David Lynch tells off producer for asking him to shorten a scene

Originally published at: David Lynch tells off producer for asking him to shorten a scene | Boing Boing


You know it’s bad when David Lynch swears. Usually the worst that comes out of his mouth is “golly gee darn it!”


One does not simply tell David Lynch how to direct.

Though granted sometimes adversarial relationships are necessary, if a director is surrounded by Yes Men there’s always a good chance that the director’s ego and complacency will get in the way. Having someone there to check you or get in your way sucks but i think its healthy. (Eg: See Star Wars Prequels)


Lucas would have needed someone there to check him from the start of scripting, through storyboarding, through directing, and all the way thru editing to salvage those loads of crap.


Of course but any level of criticism would’ve been an improvement :stuck_out_tongue:


I saw what he did to “Dune.” I think someone ought to tell him how to direct. That movie was astonishingly bad.

I don’t know who the woman in the video is or the context, but I feel bad for her… she wanted to make a suggestion but couldn’t even get the sentence out without defeating herself with a “I don’t know” at the end, and the moment he starts responding she’s already at “no no no no no”

Shouldn’t this conversation be happening in post-production (editing)?

Also, usually multiple takes are made so that could be a mix of short and log scenes so the editor can make that decision.

You can always shorten a scene after it is shot, but to increase it afterwards would need a retake.


Sometimes a distinct “fuck off” is needed.


It’s arguably self-aggrandizing, but I enjoy this quote, from when he was having trouble with his crew during the filming of Inland Empire.

You wonder what kinda heavy burden Einstein musta carried. Surrounded by fuckin’ assholes.


Sometimes this is not done, so the editor cannot make the decision and the director maintains control by shooting only what they want and need.


“Who gives a fucking shit how long a scene is?”

Ok… I mean. I understand not wanting criticism. I understand being the director. But this sentence doesn’t make any sense for anyone.

I guess the implication is “A scene is as long as it needs to be.” But a movie is a piece of art that’s created within certain constraints…

If you want a “master piece” you must give the master peace.


I think you misspelled “astonishingly good!”




I thought it was pretty decent, it’s a difficult premise to adapt and considering when it was made it was a good effort.


a movie is a piece of art that’s created within certain constraints…

As others have pointed out this is not the place to insert those constraints. If a producer has concerns, they get aired out at other times, like when the script is written or the scenes are storyboarded.

This is like walking in to a restaurant kitchen in the middle of a dinner rush after a menu has been set and the line cooks trained and starting to complain about the type of wine going in a sauce and the way something goes in a saute pan and not under the broiler.

The most you get to do is make a suggestion about using a little less salt, but be prepared for the line cooks to tell you to get the hell out of the way or they’ll quit in the middle of the shift and shut down your kitchen and go work at the restaurant where their brother works.


John Huston worked this way and made it work. A lot of studios are ruthless enough to hack up scenes in ways that make no sense, though. Harvey Weinstein was notorious for this, which of course turned out to be only on the second tier of his awfulness.


Part of the reason why that movie ended up the way(s)* it did is because of the creative differences between Lynch and the film’s producers (the latter of whom basically just wanted to replicate Star Wars). Feedback is obviously necessary, and collaboration can be vital to creativity, but design by committee is not always the best method.

Anyway, I highly recommend you view some of his other work (though only if you like weird shit).

* There are multiple, dramatically different, cuts of that film