True Blood Creative Maestro Alan Ball Can Tell a Good Story

November 12, 2010 by  

Thanks to HBO, Ball’s Creativity Knows No Boundaries

Alan Ball, True Blood creator and producer, is thankful to be a part of the HBO family.One of the things Alan Ball, True Blood’s creator and producer, knows how to do (and do well) is tell a story. And not the kind of war stories your grandfather has told you, or the drunken bar stories your buddies embellish on while inhaling egg and cheese sandwiches at your cube on a Monday morning. Alan Ball stories are the stuff of legends – full of drama, gore, sex, grit, love, sweat, blood, drugs, rock and roll – and mostly thanks to HBO.

Ball spent his early career days paying his dues, working the jobs he knew he had to do in order to do what he really wanted to do later on. He worked for broadcast networks and became accustomed to having to do things a certain way, often without utilizing his imagination’s full potential. He watched his good stories get reworked into sometimes boring, typical stories. Luckily for us, Ball didn’t lose his drive to do bigger and better and more creative things.

Along Came HBO

When Ball was writing the pilot for Six Feet Under, he held back a bit, very much aware that what he put out there might be too over the top. When he heard back from HBO, he knew that he’d found his home:

“…the note I got was, ‘We love it, but it feels a little safe. Can you make the whole thing just a little more f—ed up?’ Seriously. And I just had this moment of like, ‘OK, I’m in the right place.’ Doing any show is so incredibly hard, and I feel so lucky in that I’ve done two with HBO that have been really functional and sane. I’m actually working with people who seem to be interested in making shows better, not just different because they need to justify their salaries.”

HBO has definitely scored big with shows like Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Big Love, and now True Blood and Boardwalk Empire. It’s a shame they turned down Mad Men, but with their success in recruiting geniuses like Ball, there’s bound to be another big series to hit it big in the near future. Who knows, maybe even another Alan Ball creation.

So what’s next for Ball (other than more True Blood, of course)? He’ll be directing and producing an as-of-yet untitled project through his company, “Your Face Goes Here Entertainment.”

Source: Variety – Alan Ball: Finding the right place

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