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The David Lynch Quote Collection

David Lynch

Work process

"Everything sort of follows my initial ideas. As soon as I get an idea, I get a picture and a feeling, and I can even hear sounds. The mood and the visuals are very strong. Every single idea I have comes with these things. One moment they're outside of my consciousness, and the next moment they come in with all of this power."

"Sometimes if I listen to music, the ideas really flow. It's like the music changes into something else, and I see scenes unfolding. Or I might just be sitting quietly in a chair and bing! - an idea will hit me. At other times, I might be walking down the street when I see something that's meaningful and inspires another scene. On anything that you start, fragments of ideas run together and hook themselves up like a train. Those first fragments become a magnet for everything else you need. You may remember something from the past that's perfect, or you may discover a brandnew thing. Eventually, you get little sequences going. Before you think of anything, the whole landscape is open. But once you start falling in love with certain ideas, the road you're on becomes very narrow. If you concentrate, ideas will come to that narrow road and finish it."

"When you first get an idea, you're imagining it, but eventually you're out there in the real world. There are little holes and blurs in the imagination, and it's not totally complete. But when an actress arrives on the set in her costume, you suddenly have a concrete element, and a whole new bunch of things can happen. You can be painfully aware that something's wrong, and you have to fix it. Or you can be blown away by something odd that happens. The crew might be hanging a lighting fixture that's flopped over and blowing light where it's not supposed to be, but I might see it, grab Pete and say, 'Look at that.' Even if it's not right for the scene we're doing, we sometimes save the idea and use it later. Little things like that always happen, and it's useful to store them away."

also see Ideas

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