Bjørn Hanson - 2022 Young Alumnus of the Year

Bjørn Hanson is a producer who has worked in production in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Estonia. He recently produced the queer drama FLOAT for BBC Scotland, which won the award for Best Series in the Short Format competition at Series Mania 2022. Learn more about Bjørn.

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Bjorn holding his awardBjørn Hanson is an award-winning scripted producer based in Scotland. He is currently working at Black Camel Pictures, where he produced the queer drama FLOAT (6 X 10') for BBC Scotland, which won the award for Best Series in the Short Format competition at Series Mania 2022. He has produced three short films; NATIVE IMMIGRATION (BBC Scotland Short Stuff, 2019), HINDSIGHT (2020) and KIN (2021). Bjørn holds a BA in Transatlantic Relations from Sciences Po Paris, an MA in Fiction Film Production from the Kino Eyes: The European Movie Master Erasmus+ programme and an MFA in Advanced Film Practice from Edinburgh Napier University. He has worked in production in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Estonia and speaks fluent English and French. Bjørn is dedicated to creating films and series that authentically represent marginalised communities.

“Right around the time that I was in pre-production on FLOAT, my boss, the Executive Producer, wisely told me that ‘nobody ever gives you permission to be a producer’. A short TV series for BBC iPlayer, FLOAT also marked my first credit as a producer on a broadcast commission, and I was feeling a lot of imposter syndrome as I was struggling to understand and overcome the daunting amount of logistical, legal and creative work required to produce a microbudget television series during a pandemic. My boss’s advice struck a chord with me and helped me understand that the anxiety I was experiencing was something that all producers feel and something that can indeed be overcome. I realised that the problem wasn’t my lack of technical expertise, but rather an intimidating industry that places intense and daunting demands onto production and lacks support for new producers. I knew then that I would need to rely on my training, leverage my network, speak up for myself and trust my instincts, as well as the brilliantly supportive team at Black Camel, in order to get the series produced. These are all skills that I learned during my MA and MFA and I wouldn’t have been able to make the series if it weren’t for my time at Edinburgh Napier University.


 Embarking on your career journey? Bjørn shares his advice.

 

Bjorn Hansen"With everything going on in the world right now and the current state of the economy, it can be very easy to become discouraged and bitter about starting a career. My key piece of advice would be to channel your frustration into action and seize any opportunity that might give you a leg up on the competition. Don’t be lazy! Update your CV and make sure that it looks flawless, make a website for yourself and/or a LinkedIn account, keep training and learning new skills and if you don’t have work experience make sure that you get some. Even if your first job after graduation isn’t your dream job, it may put you on the right trajectory. Get out and meet people and use the incredible network you have already created at ENU. Ask around to see if anyone knows people who are hiring and can make an introduction. Don’t be afraid of cold-calling – your determination and grit will impress future employers, highlight your abilities and set you apart from other candidates.

“At the same time, it is more important than ever to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Make time to switch-off and pursue your own hobbies and interests. Keep in touch with friends and check in on each other. Get lots of sleep! Know that the stress you might be feeling is common and understandable and talk through it with the people you trust. Advocate for yourself both at work and in your personal life and don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t know something or if you need help. As a graduate you’ve already made incredible achievements and you will go on to make many more.

“Find ways to laugh and have fun, especially at work. I believe this is crucial to long-term success in any career.”

Published July 2022