Producer Jim Wilson details the wild journey from pre-production to Cannes involved in making You Were Never Really Here. This is the fifth feature in our Special Issue on You Were Never Really Here.
Lynne Ramsay’s fourth feature, You Were Never Really Here, was the wild card of Cannes 2017, screening last in competition. “We were certainly still working on the film while the festival was happening,” explained producer Jim Wilson when I talked to him over the phone. Hearing him recount the film’s wild, year-long journey from pre-production to Cannes inspires awe for the guts and quick-thinking of the entire creative team.
It’s become legend that they “went right to the wire” prepping for Cannes — and had their work rewarded with screenplay and acting prizes for Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix — but the full scope of what they had to do is far more insane and stress-inducing than just a little bit of hurried editing and sound mixing.
You Were Never Really Here’s rushed shoot meant it was extra vital that Ramsay be surrounded by collaborators she could trust. Some of our previous Special Issues have also delved deep into the importance of collaboration: we interviewed director Joachim Trier, co-writer Eskil Vogt, and DP Jakob Ihre for our Thelma issue, and we interviewed both Trier and Ihre for our first ever Special Issue, on Louder Than Bombs. Our issue on God’s Own Country (now available in eBook form) included interviews with the two stars, the DP, and two interviews with director Francis Lee.