Monday, March 2, 2009

Loving True Blood in Dallas Blogtalk Radio: Salute to True Blood fans, YouTube video artists and HBO True Blood Fan Wiki Viewers Club (Episode 13)

We talk to two different kind of fans tonight ....

We salute some of our favorites from YouTube who have given us hundreds of hours of pleasure and fun combining True Blood clips with music and we talk to some very unlikely buddies who have enjoyed re-watching Season One episode by episode again, this time not as rivals but instead as friends ...

Should be a fun show ...

Loving True Blood in Dallas Blogtalk radio tonight 9 pm central.

Chat room will open at 8:45 pm please come, chat and call- in with your questions and comments.

call in (646) 929-0825

True Blood and other HBO hits going online with " TV Everywhere "

Just days after spinning off Time Warner Cable for $9 billion, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes wants to up availability of cable content for free on the Internet.

Called “TV Everywhere,” Bewkes’ ambitious industry-wide plan would reportedly offer hit cable series such as HBO’s “The Wire,” “Entourage” and “True Blood,” and TNT’s “The Closer” and “Saving Grace,” among others, online as value-adds to cable TV and satellite subscribers.

The ad-supported content would be disseminated similarly to repurposed network TV via, MySpace, Yahoo TV and YouTube, among others, and earmarked for the PC and related portable devices.

“It’s a natural extension of the existing business model,” Bewkes told Advertising Age.

The campaign, which reportedly would be tested later this year, is designed to generate incremental revenue from the 15% of U.S. households not already paying a monthly fee to watch TV.

Indeed, among people who watch TV programming on the Internet, most consume about three additional hours of online video per month on a PC, and four hours on mobile phones and other portable devices, according to The Nielsen Co.

Weekly online TV viewers are more likely than average to subscribe to a premium service, have digital cable, use video-on-demand (VOD), have an HDTV and subscribe to a bundle of services from a single provider, according to The Leichtman Research report.

“It is clear that TV remains the main vehicle for viewing video, although online and mobile platforms are an increasingly important complement to live home-based television,” said Susan Whiting, vice chairperson with Nielsen.

Independent analyst Rob Enderle said Bewkes’ strategy is based on the fact that with the current recession increasing numbers of consumers are dropping cable TV subscriptions in favor of services such as Hulu and VOD to save money.

Comcast reported a decline of 500,000 subs in the most recent quarter, and Time Warner Cable CEO Glen Britt acknowledged last week that cable operators must incorporate online video into their business models.

“The danger here is that, over time, subscription revenue could erode,” Britt said last month, during an investor call.

Enderle said Bewkes’ requirement mandating a monthly cable subscription for access to free online content gives Time Warner a sustainable Web-based business model, should traditional TV ad-revenue continue to deteriorate.

But it could just be a short-term model, according to Enderle.

“If Bewkes really wants to go after those that don’t have a [cable] subscription service today, he’ll have to drop the subscription requirement,” he said.

True Blood is casting and shooting in Baton Rouge in June.

Another shout out for resumes for filming and casting for True Blood in Baton Rouge in June.

June !! ?? What ? That sure changes the earlier reported series broadcast dates, unless they will still be filming while the earlier shows are running ? I will believe the date that season 2 will begin when it is officially announced by HBO.

The HBO television series "True Blood" starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer will shoot portions of the series in the Baton Rouge area in June. Resumes and inquiries are being accepted by e-mail at

Penguin credited best December ever in mass market paperback sales to the Sookie Stackhouse series of vampire novels by Charlaine Harris

This is in an article about Penguin book sales, nice to know Ms Harris is being credited with turning around their sales, ' best December ever' in this economy ?
Wow, whoot gooo Sookie !

Penguin Group (USA) had “a very strong year in 2008,” according to Chief Executive David Shanks.

“We exceeded our full-year targets and outperformed the overall market,” he said in a statement.

Some of that growth came from Oprah Winfrey book club pick A New Earth. But in an interview Mr. Shanks also credited mass market paperback sales of the Sookie Stackhouse series of vampire novels by Charlaine Harris, which formed the basis of the HBO hit True Blood.

“Much to everybody’s glee, the biggest piece from last year was from the much maligned mass market piece of our business,” Mr. Shanks said, referring to the lackluster sales that mass market titles have suffered in recent years. “It made the industry realize that if you have something people want in mass market, it’s still a very viable format.”

A boxed set of the first seven titles in the series helped Penguin score one of its best Decembers ever, Mr. Shanks said.

True Blood's Vampire Romance

Having a vampire boyfriend doesn't have to suck.

Whether it's the forbidden thrill or the lure of immortality and hot sex, vampires have always fascinated, from Dracula to Anne Rice's Lestat to the sexy bloodsuckers of TV's Buffy, Angel and Moonlight, and the hero of the Twilight book series. Banking on viewers' unlimited "blood" thirst, Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball has adapted Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark for HBO into an fascinating series centering on the relationship between a telepathic waitress and a 173-year-old vampire, and it's as steamy as the humid Louisiana bayou it's set in.

In this parallel universe, the invention of synthetic blood has allowed vampires to come out of the coffin, as it were, though only at night, but they remain objects of suspicion and prejudice. Bar waitress Sookie Stackhouse, whose thought-reading powers make her feel similarly isolated and "other," finds an instant connection with the new vamp in town, the darkly handsome Bill Compton.

"He's sexy and dangerous. What girl doesn't like a bad boy?" asks Anna Paquin, analyzing her character's attraction to Bill (Stephen Moyer), labeling the lure "sexy, unknown and mysterious." (While she's constantly bombarded by the thoughts of others, she can't hear Bill's, something she finds both intriguing and peaceful.)

"He's from another time. He's experienced things that she can't even imagine," notes Paquin. "He's seen whole lifetimes of things. She instantly connects with him in a way that she's never been able to with anyone else, and I think that's what everyone's looking for: to meet that person who makes you feel like you can just be yourself."

But as with any forbidden romance, there are obstacles. "We get to see the roller coaster of that relationship because having a vampire as a boyfriend isn't always the simplest of things to choose," Paquin points out. First off, there's what Alan Ball calls "the dangers and terrors of intimacy." In their case, "intimacy involves feeding, and he's so much stronger than her."

Read on

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True Blood Opening Title Sequence: Doing Baptisms, Bars, and Bloodlust

From September 2008

The scene opens beneath murky swamp water, where a potentially prehistoric sea creature patiently lingers. Rising above the surface and backed by a bluesy guitar riff, the camera moves through the bayou and transitions to a dryland highway and the small town South, where the environment and buildings grow more human, but the primeval sense remains. This is a world where the conflicting ecstasies of religion, sex, and bloodlust share striking similarities. This is True Blood, where "doing bad things" has never felt -- or looked -- so very, very good.

The latest brainchild of writer/director Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under), True Blood premiered on HBO last Sunday September 7, and the scenes described above are only the beginning. Conceived and created by creative studio Digital Kitchen (, the show's opening title sequence shows a chaos and mixing of cultures, races and social strata, where whores and churchgoers commingle in a region with many influences and a town of many characters and mindsets.

"What I like about Digital Kitchen's creative approach is their intuitive ability to depart from the status quo. We first worked with DK on the titles for 'Six Feet Under' and the opening for True Blood is equally thrilling," said Alan Ball, creator/director, True Blood. "This vivid title sequence so effectively evokes the spirit of the show. It immediately transports the viewer into the True Blood world where the conjured thematic images of sex, death and religious fervor blend into a gripping crescendo. I'm enthralled every time I watch it."

The True Blood project originated with a creative brief to launch the development stage; the brief asked for DK artists to contribute their ideas, with a particular focus on finding what techniques or imagery could best express the dirty, messy collisions of ideas in a contemporary northern Louisiana town.

The concept that stood out the most was the work of Digital Kitchen creatives Rama Allen and Shawn Fedorchuk. "We were super excited to be working on such an interesting project," says Allen. "Shawn and I had several extended conversations late into the night, and we quickly discovered we were on the same page as to how we could make this opening exceptionally cool. I came up with a set of storyboards with a loose, linear progression that juxtaposed the type of images I wanted. Shawn is also the editor on the project, and he created a very complex edit, based on found footage, that communicated stylistically how we wanted things to play out on screen."

"From the start, I loved the idea of images of Americana linked to scenes of lonely, stark places," says Fedorchuk. "When I worked on my initial edit, I gravitated toward a point of view of a supernatural, predatory creature observing human beings from the shadows, almost stalking them. We wanted to convey a feeling of bloodlust, together with a vivid hyperreality. Stitching together these contradictory, yet strikingly similar worlds of sex, death, and transcendence was a major influence. We were after a frenzied effect, a cathartic crescendo, and an apex of emotion linked to the possibility of redemption and forgiveness."

Based on the "Sookie Stackhouse" novels written by Charlaine Harris, True Blood stars Academy Award winner Anna Paquin (The Piano, X-Men) as a feisty waitress in a southern town populated by religious fanatics, redneck bigots, and vampires. As evidenced by a billboard announcing 'God Hates Fangs,' the show explores the vampires' sense of oppression and outcast as much as it shows the humans' fear of them.


In the interests of the raw mood, Digital Kitchen Creative Director Matthew Mulder deliberately steered the project away from computer- aided effects, opting instead for live action footage and striking physical transition effects involving Polaroid photographs.

"We're particularly proud of our analog work," explains Mulder. "The transition effects have an eerie, tactile quality because they were created with Polaroid transfers, water, and airguns. The resulting transitions feel almost like scorched skin."

Developed by designer Ryan Gagnier, the Polaroid transfer technique uses chemicals to separate the emulsion in a Polaroid from its backing. The resulting image has the quality of thin plastic wrap, which is then placed on a wet glass plate, then is blasted with canned air and water to create a violent effect.

"For those transitions, we took the last frame of a cut and the first frame of the next cut, blew them up, and shoot a Polaroid of them together," explains Mulder. "We then put the Polaroid in a chemical bath to separate the transition, manipulate it on another camera, shoot it, and place it back in the edit. It made for some great transitions."

The True Blood titles themselves are rendered in an original font created by Digital Kitchen. Some of the fonts were created using an exacto knife and other hand tools; Camm Rowland developed the font for the show credits based on southern-style road signage.

This very literal "hands-on" approach also took the Digital Kitchen creative team on a four-day Winnebago odyssey through Louisiana, during which they shot footage of anything and everything they felt would be appropriate to the True Blood mood:

"We would drive along and jump out when we saw something cool," says Allen. "I saw a wrecked schoolbus in somebody's yard, so we knocked on the door and ended up getting approval to shoot all over his property, even inside his home. There's a scene of a man in a rocking chair, and he was just a good guy who invited us over for beers. We met all kinds of people and shot more footage than we could possibly use, but it was an incredible experience. We threw ourselves into this project literally, artistically, and physically."

And Mulder isn't kidding about that last part. Several Digital Kitchen staff members make cameos in the opening scenes. A shoving match in a rough-looking bar involves Digital Kitchen Executive Producer Mark Bashore, who also volunteered for a particularly rousing dance with a female bar patron. Digital Kitchen's office assistant and an assistant editor portray a couple of weeping religious women, while Bashore's sons make short, messy work of some blood red berries. The climactic scene of a very wet night baptism involves a young Cajun woman flanked by a line producer and Producer Morgan Henry.

"We had a lot of fun working on this project, and we hope that shows," says Henry. "This is the kind of work Digital Kitchen is best at. There are no tried-and-true techniques used on the True Blood opening. The way we decided to gather imagery was entirely new to us, and we wanted to celebrate that adventure. The practical shooting in unfamiliar territories is philosophically and psychologically what Digital Kitchen is all about."

The True Blood project adds to Digital Kitchen's portfolio of main titles work; DK's opens created for Dexter and Six Feet Under both were recognized with Emmys. True Blood premiered September 7 on HBO.

Read on:

CL Feature: DK's True Blood - The Making Of from Creative League Team on Vimeo.

Go ask Dallas: Why is the True Blood Chow so different from the one we see in the books ?

Dear Dallas-

Why do you think the HBO Chow is obviously not portrayed as Club Dead's Chow? So much attention is given to Chow's Yakuza tattoos and his mysterious history so I was surprised when we are introduced to a more Anglo Chow in the TV series. What are your thoughts on this?


Hey E

Well-- we haven't seen whether Patrick's portrayal of Chow has the tattoos or not. I am not sure what Patrick's actual ethnicity is but he obviously has very interesting ethnic characteristics. We can see by his resume that hes been cast before as an Asian and as a "Hun"

He is a very talented actor and has quite a resume. He may be a little different from how some envision Chow from the book but what little we've seen of Patrick, he's has been very good. Watch the interview below with him, he does talk about being on True Blood and seems to enjoy the role a great deal.

Thanks and if anyone knows more about Patrick let us know ...


** The scene " What's your game ?" where Bill and Chow talk about Wii golf score can be seen here

Patrick Gallagher
Date of Birth 21 February 1968, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada Birth Name

Patrick James Gallagher : Patrick Gallagher grew up in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, and in 1993 graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada. He began his career in Toronto working in the theater, in film and on television. In 2003 he gave a strong performance as Awkward Davies in Peter Weir's Oscar-nominated Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). His next role was Det. Joe Finn in the seventh season of the highly acclaimed Canadian television drama "Da Vinci's Inquest" (1998), carrying that character into the new series "Da Vinci's City Hall" (2005). He will also be remembered as Gary the Bartender in Alexander Payne's multi-award-winning Sideways (2004).

He is a big supporter of the independent film scene, and has played numerous roles in projects by emerging filmmakers. He currently resides in Los Angeles, and is a dual US/Canadian citizen.

Trivia: Graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1993, Dual Canadian/US citizen, First pro job as 'The Fishbreeder' in the world premier of "the Nightingale",In 1994 at Young Peoples Theatre in Toronto Created the 'gibberish' language used by Atilla the Hun in Night at the Museum.

His work can be seen in "Sideways," "Master and Commander," "Night at the Museum," and "Night at the Museum 2." He has also been on such shows as "True Blood," "Davinci's Inquest," and "Without a Trace."

Here is an interview with Patrick Gallagher for Musecast.

Maybe more than you want to know about Yakuza and the

Anna Paquin Packs the Punch

The Academy and Golden Globe winner, Anna Paquin, played the role as a weak-minded waitress who has a preference for vampires in the recent hit HBO series, True Blood. But in the real world, this blonde bombshell is no weakling as she keeps a rigorous fitness schedule to stay in shape.

According to People Magazine, Anna works out several times a week where she does one to two hour-long sessions of high calorie burning and heart thumping exercises such as boxing and plyometrics. Plyometrics involves exercise with an abundance of jumping and bounding such as squats, jump roping and lunging. She also does weight training with her long time trainer, Clay Burwell, who owns the High Performance Gym in New York City. Clay said,

“She punches hard! And she has a mean left hook.”

You probably remember Clay as the guest trainer on the show, Make Me a Supermodel. Besides exercise, it is said that Anna maintains a vegetarian diet.