David Lynch Foundation & John Malkovich Choose Chicago to Film and Post "Psychogenic Fugue"

Creative edit and finishing shop Utopic partners with Sandro Miller for re-creations of iconic Lynch characters.
Publish date:

Utopic editor Craig Lewandowski partnered with director Sandro Miller to create "Psychogenic Fugue," a 20-minute film starring John Malkovich in which the actor plays seven characters in scenes recreated from some of David Lynch’s most iconic films and TV shows including The Log Lady, Special Agent Dale Cooper, and even Lynch himself as narrator of the film. It is part of a charity project called Playing Lynch that will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which seeks to introduce at-risk populations affected by trauma to transcendental meditation.

Shot in Chicago at the just-shuttered Red Moon Theater over five days last January, and posted entirely in Chicago with Utopic handling all graphics, VFX and sound design, the film is part of a multimedia fundraising extravaganza hosted by Squarespace and executed by Austin-based agency, Preacher. The seven vignettes are being released one at a time on Playinglynch.com, where, for a donation, visitors to the site can “unlock” segments in advance of the free release.

Image placeholder title

Tasked with creating two pieces— seven stand-alone scene re-creations and an entire short film comprised of all the re-creations, Miller and his creative director, Stephen Sayadian, came up with the idea of filming Malkovich actually playing Lynch reciting quotes from various interviews that diehard fans would recognize to tie all the vignettes together. A hallway was built for those scenes, complete with strobes and smoke, loosely modeled after a commercial Lynch shot years ago.

“My role in production was twofold,” says Lewandowski, who also edited the short film "Hell," directed by Miller and starring Malkovich, which is currently hitting the festival circuit. “The first was to make sure we stayed true to the original films. The second was to help make the hallway/Lynch pieces as interesting as possible, using them to offset but also bind the re-creations together.”

Lewandowski began work on the project by building a reference edit comprised of all the scenes they would be recreating, which he would later use in his edit. It also served as a guide for the shoot; Malkovich used it to study his characters. In post, Mike Matusek (Nolo, Chicago) used it for color correction.

Image placeholder title

Back row l to r: Craig Lewandowski and Justin Winkler, Utopic. From row l-r: Sandro Miller (director), Stephen Sayadian (creative director), Eric Alexandrakis (composer).

Invited by Miller to be on set for the shoot, Lewandowski ensured the framing, timing and action closely replicated what Lynch did in the original scenes while also working with cameramen to get all the cutaway pieces needed for the re-creations and hallway shots.

“I knew we’d have an opportunity to really push those hallway shots, utilizing the strobe and close-ups of the images painted on the walls, so I had the DP grab all kinds of elements I knew would be handy later,” he says.

Once in post, Utopic sound designer Brian Leitner and composer Eric Alexandrakis, who has worked Miller before on various projects, were brought in to help with the rough cut. VFX were handled in house by Justin Winkler with Ryan Gilbert adding graphics with Heather Mitchell executive producing.

“While I loved working on the vignettes and the entire film, I am most proud of the trailer,” says Lewandowski. “That’s where I was able to sit back and just GO. Stephen helped with the structure, Brian added sound design, and Eric provided a crazy amount of music stems for me to manipulate.”

The complete film, "Psychogenic Fugue," premieres at the upcoming Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles, curated by Lynch himself. Lewandowski and Gilbert will be in attendance along with Lynch, Miller, Robert Plant, Frank Gehry, Mel Brooks, Kyle McLaughlin, Laura Dern and a host of other actors and musicians who have been part of the Lynch body of work.

“There were many big-time players involved in this film, all located in different parts of the country, so I’m really proud that the production and post was done completely in Chicago,” says Lewandowski. “The set design, costume, hair and makeup, and of course, directing and acting—it was fascinating watching all this come together. I’m grateful that we got the opportunity to handle the post production and showcase the talent at Utopic.”

Playing Lynch: Official trailer to Psychogenic Fugue from Squarespace on Vimeo.



Black Box Radian Flex Software-Based Video Wall Platform Earns ISE Best of Show Award

Black Box, an industry-leading provider of pro AV connectivity and signal distribution systems, today announced that the company's Radian Flex software-based video wall platform won an ISE Best of Show Award from AV Technology Europe, a Future Publishing magazine. Of the more than 1,000 exhibitors at ISE 2019, only 15 — including Black Box with Radian Flex — earned this award, which recognizes achievements and innovations in product and service development.


Luxul to Bring Reliability and High Performance to IBS 2019 With Latest Networking Solutions for the Smart Home

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced its technology line-up for the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS), taking place February 19-21 in Las Vegas. In the Legrand booth SU614, the company will exhibit a wide range of solutions for home builders that deliver reliable, high-performance networks in smart homes, including Gigabit switches; the next generation of wireless controller technology; indoor and outdoor wireless access points (APs); wired and wireless routers; intelligent network power distribution units (PDU); and the Wi-Fi Assurance Program exclusively for builders.


HoverCam's Pilot Series and ClassFusion Learning Platform Land Big Wins at TCEA 2019

HoverCam, a leader in innovative, interactive, and engaging education solutions, announced that the company's digital classroom solutions received three major honors from Tech & Learning at the recent Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2019 Conference in San Antonio. At the show, HoverCam's Pilot 3 digital teaching station received the Award of Excellence in the District category, while the company's new Pilot X podium and ClassFusion software platform both earned Best of Show honors. The awards were presented on Feb. 6 at a special ceremony held at Casa Rio restaurant in San Antonio.


College Football Playoff Uses Veritone's AI and Digital Asset Management Solutions to Enable Richer Media Coverage

Veritone Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI), the creator of the world's first operating system for artificial intelligence, aiWARE™, today announced that the College Football Playoff (CFP) leveraged an expanded deployment of Veritone solutions and services for the 2019 CFP National Championship to give members of the media even faster and richer access to its content resources. In addition to the CFP's Digital Media Hub, a white-label digital asset management portal from Veritone, the CFP also utilized Veritone's Live Event Services and aiWARE artificial intelligence platform for the first time. With aiWARE, the CFP was able to apply artificial intelligence to video footage and still images of press conferences, interviews and other Media Day events to produce transcriptions, automated facial recognition of players and coaches, logo identification, and other tasks enabling expedited and enhanced coverage of the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship. For the first time, the CFP was able to make Media Day press conference clips and images available for search and immediate download within minutes of delivery. Following the success of this deployment, CFP has renewed its agreement with Veritone through the 2020 championship game in New Orleans.