: Shooting started a
few days later...
I had never been on a shoot before, unless you count the time
in Brest where I had been on the set of a made-for-TV movie
that never aired... It was a strange atmosphere on the set
during the first day, because everything took place in a neighboring
house that Lynch had bought for the movie. For a week and
a half, all I had to do was to cross the street to get on
The house-set stayed open day and night with everything inside.
All streets were marked with ‘beware’ signs, but everything
stayed constantly open ! After every day of work, I liked
to stay a while on the set. On the day we shot the murder
of Renee by Fred Madison, I was not able to stay very long
in the bedroom: The latex body was laying on the floor, and
even if they had taken the animal guts away a strange odor
persisted. Being alone in that room, with that smell, gave
me, for a split second, the weirdest impression of being in
the movie for real.
In the same way, another day, I walked onto the set of the
Madison’s bathroom just after the shooting of their scene.
And I got the strange impression of literally penetrating
into the image. It was a bit like when I was studying frame
by frame the sequences of The Elephant Man
to try and
pick up all the visuals that had their importance, an object
placed on a table, a picture hanging on the wall...etc.
If the crew-call was at 8 in the morning, the evening wrap-up
was also at 8. In the States the laws are very strict on this
point: for insurance purposes, no one can be on the set without
having something to do. I was therefore supposed to be an
intern and to be out on the street with a walky-talky to stop
cars from driving by. Of course I would never have seen anything
of the shooting. So after two days of being constantly on
set, and noticing that the first assistant director, Scott
Cameron, was not asking anything of me, I started feeling
a little guilty. I asked Lynch if it didn't bother him that
I wasn't doing anything. That's when he answered "Stay
here and write your thesis !"
wrote down everything you saw and everything that was going
absolutely everything : each take, and each frame, all
the differences from one take to another. I didn't believe
I could memorize it all so I wrote it all down. And this from
the first day of shooting, I even asked if I could shoot whatever
I wanted with my camcorder. David only asked me if the camera
was silent and then told me it was not a problem. Which is
very surprising when you know the paranoia that Lynch bares
for the media and what more when you think of the secrecy
that surrounded the film and its shooting. I only had to sign
a paper that would legally bind me from using the images I
shot before the premier of the film. Which I still haven't
done because it's more like a diary to me.
many hours of rushes do you have ?
ten and fifteen hours of scenes from the shooting. Namely
the ones that are not in the final cut and are therefore very
precious to me.