7 August 2017

Lessons to Learn From David Lynch

Through the episodic medium of television, Lynch was able to create a multi-layered world full of rich stories, diving deep into the lives of its characters with Twin Peaks. After 25 years, the wait was over for fans of the show as David Lynch and Mark Frost announced a return to the mythical town for the show which is currently mid-third season and often credited for having paved the way for the golden age of television. Today, he rarely discusses cinema, or even his own life progress, without delving into Transcendental Meditation. Not surprisingly, Lynch consistently preaches the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, discussing the path he’s used to expand his mind toward catching cinematic ideas, as well as achieving inner peace. Here's some of Lynch’s best advice and the not-so-secret secrets to his success over the years...

the thrill is in the hunt for a good idea
"We don’t know an idea until it enters a conscious mind. Ideas have to travel quite a way before they come into the conscious mind. So by transcending, you start expanding that consciousness, making the subconscious conscious.

You’ll catch ideas on a deeper level. And they have more information and more of a thrill. It’s the happiness in the doing that got greater for me. Catching more ideas became easier, along with a kind of inner self-assuredness. Looking back, I did not have much self-assuredness in the beginning."

positivity is essential to the creative process
"Stories always have held conflicts and contrasts, highs and lows, life and death situations. And there can be much suffering in stories, but now we say the artist doesn’t have to suffer to show suffering. You just have to understand the human condition, understand the suffering.

A lot of artists say anger or even the experience of fear or these things feeds the work, and so the suffering artist is a romantic concept. But if you think about it, it’s romantic for everybody except the artist. If the artist is really suffering, then the ideas don’t flow so good, and if [he is] really suffering, he can’t even work. I say that negativity is the enemy to creativity."

don’t get ahead of your idea
"Don’t think about the money or what’s going to happen after the film is finished. The first thing you need is an idea, an idea that you fall in love with. The idea tells you the mood you choose for the characters, how the characters talk. It tells you the story, it shows you all the details, and so all you have to do is stay true to that idea as you shoot your film.

Even with a little amount of money, it is possible to figure out a way to do things. So you stay true to the idea, and you don’t let anyone interfere with it. And all rules include final cut and total creative freedom. If you don’t have the final say or the creative freedom what’s the point of doing anything?"

get inspired, not influenced
"There’s a difference between influence and inspiration. I was never a film buff, and I was not really interested in art history when I was a painter. For me, I always say the city of Philadelphia was my greatest influence. The mood of that place when I was there, the feeling in the air, the architecture, the decay, insanity, corruption and fear swimming in that city are the things I saw in films.

I don’t really care what is going on in the world, nor with cinema. However, once in awhile, you can see a film that is truly great. Or you see some new paintings and say, “That person has really got something fantastic.” It is an inspiration, and it pushes you forward."

embrace your mistakes
“I knew my stuff sucked. But I needed to burn through…I needed to find what was mine. The only way to find it was to keep painting and keep painting and keep painting and see if you catch something. Accidents or destroying something can lead to something good. 

Very controlled things, not being open, these boundaries, they screw you. Sometimes you have to make a huge mess and make big mistakes to find that thing that you’re looking for.”