“If you don’t take the money, they can’t tell you what to do. That’s the key to the whole thing.”
Today on reddit, comedian and television auteur Louis C.K. took questions. It being reddit, the thing’s a pain in the ass to read, but I particularly liked this exchange:
Q: How on earth were you able to gain the incredible amount of authorial control that you have over Louie? Have you had to battle with FX over any particular jokes/concepts/creative choices?
A: I got it by demanding it and refusing to do the show any other way at all and by having the leverage that I was completely willing to walk away without doing the show and by agreeing to an extremely low budget so that they could offset the risk of giving me this freedom because they are risking less money.
Elsewhere Louis talks about how he edits his TV show by himself on his MacBook.
The whole thing reminded me of Bill Cunningham’s sage advice, “If you don’t take the money, they can’t tell you what to do.”