Cinematographer Robbie Ryan (Fish Tank, The Angel’s Share, Philomena) on Why He Still Makes Short Films
As you probably know from my Alien List, I am an Andrea Arnold fan. So every once in a while, I check to see if there is an in-depth interview with her, and every once in a while, I get frustrated because the answer is ‘no‘, of course.
The good news is that her cinematographer since day 1, Robbie Ryan, who, as it turns out, also shot Ken Loach‘s The Angel’s Share, spoke with Barry Ackroyd at the BSC after the screening of Wuthering Heights about the film, his career, and his collaboration with Arnold.
As you can see from the above picture, the conversation is very genuine and could have easily be set up in a pub. Which doesn’t mean it is not packed with interesting content: from Andrea Arnold’s rules, to working with Ken Loach, to specifics on shooting particular scenes etc.
The one thing I particularly enjoyed and wanted to share here was Ryan’s take on working on short films:
“I think the reason I do short films is to meet with new directors and to kind of see how it goes. Either you go “I ain’t go do that again” or “Wow, that could lead to other things“, and that’s a great way to meet new people. […] It’s actually a lot nicer way to do it because now that I’m getting more films that are feature films to read you go “I don’t really know the director, I don’t know how that might work out“. And you only have one interview with them maybe, and then, do you get on? Ok. But then you don’t know how it’s like in a set so I think the short film route is really nice to test everyone.”
There is much more to this 50 min conversation, that you can listen in its entirety below. In a decade, since his Oscar win for WASP, Ryan has built himself a strong resume and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to see much more of him in the coming decades as he seems like a fun lad to be around!
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