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Arts & Entertainment

Creativity and the Writing Process

David Lynch

Lesson time 24:27 min

Writing is a way to remember ideas that come to life in your mind. Learn how to approach a blank page and find out why David thinks there is no formula for writing a good script.

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.

This class has helped me understand David Lynch's approach to filmmaking and storytelling and I look forward to following some of his suggestions when it comes to making my own short films. Thanks Masterclass and David Lynch!

Brilliant insight into a creative masters mind. Extremely inspiring to hear Lynch’s creative process and sharing personal experiences from his life

Amazing stuff and excellent class content ! Very good and satisfying to watch and learn.

I am beyond amazed to learn from David Lynch. I will never forget after seeing Blue Velvet I had a somewhat skewed opinion about the maker of the film. I am happy to see that my perceptions have changed. There is so much here, I intend to repeat the course in the future. Philip T Hardy, MD


A fellow student

Now you get to the following of the ideas. You've created them in your mind in all their manifestation they basically complete, the moods, sounds, music, characters, locations, etc. and now you follow them to be true to the ideas, to express them out.

A fellow student

So how do we get the mix? Yes, a script is organized ideas, but now it passes to future directors who read the script and get feelings generated from that, and then in production, kind of relate back, maybe relieve those impressions, sensations, etc. So this is the thing. You do a creation, and you look at how many people looked at it and whether they had any feelings about it. Now in politics some of it is defense, some of it is for the record. But a lot of it is intense feelings from all the competing media, and the feelings are really what is the message. So especially with the music performances, but also debates, public appearances, as media creations you do get a feel. This cancer thing is really intense, going to the courts about it is intense, the feeling of the women impacted, and the families impacted (and I've worked in navigation room at the cancer society) really have to be unpacked and organized in a way that the directors i.e. voters directing their votes will get those feelings. To right the wrong, and to feel in a numbing environment of political elections. And possible to light a wildfire....

A fellow student

All these different things in the right mixture can get the mood to be true to the idea. So here it is not the expression, it's the authenticity, the truth to the idea. So what is that idea, it is the time the voters are spending detecting where they are and thinking about government and their lever, in this heated election environment...But this mixture....

A fellow student

So just to follow up, as I listen to and view these videos, which I do often, as my biggest fan I guess, I need to see them in the context of this idea flow to the audience, which is the expression piece I'm sure David will get too. I'm kind of daydreaming here....

A fellow student

So I have lots of songs, and raps. Another rap was a live spontaneous performance at the Artists Quarter where I warmed up with the house band, from the audience to memorize the lyrics, and then a performance for an unsuspecting crowd of poets. Who were very enthusiastic. So there are different settings, but a lot of performing with a key board or cuts. Atlantic Records contacted me! But not to sign me up. Just to say I can't sell it the Coltrane music, and that's fine...

A fellow student

I can't post my youtube playlist here, but if I did, I think on the jukebox I've got John Coltrane blowing hot. Giant Steps just a frantic cut. And over it I'm rapping "Fight Like A Girl". The case has just finished at the U.S. Supreme Court and they're aging women out of their breast cancer treatment coverage while they're still in treatment! So the rap was carefully written during that litigation and while I was listening to Justin Timberlake practice and perform at the Super Bowl, and so the form is created to match Can't Shake the Feeling, and them trimmed for speed over Giant Steps.

A fellow student

So David is also using photography. I do this do. There are certain sites that I constantly photograph, my wife's a photographer and teaches me. I need to get my phone out all the time and shoot the same subject. It looks different in different lights, at different times of day, and the sun moving creates directions. So what I hear him saying is bring those different lights (moods) into the creation/production.

A fellow student

So David uses all the senses in describing the diner, and that helps him because he's actually working in all these media to the degree he or others with him can get creative control (actors, directors, sound and light technicians, set, etc.). In addition to Charles Sanders Pierce I'm also familiar with Umberto Eco's work on semiotics, although I consider his work more superficial. But that's alright because the productions are also superficial. Eco to some degree extends Pierce's work. As does McLuhan (Media is the Message, I don't to overanalyze...

A fellow student

And of course the flow of ideas, in the disjointed media environment for individual voters or groups of voters, and repeatedly intruding into their lives and relationships, because they can't get the election anxiety really (or triumph..) out of their minds and out of their lives. They can't get up and walk out of the theater or even turn off the tv really because the darn ideas have got into THEIR heads, or worse yet their kids walk up and THEY'RE feeding the ideas back to them. And then, ultimately it's over, it all goes away! Until the next election cycle. So we must choose ideas carefully...

A fellow student

And of course "relates to what life is telling you," that's how the voters are going to look at it. And of course to some degree, perversely, the media and the campaign are going to define what life tells them, they'll be influenced by competing scripts. And I'm sure tv and movies do the same. So let's see....