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‘Better Things’ DP Paul Koestner on Working with the Autonomy of Director Louis C.K.

The new FX series Better Things is loosely based on star and creator Pamela Adlon’s own life as a working actress and mother of three girls. The pilot episode was directed by executive producer Louis C.K. and shot by cinematographer Paul Koestner, who previously shot C.K.’s show Louie (on which Adlon also starred).

“Louis is self-taught and things happen very intuitively for him when he gets to set,” Koestner tells No Film School. “He doesn’t storyboard. He doesn’t write down shots, and we rarely discuss any other work that might influence us. It’s interesting, with Louis, you have this single intellect who’s dealing with it all. There’s no video village. There’s no one around him who’s questioning what he’s doing. It’s a rare situation in our industry where he’s been afforded this autonomy by a forward-thinking network, and so lives and dies by his own choices. Pamela has a similar intellect, I think, and has taken lessons from her experience on Louie and applied it to her own show. ”

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