The Charger Blog

Alumnus Part of the Crew for Upcoming Prequel to "The Sopranos"

As a student, Ben Hammel ’18 says he gained valuable experience producing, directing, and editing, which he says prepared him for work on the upcoming Warner Bros. film "The Many Saints of Newark."

January 27, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Ben Hammel ’18.
Ben Hammel ’18. (Photo credit: Katie O Photos)

Ben Hammel ’18, who has experience working on a wide range of video projects, has taken his talent to the big screen.

Hammel was a member of the set decoration team that worked on the upcoming feature film The Many Saints of Newark, a crime drama written as a prequel to the critically acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos. Starring Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, and Jon Bernthal, The Many Saints of Newark is set to be released this fall.

"My professors had truly diverse backgrounds, and they gave me a wide variety of opportunities and unique, hands-on experiences."Ben Hammel ’18

"It was a great experience," said Hammel, who worked on the film with Tim Metzger ’85, the art department lead.

A communication major who minored in sport management, Hammel says that he began networking early in his time as a student, which enabled him to make valuable connections.

"The most beneficial part of my time as a student was the experience I gained," Hammel said. "My professors had truly diverse backgrounds, and they gave me a wide variety of opportunities and unique, hands-on experiences."

Image of Ben Hammel ’18.
Hammel’s work earned acclaim before he graduated from the University of New Haven. (Photo credit: Katie O Photos)

While producing the first season of the University’s business competition show "On the Spot," Hammel learned how to create a show from concept to completion. As an intern, he worked with Hostage Films and Chatty Cat Productions, alongside renowned director Ruben Latre. He also gained experience working on a variety of productions, including commercials, a music video, and the feature film "Following 5 But Proceeding 7."

"This was extremely beneficial, since it gave me my first real insight to what it is like to be on a professional set," Hammel said. "I had the unique opportunity to be part of the production – I was not just a typical production assistant."

Hammel’s work earned acclaim even before he graduated. His public service announcement addressing suicide prevention won a Student Emmy award, and he collaborated with other University students on the short film "Men’s Room," which also won a Student Emmy award and was recognized at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France.

After graduating, Hammel worked as an in-house video editing specialist for American Cruise Lines, overseeing all stages of the company’s video content, including promotional and internal corporate videos.

"The University of New Haven prepared me for each position I have had after I graduated," said Hammel, who also does freelance video work for small businesses, artists, and nonprofit organizations in New York City. "I gained a firm grasp of the many different sides of the industry, and I feel confident and prepared for any position I may hold."