An interesting series of clips (courtesy of AFI) featuring David Lynch, as well as some of the actors (Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern) that have worked with him, discussing his approach to creating his films.
“The idea of handcuffing yourself to a genre is … pretty absurd.” is a great core approach, and one that can be applied to non-film creative pursuits as well.
When I first decided to interview first-time director and longtime actorWhit Spurgeon he was in the early stages of raising funds for his directorial debut, Babysitting. In recent days, he’s met his $2,500 fundraising goal, but he still hopes to raise more funds, so he can cover “post-production expenses and, hopefully, more festival submissions”. Rather than trying to summarize Spurgeon’s film and fundraising efforts, I will let Spurgeon do the talking. [July 8 Update: This interview was slightly revised, due to an aspect of Spurgeon’s answer that was inadvertently left out of the initial posting. The new text is in italic.]
Tim O’Shea: When did you first realize that, as much as you enjoy acting, you wanted to try your hand at directing?
Whit Spurgeon: Well, I’ve thought about directing quite a bit throughout my life, but I remained so busy as an actor while I was in Chicago the past 20 years that it never really came up. I directed a couple of staged readings for Prop Thtr there, but never a full-fledged play — just too time-consuming on top of my acting gigs — near the end of my time in Chicago I was doing about 3 or more plays a year and about half a dozen commercials a year as well as holding down a full-time job. Once I made the decision to move to LA, however, it’s like starting your career all over again. I’ve only been out here for two years, so certain casting directors are only gradually becoming aware of me — many others still haven’t seen me at all and aren’t aware I exist — so suddenly, while I build up my name recognition out here, I have more time on my hands. Ta-Da! Time enough to direct!
I love the insight I gain whenever I view an AFI video. Everyone knows Jeff Bridges is a great actor, but it’s clips like these that remind us how much of an education he gained growing up in the industry. Not everyone is pals with Orson Welles confidant, Peter Bogdanovich; Bridges is (dating back to the days of The Last Picture Show).
The brief insight that Bridges shares regarding cinematographer Gregg Toland‘s impact on the film alone makes it worth watching the video.