True Blood Nominated for Two NAACP Image Awards

January 14, 2011

Nelsan Ellis and Alexander Woo Nominated for True Blood

Image AwardsThe nominees for the NAACP Image Awards have been released and True Blood received two nominations!  Nelsan Ellis who plays the fabulous Lafayette Reynolds on HBO‘s hit show has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor In a Drama Series and Alexander Woo has been nominated for Outstanding Writing In a Drama Series.  Presented annually, the NAACP Image Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:

  • Andre Braugher – Men of a Certain Age
  • Giancarlo Esposito – Breaking Bad
  • James Pickens, Jr. – Grey’s Anatomy
  • Nelsan Ellis – True Blood
  • Terrance Howard – Law & Order: Los Angeles

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series:

  • Alexander Woo – True Blood – “It Hurts Me Too”
  • Janine Sherman Barrios – Criminal Minds “Remembrance of Things Past”
  • Judith McCreary – Law & Order Special Victims Unit “Disabled”
  • Leyani Diaz, Venessa Rojas – The Event “Loyalty”
  • Private Practice “Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King”

Alfre Woodard, who plays Ellis’ onscreen mother was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Memphis Beat.

Click here to see a complete list of the nominees.

We here at TrueBloodNet would like to congratulate Nelsan, Alexander and Alfre on their nominations!  Tune in March 4th at 8:00pm EST on Fox Television to see the awards be given out. 

Source:  naacpimageawards.net

(Photo Credit: naacpimageawards.net)

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Executing the True Blood Writing Recipe

October 15, 2010

Original Work Landed Alexander Writing Job

Alexander Woo True Blood WriterNAACP Image Award nominee, Alexander Woo has been a writer and producer forHBO’s True Blood since season 1 and he recently sat down with Asia Pacific Arts to explain how the writing process for each episode works.

Alexander told of how being an original play writer helped him when he interviewed with series creator Alan Ball:

“Every show is different, in terms of the kind of sample work they request from a writer. Luckily, Alan Ball is also a playwright and comes from a theatre background, so he requested to read my original plays. He read Debunked, which is set in the American South during the 1800s, and I guess it showcased my ability to write in dialect and in period. Also, with original work, a writer’s voice is more prominent than in a television spec script, and Alan must have seen something compatible with my voice as a writer and the kind of voice he wanted for the show.”

A Glimpse into the Writers Room

After admitting he made sure to read all the Sookie Stackhouse novels before his interview, Alexander was asked if he references the books for the writing of the episodes:

“We do, as a jumping off point for storylines, but we don’t strictly adhere to them — which is interesting to us as writers and we hope to the fans as well. You get an idea of what might happen from the books, but you never quite know because True Blood is its own world. “

He went on to tell how the writers work together to outline each season:

“We outline the episodes together, and then each writer is assigned an episode, and they flesh out the first draft with scenes and dialogue on their own. Then the script is brought back to the room, and we go page by page and help each other revise the script with notes. Our writer’s room is a very democratic environment, so everyone gets to provide their input. The way I see it, the outline process is like designing the menu, and the writing process is doing the actual cooking. Even if you’re given the best recipe in the world, it’s the execution of creating the dish that matters.”

Favorite Episodes and Themes

When Alexander was asked which of the episodes that he had written was his favorite he admitted it was a very recent one:

“I like elements of almost all of them. I certainly liked episode 105 [“Sparks Fly Out”], because it was an introduction to Bill and the first sense of his humanity. And really, it’s also Lafayette’s first breakout scene with the three rednecks who send back a burger because it might have AIDS. This past season, the scene that I couldn’t wait to get to the set and watch come to life was the scene in where Russell Edgington kills the newscaster [in “Everything Is Broken”], by yanking out his spine on live television and then sitting down and addressing America. Denis O’Hare is such an extraordinary actor, so you knew that was going to be fun. I was really pleased with that scene as well.”

The past seasons have focused on themes such as genealogy, caste systems and hate. Alexander explains that each season takes on a life of its own in the writing process, and doesn’t always end up where he thought it would:

“Certainly in the first three seasons, the story always ended up in a different place than where we thought it would go, and some of the themes that developed surprised even the writers. So we have some ideas of where the themes might be in Season 4, but at the time of this interview, we only have two scripts written. By the time we get to episodes four, five and six, we might be going in a completely different direction. But that’s part of the exciting thing about doing TV. It’s a little scary and a little strange, but then it becomes this intensely collaborative experience, where you might see something that happens on set, you might see a story want to go a certain way, or you might see a certain chemistry between two characters. If the boat wants to sail that way, you can let it. So some of the themes that end up being played out in Season 4, we may not even be aware of yet.”

Most of us that read the books appreciate some of the departures the writers take each season, even if we don’t always understand them. It’s nice to know that sometimes they are in the dark just as much as the viewer is!

Alexander’s entire interview can be found on Asia Pacific Arts website.

SOURCE: http://asiapacificarts.usc.edu Spinal Yanks and AIDS Burgers: an interview with True Blood scribe Alexander Woo

(Photo Credit: Asia Pacific Arts)

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True Blood Writer Alexander Woo Nominated for NAACP Image Award

January 9, 2010

Awards season is here in full force, and True Blood is being recognized for several different things. Alexander Woo, one of the show’s very talented writers, has been nominated for an NAACP Image award for writing the Season two finale,”Beyond Here Lies Nothin‘”. His category is Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series, which includes nominees from Grey’s Anatomy, House, and Lincoln Heights.

• Alexander Woo – “True Blood” – Beyond Here Lies Nothin (HBO)
• Kathleen McGhee-Anderson – “Lincoln Heights” – Home Again (ABC Family)
• Sara Hess – “House” – The Greater Good (FOX)
• Shonda Rhimes – “Grey’s Anatomy” – What a Difference A Day Makes (ABC)
• Zoanne Clack – “Grey’s Anatomy” – Stand By Me (ABC)

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded in 1909 to promote equal rights for all, and to eliminate race prejudice. For 41 years, the Image Awards have been “celebrating outstanding achievements and performances by people of color in the arts.” Those who lead the industry in television, music, literature, and film, are all honored on this special night.

Alexander has been a writer and producer on True Blood since Season one. He has penned the episodes “Sparks Fly Out,” “Fourth Man in the Fire,” “Nothing but the Blood,” “Timebomb,” and “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.” He was nominated along with the rest of the writers for a WGA award in 2009, but this NAACP award is his first solo nomination. We wish him the best of luck! He did a great job writing the finale, and he certainly deserves the honor.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on February 26, 2010, from 8-10pm ET on FOX.

SOURCE: naacp.org

(Photo credit: naacp.org)

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True Blood In The Heat Of Louisiana

July 25, 2009

truebloodx-largeStacy Plaisance, from  Associated Press, provides us with a glimpse onto the set of Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood during its shoot in Clinton, Louisiana. In her report, Ms. Plaisance presents some details regarding some of the scenes that are being shot in Louisiana, which to some,  may be seen as spoilers.  Therefore, a word of caution for those who wish not to be spoiled.   Ms. Plaisance describes one of the scenes that viewers will see later on in the season where  Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) return home from Dallas :

Sookie Stackhouse and her brother Jason are returning from Dallas to the tiny Louisiana town of Bon Temps. But something is wrong: Newspapers drift in the steamy air; fruit stands and flower stalls are overturned; graffiti assaults signs and a courthouse statue; and trash and clothes litter streets and lawns.”

They can only imagine the chaos that the town has endured as we get to enjoy every moment as it unfolds.

Ms. Plaisance’s description of Clinton, La allows the reader experience the atmosphere of the surroundings and explains why Alexander Woo felt it would be perfect for the sets backdrop:

“The sticky heat, mossy greenery, white columned houses and slow-moving lifestyle also added to the allure, and gave a dimension and authenticity to the series that can only be captured here.”

Mr. Woo adds:

The moment you step off the plane, you feel you’re in the world of the show, “You don’t  have to imagine you’re there.”

Ms. Plaisance also goes onto describe the frustration we all felt of  True Blood’s Emmy snub:

“Despite its critical acclaim and strong fan base, the show got only two Emmy nominations last week, for outstanding casting and main title design. Nothing for star Anna Paquin, who picked up a Golden Globe for her role as Sookie, or for Ball. Fans Twittered and blogged their outrage. “It is rather frustrating that the Emmys have continued their tradition of ignoring genre work except in the technical departments. … We can only hope that next year is the year that finally brings down the wall,” one blog read.”

The actors discuss how the extreme Louisiana heat affect their performance and actually helps them get into character:

“It makes you move slower, which is interesting for character,” Moyer said. “I understand now why people move so slow down here.”

Anna Paquin added:

“You have to move slower, or you’ll pass out,” Paquin said, laughing.”

The scene that was being shoot the day that Ms. Plaisance was on the set is a spoiler that will broadcast later in the the season:

“The sequence shot on this day was a dance scene. Paquin, in a sundress with her hair in a sleek up-do, and Moyer in black suit, do a modified jitterbug to the Jerry Lee Lewis song “Before the Night Is Over.” Between takes, the actors chill out in a back room at the B&B where stylists touch up their makeup.”

The author tells us on when we could expect to see the episode that was filming:

“Footage from the Louisiana shoot will appear in upcoming episodes and the season finale, set to air on Sept. 13, which is expected to include the dance scene”

To read the Full article by Stacy Plaisance in the San Francisco Chronicle:
sfgate.com

(photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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