Graham Byers is a Senior at the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in Film and Television
Production and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Graham is an aspiring cinematographer
and director who strives to tell stories that ignite social change and give
voice to the voiceless.
Growing up in Vermont, Graham learned to appreciate nature and its preservation from a very young age. While in high school, Graham shot aerial and ground footage and photographs of an endangered natural preserve area due to clear-cutting and the construction of a controversial intermodal station along the local LaPlatte River in his town of Shelburne. He presented this project at a town meeting attended by over 500 concerned local citizens and testified in the Town of Shelburne v. Vermont Railway federal court case. Since then, Graham has taken a particular interest in addressing environmental issues in his work and, under the mentorship/leadership of nature time-lapse pioneer and award-winning nature filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg, on his recent feature film Fantastic Fungi (2019), has discovered how to make audiences empathetic to nature.
Graham’s affinity for nature has also had a profound impact on his narrative and commercial voice. As a short film director, Graham frequently sets his films in the great outdoors and loves to explore humanity’s ability to connect with the natural world particularly as a means of coping with loss. While working as a cinematographer, Graham loves to rely on natural light and encourages the directors he works with to consider using natural settings when appropriate.
Alongside these tendencies toward nature, Graham describes his approach to cinematography as character-driven. He loves to use cinematography as a tool to immerse the audience in the world of a character and the journey that they go on.
WorkOver the years he has taken pictures of weddings, pre-prom parties, families, friends, animals, food and whatever else catches his eye. On the other side of the business, he has shot weddings, commercials, short films, music videos, acting reels, dance videos and student work (you can find these videos on the "Reel" page).
Currently, Graham attends USC where he is spending nearly 100% of his time learning about cinema and its art. He also works for º1824 at Universal Music Group (UMG) as a Visual Content Creator where he shoots music videos and concert recaps for UMG artists.
Graham recently traveled to Ghana to shoot a documentary for ROC (Rooted Organzing Community) on their aid mission there and has been working on countless projects both in Vermont and in California since.
Outside of his work as a filmmaker, Graham can be found either in nature hiking or skiing or back at his desk developing his nonprofit venture, The Green Film Standard (GFS), which aims to curb the film industry’s carbon emissions.