictures will be in focus and you’ll be out of sight.
  4. Working the night shift?  Cameras and binoculars with night vision are a must.  Things pick up when the sun goes down.  Seeing in the dark is essential.
  5. Change it up.  Be prepared to alter your appearance during surveillance.  Keep a change of clothes and a variety of props in your car or van.
  6. Street legal.  Disguise your van inside and out.  Create various magnetic business signs with matching props and printed materials for authenticity.
  7. Listen up.  Get yourself a hearing aid.  An audio amplifier that looks like a Bluetooth earpiece is perfect for eavesdropping.
  8. Be camera ready.  Portable hidden cameras allow you to enter any situation ready to capture evidence. Hide on in a bag, book, or even in your clothing.


  1. Hours of tedious surveillance can erase your memory.  Trust us.  Take notes and photos to remember what you forget.
  2. Planning a stakeout? Look for a room with a view… and a minibar.  It beats a hot van any day.
  3. You’re not a paparazzi photographer.  Keep your distance.  Be discreet.  The person being photographed shouldn’t know you’re there.
  4. Leave the red Ferrari at home.  Your vehicle needs to blend in.  The most common van colors are white, blue, and gray.
  5. Disguise your van with magnetic signs that make sense.  If you’re pretending to be a pool man make sure someone in the neighborhood actually has a pool.
  6. Pump up the Volume.  Sometimes it’s not what people do, it’s what they say.  Eavesdrop with an audio amplifier.  Get one that looks like a Bluetooth earpiece.
  7. Window shopping?  Use the reflections in the windows of stores and offices to keep an eye on someone without being noticed.

Hidden Assets

  1. Show me the money.  Bank accounts, stocks, and investments all leave a digital trail.  Smart thieves will hide their assets by converting everything to cash.
  2. Searching a home for hidden cash, jewelry, or drugs?  Don’t just look in the freezer and toilet tanks.  Check the battery compartments of portable electronics.
  3. Check, please.  If you need a bank account info on someone try going “old school”.  Write them a check.  When the check clears there may be useful info on the back.
  4. Candid cameras. Looking for a missing person or runaway kid? They may not be on YouTube, but they’re probably on a security video somewhere. Visit their usual stops and look for cameras.
  5. Trash or treasure? Money doesn’t always look like money.  Buying art, rare vintage wines or antiques is an easy way to disguise cash.
  6. Be social. People like to talk about themselves in excruciating detail.  Clues to someone’s whereabouts can be found in their posts, tweets, friends, fans, followers, etc.

Evasive Maneuvers

  1. Don’t be a creature of habit.  Being unpredictable works in your favor if you’re being tailed. Come and go at different times. Enter and exit through different doors. Change cars.
  2. Your jeans shouldn’t rub together like sandpaper when you walk.  If you want to go unnoticed avoid noisy clothes, jingling bling, and annoying ringtones.
  3. Don’t stand out.  No one should look twice at you.  Choose clothes in styles and colors that blend in with the crowd and the environment.
  4. Wifi is convenient but it is not always secure.  Drive-by eavesdropping happens more than you think and clever spies can hijack your computer or mobile devices.
  5. Holy peephole. Keep an eye out for strange holes in walls, ceilings, clocks, radios or other items in your house.  A mini camera could be hidden on the other side.
  6. Bug proof.  If you’re worried about being bugged buy an electronic anti-bugging protector.  They can pick up signals from hidden devices.
  7. Spy vs. spy.  Anti-surveillance camera detectors let you look through a lens and see if other lenses are looking back at you.