I’ve given the lectures of it, at Disney, at Pixar, at Warner Brothers, but also sort of at Sundance, also gone down to Austin a couple of times. Usually, the way I started screenplays is I get these huge delusional bursts of enthusiasm and I think, “this is going to be the greatest thing in the world.” And I sit down and I write my first draft and is not great. Stream Episode 18: Michael Arndt and Insanely Great Endings by The Secrets of Story Podcast from desktop or your mobile device Jordan Carlos:    You’re lost? One of the value systems is going to prevail. Are you discouraged by what we see at the box office now, or? No comments: Post a Comment. I really thought that if there were good news I would’ve heard it after six weeks. Jordan Carlos:    It’s super helpful. And coming up with really great characters and coming up with something that’s going to make people lean forward and get excited. And also, I feel like there’s a value to audacity, something that’s going to feel a little bit dangerous that you’re doing. Get your team aligned with all the tools you need on one secure, reliable video platform. Anyway, after six weeks Tom called me back and said, “I read your screenplay, I think we can do something with it.” Yeah. Like the philosophical battles that they see onscreen, right, because Americans more and more are watching TV, we’re watching movies more than ever. Jordan Carlos:    But we are joined by Michael Arndt, who is a fantastic and amazing screenwriter. Even George Bailey goes “Well gee Mr. Potter you’re the richest man in town, everybody knows that.”. Excuse me, I’m not in LA. They’re the apotheists, they’re the spokesmen of it, and I feel like it’s always very important to have your bad guy, or the person who represents the forces of antagonism, to give voice to those values, and to say “Here’s the way that this world works, buddy, and you better get with the program.”. The Ozu film from ’48. Jordan Carlos:    Yes, yes. You end up either in Kurtz’s compound or you end up in the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle. And you just go, okay, those are two valid points of view, and you’re just going to create a story about that, you could have either one of those values prevail in the end, let’s say you want this to be about the triumph of love –, Michael Arndt:  Then all you do is you want to create a situation where it’s 99 to 1, it looks like pursuing money was the smart way to live your life, right? Michael Arndt:  Money is also time and I figured I had this money in the bank and I basically quit my job and I gave myself a year to get all my screenplays written and the hope was that I would get an agent during that time. Episode 18: Michael Arndt and Insanely Great Endings. Michael Arndt est un Scénariste américain. And it’s like, instinctively I’m like the worst thing is that her brother Dwayne goes backstage and confronts Cheryl the mom and says I don’t want Olive going on. I try to be, at least. So it’s you antogonist who’s actually the narrative locomotive or engine that’s driving the story forward, and I feel like it’s super, to me, a lot of times your villain, or your antogonist is the organizing principle upon which the whole story turns, because they are the most virulent embodiment of the dominant values of that universe. Mar 27, 2019 - Explore Merging Story Pottery's board "Michael Arndt" on Pinterest. Michael Arndt:  It’s for everybody. He also wrote the screenplays for a few other low-budget, indie films like “Toy Story 3”, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “Endings” explores how great film endings work through a close analysis of the climaxes of “Star Wars,” “The Graduate,” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” And Michael is clearly a generous man, because he has made “Endings” available to watch online for free. New York, New York 10013. How does your David defeat your Goliath? Ambition. Jordan Carlos:    That’s a heck of a border. Jordan Carlos:    I would just say this, it also helps, there’s some, like I’m figuring out a script right now myself. 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. Michael Arndt:  I feel like, I mean, I think we have some of the most –, Jordan Carlos:    ‘Cause it felt like a pounding on the desk, like “Okay, let me, you know, this has gone on for far too long.”, Michael Arndt:  I’ll just say that I feel like we have a bunch of incredibly talented directors, and a lot of incredibly talented writers out there doing incredibly great work, and I think that I’ll just say, Alfonso Cuaron, Paul Thomas Anderson, Inarritu, all the usual suspects are these incredible directors making these incredible films, and so, to me, the art of cinema, as long as there’s a handful of directors out there that are able to kind of get the money to do what they want, you know, something like Moonlight is just so beautiful, it’s great, and you go “As long as there’s a handful of films that come along each year like Moonlight, or whatever, name your favorite, I think cinema is healthy.”. You’re vindicating the progress of the individual, Luke in his cock-pit, plus but you’re also vindicating this notion that we can all do better in the world by working together. Hey folks, it’s a podcast already! Michael Arndt, I thank you so much for sitting down and taking the time to talk to us. Arndt used to work as a script reader, and as part of his job, after reading hundreds of scripts, he would be able to diagnose what is wrong with the script. Michael Arndt:  Yeah a lot of people did, but it doesn’t feel like the kind of thing that you would hang a feature film on, so I finally wrote it just kind of to get it out of my head, you know? Michael Arndt:  Like in the last couple of months. Jordan Carlos:    Oh you are? He’s put his observations together as a terrific video that offers great insights and practical advice. Click on it for larger version. Michael Arndt won an original screenplay Oscar in 2007 for “Little Miss Sunshine” and now finds himself nominated again, for best adapted screenplay for “Toy Story 3.” But, as he said on Tuesday morning, writing remains a mysterious, difficult process. "An ending has to wrap not only the narrative logic of the story," he says, "and it also has to be emotionally fulfilling. You go like, okay, I say in the video, the hero got the pretty girl and got the bag of money, but like, so what? 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. It was given by Michael Arndt, who works for Pixar and is best known for his script, Little Miss Sunshine. Michael Arndt talks with Jordan Carlos about his free, tutorial film, ENDINGS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE INSANELY GREAT. And again, it’s your hero’s closest ally is stabbing your hero in the back philosophically. Jordan Carlos:    So that he kind of gets over himself and helps Luke out. I ‘m not good at introduction at all. Michael Arndt:  It’s funny how you can, listen man, I’ve watched the last, that climactic few minutes of Graduate, I’ve watched it like 100 times. And you’re listening to On Writing, a screenwriting podcast from the Writer’s Guild of America East. Michael Arndt:  I’m in LA. I’d go pick up the mail and walk the dog and stuff like that. And I was thinking about what constitutes a happy ending. Jordan Carlos:    About his own life, yeah. Jordan Carlos:    Time is money, but money is also time. Michael Arndt:  We’re all in the same boat together. Hey, that’s a nice problem to have. You just go, this engine is revving high and it’s firing on all cylinders. Why do people like heists more than robberies? So great, and just nothing at all to do with external or internal stakes or anything like that. Michael Arndt:  I’ve been giving this lecture for ten years now, and I’m like “Ugh, I am so tired of these ideas,” I just want to be done with it. There’s tons and tons of great endings out there. Process. I think that is an insanely great ending. Mix, tech production, and original music by Stock Boy Creative. Michael Arndt:  I hope people find it useful. Here's Arndt's 100 page story map which will help us. Michael Arndt:  It tied the room together. Michael Arndt’s Idea of a Great Ending Many story has a great beginning, a good middle, but fails on its ending. And says, I’ve got my money, I’m out of here. You’ve written “Little Miss Sunshine” and you also recently wrote the new, not the newest Star Wars, but Star Wars-. Jordan Carlos:    What are those seven that you wrote in a year? Do you…, Michael Arndt:  No, it’s really, it’s just, you know, it’s a way of procrastinating, basically. Michael Arndt:  And he climb, he goes to the press conference, climbs on the table and shoots himself, and then the next scene is they’re tearing down the sets, they’re not making the film, and then you have this great, what I call the “Antagonist’s Aria,” of his screenwriter saying “It’s better that you didn’t make the movie,” like if we artists, if we can’t come up with something perfect, it’s better for us to remain silent, and it’s this great, again, antagonist’s aria, where you’re having the bad guy’s values articulated by your hero’s closest ally. Newer Post Older Post Home. That’s what drives that whole universe. 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. It’s like any way that you can avoid writing, you know, is you know just distracting yourself with something else. Arndt points out that many scripts fail to deliver on their endings. Jordan Carlos:    This is a first on the podcast. Michael Arndt:  It’s very helpful. I’m going to write the happiest fucking ending possible.” My goal was to drive the audience insane with happiness. On Writing is a production of the Writers Guild of America East. You know. What do you hope to inspire from writers that might like be listening to this podcast, you know, like, that are in their little cellars, and you know, in their root basements and hopefully, yes…. I’d love to know the evolution. I sort of thought if there’s some- because at this point my mom was saying things like, “hey Mike, isn’t there something else you want to do besides writing screenplays?” Plus I was out of money, I burnt through most of my money, so-. So you want to keep that. Jordan Carlos:    Or the ancient organic logic of narrative, you know. Do you take the subway? Michael Arndt:  I made a list here actually, it’s Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, that’s a great ending, doesn’t subscribe to the ‘Insanely Great,’ formula at all. Jordan Carlos:    And it’s based on fairytales. 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. Michael Arndt:  Is it firing on all cylinders? In this cinematic version of an AFF favorite, Arndt explores how great endings work with a close analysis of the climaxes of Star Wars, The Graduate, and his own screenplay, Little Miss Sunshine. So of course your antogonist has to represent the opposite ethos, so there’s nobody more uptight, basically, and achievement oriented, then the real Lebowski. You also have to have Luke, and that speaks to sort of this broader notion of community. I really do. Well, what’s next for you? Jordan Carlos:    Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. I mean, I just, you know, I just love movies. If a narrative is about a character changing then there are ways that that happens over and over again in the history of storytelling. It’s really the way to defeat the bad guy in Star Wars is not just one thing it’s two things because A. you have to have Han come in and embrace the values of team work and cooperation but B. 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. Michael Arndt:  It has a little bit of like tang to it. What’s going on? So what’s important about knowing what’s the governing ethos of the universe you’ve created is, in Star Wars for example, the governing ethos is violence and coercion, right? I probably could have broken in a lot more quickly if I’ve gone to LA. And so this is why, again, I feel like it’s important to pay attention to how your hero is either going to prevail or not prevail, because again, it’s speaking to an underlying set of values that are embedded in your story, and if you can convincingly create a contest between two value systems and you have one that’s saying “You should live your life,” let’s just say “You should live your life pursuing money,” or “You should live your life pursuing love,” right? I mean, sometimes, I always hear it’s the last ten minutes, you say it’s the last two. You can learn more about the Writers Guild of America East online at wgaeast.org or on social media at @wgaeast. Again, I’ll just say, it’s the video I wish I had had 25 years ago when I first started out. And that’s going to be a good guide to writing. And Olive overhears that. Like what, what’s your deal? Why do people…now there’s a good question. Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) First, someone wrote. He had heart all along. Again, a lot of this was just, I had all these ideas in my head and I just wanted to get them out of my head and put them [crosstalk 00:40:40], Jordan Carlos:    Is it something that you enjoy doing, do you enjoy teaching? I think that, just for me, either find what delights you the most or the thing that outrages you the most. View Notes - MichaelArndtEndings-The Good, The Bad and The Insanely Great from FILM 3001 at Columbia University. And had happened was, what really happened was at the time I was working as an assistant for Matthew Broderick, the actor. Monday, October 24, … Michael Arndt was born on November 11, 1965 in Harris County, Texas, USA as Michael deBruyn Arndt. Jordan Carlos:    Wow, which neighborhood? Michael Arndt:  I was going to have to go back and get another job again. Jordan Carlos:    Are you from Los Angeles? Michael Arndt:  I think that, I’ll just put it this way, when you’re making a film in New York, it seems like this heroic thing. And I had done that just by instinct with Dwayne and Little Miss Sunshine going backstage. I’ll give you a small example, and I was just thinking about this, we’re all familiar with the antagonist’s aria in a superhero film, or Die Hard or whatever, right? 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…. Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great on Vimeo Just go, ‘Once upon a time there was a little girl in a basement and she’s watching TV and she wants to be a beauty queen. As a writer, you invite the readers into your story world, and your task is to guide them through the fictitious world, and then, at the end, allow them to exit your story loaded with “lasting impressions.” Late Spring by Ozu, also My Neighbors the Yamadas the Isao Takahata animated film, such a great ending. I have spent some time lately trying to collect the bits and pieces that can be found from those who've heard him speak. In July, I shared a video essay by screenwriter Michael Arndt on insanely great story endings.The 90 min presentation is a brilliant excavation of how narrative works, and how crisis and catharsis interweave to create ‘insanely great’ story endings.. Jordan Carlos:    Or to be an [inaudible 00:13:32] filler. Michael’s first feature-... – Lyssna på Episode 1: Michael Arndt, "Endings" av OnWriting: A Podcast of the WGA East direkt i din mobil, surfplatta eller webbläsare - utan app. So, those kind of value systems, in Star Wars I believe it was the philosophy of altruism and being there for someone else, that has its day when Han sweeps back in his will, correct? So people can get into- [crosstalk 00:12:53] which apartment number? Broadcast your events with reliable, high-quality live streaming there are ways that that happens over and over again the! 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