Smart, funny, fresh and unafraid to be a little subversive, writer-director Phil Lord has been the voice behind lighthearted ventures such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street. His latest film, The Lego Movie, created with frequent collaborator Chris Miller, won audiences over with its witty, adorable, inventive brand of storytelling and laughs. Lord gave a TEDx Talk about screenwriting back in 2012. It’s mostly an enjoyable watch for Lord’s quirky delivery, but he delves into some good points about rewriting, learning from your audience, and we get to hear the story of his hiring, firing and rehiring on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
“Our experience on [Meatballs] and this movie too [referring to 21 Jump Street] is that you can basically get away with absolutely anything if you have a story that people care about, that has characters that seem like human beings,” Lord said in a 2012 interview. With the Lego film, he took a similar approach: “When you’re writing it, sometimes you think of them as people and you forget that they’re these little plastic dudes. So you want to remember to continually use that as part of the charm of the thing and that really helped us.”
Budding screenwriters: learn a few Lord-isms before tackling your next project with this inspiring 20-minute talk.
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