About the book
From the script to the final edit, find out how the Ramsay achieved the complete sensory overload and immersion of You Were Never Really Here from the people who made it. Through interviews with the key creative team — Ramsay, cinematographer Tom Townend, editor Joe Bini, sound designer Paul Davies, and producer Jim Wilson — you’ll get a feel for how Ramsay collaborates with her team to realise her vision.
Wild behind-the-scenes stories reveal Ramsay’s sense of humour, knack for experimentation, and genius. Essays articulate how Ramsay uses every cinematic tool at her disposal to put us inside hitman Joe’s traumatized headspace, and how this is a continuation of her career-spanning interest in creating sensory experiences on film.
Listen to the podcast
Preview the book with our podcast on Lean on Pete where we discuss the insights gleaned from writing and researching the book.
Interview: Lynne Ramsay
Ramsay talks subverting hitman archetypes with gentleness, humour, and beauty.
Essay: A hitman more helpless than heroic
An essay by Orla Smith on how the film traps us inside hitman Joe’s mind — but he’s an unreliable narrator who is far more helpless than he realises.
Interview: Producer Jim Wilson
Producer Jim Wilson details the wild journey from pre-production to Cannes involved in making You Were Never Really Here.
Interview: Sound Designer Paul Davies
Sound designer Paul Davies discusses crafting a subjective mix that sounds like the inside of a PTSD-stricken head.
Interview: Editor Joe Bini
Editor Joe Bini discusses how he helped craft a visually striking, subjective film by experimenting in the edit.
Interview: Director of Photography (DP) Tom Townend
Interview: Director of Photography (DP) Tom Townend discusses working closely with Lynne Ramsay and adapting to on-set changes.
Essay: Ramsay’s characters escape trauma through sensations
An essay by Elena Lazic on how Lynne Ramsay’s films centre on characters dealing with trauma by losing themselves in sensations, not language.
About the authors
Elena wrote a dissertation on haptic filmmaking, making her uniquely qualified to analyze Lynne Ramsay’s approach to haptics. Elena also works as a freelance writer for SciFi Now, Little White Lies, and The Guardian, as well as hosting the Seventh Row podcast.
Orla is a filmmaker and film critic, with a wealth of experience interviewing multiple department heads for films (e.g. Lean on Pete and On Chesil Beach) to piece together how these collaborations work and how the pieces all fit together. Orla has written several pieces about how films subvert their genres.