Ryan White makes quality documentaries. Moreover, he makes films that invest you in their protagonists. Look no further than Ask Dr. Ruth for an example of this. However, with Good Night Oppy, White’s latest movie, he had a whole new challenge. Here, the doc would essentially be led by a robot. How do you make an audience care about a machine. Well, not only does White find a way, but he does so in a major way. So, it was a no-brainer to want to chat with the filmmaker about just that. We had a fairly brief chat, but it was a good one. So, as Good Night Oppy begins its run, be sure to enjoy this conversation between White and I…
Below, you can hear my chat with White. My focus was very much on the emotion of Good Night Oppy, both in terms of science and Oppy itself. If it sounds unlike that you’d grow to care about a Mars rover, well, you haven’t met Oppy yet. White too does a great job of explaining it all, while demonstrating a humbleness that just makes you want to root for him.
This here is some of what I had to say about Good Night Oppy in my recent review:
Director Ryan White finds a way, along with his co-writer Helen Kearns, to lean into the emotionality of scientific discovery. Good Night Oppy has plenty of information to give you, but they’re fully invested in making you care about the rovers. White captures them in such a way that you never look at them as tools, always as characters. It’s an achievement that makes the film on the whole go down incredibly easily, aided by nimble narration by none other than Angela Bassett, as well as CGI renderings from Industrial Light & Magic. Kearns and White utilize it all to tell a story that’s easy to hook on to.
Here now is my interview with Good Night Oppy director Ryan White. Enjoy:
Good Night Oppy is out now!