Lights, camera, action! Northern Ireland has become popular in recent years for being a prime location for films and TV series; Game of Thrones, Derry Girls, and Line of Duty to name a few. With these big productions coming to our shores, there’s no doubt that there is plenty of home-grown talent to support these productions.

Banbridge student Lucas McCullough is an example. Sixteen-year-old Lucas is currently a student at Southern Regional College’s Banbridge campus studying the Level 2 Diploma in Media. The diploma enables students to succeed in a range of media sectors including moving image, animation, photography, web authoring, graphics, and sound.

As part of the course, Lucas wrote, filmed, directed, and edited a short film, ‘The Loop’. The film was deemed so good that lecturer Gary Davidson submitted ‘The Loop’ to the Fresh Film Festival. A festival designed to encourage and promote young filmmakers. Both Lucas and Gary were delighted when ‘The Loop’ became a finalist in the Ulster Regionals for the ‘Audience Favourite’ award.

The film focuses on a young student who secures his first job as a security guard at an abandoned and derelict police station. Paranoia kicks in when the student begins to hear noises and thinks he is being followed. The student finishes his shift, gets home and continuously checks for movements outside. The loop repeats when we see the student waken the next morning to repeat his routine once more. The real question is, was he being followed, or just being paranoid? For an answer to this question, keep watching to the end credits!

To create and produce the film Lucas prepared a synopsis, wrote a script, filmed, and edited footage using College equipment. So, what made Lucas decide upon a career and course in Media? The Banbridge campus at Southern Regional College is the hub for media, film, photography and gaming courses, boasting state of the art facilities from a green room, sound booths and photography studio. As Lucas states “The Banbridge campus is brilliant for film and media courses which is fantastic for me as I love films!”

Lucas’ career aspirations include getting into the film industry in any way possible and is open to all opportunities. Lucas commented:

“The more experience I can get the better. I’m eager to build up my portfolio and skills. The course has been a really positive experience for me. I’ve made good friends and being able to make films has been really fun. The course has taught me everything I know to date, and I'd highly recommend it for newcomers to media. I like the fact that the course is hands on which is one of the reasons why I enjoy it. The theory provides an in-depth understanding of topics.”

Lecturer, Gary Davidson, further commented:

Lucas is an extraordinarily talented student with a real gift for film production. All our course team, and the others in his class, are very proud of him for making it into the Ulster Regional Finals of the Fresh Film Festival, especially given how tough competition is in film festivals. We're all looking forward to seeing what Lucas will produce when he progresses to our Level 3 Media course in September.

Our Level 2 and Level 3 Media courses offer a wide range of content to study and allows students to experiment and experience a variety of media disciplines. Our course content is structured in a hands-on manner that reflects real-world productions.

Our fantastic facilities, industry experienced course team and direct focus on practical orientated and creative productions, allows our students to develop a broad set of skills and production knowledge. Our media courses are ideal for anybody interested in how film, graphics, photography, and animations are created and for those who have a passion for media production.”

Watch this space for developments on Lucas’ career!

To watch ‘The Loop’ head over to YouTube at:

To check out the course visit: MEDIA Level 2 Diploma