David Lynch’s Top 10 Lessons on Filmmaking

Yeppers, kids, here’s what we’ve been waiting for. The collected filmmaking wisdom of none other than David Lynch, whose film work certain people here at TVWriter™ find, well, meh, actually. But his TV oeuvre, ah, that’s another story. Read and ruminate, young Jedi’s:

David-Lynch-Bhushan-Mahadaniby Bhushan Mahadani

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.                       -Swami Vivekananda

That is David Lynch.  David Lynch.. buddy I just love you. To him idea is everything. That is true because men come and go, success comes and goes, money comes and goes but the ideas stay forever. David Lynch has put idea at his highest regards. In fact David Lynch is synonym to idea and meditation.

Here is the advice from David Lynch about the secret to his success over the years in his own words.

1. The thrill is in the hunt for a good idea.

Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful. -David Lynch

We don’t know an idea until it enters a conscious mind. Ideas have to travel quite a ways 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.

2. Inner strength is key to working in the entertainment business.

A lot of artists think they want anger. But a real, strong, bitter anger occupies the mind, leaving no room for creativity. -David Lynch

In this business, or in any business, you can just get steamrolled if you don’t have this inner strength. And the more happiness you have going in, life becomes more of a game than a torment. And so you look out at the world of people that used to stress you. It could happen that you would just put your arm around them and say, “Let’s go have a coffee.” Everything seems happier.

I always wondered if Transcendental Meditation would make someone just so calm that they didn’t want to do anything. They’d just become a bland person and only wanted to eat nuts and raisins. But it’s not that way. You get more energy. That’s the field of unbounded energy within every human being. It’s very, very important for the work, this thing of happiness. It’s so important to be happy in the doing.

3. Positivity is essential to the creative process.

There’s so many problems in our world, so much negativity. Don’t worry about the darkness — turn on the light and the darkness automatically goes.-David Lynch

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.

4. Everything must serve to push the idea forward.

I don’t think about technique. The ideas dictate everything. You have to be true to that or you’re dead. -David Lynch

For me there is always a plot. There is a story that makes sense to me. But in the story, there are things that are more abstract. There are feelings, and cinema can say feelings and can say abstract thoughts. Cinema can go back in time, or forward, and it’s very magical. But you do not do it just to do it. You do it to realize the ideas you fall in love with. The ideas are gifts, such beautiful gifts. And I am always so thankful when I get an idea that I fall in love with. It is a beautiful day to get an idea that you love. What we need is ideas. That is the only thing we really need.

Read it all at Bhushan Mahadani’s blog