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Mike Guckian, LYIT graduate, scoops prestigious award at Accenture Digital Media Awards

Mike Guckian & Accenture Media AwardMike Guckian, a graduate of the MA in Motion Graphics, and part-time Lecturer in Pharmacy at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), didn’t always work as a film director and producer. In fact, his unique career path saw Mike originally study pharmacy, and at one point, he was the President of the Irish Pharmacy Union. However, it’s fair to say that his passion for film and videography was never too far away from his mind, with his original interest in this area coming from his father’s influence and time spent abroad as an exchange student. Mike commented, “Growing up in Sligo, I was very influenced by my father’s passion for technology; my dad was a pharmacist, who diversified into computer sales in the eighties and this connection to technology inspired my curiosity in the area. This interest was further developed when I spent time in Germany, as a foreign exchange student, with a German family who were extremely interested in videography and filming. I was extremely lucky to have had experiences that shaped my interest, and it remained a part-time focus for many years, until I began my journey as lecturer on the Pharmacy Technician course at LYIT. My passion and love for videography and visual recording was further stimulated when I embarked on my Master’s journey in Motion Graphics through the Department of Design and Creative Media at LYIT.” He added, “For years I had tinkered with my love of videography, and when I began teaching Pharmacy at LYIT, I decided to explore further the prospects of undertaking an MA in Motion Graphics. It was during my Master’s study that I connected with Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo and collaborated with them on the project ‘Virtual Trad Orchestra’. I was asked to create the visual for this project, to record the artists, and to collate the submissions from various artists. However, over time this project developed and I had to create motion graphic tutorials that instructed musicians how to participate, and the project just flourished from there.”

‘Virtual Trad Orchestra’ was an initiative that brought together various artists, from all over the world, digitally, to perform ‘The Sally Gardens’ in a ground-breaking project as part of the Hawk’s Well Theatre’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann celebrations in 2015.

Hawk’s Well Theatre entered ‘Virtual Trad Orchestra’ into the Accenture Digital Media Awards, hopeful that they would be shortlisted in their chosen category. However, little did they know that ‘Virtual Trad Orchestra’ would scoop the ‘Best Public Life (Government, Charity and Non-Profit) Award’ on the night, overcoming stiff competition from other amazing submissions.

Mike added, “I was delighted to hear that the project had been shortlisted and it was a genuine shock to be awarded the overall prize in our category on the night. I was absolutely honoured and thrilled to have been recognised by my peers in this way.”

Nollaig Crombie, Head of Department of Design and Creative Media at LYIT commented, “To have a graduate like Mike, win such a prestigious award, creates a truly inspirational platform for other undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Institute. His passion, and ability to convert what was once his hobby into a successful career, has been a pleasure to watch.”

Mike added, “Returning to education and completing the MA in Motion Graphics at LYIT gave me the confidence to transform my passion into the career that I have forged today. I am currently Director of Sligeach Films and if I hadn’t studied for my MA at LYIT, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. I now have the confidence to compete and pitch for work and I genuinely believe that my MA studies at LYIT has given me the confidence to do this.”

For more information on the MA in Motion Graphics at LYIT, contact Nollaig, Head of Design and Creative Media, on nollaig.crombie@lyit.ie.



Tue, 01 Mar 2016 15:11:00 GMT

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