The Charger Blog

University of New Haven Alumnus Worked as Production Assistant on Highly Anticipated Joker Movie

Nicholas Graham ’16, who is pursuing an MFA in cinema directing at Columbia College Chicago, was part of the crew on “Joker,” a Warner Brothers film starring Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix that is due out later this year.

August 6, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Nicholas Graham ’16
At the University of New Haven, Nicholas Graham ’16 combined his love of sports and video.

As a student at the University of New Haven, Nicholas Graham ’16 worked as a student assistant coach and as a video coordinator for the University’s football team, combining his love of sports and video. It was this position, he says, that prepared him for his work in the film industry.

“I developed and enhanced my data and file management skills, which are crucial to the film industry,” said Graham. “I also honed my communication, time management, and teamwork skills, which helped me tremendously.”

As a communication student, Graham was a production assistant for “Following 5 but Preceding 7,” a feature film by Hostage Films. Recently, he took on the role of art production assistant, helping with the coordination of on-camera set dressing and props for “Joker,” the Warner Brothers film starring Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix that has been called one of the most anticipated movies of the year. It is due out in October.

Image of Nicholas Graham ’16
Nicholas Graham ’16 on set directing the short film, “All the Times I Joked About Murder."

“The hands-on experience I had at the University of New Haven is the key reason why I was prepared for this job,” said Graham. “Being able to learn in the studio, handling equipment, and understanding roles on set made me feel very comfortable.”

"I believe the communication department at the University trains us not as students but as future professionals in the field."Nicholas Graham ’16

Graham, who attended the Cannes Film Festival in France with the University last year, recently won a student Emmy for his cinematography on the University’s student film, “Paint.”

Now working on his MFA in cinema directing at Columbia College Chicago, Graham is working on an ambitious project as part of his thesis, but he says he’s prepared to take it on.

“The film has an expected budget of $10,000 and a crew of more than 30,” said Graham. “I believe the communication department at the University trains us not as students but as future professionals in the field.”