In what looks to be potentially an extraordinary opportunity, Bob Engels in conjunction with the Echo Park Film Center will be hosting a screening of his favorite episode of the TV series plus numerous extras and surprises. Bob will be there in person for an insider’s take on what went on during the making of this cult and critical favorite.
I’ve met Bob before and can tell you that he has some amazing stories to tell about his work on the TV Series and especially on co-writing Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. In case I can’t make it, anyone planing on going, please keep me posted.
Friday, April 9 – INSIDE TWIN PEAKS WITH ROBERT ENGELS – 8 pm
TWIN PEAKS NIGHT! Writer-Producer ROBERT ENGELS will show his favorite episode of the TV series plus numerous extras and surprises, and will be there in person for an insider’s take on what when on during the making of this cult and critical favorite. $10 ADMISSON FOR THIS EVENT; PROCEEDS BENEFIT EPFC FREE FILMMAKING CLASSES FOR YOUTH.
1200 N Alvarado St. (@ Sunset Blvd.) Los Angeles, CA. 90026 | (213) 484 – 8846 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a full detailed report from the event:
It was a lot of fun! Just got home; it wound up running about 2 1/2 hours. Great turn-out; the place (which is admittedly pretty cramped to begin with) was packed to capacity and they were turning people away. The night was a combination of Q&A and screenings of a few odds & ends. At the beginning, the guy from the Echo Park Film Center did say that they had deleted footage of a disused arc from the series, but…for whatever reason, this didn’t wind up being shown (I’m wondering if he wasn’t just mistaken). I should also add that Bob’s wife Jill was there as well, who you may remember played Trudy the waitress from the Great Northern, which was cool.
They screened 3 things:
– Episode 4 of Twin Peaks
– Part of a Japanese documentary about Twin Peaks, the portion of which focused on Angelo Badalamenti. This footage is similar to what we now have on the Gold Box Edition, with him at the keyboard playing “Laura Palmer’s Theme” while explaining his creative process with David, except this footage looks like it was from ’90 or ’91, and he actually plays using the “synth strings” sound that was used on the soundtrack.
– and Episode 7 of On the Air (the “Woman with No Name” episode that Engels co-wrote with Lynch)
In between each, Bob answered questions from the audience. His memory of that time does seem pretty faded; by his own admission, he said that when he recorded the audio commentary for Episode 4 for the First Season DVDs, the crew was mad at him because he didn’t remember a thing. What we did learn was:
– He and Mark Frost went to college together and stayed friends afterwards, which is how Mark brought him into Twin Peaks. He said he hadn’t written a thing at the time, which was remarkable to me. He said that he met Mark at Mark’s office at Universal, David walked in around 2:30 (“the time that Chinese people go to the dentist,” David joked at the time) and they went to lunch (at Russo’s?), and they were pretty much off & running. This was after the pilot was in the can and the series had been greenlit. He also went to school with Chris Mulkey and the guy who played “Chet” in Invitation to Love.
– He confirmed that BOB, MIKE and the other Lodge spirits originated from Garmonbozia, a planet covered entirely in creamed corn and where everything moved backwards. He said that he revealed this to the guys from Wrapped in Plastic in an interview for their final issue, but they didn’t use it (because he thought they wanted to keep the secret to themselves).
– He confirmed that all of the David Bowie Argentina stuff for FWWM was shot. He also made reference to a scene that involved Sheriff Truman driving backwards that I believe he said was also shot, as well as shots of a whole bunch of stuff (insects, mainly, from the sounds of it) that existed under the formica table.
– He estimated that there was a grand total of about 1 hour and 45 minutes of footage cut from FWWM altogether.
– The name “Judy” from FWWM actually came from his wife Jill’s sister.
– He said that Michael Anderson actually had a lot of difficulty remembering how to say all of the words backwards in the Lodge sequences, and that it was actually Jill who was quietly off-camera feeding him the backwards dialogue (this is contrary to what we’ve normally heard, in which Michael Anderson was the on-set expert at speaking backwards).
– The only mementos Bob kept from the show (other than his prized Golden Globe) were Cooper’s bloody shirt from when he was shot and a “Save the Pine Weasel” button. He said that David is a big believer in not keeping a bunch of stuff and getting nostalgic; that experiences are meant to be enjoyed in the moment. So he kept with that philosophy.
– He said that the reason he wrote FWWM with David is simply because Mark Frost just wasn’t available at the time; it wasn’t due to a dispute between David & Mark. It sounds like Bob and David wrote quite a few scripts together, as Bob said he worked with David on various other scripts for 4 or 5 years after FWWM.
– He said that they were pretty much certain when they shot the finale that the show was over. He said there was no waiting on the edges of their seats for a 3rd season pick-up; they were too busy already dismantling the sets by that point. He added that very little thought or planning was put into a Season 3, as they knew the show wouldn’t be going on.
– I didn’t quite understand this bit 100%, but he did say that the key to Cooper’s rescue would have involved time travel; that we all have Black Lodge doppelgangers, and they all exist about 2 minutes (or hours? I don’t remember which one, sorry guys) behind us in time, which is why we don’t see them. So rescuing Cooper would have involved going back in time 2 minutes or hours to find his other self. (If that makes sense, I hope.)
– He confirmed that the decision not to move forward with the Cooper-Audrey romance was entirely down to Lara Flynn Boyle (who of course was involved with Kyle at the time). While he said that both Sherilyn Fenn and Lara Flynn Boyle were lovely and he was friends with both, that they were on “very different ends of the spectrum.” He said that had Cooper and Audrey gotten together, they would have specified on the show that Audrey was actually 19, so as to avoid it being an illegal affair! He also added that they had also discussed doing a “10 years later” jump in time after the Laura Palmer storyline was resolved. (I have a hard time believing they’d jump that far, but I do remember hearing about a “5 years later” jump that was discussed, to get the kids out of high school, which makes more sense.)
– He mentioned that Sherilyn Fenn was actually ill around the time they shot Episode 4.
– He also remembered an actress (Fenn, most likely?) who did a Playboy shoot and then subsequently came to him upset that people on the set were looking at her pictorial. (“So then why the hell did you do it in the first place?!” he asked her.)
– Hawk’s poem that he recites in the shooting range was actually something that Bob Engels thought up in the car while he was driving to the set that day.
– He said that he had thought that Lynch may be working on getting On the Air out on DVD.
– There was apparently a whole other arc to the James/Evelyn Marsh storyline that was shot and subsequently cut, and he did say that he regretted the Evelyn storyline, in general. He said that it was probably miscast and that ultimately what had seemed like a good idea at the conceptual stage just didn’t work when it was executed. He also confirmed footage being shot with James and his alcoholic mother who returned to town, but this was scrapped as well, and also a bunch more footage was shot for the Miss Twin Peaks pageant that was never used.
– He claimed that, from the beginning, 6 of them knew altogether that Leland killed Laura – himself, his wife, David, Mark, Harley Peyton, and Mark’s wife. But he said this was definitely set in stone when they began work on the first season (after the pilot), and that they had sketched out the broad strokes of the BOB/Black Lodge mythology at the very beginning as well. The rest was pretty much made up as they went along.
– He added that they never really had a proper Bible for the show, like almost all other series had. ABC kept nagging them for one and they didn’t want to do one, so when a fan sent them a Twin Peaks Bible he’d written, they then turned this into the network to keep them quiet!
– All of the Invitation to Love sequences in Season 1 were shot over the course of a day or two at the Ennis-Brown House at the very beginning and inserted into the episodes as they edited together the season. He said they were actually dropped in Season 2 because David wasn’t a fan of them.
– He confirmed that he & Harley Peyton were largely the ones in creative control for Season 2, as David & Mark were gone for much of the time.
– He didn’t know anything unfortunately about the FWWM deleted scenes. He actually stated that as far as he knew they didn’t exist anymore at all, but he did add that he really didn’t know for sure.
That’s what I can remember for now. Others who were there feel free to add and build on this. If I remember more stuff, I’ll jump back on and add it. But it was a fun evening and even the Echo Park Film Center people seemed pretty impressed by the big turn-out, and seemed to hint that the evening’s success may likely lead to another such night in the very near future!
Here’s a small update form G42:
Also of possible BIG note: He mentioned having seen deleted scenes from BLUE VELVET that Lynch has said DON’T EXIST anymore…The stripper with the tassles on fire…People, maybe woman, pushing chairs around(?), and everyone lined up in a straight line as Jack Nance goes super crazy to freak out Kyle…More so than what is in the film…
So apparently deleted Blue Velvet footage does exist! But then he said that all the FWWM cut stuff was probably gone too…But if footage Lynch has said doesn’t exist…still does exist…Then I am betting the FWWM stuff does still exist somewhere…One can hope…
So there you have it.What an awesome night it was. Confirmation of Blue Velvet Deleted Scenes in existence that Lynch has said were destroyed… secrets from FWWM. Bob Engeles delivered the goods! You can discuss this article over at the Discussion Board. Anyone with further details, video clips, or photos please send them along or post them on the board. Thanks to Richard Gold for the great scoop!
Thanks to Cherie Savoie for the video clip!