David Lynch: “What is Interview Project?
Interview Project is a road trip where people have been found and interviewed.”
It’s that simple. Creators Austin Lynch (Lynch’s son) and Jason S. (last name is being held a secret) came up with the idea while sitting at the kitchen table. “The thought of driving around the country and meeting people along the way is what excited us.”
At interviewproject.davidlynch.com, where the series premieres June 1st, you can see a promo for the show and hear Lynch talk about the 121-episode series, which will air one episode every three days for a year. Following Lynch’s intro there are snippets of interviewees reciting questions that were asked of them for the series: What were my dreams as a child? Do I have any regrets? What is this town like? When did I first experience death? Etc.
Austin and Jason explain that during the initial development of the project, “the project was going to be more structured but as time went along we decided to abandon that approach and proceed on a more random path.” As random as choosing people for the way they looked, the time of day, the mood Austin and Jason were in, what song was playing on the radio and even the weather.
“We came up with a basic structure for the interviews which allowed each person to talk about the things they had done in their lives from early childhood to the present.” In a way it sounds like the documentation of a twenty-thousand mile, seventy day road trip across the U.S. and back in which the roadtrippers are conspicuously missing, yet the random faces seen along the way are given life.
The production of the interviews was relatively simple. The interviewer would approach the subject, ask if they were interested in being interviewed and then when confirmed, the interview would last thirty-five minutes to an hour, with additional photography of the setting to follow. When they got home, Austin and Jason split the task of editing, each editing one person per day. “The process was very collaborative and each episode received several passes.” Ultimately paring them down into three to six minute episodes.
Just from looking at the faces in the teaser, and imagining the depth to which they must have gotten with those relatively long interviews trimmed down so tightly, I will venture to guess that the series will be both moving and very addictive. As Lynch says in the promo, “It’s something that’s human and you can’t stay away from it.” I’m willing to guess that’s pretty true.