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Rising Stars: Meet Mike Kukuris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Kukuris. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up with a love for video and photography. When I was a child, I stole my mom’s VHS camcorder and started making home videos once I was big enough to carry the camera. My passion grew as digital filmmaking became the norm. I went to school at the Art Institute of Cincinnati and studied filmmaking. I got my bachelor’s degree and began work in the area. I made a giant list of all the things in Ohio I wanted to see and document and spent the next 5 years traveling around photographing and making videos of all the great things to do in Ohio. I find a lot of people who don’t enjoy the state they live in and spend the majority of their time dreaming of going to places outside of their state. Often, they don’t know about all the great hidden things in their state. I spent every day going around trying to find something different, something cool, or something pretty worth photographing. I would share these with locals and inspire others to go out and find things in their state. 

OneADaze is a new project that sparked from Corona. Due to travel restrictions I wanted to reenvision the world around me. I have an archive of photos and videos from my travels that haven’t been uploaded. I am finding my favorite moments and editing these moments to share in a new and creative way. During this time, I am building lists of new adventures and travels. We have a goal of getting a travel trailer and doing this full-time. Currently, I am a full-time content creator posting animal and pet-related videos on our channel Paw Record. See – www.youtube.com/pawrecord 

We travel a bit with our Huskies and use it to collect content for OneADaze. We hope to go tee-pee camping at Hocking Hills for an upcoming trip! So much more in Ohio, we’d love to see. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Overall, things have been relatively smooth. I have been a content creator since 2009 and been able to do it full-time for 10 years. I feel Corona impacted everyone’s business. I was hit pretty hard and lost a lot of big contracts. I had to pivot and do some restructuring. Now things are better than ever! 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a content creator. We earn revenue from most social media platforms and license clips to websites and tv shows. I make music videos, commercials, advertisements, and just about anything regarding digital art. A low-budget show I filmed and edited for a friend got picked up on Amazon Prime. I’ve won awards at multiple film festivals, won several commercial contests, been a YouTube partner since 2009, generated roughly 100 million views on my own YouTube, and have helped grow several successful businesses including editing for some top YouTubers. 

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I miss Cincinnati every day. I am currently residing in Indiana. Our property is great, but the location I lived in Cincinnati had everything I would ever want to do within a 20-minute drive. With tons of variety. Great parks, great hiking trails, unique stores, and tons of experiences. I was never bored and my Husky loved all the outdoor activities. My current residence doesn’t have the safest or cleanest parks so we tend to hike around our property. 

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Mike Kukuris

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