Louie C.K. on Storytelling, the Emmys and Stand Up
By| July 30, 2012
Comedian, writer, director (and a whole lot of other things) Louie C.K. joined the TCA conference in Los Angeles via satellite, apologizing profusely for not being able to attend in person. But the proud dad of 2, who incorporates much about his relationship with his own daughters into “Louie,” had to pick up one of his tykes from sleep away camp who he hasn’t seen in a month. He was forgiven.
On the series’ approach to storytelling he said he doesn’t use the 22 minutes of each episode to define a story’s length. “Being able to break that was one of the first things that excited me when I met with [FX pres] John Landgraf about doing this show,” he said. “Every time you tell a story at dinner, you don’t say to yourself, ‘Okay, I have to fill 15 minutes to tell this.’”
The comic’s stand up act, prominently featured in each episode, is integral to both the show and his overall creative process. “It keeps my blood moving,” he said. “It’s where a lot of my favorite ideas come from.” That, and the fact that it’s pretty lucrative, means touring will continue for the foreseeable future. “It is the most still the most money I make is on stage,” he said. “I still make way more doing that than I do doing this show. So it keeps me able to do shows like FX.”
Louie addressed recently breaking the record for Emmy noms, saying that records and competition should be reserved for athletics. “With creative television and writing, it’s kind of silly a little bit. But it’s nice for all the people who work for me and for the network.”
Given that he literally does it all on the show—writing, directing, acting, even co-composing the music—he offered advice to those looking to emulate a similar sense of creative license and freedom: “educate yourself technically.” Drawing a line between the technical and creative is “a huge mistake,” he said, since “cameras and the technology that we use is the clay.” Learn everything there is to know about cameras, sound equipment, etc., as they’ll enable you to find shortcuts.