Saturday, July 3, 2010

True Blood set secrets from EW

There’s no new episode of True Blood on Sunday (HBO is running a mini-marathon of Season 3′s first three episodes, starting at 9 p.m. ET instead). But we’re feeding the beast. After taking questions from readers, we phoned the show’s production designer, Suzuki Ingerslev, to talk about the inspiration for some of our favorite sets (and their hidden gems).

The King of Mississippi’s Mansion: Ingerslev and her art director took a little side trip to Natchez, Mississippi last year, and found Longwood, a National Historic Landmark and the largest remaining octagonal home in the U.S., which she was told had never been filmed before for TV or features. “The interior was never completed. After the Civil War, they walked away from it,” she says. “But we just needed it for the exterior, because there’s nothing like it in the whole world. So we convinced our producers, begged and begged, and they let us go down there and shoot it.” As for the interiors, they were created from scratch after studying the furniture, chandeliers, and wallpapers in plantation homes. “The wallpaper in the King’s dining room is completely Mississippi wallpaper,” she says. “It’s got the river, it’s got Spanish moss and alligators. It’s really amazing that we found that in a wallpaper book.”

When it came time to acquire Bill’s much-storied bed, Ingerslev admits she felt some pressure to find one that would live up to those expectations. ”That kind of a bed is probably $20-, $30-, $40-, $50,000. Our producers wouldn’t have liked that,” she says. They settled on a rental from Warner Bros., which was probably used in a lot of old studio films. Another decision that required some thought: How to decorate the table. “At first, we were like, ‘Let’s get all this great silver,’ and then we realized we couldn’t use silverware in there because vampires can’t touch silver. So we ended up going with a gold flatware. We used a lot of glass displays and crystal. Waterford was kind enough to loan us some pieces because apparently, they’re fans of the show.”

Lou Pine’s: The wolf-related signage in the bar — e.g. Howl and Red Wolf beer — is an obvious homage to what lies beneath in its werewolf patrons, but for a more subtle clue, check out the table lights. When they couldn’t find any they liked, the prop master got an idea: “They look like normal lights, but they’re actually silver doggie bowls and cheap plastic domes,” Ingerslev said

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Interview with Joe Manganiello by HBO

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Better than "Twilight": 10 must-see vampire films

Want a real taste of the genre's rich cinematic legacy? Try these bold, underappreciated classics

This list is aimed at a hypothetical viewer -- maybe young, maybe not -- who became immersed in vampire lore after having seen "Twilight," but who has yet to really sink his or her fangs into the genre's rich cinematic legacy, and who might be surprised to discover how elastic and surprising it can be. (In truth, it's probably aimed at my adolescent daughter, whose favorite movies include "The Graduate," "Election" and "Jaws" but fell asleep during "The Godfather" because the plot was too hard to follow.)

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True Blood Music Video of the Day: Abel Korzeniowski - Clock Tick

Abel Korzeniowski - Clock Tick

Thanks RainSprite67