Interview Magazine:In your best-selling memoir, Catching the Big Fish, you say, “For me, film is dead.”
David Lynch:I meant that celluloid, the actual film that runs through the camera, is dead. That’s gone, and now digital is here. But storytelling with cinema never will die—ever, ever, ever. The way the stories are told may change, but it will always be.
Interview Magazine:It might, though, be the death of film as a director’s medium, where the artist gets final cut. It’s interesting how so many filmmakers with established oeuvres and visionaries who have changed how we perceive cinema—people like you, John Waters, Gus Van Sant, and even Martin Scorsese—often still struggle to set up projects today.
David Lynch:Thousands of other filmmakers out there would agree with that. The studios are superreluctant to give final cut. They have so much money riding on these things, so they want a committee to go and rule the roost. The poor director just dies a death. More and more, when a committee at a studio sees something that maybe people won’t understand, they’ll kill the thing quickly. It’s an insult. I don’t know why anyone would make a film if they couldn’t make the film they wanted to make with all the freedom and the support they needed. But it happens every day, so you have to be independent. You have to not only find enough money to make the film, but you have to have final cut—you absolutely have to have it. Otherwise, you’re gonna die. But there’s always a way. Sometimes restrictions are a big blessing. When you have to build something yourself, ideas start coming that never would’ve come otherwise. New ideas flow in. Happy accidents do occur.