Watch David Lynch’s Playstation 2 Commercial, Then Go Behind the Scenes and Watch Him Make It

Hav­ing lost track of video gam­ing some­where around the turn of the mil­len­ni­um, I admit that I have no idea which gen­er­a­tion of Playsta­tion you or a friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber may have joy­ful­ly unwrapped this Christ­mas morn­ing. I only know that it prob­a­bly did­n’t come adver­tised with a com­mer­cial by David Lynch, so why not take a moment out of your Christ­mas day to revis­it the Playsta­tion — the Playsta­tion 2, to be pre­cise — that did? At the top of the post, we have Lynch’s char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly sur­re­al spot “Wel­come to the Third Place,” fea­tur­ing flames, a mys­te­ri­ous glow­ing woman, omi­nous foot­steps, skewed per­spec­tives, organ­ic odd­i­ties, a talk­ing duck (whose voice actor I chal­lenge you to iden­ti­fy) — every­thing, in oth­er words, that a Lynchi­an hopes for.

What goes on in this Third Place? Why, the sort of vivid, inex­plic­a­ble sen­so­ry expe­ri­ences not acces­si­ble in every­day life — unless, as the adver­tis­ing log­ic goes, you choose to pass through the por­tal of the Playsta­tion. But the man behind Twin Peaks and Blue Vel­vet has “been liv­ing in The Third Place for quite a few years,” says Playsta­tion Euro­pean mar­ket­ing direc­tor David Pat­ton in the mak­ing-of-video just below, shot by Luke Forsythe, who also worked on the com­mer­cial. “If there was one per­son that was gonna to under­stand what we need­ed to com­mu­ni­cate, it was gonna be David Lynch.

“I was 24 and it was easy to think hav­ing worked for so many impres­sive direc­tors, that I was­n’t bull­ish or hard enough to be a direc­tor,” remem­bers Forsythe. “I was liv­ing with my par­ents watch­ing films end­less­ly hav­ing to try and con­vince my mum that I was actu­al­ly work­ing. The next minute I’m in LA film­ing this. Meet­ing David Lynch, see­ing how he worked so play­ful­ly and polite­ly made me realise there are lots of ways to direct and be a direc­tor. It could­n’t have been bet­ter. 15 years lat­er I’m still direct­ing and still full of mem­o­ries of this love­ly man and the time spent see­ing him make.”

“The result­ing one-minute B&W trail­er, shown in the­aters in over a hun­dred coun­tries except the U.S., end­ed up being clas­sic David Lynch alright,” says fan site Wel­come to Twin Peaks. “Except maybe for the 24 major visu­al effects in just 60 sec­onds.” Known as quite pos­si­bly the art-housi­est house­hold-name film­mak­er alive, Lynch has shown more enthu­si­asm for mak­ing com­mer­cials than have many of his peers: “The mon­ey’s good,” he once said, “and the added bonus is that I get to use and learn about the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy.” And though he has­n’t made a movie in almost a decade, he has­n’t announced his retire­ment either. Maybe the U.S. cam­paign for the next Playsta­tion — and wow, now that I look it up, it’ll be the Playsta­tion 5 already — needs his ser­vices. Fif­teen years have passed since “Wel­come to the Third Place”; I’d say Amer­i­ca’s ready.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch Directs a Mini-Sea­son of Twin Peaks in the Form of Japan­ese Cof­fee Com­mer­cials

Cof­fee is for Peo­ple, Not Robots: The New Ad for David Lynch’s Line of Organ­ic Cof­fee

David Lynch’s Unlike­ly Com­mer­cial for a Home Preg­nan­cy Test (1997)

David Lynch’s Per­fume Ads Based on the Works of Hem­ing­way, F. Scott Fitzger­ald & D.H. Lawrence

Cig­a­rette Com­mer­cials from David Lynch, the Coen Broth­ers and Jean-Luc Godard

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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