Why ‘Nomadland’ Cinematographer Joshua James Richards Is Also the Film’s Production Designer

Nomadland” cinematographer Joshua James Richards and director Chloé Zhao met at NYU Film School and have worked together ever since.“There was a bond formed just through our taste and visually what we were drawn to,” Richards told IndieWire.Following film school, the collaborators spent a great deal of time traveling the American West, in particular South Dakota, where they made their first two features, “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” and “The Rider.” Like “Nomadland,” both films feature first-time performers in stories set against expansive western landscapes.In a far-ranging interview, Richards discusses how their collaboration and filmic language evolved over the three films.The following interview excerpts have been lightly edited for clarity.Moving with FernRichards: Soon as Chloé started talking about “Nomadland,” I thought, “This is a camera that needs to move with Fern (Frances McDormand).

We gotta be in a fluid, mercurial motion through this movie.

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