David Lynch – My Chosen Practitioner
Born in Montana, David Lynch is a creative that has been praised by many and has even been named by some to be the father of modern surrealism. In his early life he traveled around the US before going to Philadelphia Arts School to study Fine Art. After, he travelled again to Los Angeles where he started his film career by creating Eraserhead (1977), a piece that goes into a bizarre strangeness that includes a lizard-like baby and a woman who lives inside a radiator. From there his creative genius kept sprawling by going on to create The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986), all as surreal as the last while also keeping up with audiences interests as they generated $26 million, $30.9 million and $8.6 million respectively. After all this, he released one of his most famous pieces that opened the eyes of millions of television viewers; Twin Peaks (1990-1991).
All of his pieces show the mundane but when filmed in a different way creates an odd atmosphere. When added together, it gives the viewer an odd sense of confusion while they try to figure out what has just been presented to them. I want to convey this same emotion in my short film and leave the viewer in the same state.
Chris Cunningham is a creative from Redding who has worked in many different areas of the industry ranging from being a filmmaker, video artist and photographer to being a music producer. However he primarily specialises and is most well known for creating music videos for artists such as Aphex Twin, Autechre and Björk. Throughout his career he has moved from being a runner to being head-hunted by Stanley Kubrick himself to design and supervise animatronic tests that were used to create the robot in A.I. Artificial Intelligence and even creating adverts for companies including Gucci, PlayStation, Levis, Telecom Italia, Nissan and Orange.
He has not won any prestigious awards as of yet but has been nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Make-Up in Judge Dredd (1995). Cunningham has gotten a lot of praise over the years from many fans and critics and has been compared to Daivid Lynch for his macabre style that leaves you wondering what has just been presented.
Some of his most famous pieces include Window Licker, Rubber Johnny and Monkey Drummer. While I am not aiming for my short film to be similar to a piece by Cunningham I believe that a lot of elements he uses, such as blatantly confusing the viewer and creating odd narratives, will be featured in mine.
As I aim to enter my film into the Berlin International Film Festival I have decided to research into what it is their audience are like so I can be in tune with my creation. I have found that the majority of festival goers are from the age of 18-28, have a heavy left wing political view and are male. To help me see if my final piece is on track to fit this audience I have looked into David Lynch’s demographical data and have found that both share strong similarities. The only key difference is that Lynch’s demographic is more appealing towards a female audience.
For this final piece I have set out to use a drone to give myself the knowledge and experience of using one and to also give my final work a professional edge. After receiving quotes on a drone hire website from many people ranging from £200 all the way to £1250, alongside finding that this style of filming is not cheap for a student, it also means that I’d have to hire the flyer too as required by law. After finding this I decided that it would be best to get my own drone to complete the work as this would give me the most control over what is produced.
This leaves me to look into how to be a good flyer and stay within CAA regulations. I have found an app that I can use that has all the information for me to be able to keep other people safe and check that I’m not breaking any laws. The main feature that I will use is one that notifies you of any no-fly zones, one of my main worries.
Broken down below are they key points that I must follow as declared by the CAA:
- Always keep your drone in sight
- Stay below 120m to reduce conflict with manned aircraft
- You must follow the manufacturers instructions while flying
- You must be 50m from people and properties and 150m from crowds and built up areas. (Unless authorised)
- You are responsible for each flight and can be prosecuted as such
- If your drone endangers the safety of an aircraft it is a criminal offence and could end with a jail sentence of 5 years
For the project I have created a detailed budget breakdown that goes into what I would spend more money on if I could to create a much better overall piece. The image below also goes into what I have spent money on as well as not. For the budget I have planned to have 3 full days filming on set and then 4 days in the mac suites for editing.
The research that I carried out did not have a lot of influence on my final film, this was mainly because of the experimental aspect of it. One of the reasons that I wanted to create a piece that was almost fully what I wanted to create as opposed to something catered towards an audience was that this college time is the last good opportunity I have in the foreseeable future to work for free and have access to great equipment. As my target audience was that of a fan of Lynch’s movies and a Berlin Film Festival goer, my likes and interests coincided with theirs an awful lot to result in a piece that is from the heart and for a specific target of people.
Due to the nature of out world we cannot see and graph every individual’s interests, as much as many researchers and filmmakers would like. As such we have to carry out as much research as possible gather an understanding of who it is our product will appeal to and how best to cater it to a wider audience. Parts of the research such as the legal and ethical side if not researched correctly can cost a production company dearly in legal fees or just simply not cater to their audience at all. On a professional film that included a bigger budget I would have collected a lot more information. This would have been done primarily with external companies such as IpsosMORI and YouGov as these companies work with huge corporations and will present research in a very identifiable way that makes it easy to pinpoint exactly what it is the production needs to change in order to fit the viewers wants.