From the outside looking in, the creative process can seem to be a mysterious, almost transcendent experience. But humble and reflective creators like David Lynch tell a different story—one characterized by curious awareness and exploratory action. Here, he recounts how certain key scenes came to be before their unifying film, Lost Highway, was formally in production. The process is reminiscent of John Denver, the late singer-songwriter and voice of the 1970s, describing with his usual charm how he “found” a song. Lynch and Denver are attuned to their surroundings, asking questions and seeking answers by playing with fragments of their environment until something resembling a grand vision emerges, often to their own surprise and delight as much as ours.
DateSeptember 23, 2014TitleFree Library Podcast: David Lynch – The Unified FieldSegment20:19 - 22:18David Lynch:
The process was pretty much the same as every other film, for me anyway. When you’re working on a film, where you don’t even know you’re working on a film, you might start catching an idea that you fall in love with. And I always say this idea may just be a fragment, a tiny fragment even, of the whole. And one analogy is I sometimes feel that the whole thing exists in another room, and someone is flipping, you know, puzzle pieces in. And I’m getting these little fragments and putting them together, and eventually the pieces fit, and I have a script. In Inland Empire, I got an idea somewhere along the line, and this in the early days of digital photography, and I had a website, and I was really in love with this Sony PD150 camera and I wrote this scene down, the ideas came for a scene. I wrote it down and instead of waiting to see if anything else happened, I shot this little scene. Then, I got an idea for another scene, that did not relate to this first scene, and I wrote it down and shot that scene. Then I got a third idea for a different scene, nothing related one to another, and I shot that scene. Then I got an idea that unified these previous scenes. Not only did it unify, but it started ballooning out. Many puzzle pieces came in, and then from that point it was done in more a traditional way.