NSFW: a LOT of penis talk
I learned that money can be a lot of things. It can be something that is hoarded, fought over, protected, stolen and withheld. Or it can be like an energy, fueled by the desire, will, creative interest, need to laugh, of large groups of people. And it can be shuffled and pushed around and pooled together to fuel a common interest, jokes about garbage, penises and parenthood.
I’m a big Louis CK fan – his TV show Louie is one of the best TV shows ever made – it’s so far beyond your typical one-liners and Flanderised characters from typical sitcoms it’s scary. Some shows are hilarious, and on familiar subjects – bad dates, relationships, bullies. Other episodes are more uncomfortable, or just – stories. Taking time to learn about people and their relationships. There’s a bit where he spends about 3 or 4 minutes air-drumming to “Who Are You” while driving with his kids – no other show (except maybe Mad Men) would take so long to indulge in something that doesn’t have a laugh or a gag or a cut to someone making a funny face (Jim Halpert).
Since season 2 Louis has been writing and editing Louie with complete control and no interference, and he decided to take that logic to distributing a completely DRM free comedy show for $5 online – all written, produced and edited by himself – giving him complete control. He broke even in 24 hours and is well on the way to making a fair bit of money, without fucking over his fans.
It’s a real nice story of taking control of your art, getting closer to your fans, and hoping that people will do the right thing. You should read how he’s reacted to the whole experience. Cool story.