Tayyib Mahmood

Film Production Technology BSc (Hons)

Tayyib almost didn’t go to university, but once he discovered BCU he never looked back. The Film Production Technology course shaped who he would become as a filmmaker, and straight out of university, he landed his dream job working on a blockbuster Hollywood film. Nowadays, he is excelling in his chosen industry whilst also making viral videos on TikTok . 

"I never really considered going to university, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But then I realised that I wanted to do something creative, so I thought I’d look to see what’s out there, and I found the Film Production Technology course at BCU. I applied, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Film Production Technology stood out to me because of the intricate technology involved in filmmaking, and the individual creativity it would allow me. I thought that BCU offered exactly what I wanted.

When I first started at BCU, the hardest part was getting used to the university lifestyle and the responsibility of being an adult. But I found friends on my course who were nervous like me, and the BCU community just made me feel right at home. There was even a film-making society for me to join!

The lecturers prepared me for working in industry by giving me the intricate knowledge that I would need to work on a film set one day. They always looked out for opportunities for us and held events for us to network. While some may see that as extra work, I just got my head down and took every opportunity to better myself. Studying at BCU helped me craft myself as filmmaker, helping me adapt and push my skill set.

Before I graduated from BCU, I got the call to tell me I would be working on the new James Bond film, 'No Time to Die', as a trainee. That was such a surreal experience, but probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It was a six-month shoot, and being able to say I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a Hollywood blockbuster straight out of university is something many in my position would love to do.

These were things I’d only ever dreamed of doing, and to have the chance to have these opportunities, especially as someone from my community, is something that I never thought possible. I’ve since gone on to work on The Batman, Andor, and other exciting projects.

Alongside my work, I also started a TikTok channel in 2022 to talk about films. I react to trailers, talk about films, as well as the actors involved and other films they’ve been in that my audience might like. In just over a year, I’ve gained 420,000 followers. I have the best of both worlds, because I get to talk about films, and I also have experience of working in the film industry to go together with that.

Since graduating, I have also marshalled, which is a crucial role on any film set, as if you do the job well, you’ll most likely be asked to come back and work on different projects.

Nowadays, I’ve just finished working on a new TV series as a Studio Unit Manager. As this industry is contract-based, I have to make sure that I prove myself on each project and get my name out there, so that I’ll be considered for more work in the future. 

My advice to anyone who has graduated and wants to get into the industry is networking. It's the most crucial element of working in the film industry. There are also newsletters like Film Birmingham you can sign up for, that send out call outs when a studio is looking for certain crew members.

Also remember that if you’re going to study a course like Film, have that expectation that not every day is going to be the same. I don’t believe in practice makes perfect, there’s only progress. Remember that the more you practice, the better you’ll become, there’s no such thing as perfection.

To me, I AM BCU is who you are, it means being different and recognising that not everyone’s path will be the same as yours.”

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