Was originally hired for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) as the cinematographer for the miniature portions only. Despite his friendship with director Benh Zeitlin the producers were hesitant to hire Richardson to shoot the entire film as he had never shot a feature. After the producers had failed to find a veteran cinematographer appropriate for the project, Richardson shot a test reel on his own and presented it to them, and was subsequently hired.
In a relationship with Anna Kendrick. [August 2014]
Member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 2019.
Cinematically, what I think we were trying to achieve was a camera that was reactive and inexperienced, naive and exploratory. We just wanted the world to be revealed moment by moment, just the way [Hushpuppy] is discovering it. We had some scenes where Benh would encourage me to keep the camera less stable. I got pretty good with the rig we were using - it wasn't Steadicam but I could lock it off - and Benh would look over at me and say 'Give it some life'.
[on 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'] What drew me to Behn [Zeitlin]'s work in the first place is his love of myths and monsters. He's always been interested in creating the best kinds of legends, the kind of thing that feels like it's always existed.
[on filming scenes involving six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis] I think one of the mistakes sometimes that hand-held movies do by going shoulder-mounted all the time is you have this permanent adult male's-eye view. And I dropped the camera a couple of inches below Hushpuppy's eye-line and kept it horizontal. It just gave her this real power and strength in the frame. So what would happen is, the further away I got, instead of tilting the camera down to accommodate more headroom, I would just push the camera down slightly.