Clubhouse Conversations — Poor Things

In this episode, cinematographer Robbie Ryan, BSC, ISC is joined by interviewer James Whitaker, to discuss his work on Poor Things — the black-comedic fantasy from director Yorgos Lanthimos centered on a young Victorian woman who seeks self-actualization after being resurrected by a mad scientist.

Poor Things tells the story of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a woman who, after committing suicide, is brought back to life by Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) and enters into an affair with an unscrupulous lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) as she strives to explore her sense of self and sexual identity. The film marks the second collaboration between Ryan and Lanthimos, following their 2018 period piece, The Favourite.

In this interview, Ryan discusses the “happy accidents” he experienced when shooting on VistaVision; his use of practical lighting; how he crafted a visual language with five lenses used on the production; shooting in both black-and-white and color; controlling light on an LED volume for a scene set on a cruise ship, and more.

Robbie Ryan, BSC, ISC is a cinematographer whose credits include The Favourite (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and an ASC Award in 2019), American Honey (2016), and C’mon C’mon (2021).

James Whitaker, ASC began his cinematography career shooting commercials, and has since shot hundreds of spots for clients Nike, Google, Mercedes-Benz, Amazon and many more. His film and TV credits as a director of photography include Thank You for Smoking (2005), Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015) and the Marvel miniseries Hawkeye (2021).

You’ll find all episodes in our ASC Clubhouse Conversations discussion series here.