producing the music is maybe my favorite part of the whole thing. I go into a studio with Matt Kelmer and a handful of great musicians that work under the title "Sweet pro" and we just fuck around. I get to cheat and make music without the training. I ask them for different moods and sounds and they try it. or we'll say let's go with cello and piano for a while and try a few things there. The cello player, wish i fucking knew his name, is tremendous. he creates whole pieces by himself and I use them ALL.
Question: 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?
Answer: 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 becuase they are risking less money.
I have had conversations with them about very few moments in the show but zero battles.
On season 1 I had an editor and we shared it about half. But season two i edited without any help. It was fucking hard. and yes, i sit at the macbook and just put it together from start frame to finish.
the poker scene in season 1 was very written but then i let the guys go off and fuck around. i used some of that. I don't generally let people improvise though. That works for shows where you have two cameras that are just sort of following the action. i shoot my show like a movie and it would be all fucked up if folks just said things.
Question: You've been listed as a video editor on most of your projects. What program do you use to edit and why have you decided to take on this role?
Answer: I love editing. I have used Avid in the past but I exclusively use Final Cut Pro now, though I am concerned about the future... You always have to put three dots after the future...
editing is part of the process. it's how you form everything. In some ways not editing yourself would be like a sculptor dropping some clay off at a guys house and saying "Make a naked lady chasing a bull. and do it nice."
I think the best Seinfeld episode idea I ever contributed was that George pretending to be a marine biologist would find Kramer's golf ball in the blowhole of the whale. Believe it or not, we were doing both of those stories without seeing any connection that Kramer was gonna hit golf balls at the beach, and George was gonna be pretending to be a marine biologist. And it was in the middle of the week that it suddenly hit me of a way to connect the two stories.
So, I think that's probably the best joke I ever thought of on the series. But, I love when people say "regift" or "giddyup", or "yadda yadda". The real and spectacular...I was a very big fan of the show.
That was the most fun I ever had. The coolest part of that episode, that you couldn't see, was the head of the secret service explaining to me what was going to happen if someone started shooting at us. What they would do to the president and where they were going to throw me in the back of a van. That was really exciting Bourne Identity stuff.
Larry David and I discovered that we were both obsessed with superman and admired him and also found him very funny at the same time, so that is why he came up a lot. Are you related to the hot dog Kobayashi in Coney Island?
In the pilot when Bill is up in the tree and the big kids are throwing stuff at him. That happened to me and my best friend, minus the fireworks. We were hanging on and crying. That was just such a regular day back then. No supervision, no cameras, didn't even dawn on me to tell my mom what happened. There's also a scene when Kevin sneaks out of the house w/ his amp and guitar, and he falls on his face to save his gear. That was my friend Dave Kushner, it happened to him. He does all the music for F is for Family. He was the rhythm guitarist for Velvet Revolver, I can't believe I even know the guy! He landed face first and knocked all his teeth out. The next morning he drank a 40 through a s...
It's been a priceless experience with the people I've met in the writer's room, and that I learned how to write a script. It's just great to finally have something where I can actually write the lines. As you work your way up, you think to yourself (or lie to yourself) that you could write it better. And now I get to do that. It's been great.
Really fun, and kind of surreal. I remember Garry Shandling coming up to me after we filmed a take. He had a note for me, but made a point of saying "only do this if you think it's funny." I was impressed by that.
Each season has had its difficulties in producing them - and let me just say that I am really proud of the episodes in the second half of season three. I think they're super funny. There is a story to why I think they're a little inconsistent in production:
For season two, we wrote all 20 episodes before we started shooting, and we shot them all out of sequence. I think the christmas episode with Zach was one of the first ones we shot, and I know the Halloween ep with Pee-wee was in our second week. So we really got to figure out an order after the fact that made sense.
For season three, we had an earlier premiere date, but we started at the same time. So, even though we still wrote everyth...
sort of answered above, but PFT and i discussed, and i really wanted the show not to be so impenetrable, you know? Like, this is the first time people are listening, so why can't I show them the difficulty involved in putting together this show, so they can appreciate it? It's like how Bernie Brillstein advised bob and david to come out as themselves at the top of Mr. Show - then people could appreciate how they were doing all the characters.
sometimes it just naturally goes in directions people didn't expect - i'm thinking of pam murphy and will hines on a recent episode. when we take a break, I'll usually ask, "Is there somewhere else you were thinking of going with it, and can i lead you back there?" Most improvisers don't care about where it ends up, because the journey is more important than the destination.
plotting can be tough because you're never quite sure you're doing it right - it's usually kind of like an exploration. You try something, and figure out what it needs. For instance, one episode we were plotting last night, I felt like it was all things happening, and no emotional connection from our charaters. So we figured out what my own personal connection to the plot would be, and that actually helped us figure out the things that would happen more easily. It's also helpful if your characters can have opposite points of view about what's occuring.
To motivate, I would try to outline as much as you can before you ever start writing a line of dialogue. If you're having trouble plotting, ...
So cool people talking about this kind of stuff and having all the conversations about race, etc. since the show premiered. As far as Rachel (and other love interests too), we didn't set out to cast someone white and auditioned people of all ethnic backgrounds, and wanted to cast the person I seemed to have the best chemistry with to sell this huge relationship arc. In the end, Noel blew us away. And, for the writing, I'm pulling a lot from my own real current relationship, which is with a "white" person - so we can do interesting scenes like the scene in 109 (Mornings) about the parents (which many South East Asians have told me really resonated with them and they'd never seen an interracia...
We had a writer's summit where for 2 weeks we had Weird Al, Emo Phillips, Maja Da Oust, Jason Louv, Johnny Pemberton, Brendon Walsh (Gawd I hope i'm not forgetting someone), come up with ways the world could end. Then we broke the apocalypses we liked best into beats and "hung" the podcast dialogue on that framework. It was REALLY challenging because too much animated plot distracts from the conversation but if a GIANT ZOMBIE is eating the white house you can't just keep talking about weed so we had to figure out ways to pin the dialogue to the animation using VO we recorded after we had pieced together the animatics enough to know where it needed it.
I was credited as a STORY EDITOR but that's more of a title than an actual job description. I was in the writers' room pitching jokes and ideas for scripts. I got to work with some real-deal TV veteran writer geniuses who I learned a lot from. Oh! And in season 4 when Jeff Garlin sneaks through a second-story window, the group of people watching him from afar are all the writers in the writers room. THAT IS THE ONLY EASTER EGG THAT'S EVER EXISTED ON ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.