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 Lighthouse Studios recognises as being one of its core responsibilities to all new hires.
And like many other studios, Lighthouse has had some challenges in this area throughout 2020. Stay-at-home guidelines and physical distancing restrictions have made it almost impossible to organise social events for crew to get to know one another and their new homes. However, the studio’s recent Christmas Under the Stars event has shown that in can still be done!
On Friday the 11th of December, all Lighthouse crew were treated to a mini-festival in the studio’s ample outdoor space. Local food suppliers set up stalls to ensure that all crew were fed and watered/wined. Live jazz music offered a much-missed soundtrack as groups of 15 made their way through the event and caught up with one another, with some even meeting for the first time.
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”.
Grace McDonnell, Lighthouse Studios’ newest Animation Director
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 to start in January.
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!