John Conroy Interview: ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’ cinematographer
Although you get a fair amount of production value with “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels,” “the idea is to show that and then get into the details,” reveals cinematographer John Conroy. Showrunner John Logan is “always keen to celebrate big wide shots,” but “it’s not all about the scale of it.” Ultimately, “it’s about the story.” The Emmy-nominated DP delved into those details while appearing at Gold Derby’s Meet the BTL Experts panel, moderated virtually by managing editor Chris Beachum. Watch our exclusive video interview with Conroy above.
A spinoff of Logan’s original “Penny Dreadful,” this Showtime series takes place in 1938 Los Angeles, where two detectives (Daniel Zovatto and Nathan Lane) are investigating a grisly murder that has ties to the city’s dark history. Natalie Dormer costars as Magda, a supernatural demon who takes on various forms.
Conroy believes he and Logan work so well together because they have “a similar aesthetic.” He explains, “I understand what he’s talking about.” Since the scripts may change several times before cameras start rolling, “everyone might interpret something differently. But John will have an idea in his head, and sometimes it’s about being able to grasp that idea and understand it straight away, without becoming too complicated or too involved. So I think I can read what he likes and what he doesn’t like.”
The son of cinematographer Jack Conroy (“My Left Foot”), he has received one Emmy nomination for “Luther” and has won an American Society of Cinematographers Award for “The Terror: Infamy.” Other DP projects have included “The Name of the Rose,” “The Happy Prince” and “Broadchurch.”