05/01/21 • News & Happenings

Latest News from Lighthouse Studios

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As many Irish animation studios know, finding talent isn’t easy. A lot of studios hire crew from right across the globe, and for many new crew members this may be their first time living and working abroad. In-house initiatives to welcome crew and help them feel at home are crucial, and something that we recognise as being one of our core responsibilities to all new hires.

And like many other animation studios, we had some challenges in this area last year. Stay-at-home guidelines and physical distancing restrictions made it almost impossible to organise social events for crew to get to know one another and their new homes. However, our Christmas Under the Stars event right before we broke for the holidays showed us that it still can be done. With at least some restrictions likely to remain in place for the coming months, we will no doubt be drawing inspiration from this event as soon as it is safe and possible for us to come together again.

Christmas under the Stars 2020

Groups of 15 made their way through the event and caught up with one another, with some even meeting for the first time. We were treated to delicious food and drinks from Fennelly’s of Callan and Bula Bus, and spoiled with gorgeous hand-crafted sweeties from the amazing Olivia Lyng and Truffle Fairy. Meanwhile, Cormac Larkin, Scott Flanigan, Tom Caraher and the crew from Festival in a Van gave us a much-needed fix of live jazz music, and Glenn Tector of Sonix Entertainment made sure we all had somewhere to sit and eat thanks to his rustic vibes of hay bales and marquees.

The Festival in a Van crew

In true Lighthouse style, crew were also treated to some screenings of current works in progress. However, it was the studio’s in-house mini-movie competition that really stole the show. Featuring a number of 30 second animated films submitted by crew, the inaugural ‘Flare’ competition offered just a hint of what is to come from the vast array of talent at the studio in 2021.

As well as serving the purpose of bringing crew together, there were also many individual causes for celebration. The recent advancement of Grace McDonnell to the role of Animation Director is just the latest in a string of internal promotions. Managing Director, Claire Finn said that “this promotion represents one of several key roles that have been filled in-house recently and is testament to our ongoing commitment to the development of all our crew”.

Eoin McLoughlin, Polly Holland and Adam Powell also had reason to celebrate, after all three graduate trainees were offered – and accepted – positions at the studio which started this week.

Congratulations, Grace!

In a year that has offered up many challenges, it is refreshing to recognise and celebrate such achievements. With a huge 2021 in store for Lighthouse Studios, we’re sure to have many more causes to celebrate!


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