Among the many darkly mystifying and enigmatically surreal sequences that populate director David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” revival, the eighth episode offers one its most compelling: Mr. C — the Black Lodge doppelganger of Special Agent Dale Cooper (both played by Kyle MacLachlan) — stops on a lonely, darkened highway to confront his traveling companion Ray Monroe (George Griffith) at gunpoint. After Ray shoots the evil entity himself, a bizarre pack of grimy, shadowy woodsmen emerges from the forest and tears C apart, extracting a sack containing the face of BOB, the series’ longstanding malignant spirit. Lynch leaves the sequence to be interpreted and decoded by the audience — and his crew, which shoots scenes without an exact linear context.
Director of photography
“It’s obviously very dark — there are no light sources around except for the car. When it came time for the woodsmen to appear, we shot some shots without them and then the same shots with them so David could mix them in and out. I was literally worried photographically we wouldn’t have enough light to see the woodsmen because they’re quite dark! Then we added the lightning effects to the scene, and that sort of took care of that problem and made them come and go. …Although we had shot the woodsmen before in the show, their environment there was very striking, and I think that maybe more than one person on the crew was struck with an imagery that night that they weren’t too comfortable with.”
“Even though David [Lynch] never touches on exactly what he’s thinking, he gave us some sort of description of what to go after. We wanted to find something that was lush, green, a true ranch, different from something you’d find in California. … We really came across some great, great visuals, and we scoured that ranch — it’s an amazing 230-acre property that’s been around since 1875 that a lot of people don’t know about, right at the ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains [in Ventura County]. It still farms dry oats and barley, and it’s been owned by the same guy for almost 40 years. When you walk around the place, you have this sense of layers upon layer upon layers of trees and vistas that get obscured. It had these massive oak trees — David’s a huge fan of any tree, just loves trees! You couldn’t pinpoint it — it wasn’t anything that could be, in a sense, describable. That was one of the things about the property that attracted David.”
Sound supervisor/Re-recording mixer
“David [who also served as sound designer] had the biggest hand in this sequence, and that’s perhaps why this entire episode is the most Lynchian. The musical choice was definitely his. He said he’s always loved Vladimir Horowitz’s rendition of ‘Moonlight Sonata’ — ‘Give me “Moonlight Sonata” slowed down two times and two octaves down.’ I’ve always felt like it was the one singular thing that you can do to a piece of audio in one fell swoop to totally change it completely. … Sonically, that scene is just super-restrained and simple, but the crux of it is all David. It’s just all built around this vibe of that slowed-down ‘Moonlight Sonata.’”
Makeup department head/Prosthetics supervisor
“Four weeks into shooting I hadn’t really designed those woodsmen yet, and David and I hadn’t really talked tremendously about them. As we were shooting, I looked around in the areas where we would be filming in Washington and would take colors with me — a certain color in the tree bark or a purple mushroom that was growing wild, different colored mosses, all different tones. I matched those colors to makeup colors that we would airbrush onto the woodsmen, working with layering and texturing and different kinds of mud. Then they were looking too matte, so I put yellow Snack Pack pudding that I got at the grocery store in their beards and hair. At night when we were filming them you would see the reflection from the lights so that they came alive. And then I brought out different paints and brushes, and David would take this black paint and paint a layer on top of everything that we did.”