Sunday, February 15, 2009

True Blood behind the scene: Creature Creator Dan Rebert and True Blood

Fascinating interview from last September

So mammals, crustaceans, is there any particular slice of the animal kingdom you prefer to use?

No, I think it’s basically based on what comes out of the script. You know, you try to relate things that are basically along the lines of what’s in the script. A good case in point is how the whole True Blood fang designs came about. Way back before we even did the pilot, Alan Ball called a meeting with Todd [Masters] and myself to come in and talk about vampire teeth. They wanted something new; they wanted something no one’s seen before, and they still want it to be sexy and cool. And the first thing I thought of, and the design that Alan really liked, is modeling the teeth more mechanically off of the way snakes teeth work, the way they unfold from the back of the palate of the mouth as opposed to disappear from, like, a stiletto-type action from the gums. And Alan really liked that idea, and, again, it was based on basically the way the anatomy of a snake’s inner mouth works. Obviously we didn’t make it needle-thin like a snake’s would be, but we basically mixed what was already there on a snake with what’s already there on a human, and even down to the detail of the fang – which I doubt we’ll ever see in the show – but there is little holes where they would suck the blood up, up through the fang.

Did you have consultants on any of the science fiction shows, or was that mostly on the other shows?

Not so much on the Stargates and stuff like that, but there usually is a medical consultant on most of the medical procedure shows we do. Like, we did a show a long time ago, Kingdom Hospital, and there was a medical consultant that was very involved in the brain surgeries and things of that nature. I’m trying to think if we didn’t have any consultants on True Blood. I can’t think of any off-hand. They don’t really have too many vampire specialists. I think that was Alan’s job because Alan came up with the whole mythology of the vampires. I had an interview for HBO and I was explaining to them how vampire blood is very thick and syrupy and human blood is more runny and brighter red, and they asked me, “Well, how do you know what vampire blood looks like?” And I said, “Alan Ball told me!” Well, he’s the boss.

Yeah, I guess that’s a whole plot point of that show.

It is. I mean the show’s called True Blood. You better make sure you know what your blood looks like. [Laughs.]

On that note, too, I will say that out of all the TV shows that we’re currently working on, and maybe have ever worked on, I probably feel the strongest about True Blood. I just loved getting those scripts every week. They were always really exciting in terms of where the plot was going. They had a lot more special effects than I was expecting after reading the book. And what really, really turned me on the most about True Blood – I was excited about it from the beginning, working with Alan again was going to be great and doing a vampire show with him was going to be great – but what I didn’t realize about True Blood of how much of a fantasy story it is. It’s not just vampires. There’s a whole host of magical creatures that come up through the season, and the depth of the mythology for a TV show really is what amazed me about the show and the concept. It’s not just a vampire show. It’s much more.

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