19 August, 2008

Michael Arndt, screenwriter, lecture


"The climax of the movie (is) really the thing that I'm most proud of because as a writer I'm a big believer in endings. I think the ending of your story is when the meaning of your story is really revealed.

But I also think that, just in terms of in setting up the story, a good story, for me at least, always involves a character right before the climax taking a decisive action or making an important decision and usually you are going to make that decision is difficult as possible.

So what I was trying to do here was to push Olive into this corner where she has to decide whether she is going to go on stage or not and at that moment she is weighing two value systems. One is her dad who says there is no sense in entering a contest if you don't win or if you don't think you are going to win. And then on the other shoulder is her grandpa who said, we are going to have fun tomorrow, we can tell them all go to hell, and also a real loser isn't someone who doesn't win, a real loser is someone who doesn't try. So its that - just to be didactic about it you know - you are trying to have your character make a meaningful decision and really push them into the corner."

For your consideration: Little Miss Sunshine

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