Six Feet Under
The Jill Soloway Interview

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"Everybody knows about Television Without Pity."
After my recap for the sixth Six Feet Under episode of this season, "The Rainbow of her Reasons," went up a few weeks ago, I got a very nice email from Jill Soloway, the writer of the episode. So naturally, I repaid her kindness by bugging her for an interview. In addition to "The Rainbow of her Reasons," Jill wrote the episodes "Back to the Garden," "I'll Take You," "Making Love Work," "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost," "Parallel Play," and "The Black Forest." Now that Six Feet Under has wrapped, she'll be going on the road in support of her first book and working on her next TV project. We discussed this, the show, and more when we talked on the phone twice in August, including a shorter follow-up conversation just hours before the series finale aired. I've edited them so it basically seems like one conversation, and also to make myself sound a little less like Chris Farley. M. Giant: So, congratulations on the show, and the run, and the season, and everything. Jill Soloway: Yeah. So, what's it like to be done? It's okay. It's not really all that sad. You're a producer as well as a writer on the show. Yeah. The different producer titles are basically different levels of writer. The producer titles all go in order. Your title at your first job is staff writer, then story editor, then executive story editor, co-producer, producer, supervising producer, co-executive producer. Each one represents how many years you've been in the business. I started during the second season. So what other producer-type stuff do you do besides writing? On the show? Yeah. Well, Alan Ball is really committed to the concept of writers getting an opportunity to be involved in the whole production. Being a writer himself has something to do with that? Yeah, totally. When he worked on sitcoms, he always swore, "When I'm in charge, the writers will have a lot more control." So a lot of writers [on other shows] will be able to, like, drop in on the set and watch part of what is done, but Alan Ball had it so from the first moment that we get into production, casting…we'd meet with the department heads about props, wardrobe, hair and makeup. We'd go to the set and sit next to the director and make comments, probably much to the chagrin of the directors. Some liked it but some would get kind of annoyed. We'll be there reminding them of why or what or the reason for something. And then after, the director would take a pass at the footage and the writers would be involved with that, and the editing after that.

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Six Feet Under

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