How UNCSA alumni shaped Jeff Nichols' new movie 'The Bikeriders'

In a gripping exploration of the rebellious spirit of 1960s America, "The Bikeriders" delves into the raw and tumultuous lives of a Midwestern motorcycle club. Chronicling their journeys, alliances and confrontations, the film captures the essence of a culture defined by freedom, brotherhood and defiance. 

With School of Filmmaking Directing alumnus Jeff Nichols at the helm as writer and director and starring a cast that brings to life the intense bonds and clashes within the group, "The Bikeriders" is more than just a film; it's an immersive experience into an era where the open road represented both an escape and a battlefield.

Alumnus Jeff Nichols' "The Bikeriders"

While talking with AP News, Nichols shared that he had “dreamt of making a film about a 1960s motorcycle club for over 20 years.” It all started when he first read Danny Lyon’s book “The Bikeriders” about the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club — instantly he could see the movie in his mind. And, with an alumni-fueled cast and crew, there's no question that UNCSA played a significant role in bringing Nichols’ vision to life. 

Here’s a full list of the UNCSA connections to “The Bikeriders” in alphabetical order:

Michael Abbott Jr.

School of Drama alumnus Michael Abbott Jr. (B.F.A. ‘00) plays David in the film. Abbott Jr.’s previous work includes playing Agent Frank Smith in “Killers of the Flower Moon” and a farmer in “The Fallout.”

Amanda Beggs 

Former School of Filmmaking student Amanda Beggs served as the sound mixer for the film. Beggs’ previous work includes production sound mixing “Shrinking” and sound mixer on “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

Smokey Cloud

Design & Production’s Editing and Sound alumnus Smokey Cloud (B.F.A. ’04) was the first assistant sound editor for the film. Cloud’s previous work includes working as the first assistant sound editor for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé”.

Dylan Conrad 

Cinematography alumnus Dylan Conrad (B.F.A. ‘10) served as first assistant camera: "a" camera for the film. Conrad’s previous work includes working in the camera and electrical department for “1883” and “Mud.”

Will Files 

Editing and Sound alumnus Will Files (B.F.A. ‘02) served as the supervising sound editor/ re-recording mixer. Files’ previous work includes supervising sound editor for “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” and “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.”

Kenneth Neil Moore 

Cinematography alumnus Kenneth Neil Moore (B.F.A. ‘02) served as camera operator: "b" camera/ director of photography, second unit for the film. Moore’s previous work includes being in the camera and electrical department for “Midnight Special” and “Mud.”

Jeff Nichols 

Directing alumnus Jeff Nichols (B.F.A. ‘01) is the writer and director of the film. Nichols’ previous work includes writer and director of “Take Shelter” and “Mud.”

Adam Stone 

Cinematography alumnus (B.F.A. ‘99) was the cinematographer for the film. Stone’s previous work includes being the cinematographer for “Midnight Special” and “Take Shelter.”

Tony Ziegler 

Cinematography alumnus (B.F.A. ‘10) served as the lead person (Art Dept) for the film. Ziegler’s previous work includes being art director for “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Claws.”

Did you catch a connection to a “The Bikeriders” that is not included on this list? Send us an email and we will update the story.

by Natalie Shrader(opens in new tab)

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June 21, 2024