Ryan McHenry

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Ryan McHenry
Ryan McHenry.jpg
Born(1987-12-13)13 December 1987
Died2 May 2015(2015-05-02) (aged 27)
Cause of deathOsteosarcoma
Alma materEdinburgh College of Art
OccupationFilm director
Years active2008–2015
Notable work

Ryan McHenry (13 December 1987 – 2 May 2015) was a Scottish film director best known for the film Zombie Musical in which he received a nomination for the Best Director accolade at the 2011 British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards.[1]

Zombie Musical would be adapted by McHenry and Alan McDonald into the 2017 feature film Anna and the Apocalypse, which would ultimately be released after McHenry's death.

Life and career[edit]

Ryan McHenry was born in Dumfries in Scotland. In 2011 he wrote and directed the film Zombie Musical. The film, which was a joint adventure between Haphazard Media and Black Camel Pictures tells the story of Anna who starts at a new school in a small Scottish town. She is forced to deal with more than just cliques and strict teachers, but a zombie outbreak which forces a band of high school students to do anything to survive. The film was a critical success and earned McHenry a nomination at the 2011 British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards.[2]

In 2013, McHenry created the video series Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal. The series which started on Vine centred on a gimmick where McHenry attempted to feed cereal to a shot of Ryan Gosling on screen. Just before the spoon reached his mouth the actor would turn away as if he was rejecting the food. The videos became an internet sensation and McHenry went from having 8 followers to over 200,000 on his channel. The series also attracted attention from Entertainment Online and the Huffington Post.[3] It wouldn't be until April 2015 when Gosling himself acknowledged the video series and tweeted 'I actually love cereal.'[4]

In late 2013, McHenry started experiencing a painful lump in his leg and consulted a doctor who diagnosed it as osteosarcoma that had spread to his lungs. He announced the news on his Twitter page with an upbeat spin saying

"I got told yesterday that I have cancer. I would just like to let you all know I'm staying positive and I'm going to fight it. Fuck Cancer."[5]

During his chemotherapy sessions, McHenry continued to tweet and often turned to his followers for support and inspiration. On one occasion he called upon his followers to photoshop a selfie he had taken on his hospital bed. He was overwhelmed by the creative response of his followers.[6]


After initial signs that McHenry had beaten cancer, he returned to work in July 2014 after a long course of chemotherapy. The cancer returned, and on 2 May 2015 he died. Two days before his death he had tweeted, in his typical deadpan humour:

“Yesterday was my 10,000th day alive on this Earth and not one of you got me a card or anything..."[7]

Upon the news of his death, Vine tweeted their own tribute to McHenry saying:

“Your creativity brightened many lives. Thank you. You'll be missed"[8]

On 5 May, Ryan Gosling created his very own Vine channel in order to post a tribute to McHenry. The clip showed Gosling pouring a bowl of cereal, saluting the camera with his spoon then proceeding to eat the cereal.[9]


Year Film Credited as Notes
Director Camera Team Writer Actor Role
2008 The Dead Outside Yes Dead & Background Dying Production Assistant
2009 Time, Care and Attention Yes Director of Photography
2010 Buskers Yes Director of Photography
2011 Zombie Musical Yes Yes Directoral Debut
2012 Outpost: Black Sun Yes Camera Trainee
2013 Toast Yes Yes
Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz Yes Yes Nazi Second assistant camera: b-camera
Timelock Yes Yes Armed Policeman Second assistant camera
Sunshine on Leith Yes EPK Director
2017 Anna and the Apocalypse Yes Co-writer (with Alan McDonald), based on McHenry's 2010 short film Zombie Musical Released posthumously


Year Nominated Work Awards Category Result
2011 Zombie Musical British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards Best Director Nominated
2014 N/A Shorty Awards UK Category Won


  1. ^ "British Academy Scotland New Talent Award: Winners in 2011". bafta.org. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Dumfries film Zombie Musical seeks Bafta Scotland glory". BBC News. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  3. ^ adrianne. "How a Ryan Gosling meme helped its creator cope with cancer". The Verge. Vox Media.
  4. ^ "Ryan Gosling s Response to the Famous Cereal Meme is Hilarious - Yahoo7". yahoo.com. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  5. ^ adrianne (8 November 2013). "How a Ryan Gosling meme helped its creator cope with cancer". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Ryan Gosling won't eat his cereal meme creator Ryan McHenry calls for #chemoselfies as he battles bone cancer - Metro News". Metro. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  7. ^ Chris Clements (4 May 2015). "Scot who made millions laugh with 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' films dies of cancer". dailyrecord. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Vine on Twitter". Twitter.
  9. ^ "Vanity Fair Article: 'Ryan Gosling Responds to an Old Meme in the Perfect Way'". vanityfair.com. Retrieved 5 May 2015.

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