Publication Year: 2013
Alan Ball: Conversations features interviews that span Alan Ball's entire career and include detailed observations and insights into his Academy Award-winning film American Beauty and Emmy Award-winning television shows Six Feet Under and True Blood. Ball began his career as a playwright in New York, and his work soon caught the attention of Hollywood television producers. After writing for the sitcoms Grace Under Fire and Cybill, Ball turned his attention to the screenplay that would become American Beauty. The critical success of this film opened up exciting possibilities for him in the realm of television. He created the critically acclaimed show Six Feet Under, and after the series finale, he decided to explore the issue of American bigotry toward the Middle East in his 2007 play All That I Will Ever Be and the film Towelhead, which he adapted and directed in the same year. Ball returned to television once again with the series True Blood--an adaptation of the humorous, entertaining, and erotic world of Charlaine Harris's vampire novels. In 2012 Ball announced that he would step down as executive producer of True Blood, in part, to produce both a new television series and his latest screenplay, What's the Matter with Margie?
Published by: University Press of Mississippi
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Alan Ball never intended to write for television. He majored in theater at Florida State University and in the early 1980s moved to New York to become an actor and playwright. While living in a Brooklyn brownstone with three other guys and a dog named Mom, he soon discovered that waiting around for auditions wouldn’t pay the rent (Brough). He started looking for a job ...
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...1957—Alan Ball born on May 13 in a suburb outside of Atlanta, Georgia.1970—Gets in a car accident with his sister, Mary Ann, on her twenty-second birthday. She was driving Alan to a piano lesson when she crashed into an Early 1980s—Attends the theater program at Florida State University.1986—He leaves college without graduating and moves to New York City to be ...
Works for Theater, Film, and Television
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The following plays were written and performed in the early 1980s for the The following plays were written and performed for Alarm Dog Repertory in The following play was first produced by the New York Theatre Workshop.Writer: Alan Ball (adaptation based on the novel by Alicia Erian)Executive Producers: Alan Ball, Greg Yaitanes, Peter Macdissi, Jonathan Trop-...
American Beauty: An Interview with Alan Ball
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From Creative Screenwriting, January–February 2000. Reprinted by permission of Peter N. Alan Ball was born and raised around Atlanta, Georgia. He majored in theater with an emphasis in acting and playwriting at Florida State University and then moved to New York, where he worked as an art director for Adweek andInside PR magazines. While he did some acting and directing, he found his ...
American Beauty Screenwriter Alan Ball Conducts Case Study at the IFP/West Screenwriters Conference
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From InsideFilm.com, 2000. Reprinted by permission of Susan Royal.IFP/West presented its annual screenwriting conference at the Writers Guild in Los Angeles on March 18–19. The keynote speaker, director David O. Russell (Flirting With Disaster, Three Kings), presented a preview of his hilarious “Indie Scale”—a numerical formula for evaluating the economic potential of an indie ...
Gaywatch: Alan Ball Goes Six Feet Under
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From Planet Out, Gay.com Network, 2001. Reprinted by permission of Christine Alan Ball, the openly gay Oscar-winning writer of the 1999 film American Beauty, brings his talents to television as the creator of HBO’s new series Six Feet Under. Actually, Ball is hardly a stranger to television. He spent years as a producer and writer on diva-driven sitcoms like Grace Under Fire, starring ...
Big Mind, Small Screen: Six Feet Under’s Alan Ball
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From Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Tricycle.com, Summer 2004. © 2004 Jeﬀ Greenwald. “Of all footprints, that of the elephant is supreme,” declared the Buddha in the Great Nirvana Sutra. “And of all mindfulness meditation, that on death Likewise: Of all situation comedies, I Love Lucy was the greatest; but of all prime-time series about impermanence, Six Feet Under is without peer. Noth-...
Alan Ball: Six Feet Under
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From WorldScreen.com, October 2004. Reprinted by permission of World Screen, Inc.Alan Ball started his career writing plays in New York and then went on to Hollywood to work on network sitcoms. He hit it big writing the screenplay for the feature film American Beauty, which won the Academy Award for best movie and best original screenplay. The success of that movie caught the at-...
Considering Alan Ball: An Interview
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From Considering Alan Ball: Essays on Sexuality, Death and America in the Television and Film Writings (McFarland Press, 2006). Reprinted by permission of Thomas Fahy.After attending Florida State University, Alan Ball moved to New York to pursue a career in the theater. With the help of several friends, he started Alarm Dog Repertory—a small theater company that produced many of his ...
Fresh Air Interview with Alan Ball: A Six Feet Under Postmortem
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From Fresh Air, NPR, August 23, 2005. Interview reproduced with permission of WHYY, Inc.Gross: This is Fresh Air. I’m Terry Gross. I’m one of the fans of HBO’s Six Feet Under who really miss the characters now that the series has ended. We invited back the creator of the series, Alan Ball, to talk with us about bringing the series to a close. He wrote and directed the final episode. He also wrote the ...
Sexual Politics and Awakenings in Towelhead
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Sexual abuse in adolescence, the received wisdom has it, will permanently scar, or destroy, the victim. While the psychologically damaging eﬀects are undeni-able, not every instance of abuse results in the permanent debilitation that our “victim culture”—as fueled by TV talk shows and their investment in “dra-matic” revelation—would condition us to believe. The complexities and gray ...
A Big Messy Place: Alan Ball on Towelhead
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From FilmThreat.com, Hamster Stampede LLC, September 9, 2008. Reprinted by Towelhead, the complex and audacious film from director Alan Ball, is already inciting anger, winning over enthusiasts, and prompting debate—even prior to its release. The Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) recently asked Warner Bros. and Warner Independent Pictures to change its volatile title. The ...
Fresh Air Interview with Alan Ball: Talking True Blood and Towelhead
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From Fresh Air, NPR, September 10, 2008. Interview reproduced with permission of WHYY, Gross: This is Fresh Air. I’m Terry Gross. After creating the HBO series Six Feet Under about a family that runs a funeral home and is steeped in death, Alan Ball has created a new HBO series about the undead. True Blood, which premiered on Sunday, is about vampires who have returned from the grave and ...
Life and Death, Drama and Humor, Join Hands
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From The Writer 124, no. 8 (August 2011). Reprinted by permission of Kinney Littlefield.Depicting the dark ironies of contemporary American life—that’s what Alan Ball does best. An acclaimed writer for film and television since 1994, Ball has never shied from probing the interwoven pain and joy of existence, through complexly written characterizations and subtly shaded dialogue. Ball’s Acad-...
Excerpt from Interview with Alan Ball: True Blood and Beyond
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From Archive of American Television, emmytvlegends.org, August 25, 2011. Printed by A: You know I lived in Los Angeles for fifteen years and I still can’t figure out how long it’s going to take me to get from one place to another. I had an ap-pointment with a dentist in the valley for a root canal. It was some dentist I’d never been to, and I showed up thirty minutes early. So I had a half hour ...
Alan Ball in Conversation with Alan Brough
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Event hosted by the Wheeler Centre (cosponsored by the Sydney Opera House), Q: Before we start, you are from Georgia originally. I believe that while you were still living in Georgia, someone opened a shop there where you could just A: Yeah. When I was in high school, I heard about this place where if you were mad at a TV you could take it to this business and you could shoot it. I ...
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Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Television Conversations Series