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Arts & Entertainment

Cinematography: Manifesting David’s Vision

David Lynch

Lesson time 9:43 min

Using vivid black-and-white examples from “Eraserhead” and “The Elephant Man,” David teaches you how to think cinematically.

David Lynch
Teaches Creativity and Film
David Lynch teaches his unconventional process for translating visionary ideas into film and other art forms.
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Connect with your creativity

An avant-garde figure in filmmaking, David Lynch introduced mainstream audiences to art-house films. Now the Oscar-nominated director of Mulholland Drive teaches his cross-disciplinary creative process. Learn how he catches ideas, translates them into a narrative, and moves beyond formulaic storytelling. Embrace the art life in David’s MasterClass and learn to test the boundaries of your own artistic expression in any medium.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I'm so moved and affected by the opportunity to learn from Mr. Lynch...I appreciate his attitude and approach to the "Art Life" A true Master

From David's class my main takeaway would probably be to come up with solutions from restrictions since it can make ideas better. I would have never guessed that restrictions were a good thing if I had not taken this class just like how success can lead to second guessing while failure can lead to a better or perhaps more successful outcome.

This class is a helpful reminder on many psychological and social sides of making filmmaking. Lynch makes it very clear what are the basic principles behind a good, working film set. And it's a difficult lesson to put in practice, really, because life can get in the way. But serves as a good reminder.

I thought he had some very interesting incite on his approach to getting creative with him being an artist and filmmaker.



he is after an emotion, a feeling, or mood. things are uncomfortable or off putting. he wants inner turmoil or ordeal. it builds tension.


Visual initiation into a dream world is watching other people's films Writing/filmmaking is letting go of the ideas you already have so you can see what's out there. You already know what's in your head, it's stale. Dreaming, allowing objects in your visual field to grow isn't that easy but it's the way it usually happens; when they grow they make connects that you might not ever see without the relaxing of "your ideas". Writers often get material from the news, the neighbors or even just ideas they love, the ones they "created", their babies so to speak. One of the most often observed rules on the cutting floor is "kill your babies" whether or not it was a stale idea or it slows the arc "kill your babies" works Removing things often create miraculous accidents or high art vacuums (ie; rests in music), so no blame and "no blood no foul" it all goes to perfecting a feeling, a mood or maybe just one single line or even the absence of words. I try to stay open as much as I can b/c open is where it's at when it comes to vision.

Dylan H.

Me as you in a dark alley with a PBR. The cinematography in Eraserhead and The Elephant Man will always inform my imagination! Thank you, David!

Ashley S.

Love the idea of utilizing darkness to allow yourself/the viewers to dream.

Christine W.

Mesmerising the main inspiration I’m finding is reminder of unique vision Lynch is so completely himself it’s very powerful

Saurav N.

Sir what do you do when your team doesn’t believe in your dreams. How do you motivate them to give you their best?

Jonathan W.

I enjoyed this particular lesson, but I do wish there was little more detail into the storyboarding / shotlisting part of David's process. I've had storyboards done for my shorts, but I would love to see his storyboards lined up with the sequence of shots from a particular movie.

Samantha G.

And I might as well point out that I find this class very helpful with writing and the art of comics too. I've noticed my style of storytelling is similar to David Lynch and Wes Anderson (Isle of Dogs, Fantastic Mister Fox) with the weird and dark tones. (The person commenting is the same person who enjoyed The Human Centipede, Grave of the Fireflies, The Lobster, The Eyes of My Mother, The Plague Dogs, A Cure for Wellness, and Frank.)

Samantha G.

God, The Elephant Man was such a beautifully sad film. And me being the history buff I am especially found that film interesting.

Gertie K.

Love this masterclass with David Lynch. Have been listening to him during a few early morning commutes now - perfect inspiration for the rest of the day!