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Vendredi, 23 Septembre 2011 12:00

Tricks of the Trade From Boardwalk Empire Creator Terence Winter

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Photo: Erik Madigan Heck

NAME  Terence Winter

GIG  Creator, executive producer, and showrunner on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, returning in September for a second season of Prohibition-era malfeasance.

BEFORE THAT  Wrote 25 episodes of The Sopranos, including your favorites.

Strategy for the Comments Section:
“Early after Boardwalk’s premiere, I was reading Twitter and HBO’s site, but it’s so all over the map that it ultimately becomes pointless. Still, the temptation is always there. You have to remind yourself: There is no water in that well. You’re not going to come away happy. You could read a bunch of positive things, but you’ll only focus on the negative shit. Why do that to yourself?”

On Research and Authenticity:
“I started with the book Boardwalk Empire and then immersed myself in the history of Atlantic City, World War I, the temperance movement, Prohibition, pop culture. I even read the news and magazines of the period just to soak in it. That was before I even started thinking of the story.”

Favorite Discovery:
“All this piano music used to accompany silent films. But once talkies came in, it became obsolete. Our music supervisor found these music rolls and gave them to an orchestra to record—music that nobody’s listened to for almost 100 years.”

Writing Tic:
“If I hear an interesting turn of phrase on TV, I’ll repeat it back—I just like to roll it around on my tongue. The same goes for dialog: I’ll either speak it aloud or whisper it. I definitely sit in front of my computer and mutter. People have mentioned it.”

David Chase, creator of The Sopranos. “He’d say, ‘Dismiss your first five ideas. Skip ‘em.’ His other big thing was, be entertaining. We used to throw in the kitchen sink on The Sopranos—violence and sex and comedy and music—and it all added up to a really fun hour of TV. I think about that with Boardwalk.”

Boardwalk’s Atlantic City: Hell or heaven?
“It’s like America: On the surface it’s the greatest place in the world, but there is a dark side. And to make that world function, some dark things need to be done. Some people are going to get screwed.”


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