Malkovich recreates Lynch characters for benefit film

John Malkovich as David Lynch’s “Eraserhead”

Post house Utopic’s award-winning editor / partner Craig Lewandowski partnered with acclaimed director and motion/still photographer Sandro Miller to produce a film in which actor John Malkovich recreates seven of the most memorable characters from some of David Lynch’s most iconic films and TV shows, and a trailer that promotes the film.“

The trailer, ““ shows the veteran actor playing s roles like “Elephant Man,” “Twin Peaks’” Log Lady and “Blue Velvet’s” Frank Booth in the vignettes. David Lynch narrates the trailer and 20-minute vignette compilation, “Psychogenic Fugue.”

Presented by CMS maker Squarespace, the vignettes were created by Austin, Texas agency Preacher, to a fundraiser benefiting the for the David Lynch Foundation, which works to bring attention to transcendental meditation as a healing source for at-risk populations.

Miller and his creative director, Stephen Sayadian, came up with the idea of filming Malkovich actually playing Lynch, reciting quotes from various interviews diehard fans would recognize, to tie all the vignettes together in “Psychogenic Fugue.”

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, and Nolo colorist, Mike Matusek, used it for color correction.

A crew of 30-plus, with Sandro directing and DP Anthony Arendt, took over the closed Red Moon theatre to film Malkovich on a half-dozen different sets over five days last January. 

The prosthetics for Malkovich’s characters were designed, created and applied by J. Anthony Kosar of Westmont-based Kosart Studios.  Kosart and make-up and hair department head Randy Wilder tag-teamed the make-ups that required Kosart applying and and painting the prostheics and Wilder doing the regular makeup.  ” ‘Elephant Man’ was almost all prosethetics,” Kosart says.

Lewandowski also was on set, to ensure what was being shot closely replicated what Lynch had done in the original scenes. Once in post, Utopic sound designer Brian Leitner and composer Eric Alexandrakis, who had worked with Miller on various projects, was brought in for the rough cut. Visual effects by Utoptic’s Justin Winkler and graphics by designer Ryan Gilbert.


Lewandowski says he is most proud of the trailer. “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 creazy amount of music stems for me to manipulate.”

“Pyschogenic Fugue” will premiere at Lynch’s Oct. 8-9 Festival of Disruption in LA, curated by Lynch. Sandro and Malkovich will introduce the film; Utopic’s Lewandowski and graphics designer Gilbert will be in attendance, along with actors and musicians who have been part of the Lynch body of work.