Coal, Wind, Cowboys

A Documentary Film by Opalite Media


Amidst a shift to green energy across the American West, ranchers, Native Americans, public officials, and activists encounter sharp divisions and find unexpected alliances in Coal, Wind, Cowboys. Director Ray Ward’s multi-threaded portrait of workers, policymakers, and landowners is an intimate depiction of those with the highest stakes in the country’s energy transition – a drama with reverberations felt all over the world.


Ray Ward (Director, Composer)

Ray Ward is a filmmaker, musician, and composer based in Boston. He is a co-founder and creative director of the production studio Opalite Media. He has directed short-form media for leading non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and national political campaigns. His work has appeared on platforms such as VICE, Discovery Channel, and PBS. He holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, he worked in public policy research and evaluation.

Nicole Ward (Director of Photography, Editor)

Nicole Ward is a cinematographer and editor based in Boston. She is a founding partner and director of photography at Opalite Media. A former dancer, Nicole has a unique eye for movement, rhythm, and craftsmanship. As a filmmaker, she applies a hands-on approach to lighting, composition, and visual framing. She has a decade of experience as a cinematographer and editor for music videos and short-form video. She studied fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

Noah Hutton (Executive Producer)

Noah Hutton is a writer and director of documentary and narrative films. He was nominated for a 2021 Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for Lapsis, a sci-fi feature he wrote, directed, scored, and edited, which premiered in the narrative feature competition at SXSW 2020 and was released by Film Movement in 2021. In 2020 he completed In Silico, a ten-year documentary begun in 2009 about a project to simulate the human brain on supercomputers. Previously he directed the documentary features Deep Time (SXSW 2015) and Crude Independence (SXSW 2009).