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Jill Soloway on the Advice Jeff Bezos Gave at Amazon

One of the fringe benefits of being the creator of Amazon series “Transparent” and “I Love Dick” is that Jill Soloway gets face time with the company’s visionary founder, Jeff Bezos.

And in that time, Soloway recounted Wednesday at the Code Conference, Soloway has gotten his wise counsel, including the subject of the power of storytelling.

“The way you make change with story is so much faster than the way politics can make change,” Soloway said.

It’s a far cry from an earlier era in network television, where as a writer on shows from HBO’s “Six Feet Under” to Showtime’s “United States of Tara” Soloway saw the limits of pursuing her career on the traditional paths. The broadcast pilot process left Soloway particularly burned out.

“After developing 10 years with networks, I would do rewriting just to make people happy,” Soloway recounted. “Slowly but surely everything turned into something I really didn’t believe in. your vision gets dissipated.”

What Soloway also found in the TV industry prior to breaking through on Amazon was an inability for networks to greenlight programming with a female protagonist who is “sexual or odd.” Soloway credited series including “Girls,” “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” and “Lady Dynamite” for paving the way for “I Love Dick,” which features the very sexual, very odd character of Chris Kraus.

“It allows the main characters to be off,” said Soloway, whose production shingle Topple was baned to connote an intent to topple patriarchy. “You don’t really get to have nutty women. That’s new.”

“I feel like in some ways I’ve left behind the networks’ thinking,” Soloway continued. “I do think of myself now more as a media brand, Topple as a media brand. I also love thinking in a bigger way about sharing the stuff we’re doing.”

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