Mel Brooks and David Lynch receive honorary degrees from AFI

AFI Honorary degree recipients Mel Brooks and director David Lynch on June 13, 2012, in Hollywood, Calif.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

(CBS News) Mel Brooks and David Lynch received honorary degrees from the American Film Institute on Wednesday at the school's 2012 commencement ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.

The pair, along with other honorees Laura Dern and Carl Reiner, gave short speeches before they were each handed their Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Lynch and Brooks worked together on the Academy Award winning film "The Elephant Man." Lynch wrote and directed "The Elephant Man," and Brooks served as the films executive producer.

Dern, who dropped of out college to star in Lynch's "Blue Velvet," told the graduates, according to THR, "Yes, in fact David Lynch is the reason that I have never worn a gown until today. I told him I was excited that it was because of him that I finally have one on."

"If AFI put me on the map, which they certainly did, Mel Brooks put me on a beautiful mountain," said Lynch who was apart of AFI's class of 1970.

Lynch also offered the graduating students some advice in response to a question about how the filmmaker found his voice.

"Learning by doing is really critical. Intellectual knowledge is very good, but we learn so much by doing and there's action and reaction," said Lynch reports THR. "And it's really about what moves you and what you love, so you act and react, learn by doing, and then your voice will come out, and stay true to that voice."


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