Keep Your Eye on the Donut, Not the Hole

Before I left for North Carolina, I called David Lynch to ask him what was the best piece of advice he had for any director. He repeated his mantra, ‘Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole.’ The donut, David explained, is the movie. The hole is all the other bullshit – the backstabbing, the drama, the agents, the negotiations, all the stuff that pollute your creativity, and if you’re not careful you can get sucked right into it. ‘The only thing that matters is the information recorded on those 24 square frames per second. That’s the donut. Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole.’ It turned out to be the best advice anyone ever gave me. In fact, we all used it as a mantra to get us through the shoot.

Eli Roth

5 responses to “Keep Your Eye on the Donut, Not the Hole

  1. Totally the wrong analogy!!
    The donut is the mundane, required, producer drama bullshit – the magic is in the HOLE!
    Even Voodoo Donuts knows this.

  2. Maybe so, but I still like the sentiment.

  3. I really like this…..many creatives out there could relate to this encouraging advice…thank you David Lynch (and Matt ;)

  4. Pingback: 5 Lessons Learned

  5. Jon Dresner pointed out to me on Twitter that Lynch is quoting, knowingly or not, a Burl Ives song. Thanks, Jon.

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