Archive for the ‘Alan Ball’ Category

Alan Ball says True Blood “could go a few more seasons”

Posted by Shadaliza On June - 22 - 2011

Rumors have been flying about the future of True Blood. Will there be a Season 5? Will Alan Ball leave the show? Now, Alan Ball tells The Hollywood Reporter: “I don’t know if I have any left in me after that.”

With HBO’s vampire hit True Blood premiering its fourth season Sunday, creator Alan Ball is in talks to return for a fifth season of the Anna Paquin starrer.

Right now I’m in the middle of negotiating for a fifth season,” Ball told The Hollywood Reporter at Tuesday’s Season 4 premiere in Hollywood. “I don’t know if I have any left in me after that. We’ll see.”

The showrunner, whose résumé also includes the cable network’s critical favorite Six Feet Under, added that he could see the show based on Charlaine Harris’ 13-book Sookie Stackhouse series “going a few more seasons.”

I think if we did 13 seasons we’d have to address why vampires are aging,” Ball joked. “Maybe there would be a bad batch of Tru Blood. … With the supernatural thing you can always go places storywise that you couldn’t go on another show.

Ball, who signed on to direct a dark comedy pitch he developed with Elan Mastai that landed at Paramount, said that Season 4 has been “really tough,” and while he’s happy with it, he’s “ready to take a big vacation right now.”

“I’ll play it by ear and see how it happens,” he said.

Ball first hinted at the series continuing on without him earlier this month in an interview with Rolling Stone in which he said, “I don’t believe True Blood is 100 percent dependent on my participation. It has a strong following and a really strong cast, and there could be a future where I step back and the show would continue.”

Could it be possible that we only had one more year of True Blood?  What do you think, tell us by leaving a comment!



Alan Ball Reveals 9 Things about Season 4

Posted by Lynnpd On June - 20 - 2011

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Alan Ball gave them 9 things about Season 4 to think about and they are below:

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin)
“At the end of last season, Sookie shut the door on Bill, and I think, at least at the beginning of the season, that door is still very tightly shut,” said Ball. “She cannot forgive him for his lie, for him never being honest about why he was sent to meet her. Even though he clearly did fall in love with her and all of the things that he said and felt were every genuine and a lot of the things he did were to protect her, she just can’t get past that.”

Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård)
As the books’ readers know, the predatory Eric Northman falls prey to amnesia, something that changes his outlook on life and the world in general… and likely will affect his strained relationship with his would-be paramour, Sookie. “As fans of the fourth book in the series know, when Eric gets amnesia he’s a different guy,” said Ball.

“He’s kind of ‘emo Eric’ and soft and romantic and gentle and tender. That’s just what Sookie needs right now.” But don’t think that Eric has become, well, toothless. “And, of course, you have Alcide lurking around, like, “I’m here, hello! I won’t bite you!” But we basically explore the Sookie/Eric arc. We’re very true to the books in that sense.”

Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley)
Tara remains one of the few strictly human characters left within True Blood, but don’t expect her to fall into old patterns. “Her journey this year is that she’s not a victim anymore,” said Ball. “She is not going to be a fucking victim. All of that rage that she feels at having been victimized is going to get channeled towards the vampires, so you’ll end up with a basic witches/necromancers versus vampires.

Tara’s going to be on one side and Sookie is going to be on the other. We wanted to explore maybe how the desire for empowerment can lead you to do stupid things. I didn’t want to bring another love interest in for her, although there is, but I didn’t want her story to be, like, oh, she’s falling in love, because we did that… We didn’t want to see her weepy… We wanted to see her really fighting back… And it’s going to go to really interesting places in Season 5, but I can’t tell you any of that.”

Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack)
Bon Temps’ favorite human-vampire couple returns with some new problems in Season 4. When we last saw the young lovers at the end of Season 3, they decided to move in together. But are these two destined for happiness, or is their attempt to play house doomed to fail? “They’re both really young,” said Ball. “They’ve never been in a relationship. They were both virgins. She didn’t go to public schools; she was home-schooled. So, they don’t really have a lot of perspective and a lot of training in what a relationship is and what it requires. Plus, she’s a vampire so her needs are different.”

“Relationships are hard and they’re finding out that it’s hard and they’re both going to be tested in some pretty severe ways,” he continued. “The honeymoon’s definitely over. It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. It doesn’t mean that they’re both not good people, but how interesting is it to watch a couple be happy for a season?”

Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten)
Fan favorite Pam is still at Fangtasia this season and back with her trademark rapier wit very much intact. “We will even see a very vulnerable side of Pam and we’ll get a sense of what truly, truly matters to her and she cares about, even though she pretends she doesn’t care about anything,” said Ball.

“I know she’s one of everybody’s favorite characters to write, but she is the one who will say she has no filter. She’ll say whatever she thinks and she’ll say it in a way that is really hilarious. And then Kristin will take that line and deliver it in this way that is only her. Yeah, there’s a really fun ride for her this season, as well.”

If that weren’t enough, Ball teased a storyline involving Pam and Wesley’s Tara. “There is a whole Pam/Tara thread that’s beginning to be woven together which I think is really interesting… We love the Pam.”

Living in a Post-Russell Edgington World
Last season, Denis O’Hare’s Russell Edgington set vampire rights back a century or two when he killed a human news anchor on the air.

“The vampires can’t really say, ‘Hey, you have nothing to fear,’ because one of them viciously murdered a guy in full view of the entire world,” said Ball. “The approach of ‘we’re going to assimilate, we’re going to get the vampire rights amendment passed,’ that ship has sailed… Any vampire who is caught on film doing anything untoward to a human, that vampire is gone. They’re taken out. They’re executed. Because the vampires feel like they can’t afford that.”

“I think next season there will be a real reveal of perhaps different factions within the vampire power organization that really are just like, ‘Why are we even bothering to win hearts and minds? We have this power.’ I see it as a little metaphor for the Koch brothers.”

So will we get to eventually see what The Authority is? “We will definitely get into that in Season 5,” said Ball. As for Russell, “We will not see him this season, but he is not dead. That’s all I can say.”

While we’ve had vampires, werewolves, shifters, werepanthers, and even a maenad sniffing around Bon Temps, Season 4 will see the inclusion of witches to the supernatural mix. And not just witches, according to Ball.

“There are different kinds of witches,” he said. “There are Wiccans. There are necromancers. There are Brujeria, which is a Mexican witch tradition. And then there are also disembodied spirits. I hesitate to call them ghosts, but there are spirits without bodies… And witches aren’t necessarily supernaturals because genetically they’re humans… who are able to access a kind of magic through practice and/or just an innate aptitude.”

Practitioners of Wicca shouldn’t be concerned about its portrayal here. “Wicca is basically the doorway into the darker stuff,” said Ball. “I’m not saying Wicca is a gateway drug for evil witchcraft, I’m saying for our characters, they join a Wicca circle for all the right reasons, to practice nature magic and goddess worship… Marnie, who is leading that group… [her] lust for power takes her and her group in a different direction than what actual Wicca is. I have a lot of respect for Wicca. We are not in any way portraying Wicca as something… malevolent.”

Breakout Characters
There are a whole host of new characters turning up in Bon Temps this season, as well as many returning favorites. So who should viewers be keeping an eye on this season?

“[Kevin Alejandro’s] Jesus is amazing this season,” said Ball. “He gets some really, really good stuff. Sam Trammell, it’s a quandary how to describe this: Sam Trammell gets to act some amazing stuff. And, of course, Fiona [Shaw]. She’s amazing.”

As for Marnie, Ball said that it was fantastic to get Fiona Shaw, an actress “who is known for being the preeminent interpreter of Medea” to get to “play some pretty great stuff” here. Look for some serious darkness to descend upon the seemingly harmless Marnie.

Sookie learned of her faerie heritage last season and we’ll get to learn a bit more about the entities in Season 4. But don’t think of them as the Disney versions of those creatures from folklore.

“In my mind, the fairies occupy the same place in our collective mythology as aliens do,” said Ball. “They come from somewhere else. They’re mysterious and kind of alluring, but also dangerous. If you believe stories of abduction and those kinds of things, they like to have their way with humans. If you get into the really esoteric stuff and the belief that humans are the result of genetic manipulation by alien people from thousands of years ago, they occupy the same space.”

“Obviously, we wanted to give a nod to the tradition of fairies as we think of them, as benevolent woodland creatures but, of course, you don’t want to just have that. The fact that they’re kind of venal and horrible at their core is what makes them interesting.”


Below is part of an article from the “Daily Beast” where Alan Ball reveals very little, but he does talk at length about the process of True Blood creation and it’s organic nature.  He says that True Blood is itself a shifting metaphor for oppressed minorities in America, with vampires and other supernaturals standing in at times for gay people, blacks, or a slew of other groups. And it examines the onus of humanity within each of the characters, weighing their moral choices and the way they choose to live their lives. It is, alternately, a provocative and pensive soap opera that puts the gothic in Southern Gothic.

HBO’s vampire drama returns for a fourth season Sunday, and Executive Producer Alan Ball teases what’s to come. “I don’t even remember Season 3,” Ball says.

In the heart of West Hollywood, a homey bungalow serves as the office for Alan Ball, the executive producer of HBO’s addictive vampire series True Blood, which returns for a fourth season on Sunday. But the show’s resident horrors are nowhere to be found here: a dog bed (belonging to Ball’s beloved French bulldog, Gigi) sits in the entryway, and the place—reputedly once the office of Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn—feels miles away from the Louisiana-set blood-soaked drama.

That is, until Ball—who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for American Beauty and an Emmy for directing his previous HBO show, Six Feet Under—points out a stack of books about the cult of Dionysus, leftovers from the show’s breakout second season, sitting on his nearby desk. Just like that, we’re headed back into Bon Temps territory.

“Bon Temps is for supernaturals what Florida is for serial killers,” said Ball, chuckling. “They just all end up going there.”

True Blood, based on the bestselling novels by Charlaine Harris, revolves around telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and the vampires and other supernatural entities that call this sleepy Louisiana burg home. While the show wasn’t an immediate ratings smash for the pay cable network, it quickly sunk its teeth into the cultural zeitgeist, attracting an average of 13 million viewers per episode in its third season and landing its stars—including Paquin, her real-life husband Stephen Moyer, and Swedish heartthrob Alexander Skarsgård—on magazine covers around the world.

But the sex-and-violence-laden drama isn’t all neck-biting and werepanthers. True Blood is itself a shifting metaphor for oppressed minorities in America, with vampires and other supernaturals standing in at times for gay people, blacks, or a slew of other groups. And it examines the onus of humanity within each of the characters, weighing their moral choices and the way they choose to live their lives. It is, alternately, a provocative and pensive soap opera that puts the gothic in Southern Gothic.

“I always choose to look, as much as one can, at the supernatural not being something that exists outside of nature, but a deeper, fundamental heart of nature that perhaps humans… have lost touch with,” said Ball. “It’s a more primal thing than perhaps we are attuned to in our modern, self-aware way of life.”

Ball is not one for spoilers, but he is being even more adamant this year that details about the upcoming season aren’t revealed to viewers. What is fair game is that the supernatural elements within Season 4 of True Blood will include faeries and witches, the latter introduced in a storyline that strips Skarsgård’s vampire sheriff Eric Northman of his memory, and explores the fluid nature of identity and the way in which power corrupts.


Click on this link to read the entire article:

And to learn about 9 things that Alan Ball did reveal, click here.

Alan Ball, spoke to Arts Beat of the New York Times about “True Blood.” In these excerpts from that conversation, he discusses the creation and history of the show, what the new season holds in store and why he recently filmed a portion of a coming “True Blood” episode in 3-D.  Below are “excerpts” from these “excerpts”, enjoy!


Q.How closely do you follow Charlaine Harris’s novels in planning the seasons of “True Blood,” and are you already thinking about Season 5?
A. When I first brought this material to HBO’s attention, there were four books in the series. Now there are 11. So I knew that there was a longevity and it had a big, crazy, Dickensian sprawling feel to it. I’m pretty much a live-in-the-moment guy, so I will start thinking about Season 5 when that happens.

We’ve started to lay pipe for that in very buried ways. Television viewing has become for me a completely different experience, because I don’t watch shows on a weekly basis. I wait until the DVD or I TiVo everything and wait until the end of a season and watch it all over a weekend. For me that’s a really satisfying experience, like reading a book. And some of my favorite shows I watch again, so there’s a certain enjoyment in knowing what’s happening and you’re like, Ohhhh. It makes me think about in Season 1 of “Six Feet Under,” when Nate was complaining about having headaches, and of course now you know that’s a symptom of the thing that’s eventually going to kill him.


Q.And that was completely by design, right?
A.Sometimes things are planted and sometimes things sort of happen. In the first season of “True Blood,” there’s a moment where Arlene is thinking, God, I can’t believe my period is late again. When it came time for her to be pregnant, it just worked perfectly. Almost as if it were planned.


Q.As the show has grown into a cultural phenomenon, does it affect how you plan and write for it? Do you feel like you have to respond to the wishes of the fan base?
A.I find that whenever I start to think about how I believe people are going to respond, then I get in trouble. Because then it’s no longer writing, it’s marketing. You start thinking about your audience, or your consumers, what are their needs and how do you meet them, and you’re no longer just telling a story. For me, I was reading Charlaine’s books and yeah, it was about a vampire, and then there were werewolves and all of this other stuff. That’s part of what I love about this. The fact that’s it’s this big onion and you just keep peeling back the layers, so I just tried to take that into the show as much as I could.


Q.It seems like Sookie went through a transformation from Seasons 1 and 2 to Season 3, where once she was a perpetual damsel in distress and now she’s going undercover in werewolf bars and battling with Russell Edgington.
A.She’s fighting, yeah. And now it’s just clear in the writers’ room that Sookie is a force to be reckoned with. She has come into her own. She has her own powers, which she’s gradually becoming more and more accustomed to. She still can’t totally control them. But, yeah, she still looks like that sweet girl next door but if you try to kill her, she’ll kill you first. Which is kind of fun, to have a character like that.


Q.Did it feel to you like maybe Season 3 got a little baroque with all the intricacies of the vampires’ kingdoms, and Russell running around while carrying his dead companion’s remains in a jar?
A.Well, you have a character who’s been around for 3,000 years and he’s a king, and we got to write in fancy king-language. So, yeah, it did get baroque and to me that’s part of the fun of it. Because of the supernatural nature of the story, you can just keep opening doors, in terms of telling stories. By Season 4 of “Six Feet Under” in the writers’ room, somebody would pitch something and we’d be like, “Oh, we’ve already done that. Oh, somebody’s already been unfaithful. Somebody’s had this sexual addiction problem.” Whereas on “True Blood,” when you have characters who are thousands of years old and you can do a flashback, it’s not to 1980 – although we do have a 1980s flashback this season – but it can be to the 9th century. We go to the Spanish Inquisition a lot this year. That’s really, really fun.


Read the rest of this Q&A excerpts by going here:

Alan Ball is clueless about True Blood’s Series Finale

Posted by Shadaliza On June - 17 - 2011

Answering another fan question on the Inside True Blood Blog Alan Ball reveals that he doesn’t know how the series will end.

He said, point-blank, “No. The show is not anywhere near it’s finale. I have no clue how it would end.”

Although the writers follow the books, they also let the show evolve and grow in ways that feel organic to them.

I find that very interesting because Charlaine Harris knew how the Sookie Stackhouse book series would end when she was writing the very first book.




‘True Blood’ in 3-D – could it be?

Posted by Lynnpd On May - 26 - 2011

Personally, we like True Blood as real as it can be, but 3D, might just be a bit too much for our purest tastes. At any rate, it just might happen according to the show’s creator, Alan Ball.

While Mr. Ball is staying mum on details about the twists and turns the story line will take for the upcoming Season 4, he did confirm earlier this week that the hit show is experimenting with the stereoscopic technology.

We did a scene in 3-D this season just to take a look at it,” Ball said in an interview. “HBO asked us to do one. It was pretty cool. I don’t think it’s going to air. We just did it as an experiment, because I don’t know if they’re going to want to take the show 3-D at some point, maybe like a season premiere or a season finale or something. I would be surprised if — depending on how long the show lasts — that doesn’t happen at some point, especially if 3-D technology gets beyond having to wear the glasses.”

Though Ball didn’t describe the 3-D scene in specific terms, he did say that it didn’t require too much additional trickery to shoot, which might suggest that in the not-too-distant future, fans could begin enjoying the series’ mix of sex, violence and humor in one additional dimension.

It was basically a scene that’s in the show anyway, so they just also shot it with 3-D cameras,” Ball said. “They sort of blocked it so it would lend itself to that. There was a lot of stuff in the foreground, stuff in the background, that kind of thing. I really don’t believe it was tremendously difficult. If I can remember correctly I believe that the director and the cinematographer did a little seminar with the 3-D camera people before we did it, and they sort of said this is what works best.



Quentin Tarantino’s lawsuit against his neighbor Alan Ball has died the true death. Tarantino had sued in March of this year, claiming that the “blood-curdling screams” of Ball’s exotic birds had “seriously disrupted his ability to work as a writer in his home.” According to the Hollywood Reporter the summons were never served and the case was dismissed two weeks ago.

It is unknown how the neighbors solved the problem, maybe  the birds were moved to a soundproof outdoor aviary or maybe Tarantino bought earplugs. Anyway Tarantino has managed to pen a new script for an upcoming movie…. I wonder if it includes a scene with screaming birds….


The Vault Wishes Alan Ball a Happy Birthday!

Posted by Lynnpd On May - 12 - 2011

The Vault wishes Alan Ball, Executive Producer and creator of True Blood a Happy Birthday – May 13!



Quentin Tarantino sues Alan Ball over exotic birds

Posted by Shadaliza On March - 11 - 2011

Neighbours Quentin Tarantino and Alan Ball are having a dispute over Ball’s birdies in the backyard. TMZ reports that Tarantino has filled a lawsuit against Ball in an attempt to silence the birds.

According to the lawsuit, Tarantino claims ever since Ball installed an “exotic bird menagerie,” he has been forced to endure the “obnoxious pterodactyl-like screams” of the macaw birds. He says that the noise has “seriously disrupted [his] ability to work as a writer in his home.”

When EOnline asked Alan Ball if he ever had weird True Blood dreams, he revealed, “I dreamed I was in Dexter, and Dexter wanted to kill me, and I wanted to say, ‘Wait a minute, Michael, it’s me. I know you.’ That was my dream, but I don’t really dream about True Blood.”


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