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Nomadland’s Frances McDormand and director Chloé Zhao pay tribute to film’s sound mixer after suicide

Ellie Harrison
·2-min read
Frances McDormand and Michael Wolf Snyder (Michael Wolf Snyder Facebook)
Frances McDormand and Michael Wolf Snyder (Michael Wolf Snyder Facebook)

Nomadland’s lead star Frances McDormand and director Chloé Zhao have paid tribute to the film’s sound mixer Michael Wolf Snyder, who took his own life last week.

Snyder’s death at the age of 35 was confirmed by his father David, who wrote on Facebook that his son has “suffered from major depression for many years”.

In her acceptance speech at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday (7 March), where she was named best director, Zhao said: “Thank you, Wolf. We honour you. And we’ll see you down the road, my friend.”

In a statement posted on Variety, she added: “On The Rider and Nomadland, I always looked at Wolf after each take. I didn’t wear headphones on set and so I heavily relied on Wolf to be my ears. He would nod at me with a happy grin, or tears in his eyes, or sometimes he would discreetly signal ‘one more’.

“During The Rider, Wolf suggested an idea we later took onto Nomadland – recording room tones longer than we need as a chance to experience silence.”

Read more -Nomadland: Award-winning film censored on Chinese social media over past comments by director Chloé Zhao

She added: “After hustling on each location, we sat together, in silence, tuned in, listened and honoured the world around us and each other. I will always miss him. He would always be with me on set, after each take, and in the silence of every room tone. See you down the road, my friend.”

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McDormand said: “Wolf recorded our heart beats. Our every breath. For me, he is Nomadland.”

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