‘Twin Peaks: The Return’: David Lynch’s Production Design Is an Extension of His Deeply Personal Paintings

IndieWire | 8/9/2018 | Staff
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When it comes to the look of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” David Lynch and long-time cinematographer Peter Deming didn’t talk much. Over the last two decades, Deming learned to get a sense of what Lynch wanted by reading his detailed scripts, watching him block and rehearse the actors, and, most importantly, taking his cues from the production design.

“The set you are being presented with is also David’s creation and he’s very well aware of that,” said Deming. “You can sort of tell with what’s present – David is extremely detailed about everything that is in frame, having picked it himself — as to whether [the scene is] dark or rich [with color] and the mood itself.”

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To help bring his renewed vision of “Twin Peaks” to life, Lynch first turned to his longtime collaborator, legendary production designer Jack Fisk. Their relationship dates back to childhood, but as collaborators they followed similar paths of falling in love with painting before even considering becoming filmmakers. When Fisk couldn’t join “Twin Peaks: The Return” due to commitments on “The Revenant,” he recommended his protege Ruth De Jong.

De Jong was a talented young painter on her way to fine art grad school when Fisk convinced her to work on “There Will Be Blood.” That was the start of an unparalleled film education, working with Fisk on the sets of Paul Thomas Anderson and Terence Malick films, and eventually designing films like “Manchester By the Sea” herself. De Jong, who was the production designer for all 18 episodes of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” said this background was crucial to working with Lynch.

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“Twin Peaks: The Return”

“I think the set for him is a virtual painting — that’s my words, not his, but that’s my interpretation of his film work compared to his fine art work that he...
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