Re the Michael Arndt 90 minute video on Endings, here is my interview with Mike and a link to that video:
Re themes in AQP, here is what Bryan and Scott had to say about it when I interviewed them last year:
Scott Myers: You were talking about the theme of communication in A Quiet Place. How important is theme to you in your writing? Do you begin with the themes of your story or do they emerge over time?
Bryan: Yeah, both. With A Quiet Place, we weren’t comfortable writing the script until we knew that the theme was going to be about communication. We liked how that paralleled the idea of a world and a story that’s scary because the characters can’t talk and they can’t make noise.
We didn’t feel good about the story until we were like, “OK, we are comfortable with this theme.” One of the interesting things about theme is that you can start off with one thing in your head, and then the ultimate movie teaches you what it’s really about.
While I think that theme of communication that we started with is very much prevalent in the finished film, I think another theme emerged, which is the theme of, what would you do to protect your children and how hard is it to protect your children?
I think that theme is maybe an obvious one that we didn’t intellectualize but comes through very boldly in the finished film. I think that’s the best way to do it. I think you should be thinking about making sure your story has layers and that it can resonate on a deeper level.
At the same time, you’ve got to let it teach you what it wants to be and not be so constricted that you’re forcing it into a certain box.
Scott Beck: I will say like any time that we’ve gone off and written things where we haven’t really honed in on any theme whatsoever, that’s where you start getting into the weeds and you start losing your sight. It’s always important to hone in on some certain ideas that can at least be the starting point.
Krasinski upped the protection angle in his drafts, he’s stated as such in interviews. The father of two, that really resonated with him.
A good takeaway from this discussion is what Scott says above: How important it is to drill down into the story and surface the themes at work in the narrative, especially the central theme.