ST: Has the work you’ve done for Lynch.com helped support Inland Empire?
Lynch: For sure. And people who appreciate the work know the deal. Many times I’ve been told that so-and-so has my work up on their site or selling it somewhere on the internet, but things travel fast. If people are with you, it’s a beautiful world. It’s in the ether, but it’s real.
ST: What was the experience of shooting Inland Empire in DV like?
Lynch: I’m telling you Scott, it’s a new world. The quality is pretty terrible, but I like that. It reminds me of the early days of 35 mm, when there wasn’t so much information in the frame or emulsion. But the human being is a beautiful creature; you act and react, and the medium starts talking to you. So I love working in digital video. High-def is a little bit too information to me.
ST: A little too clean.
Lynch: Yeah, but the thing is, in the modern world, you can degrade it. You can do anything you want with it. So it’s just that much more control for the filmmaker.
ST: How did the actors respond to it? Did it make a difference to them?
Lynch: It makes a difference, because you’ve got a 40-minute take rather than a 10-minute take, so you can just keep on rolling. In my last couple of films, I’ve started talking to the actors while we’re shooting, which is not the smartest thing to do in a way. (Laughs). Because you’re goofing up the soundtrack. But I like to talk, and with DV, it’s not like millions of dollars are flying through the camera every second. It’s a different kind of feeling. You can get into a mood and stay there without breaking it because you have to stop and reload. This is money in the bank. This is getting in there, and it’s very beautiful and important.
ST: It’s more like guerilla filmmaking.
Next: Los Angeles, the Twin Peaks DVD, trandscendental meditation and coffee
Lynch: For sure. You’re leaner and meaner, and you can get more good footage.
ST: So is DV a foregone conclusion for the film industry?
Lynch: It’s think it’s a foregone conclusion. I love the quality, feel and history of film. I love the pictures of the giant cameras and the way it was. But it was slow. It was so slow that it would kill you. And now there’s no going back.
ST: On to Inland Empire, which I know nothing about and don’t really want to know, since I love to be surprised at your films.
Lynch: Good, because I wouldn’t tell you anyway.
ST: And then there’s that. But you’ve been a resident of Los Angeles for awhile now, and your last film dealt with the city and its mythology in at least a peripheral manner, just as Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet did with the Pacific Northwest. Do you find that the region inspires you to build films about it, or are these films already in your head and the setting irrelevant?
Lynch: It’s both, really. Every place is rich and fertile, but I love Los Angeles. People try to find a place that speaks to them, and that’s for me, that’s L.A.
ST: Do you find that Hollywood, the real and hyperreal environment, is buckling under the weight of the digital realm?
Lynch: It already has, but things change all the time. We live in a world of change. If I were the studios right now, I would be sweating bullets.
ST: Speaking of, when is the DVD for season two of Twin Peaks coming out? It’s been forever since the first box set dropped.
Lynch: I think we’re going to do the 5.1 mix for the next season, which means we haven’t done it yet, which also means that the DVD won’t be coming out soon. I don’t know what’s going on with the pilot, but it’s so absurd that the pilot hasn’t been brought up. It’s crazy. This is all the world of business, and I don’t really know about that.
ST: Is it the same world creating problems for the DVD for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me that includes the deleted scenes that your fans have been campaigning for over the last few years?
Lynch: No, that is gently in the works.
ST: OK, let’s talk about your foundation for transcendental meditation. Why did you decide to start it?
Lynch: Scott, because I know what it’s done for me. I meditate every day, and I have for 32 years. And it’s a long topic, but there’s a thing called consciousness, and though consciousness is pretty abstract, it is also the ability to understand. It’s awareness, it’s wakefulness and it’s bliss. Extreme happiness. It’s intelligence, creativity, love and peace.
Consciousness is the “I am”-ness, the self. Of course, everybody has consciousness; we know we exist. But everyone doesn’t know that you can achieve more consciousness. There’s an unbounded, infinite ocean of it within every human being. You just need the technique to dive within and get wet with it.
When you really and truly experience pure consciousness, when you transcend and experience the ultimate reality, it starts to grow. Then you’ve got more happiness, creativity and ability to understand the complexities of life. It’s very important for a filmmaker, it’s very important for a human being. But nobody really knows about it; we’re not taught about it in schools. And people are in trouble: They’re filled with fear, anxiety and stress. And this clears it all up. When you ramp up the light of consciousness, just like darkness clearing the way for sunlight, negativity starts to recede. Fear and pressures begin to lift, and you’re free to do your work, to get more enjoyment out of it. It’s beautiful, that’s how come I do it. When you expand your consciousness, you can catch ideas at a deeper level, and understand them more.
ST: Your work has always seemed to be open to consciousness, as far as I can tell. You seem to have more trust in your ideas, no matter what shape they may take, than other artists out there. Has meditation helped you build that trust?
Lynch: Absolutely, Scott. The ocean of pure consciousness is an ocean of all-knowingess. Think about it. It’s the home of total knowledge, and it’s right there. Modern science calls it the unified field. And now modern science like Vedic science says that every thing that is a thing emerges from this field, which is unmanifest, yet manifestation comes from it. So the unmanifest unified field of pure consciousness gives rise to every single thing that is a thing. Think about the intelligence that’s there, and the creativity that’s always been there, and you can dip into that. Now you start growing in intuition in an ocean of solutions, so you can see your way into making a thing feel correct. Like I keep saying, it’s money in the bank!
ST: (Laughs) One of those solutions seems to be that you develop an appreciation for things outside of yourself, which this War-on-Terrorized world could use a bit more of these days.
Lynch: Yeah, you start loving things and people, and appreciating their differences. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens, and some things happen right away. The anger that I had when I first started meditating in 1974 lifted in two weeks. It kinda just went away. It was weird. I didn’t wish it away or imagine it away; it just went. And so I set up this foundation to raise money to give this to mainly students at first. We’re trying to raise enough money to give transcendental meditation to any student that wants it, so they can dive within, start expanding that consciousness, start expanding that bliss, and get on the big, fast train to enjoying life.
ST: Well, it makes more sense to have kids meditate in class on the things in the world around them rather than have them pray to some monotheistic entity.
Lynch: Well, people from all religions meditate. It’s not a religion; it’s a technique to take you to that ocean which is unbounded, infinite and eternal. It’ll take you right there! And it’s the only experience — where you transcend into pure consciousness — that lights up the full brain on the EEG machine. It’s called a holistic experience. All avenues of life start getting better. So instead of taking Ritalin, Prozac or any of those other drugs, you just sit and meditate for 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon, go about your business, and watch things get better and better. For the kids that have done it, it has changed their lives.
ST: Can this approach work in a digital environment like ours, where attention spans are getting shorter by the minute?
Lynch: There’s an expression: Where the attention is, that becomes lively. When you start meditation, you can achieve a deeper focus, and generate a better understanding and appreciation through that focus. So you can say, “OK, it’s a fast world, and this sounds too abstract” or whatever, but that’s the way I felt two years before I started. If you think about it in another way, we’re all human beings, and it has been said throughout time that the human being is very, very special. True happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within. Meditation, and especially transcendental meditation, will change your life. And you’re built to have that experience; you’re built to unfold it. And your full potential, Scott, is called enlightenment, and that is a real thing. We’re all on that path together, but transcendental meditation accelerates it. Things get better. Real good.
ST: Well, we could use something that brings us together today, because the world is being torn apart by differences.
Lynch: They call it the unified field. At that level, we’re all one. And enlivening the field of unity doesn’t take away diversity; it makes you appreciate it more. The unified field is real. Better times are coming for this world.
ST: On that note, I want to talk about your coffee.
Lynch: I like the coffee that I drink right now.
ST: I thought you were considering a branded David Lynch.com coffee?
Lynch: We are, but I haven’t found a coffee better than the one I’m drinking now.
ST: How many have you tested so far?
Lynch: Well, we haven’t tested that many Scott, so we have more testing to do. And I think I have a testing next week. The idea is to really get ? well again, this is all subjective but I know what good coffee tastes like to me. And if I got that, we might do a David Lynch.com coffee.
ST: Oh man, that would be awesome.
Lynch: It would be awesome, Scott. We gotta have some coffee and some good times.
ST: Yes we do. Well, it was great to talk to you David, so thanks much for this interview.
Lynch: It was great to talk to you Scott. Keep up the good work, pal!