Our final interview with David: series finale talk!

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Our final interview with David: series finale talk!

Post by Liz on Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:35 pm

Q: Well, well. Here we are at the long awaited ending to ARLBITR. Through all the hiatuses us long term followers really wondered if we would get that satisfying ending, and sure enough we did. What brought to you to finally ending it the right way?

A: Wonderful question there, Liz. And thanks to you and morethananyone, btw, for having the idea to make the forums more interactive and do these interviews. I love that you chose to say "end it the way way," as that's pretty much the whole reason I came back to finish off these final two episodes. 2 1/2 years ago I came back after a year or so of thinking I was done and did 3x09, but I was at a stage of my life where so much was in flux and simming just seemed to be the last thing I was able to concentrate on, but it was always in the back of my mind and in my heart knowing it was just sitting there without being finished the way it deserved to be. If viewers only knew the time it took to write, film, edit, set up props, create characters, deal with system bugs and game hacks/props, creating sets, est. It's really a lot. On a sims series (unless your fortunate enough to have a partner in crime helping,) you're doing all this on your own. 3x10 and 3x11 both individually took over a month to fully orchestrate. That said, there was recently a Mercury retrograde (yes I am total astrology lover,) and I've found that every few times this wild planet goes backwards for a bit, so do I. This last one took me right back to ARLBITR and I knew I needed to give closure to a big part of my life so that I could move on.

Q: Myself and all the other fans are just so wowed by this finale. It's awesome to be on our end of the spectrum and see how you've grown as a writer, editer, and filmer with this series. Look at you from the pilot compared to this finale! The transformation is incredible. What helped you get to this point?

A: I have to give credit where it'd due and say that my cousin and best friend at the time, Jerret aka on here known as DBST, had the idea first to start a sims series. He was my mentor and guided me along the whole way, teaching me everything I came to know. Of course after doing it for so long, I eventually formed my own techniques through experimentation, but I learned a lot from him and he helped shape ARLBITR into what you all know it as now. Thank you for noticing my growth with it, though. It's so true that from the filming stand point, editing, and even writing, it's all come so far from the beginning.

Q: Looking back on the pilot and comparing it to the finale, those same priniciples you started the show with really all came back full circle in the ending. Sure, Jalle may not have been the endgame couple we thought they would be, but other than that, it all landed in place. Did you always plan on a soft ending like this one or did you ever have a more dramatic ending in mind?

A: The tone for the series wrap up has always remained consistent for me. I always saw these family units coming together and ending on a note that would feel 'close to home' so to speak for everybody invested, myself included. However, no, there was going to be some more drama originally than what we got in this version. I basically had three different finale scripts written, and obviously this is the one I went with and felt was the best possibly ending.

Q: Don't leaving us hanging now! What were these other alternate endings for the series? And any other alternate endings you've teased from past episodes and seasons??

A: I've been caught!! Laughing My first script for 3x11 was intended for had there been a 4th and even 5th season, which those seasons would have been after a time jump. Andie was going to orignally have been killed off in the 3x11 finale, but first she was going to have had Dave's child. Jake and Halle still would have been together and the Ms. Jacobs ordeal wasn't going to have happened, but Halle was going to contract an STD from Jake after having gotten one from Ms. Jacobs. The second finale script I'd written was going to have included a 5 year time jump and the whole gang was coming back to Cape Side for a high school reunion. Jake and Lizzy were together in this one also with her modeling for Rachel's company, but battling a serious cocaine addiction, with Jake working in the film industry in L.A. Halle went on to be a script writer in New York, moving there after Stella actually turned out to be super evil and ended up coming back only to steal money from Halle's college bank account savings. Dave was going to have been in the military and come back to take over owning Club Bermuda. Halle also comes back with a baby, but the father left her while pregnant. Her and Dave were together briefly during the years we would have missed, but broke up due to Dave's constant absense with being in active service. The gang all comes to find out that Halle has a deadly heart condition and she ends up dying, with Jake and Dave both getting special moments with her before she passes. Cue now to the finale script I went with. The first script had been written 4 or 5 years ago before my first huge MIA session, and the second script a few years ago before the last one. Coming back this last go a round, I wanted to go with a much more realistic ending and this one just felt so right to me. The other's just didn't quite fit my vision anymore.

Q: I love that there were so many surprises in this finale, but they were delivered in a quiet way unlike what you had planned in the other scripts. Like Kate Howard! I thought we would never see her again.

A: Ah yes, I had to bring her back. And Ms. Jacobs. This finale was really about showcasing each character's growth and touching on the storylines that impacted them the most. For Andie, that was her abduction with Kate Howard. Showcasing her courage to go and meet with her, which then led her to the choice of leaving with Daniel to Europe, was primary.

Q: And the rest of them too! Riam leaving together to New York this time reminded me so much of the S1 finale! And then finding out she really was pregnant this time! And of course sexy time, kinda was always the signature of this fan favorite duo.

A: I had to throw in the steamy sex scene! Riam's logo for sure Laughing You know, Rachel and Liam were always that unexpected couple, so i wanted to give them the unexpected ending of Liam not only actually being okay, but Rachel getting pregnant so suddenly and surprinsgly. Writing this scene, epecially the flashback portion, took me back to the Season 1 Finale as well. I wanted to incoperate that pivotal difference in that they were choosing to do it right this time.

Q: Jake and Lizzy!!!! Who would have thought? I didn't like her with Dave AT ALL, she's always making funny yet horrible comments, and with Cody I just didn't care. With Jake though...I surprisngly liked it. how did you manage to pull this off with out us all hating you?!?!

A: I knew writing this script that I was ending it with Dave and Halle, which believe you me, was a hard choice, yet I knew it's the only one I could make because it felt so right and flowed effortlessly. That said, I could have left Jake single and given him another ending plot, but I fell in love with this idea of pairing these two up. I set up the scene (as seen from the promo,) where's he's kissing her and you can't tell who it is, and then BAM, we see it's Lizzy! I thought it turned out genuis. It's one of those choices as a writer that you defiantly are gambling with, but this one was totally worth it I think. As we see in the flashback, he's trying to get over Halle, and Lizzy became this huge confidence booster for him that he really needed, while at the same time he makes her "want to be better."

Q: Andie and Daniel!!! I actually loved it, but wow, I wasn't expecting him to come back.

A: I'm sure a lot of people didn't. I knew I wanted to end with these two when I first brought Daniel in, but wasn't sure if I'd actually do it or not till the very end. As a story teller, this took Andie's growth to a whole other level as shown in her scene with halle at the park. Filming that scene in the CODA where it's panning over her and Daniel in front of the plane was like wow, look where she this girl came from in the pilot to now. It gives me shivers, honestly.

Q: The big question you know I'm gonna ask: DAVE AND FUCKING HALLE! OMG you totally choose them. How did you decide this, what was it like, give us the scoop!

A: Knew this one would be coming :shocking: If anyone followed the subtle scenes and hints since 2x14, they would know this was the ending. I knew when introducing this pairing in season 2 that it would change the whole ball game of the show b/c it started with this "it will always be there" in season 1, and everyone came to believe it was ALWAYS going to be Jally together and that there just couldn't be any other ending. Hell, I thought this at one point. What was recently brought to my attention though from an old follower and friend, is that how this ending played out speaks some truth to life. Things don't always turn out how you thought they would, and that's not a bad thing. From a character perspective, I don't think even Halle would have ever fathomed ending up with anyone other than Jake at one point, but this is how life plays out. Half of the fan base became so receptive to Dally instantly from the bat in S2, and I wasn't expectating that! I fell in love with them too, and knew they would be endgame. But much like the title of the finale suggests, it's not so much about endgame, but that the journey in itself (all of it,) is the desitnation, because every little piece and step led them all to where they are. This was a big motto for Dally and that rang true in the end for them. There was a deep, yet forbidden type love that formed here, and finally they made it at the finish line the right way.

Q: Those Jally scenes tho! As Jally fan myself, I found them super rewarding and showed us what they were all about. What was your thought process in writing these scenes?

A: Wheather or not they ended together romantically speaking, these two were a HUGE part of this story of ARLBITR. Much like Halle reminded Jake, just b/c they're not together doesn't mean it didn't happen and doesn't somehow diminish what they had. "it really will always be there; together or not." - and that's the message I wanted to convey for them. I LOVE this couple to death and don't want anyone to feel cheated b/c that's not the case. I feel they were jsut as important in this finale as Dally's ending was. I found it to be super important for Halle to know the truth about what happened with Ms. Jacobs, and even be the encourager for Jake to make her pay for what she did.

Q: Can I just say how awesome it was to see a small lil Liam/Halle interaction? Icing on the cake for this episode!

A: I had to throw that in there! Halle was the one after all who introduced Liam to the Cape Side clan. it was only right to show this old friendship once more.

Q: The CODA!!! I think we all had a vision in our heads of what that final montage would look like, but holy shit, you totally over delivered. What was that like??

A: So glad it was well receieved, because the CODA was my favorite to film and edit. It was also extremley emotional for me. I don't always film in order due to locations and where I'm already on set for another scene, but this episode was filmed in order from scene 1 to the CODA. It being the last scenes I'd ever film for this show put me in such a state of awe and reflection. It was my intention to show where every character was ending up and how they were doing in their life; getting to see Riam happy with their child in New York, Andie/Daniel leaving together for Europe (and I loved it b/c we don't know till that moment what her choice would be,) , Lizzy and Jake having a quiet moment of dancing (the simplicity of it flowed so well,) seeing that Jane/Eric tied that knot, and of course Dave and Halle at their spot in between his military breaks. The best part of all...the characters all on Halle's and the Largo's neighborhood, in the road, all reflecting on their journey's there together before all going their seperate ways. I loved incoperating those flashbacks which were each character's most significant moment (or one of many,) had I had the first 12 episodes of season 2 on my computer or season 1 for that matter, we would have seen some of those in the flashbacks, but alas. The final shot of everyone walking together, side by side, and panning up to the rest of the neighborhood and sky, then fade out, it still gives me chills even after watching it over and over through the editing process.

Q: Final thoughts, comments, and reflections on the series ending and the finale??

A: Thank you, thank you, and thank you some more! It's been an honor to be doing what I loved for 7 years, although I am happy to know it's completed, in the right way! I spent way too many hours and poured so much of my time into it not to give it a go out with a bang ender, ya know? This final episode really was like a time capsuole of all this series resembled and was about. You got to see these characters that I've grown to love so much evolve into the versions of themselves they've been apsiring for since the start. Things went in different directions from some that were present in the beginning, but others went completley as planned. Such is life. We got to see the importance of how the whole crew handled these struggles together and come out on the other side. I'm still the most fasninated by Halle's journey. Showing her happy ending with the family and the flashback with Bethany tied it all in a nice bow and sent for wrapping. I really don't think I could have written a better conclusion for my baby.


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