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DP Danny Ruhlmann on Anyone But You

By Oliver Webb

Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

Anyone But You follows Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben’s (Glen Powell) reunion at a destination wedding in Australia after a passionate first date turned sour. Shot by DP Danny Ruhlmann, Anyone But You is currently showing in cinemas across the UK and beyond.

 

 

Where did you train as a cinematographer?


Danny Ruhlmann: I trained at the American Film Institute (AFI)


  

Who are your DP heroes?

   

Danny Ruhlmann: DP Heroes: The late Andrew Lesnie, Dean Semler and John Seale. These Australian cinematographers demonstrated to me that the Australian work ethic and "can do” attitude can really make an impact on the world cinematography stage and that if they can do it, hopefully I can as well.


  

How did you first get involved with Anyone But You?   


Danny Ruhlmann: The Australian EP, Catherine “Tatts” Bishop really pushed for an Australian cinematographer to shoot this movie. Thankfully, I had the right mix of US experience and Australian local knowledge and she was able to sell me to the director and US studio.


 

What were your initial conversations with director Will Gluck about the look of the film? 


Danny Ruhlmann: He was very clear about this film NOT looking like a “RomCom”.


 

What creative references did you look at?  

 

Danny Ruhlmann: He asked me to watch a number of Rom-com’s. Films he didn't want this film to be. Sometimes, Rom-coms can feel overlit and artificial, he wanted to keep it looking as real as possible.



Director Will Gluck and Danny behind the scenes. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

   

Could you provide details about your selection cameras and lenses? What did it enable you to accomplish aesthetically?  

 

Danny Ruhlmann: I used the Alexa Mini LF combined with ARRI Signature lenses. I know I had to work quickly, often without total control of the environment. This camera and lens combination allowed me to cut corners at times, where I would rely on the lovely camera technology to smooth out the image where I may not have had the time or resources to do so on set.


 

What was the most challenging sequence to shoot?  


Danny Ruhlmann: The most challenging sequence to shoot was the Super yacht / harbour rescue sequence at night.  To shoot on the water is difficult, but to do that on a working harbour, at night, with the actors in the water and add helicopters into the mix, it was a challenge.



Danny behind the scenes. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing


What was your approach to lighting for storytelling purposes?

  

Danny Ruhlmann: In general, I wanted the lead actors to look beautiful (Not difficult). I had to work quickly in real locations so my goal was to focus my lighting on the foreground actors and let the background take care of themselves. I would balance the exposure in the foreground to match the background so it would blend together.


 

Did you work with a DIT or a colourist on-set?  


Danny Ruhlmann: Yes, a DIT was used throughout the production


 

What was the biggest challenge on the production? How did you overcome that?  


Danny Ruhlmann: The biggest challenge was time, especially in the scenes where we had up to 12 actors and a dog in the same scene. I made sure we had 3 cameras filming at the same time. Cameras “A” and “B” focusing on the lead actors, camera “C” covering all the various lines of dialogue and reactions from the other actors.



Danny and Will Gluck behind the scenes. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

 

How long was the duration of the shoot? 


Danny Ruhlmann: The shoot was 40 days.

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