In this exclusive featurette, the author of the book Nomadland, Jessica Bruder, talks about how Chloe Zhao adapted the book for the screen to focus specifically on anchoring the story around Fern’s personal experience. The script for Nomadland was based on Bruder’s nonfiction book, and is used as essentially a backdrop with many of the same characters appearing in the film. But the entire character of Fern, her story arc, was conceived and written by Zhao. Zhao wanted to create a character that would blend the elements from the book while also connecting the audience in a personal way. This film, and the script, is truly a hybrid of fiction and nonfiction.
Here is a featurette, which contains some unseen moments of Zhao on set.