“I’ve always been a ‘go big or go home’ sort of person.”
- Hannah Byers-Brown, BA (Hons) Photography 2011
After graduating, Hannah moved from Edinburgh to London to pursue her dream. The only problem was, she wasn’t quite sure what her dream was yet. While she was searching for her purpose, she decided the best course of action would be to gain valuable industry experience.
For several years Hannah worked in advertising, producing campaign imagery for some big brands in the UK. Then in 2015, she moved to a post-production company, Happy Finish, where she worked primarily on Nike’s account. She says she “learned more about football than she ever imagined she would, but it was an honour to work on the campaigns for such a recognisable brand.”
Hannah’s years in the London advertising scene led her to discover her passion. She realised that she wanted to combine her study and passion for photography with her experience in the post-production advertising world and work in the film industry. In 2017, her “go big or go home” move was set in motion and she applied to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for their MFA Producers Program, one of the best film schools in the world. At 27 years old, Hannah quit her job, packed up her whole life and moved to California.
Studying in the USA is expensive, especially for an international student. Hannah worked two jobs and gained experience and exposure in the industry. Her job at Paramount’s television production department allowed her to work on TV shows like The Haunting of Hill House, Jack Ryan and The Alienist. In the little free time she had left, she produced award-winning music videos and a short film, now in development.
Since graduating in 2019, Hannah has started her own company, HBB Productions. She combined her advertising and film experience, working as a freelance producer for major brands and working with her business partner Ryan Hines on film material, to be sold this year.
Hannah’s story is a great reminder that you may not always know what your end goal is, but if you follow your passions and trust yourself you will get there in the end.