And he got hired to star in Godzilla, and so for about nine months my salary was paid by Columbia Pictures instead of by Matthew himself and they gave me, for some reason, Columbia paid me a lot more and I was suddenly able to save up a bunch of money. Like because I feel that I don’t know how you write, but do you avoid writing sometimes? Michael Arndt: I’m really a [Jedi 00:39:55]. Jordan Carlos: Okay, now we’re back on track. Anyway, Izzy gets it. Michael Arndt: I’m actually pretty optimistic. I just was thinking about this recently, like how important that scene with the real Lebowski is, just in making you like The Dude, and making you root for him, because you’re introducing this antogonist, this bad guy, who is so uptight, and so tightly wound, that you naturally then, sympathetically side with The Dude, and he becomes this heroic figure. What am I not seeing here?” And it’s that thing where you you come home, you try to plug it all in by yourself and when you totally fail you go, “okay. Michael Arndt is an award-winning graphic designer turned author/illustrator. In the video, the Academy Award winning screenwriter explores how great endings work with a close analysis of the climaxes of STAR WARS, THE GRADUATE, and his own screenplay, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. The Graduate is such a great ending. Vladimir Nabokov had this great line, somebody asked him why does he write the novels that he writes, and he just said “To get them out of my head.”, Jordan Carlos: And that’s how you feel about. Are you a believer in the force? So because he follows his heart, because he’s a nonconformist, right, he, you’re tipping the whole fulcrum towards nonconformity, he is literally running out of the church, grabbing the princess out of the dragon’s cave, and running out. Jordan Carlos: But what about a great ending? I’d say, I talk about 8 1/2, the Fellini film, that’s a great, great, great ending, and that actually, that’s an ending that sort of does subscribe to the ‘Insanely Great,’ model, because he’s not going to make the film, he’s alienated from his wife, and he hasn’t been able to figure out a coherent and unitary story about his own life. Michael Arndt: I avoid writing all the time. But there’s probably six of those that I’m willing to write off and just go, those were just bad ideas, so there’s no salvaging them. Michael Arndt: But you’re just trying to make things as bad as possible for your hero as they head into the climax. Then, going down a bunch of blind alleys and bumping your head into the wall and just stumbling around and it’s all trial and error. So I would say that Ben got what he wanted, and it doesn’t, in a weird way it doesn’t matter if he and Elaine are going to stay together or break up the next day. Did you take what you’ve got here and look back and like try to apply them? With the Vancouver International Film Festival coming up, I’m back on the culture beat for the North Shore News. Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great on Vimeo The outcome of the struggle between those two value systems that are embedded in your story becomes the meaning of your story. Broadcast your events with reliable, high-quality live streaming. I had a bunch of inchoate ideas about that and when I first got to Pixar, this was at the beginning of 2006, all the writers at Pixar got invited to go to a screenwriting expo in LA and just give a speech about screenwriting. Jordan Carlos: Oh, man. Michael’s first feature-... – Listen to Episode 1: Michael Arndt, "Endings" by OnWriting: A Podcast of the WGA East instantly on your tablet, phone or browser - no downloads needed. And so you get to the Little Miss Sunshine contest, you get right down to the end, she’s about to go on, and I’m like okay, what’s the worst thing that could happen to Olive at this moment? and kind of the internal stakes, but then I didn’t understand the third set which I’d love for you to describe right now. Michael Arndt's "Endings: the Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great" is one of the best videos on screenwriting craft that I've ever watched. Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great Michael Arndt is a screenwriter known for Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine , among others. Michael Arndt: Is it firing on all cylinders? But you’re always getting new ideas also and you’re always excited by like, the latest idea that you’ve had, so I’ve got a couple of, you know, irons in the fire, but there’s one that’s sort of closest to being finished, and it’s a comedy, and…. I was really on the verge of a nervous breakdown. 250 Hudson Street, Suite 700 Michael Arndt: The evolution of it is not really a documentary, it’s just a web-video. That you’re just trying to make things worse and worse and worse for your hero. Like what, what’s your deal? I’d go pick up the mail and walk the dog and stuff like that. And you’re just working on, you put aside your science fiction epic and you work on your, you know, small comedy or something like that. And is that the spark that kind of lights the flame in what you do? So when Ben runs in the church, right, and he’s looking down and he’s seeing Elaine and Carl there, it’s the drama of conformity versus nonconformity. In Little Miss Sunshine, the Little Miss Sunshine universe is all about like mindless competition. Actually my mom lives out there, so it’s…. Michael Arndt: I was just thinking about this yesterday and I never quite figured this out before. The choice that he’s making is, is he going to be like everybody else and like walk out of the church quietly and go get a job in a plastics factory somewhere, or is he going to just follow his feelings and listen to his heart and start beating on the window and calling out Elaine, Elaine, even though it seems like a futile gesture. I feel like a lot of times it gets clouded when people talk about theme, but what’s really going on- theme obscures the idea that what you really have often in a story is a contest between two sets of values and as I say in the video, usually there is a dominant set of values and there is a non-dominant set of values. Arndt wrote the screenplays for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (2006) and TOY STORY 3 (2010). Michael Arndt: But I think that just in New York, like, there’s something just magical about making a movie in New York, and when you’re in LA, it’s such a, it’s just so commonplace out there that it just lacks that sense of magic to it. Jordan Carlos: Are you a subway guy? You also have to have Luke, and that speaks to sort of this broader notion of community. Do you go back and forth? Or if you’re sick and tired of your small comedy, you put it aside and you work on something else. Record and instantly share video messages from your browser. Michael Arndt: There’s the moment in The Graduate when Mr. Robinson shows up, takes Elaine away, and she writes this letter to Ben and says you know, you must understand, my father is so angry, I love you but it would never work. Do you have some Avengers draft to turn in, or what’s going on? It was just great, and those were the days, man. You’re totally right. Michael Arndt: I was going to have to go back and get another job again. Jordan Carlos: So you figured this out on your own. Michael Arndt: Yes, exactly. Actually do work. Thirty seconds before that though, you have a bunch of team players with Luke and they’re all using their computer targeting systems to try and blow the Death Star and Luke is the one guy who doesn’t do what everyone else is doing. Jordan Carlos: So let me ask this, so you have three films of course, that are in the vid, you’ve got Little Miss Sunshine, The Graduate, and of course, Star Wars. Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) First, someone wrote. Jordan Carlos: What are those seven that you wrote in a year? Michael Arndt: To me, it’s the last two because, an it’s amazing when you look at the ending of Star Wars or the ending of The Graduate, like it breaks down to almost exactly two minutes, from the time Obi Wan starts talking to Luke to the time he goes “Remember the force will be with you,” it’s almost exactly two minutes. And I thought, “okay, not only am I going to write a happy ending, I’m going to write the happiest ending of all time. Posted by 6 months ago. I was the personal assistant. OnWriting is an official podcast of the Writers Guild of America, East. It’s really getting taken away. Michael Arndt: It’s the old, delusional, burst-yourself confidence at the beginning. So then The Dude, he goes and he just wants, he goes to confront the real Lebowski, and the real Lebowski, no one’s more laid back than the dude, right? View Notes - MichaelArndtEndings-The Good, The Bad and The Insanely Great from FILM 3001 at Columbia University. Click here to watch a video version of Arndt’s lectures ENDINGS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE INSANELY GREAT and BEGINNINGS: SETTING A STORY IN MOTION. I feel like that’s all I do. It really doesn't, as of this writing. Jordan Carlos: You’re totally right. Michael Arndt: I hope people find it useful. Also I love Pan’s Labyrinth, that was a really smart ending. , Suite 700 New York, New York 10013 ) and Toy story 3 ( 2010 ) people…now. West ’ s every day did this documentary stand from with you kind! 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