"I always say that if 'True Blood' were a presidential campaign, we would have a sign in the writer's room that said, 'It's the emotions, stupid.' You can come up with as many outlandish vampires, werewolves, and pyrotechnics as you can, but unless you care about these people then it's just going to be meaningless."
About This Interview
In his two-hour Archive interview, writer Alan Ball describes his career writing for the stage, film, and television. He discusses growing up in Georgia and developing an interest in playwriting in college, which he took a step further by creating a theater company in New York City years later. He speaks of his first job in television, writing for the sitcom Grace Under Fire, and his subsequent job as a writer and later producer on Cybill. He shares how he got the idea for the script for the Oscar-winning film "American Beauty" while working on Cybill, and recalls how he got involved with HBO's Six Feet Under. Ball details the production process, casting, and writing for the successful series, and then outlines the same for his second HBO show, True Blood. He comments on why he believes vampire culture has become such a phenomenon, how the TV series differs from the books, and how the show deals with mortality. He also discusses other projects his production company is involved with and offers advice to aspiring television writers. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on August 25, 2011 in West Hollywood, CA.