Windmill Lane Launches New Commercials Team [Full Press Release]

[Windmill Lane Commercials Team]

[Estimated Reading Time – 5 mins]

Windmill Lane’s passion for commercials remains as fervent today as it was upon foundation. With the appointment of key staff and the promotion of Jess Felton to Head of Commercials – Ireland’s longest running post production studio has issued a statement of intent for 2023 and beyond. 


According to Core’s 2023 Outlook report (as published in the Sunday Independent last week) the Irish advertising market is forecast to grow again in 2023 by around 3.8% to hit €1.43 billion, with most media channels to get a boost. And with the optimism, not to mention competitive nature, around the advertising market in Ireland – Jess is keen to provide a streamlined and cost effective service to current and prospective clients.


Jess Felton

Jess has many years experience in post-production both in Ireland and overseas, specialising in commercials for a wide range of national and international brands and clients. Jess has exhibited a passion for nurturing new talent from Ireland and further afield. She is also heavily involved with local Commercial committees in Ireland, including the upcoming Emerging Directors Awards


[Jess Felton]


Speaking of her promotion Jess said:


The shape of the Windmill Lane commercials team had changed dramatically in the last three years. We saw some heavy hitters in Windmill Lane decide to change their destinies (as many people did!) The ability to pivot and pivot fast when the pandemic hit has certainly stood to us. We have had to rebuild and recruit for a different market, a different world. It’s been fascinating seeing all the chess pieces being thrown up in the air and seeing where they fall. We have a really exciting team of creatives – old and new – and being able to introduce them to a very changed Dublin agency scene is very exciting. 


Creative Directors



Jess will be supported primarily by Head of Production Deborah Doherty as well as the teams in Editorial, Audio, VFX and Colour. Jess will be aiming to bring her experience and know-how to grow this long standing side of the business and promote talent to both new and existing clients. Key to that support are Windmill Lane’s Creative Directors – Donal O’Keeffe & Manus Goan. Fresh off their work on Glenhaven’s unique and visually arresting campaign Donal & Manus have an ambitious vision for Windmill Lane going forward. 


Over the last 12 years Donal has worked across Film, TV and Advertising. Having worked with global brands including; DAZN, Nike, Amazon, Virgin and FIFA. Donal’s wealth of experience, including a 12 year stint in the UK where he last worked for MPC, will prove crucial to Windmill Lane’s vision.


Windmill Lane Commercials is, for me, the perfect combination of skill, ambition and scale. We are a tight, extremely talented and highly motivated collective. It’s the story of modern day Ireland; with a very ambitious and experienced drive but also retaining a personable and friendly approach. Bringing experience from across the globe back to Dublin and reaffirming Windmill Lane’s gold standard in commercials and creative design. 


[Manus Goan]


The advertising world is dependent on many creative partnerships and, luckily for Windmill Lane, Manus Goan & Donal are a team that promises great things moving forward. Having honed his skills in New York City and working as Head of Creative at Windmill Lane since 2022 Manus has worked with clients including; Tesco, Deloitte, An Post and Pepsi.


Over the past year we have refreshed our creative department with Donal and Sarah (Gillick) joining the team and I am excited to continue to share our talent and expertise with our clients. We have been diligently working on growing our network of highly skilled and specialist freelance artists both here and abroad, in order to create bespoke teams that are perfectly suited for each client’s projects. This modular approach puts creativity at the forefront of our offerings and allows us to cover a broad range of styles and technologies to suit our client’s needs, says Manus. 


Youth and Experience


[Vita Mak]


A key building block of this new-look Commercials team arrived toward the end of 2022 when Windmill Lane managed to land the services of Vita Mak. Vita has worked with major accounts including; White Claw, Adidas and Denny. Speaking recently about the year ahead Vita says:


Before moving to New York – I had started my professional career in advertising with Huskies so to be back in Ireland working with this really talented team is exciting. It’s actually great to be part of the creative team after the recent rebuild – as I have the chance to put my stamp on Windmill Lane’s commercial vision early doors.


[Lee Hickey]


Vita may be a newbie but it’s not all new faces round the halls of 29 Herbert Street. Lee Hickey has been a senior commercials editor in Windmill Lane for over 15 years. His commercial work has been recognised with multiple ICAD and Shark awards for editing. In 2007, he edited New Boy which was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2009 Oscars. This is a very solid set of hands to have and fortunately the love Lee has for his craft has not abated over the years; 


As Jess has stated – this is a different market compared to the commercial world I started off in at Windmill Lane. But that’s a positive. New people and new thinking are essential to keep things fresh and interesting and this team has all the right attributes to continue to do really great work which is exactly the reason I wanted to work in Windmill Lane in the first place, says Lee.



[Renata Fitzpatrick & Sarah Gillick]

Rounding out the team will be Renata Fitzpatrick (Producer) and Sarah Gillick (2d Compositor and Creative).

Renata says; Our team brings a wealth of expertise to the table, whilst still remaining fresh and open to exploring new and innovative approaches to each project. We look forward to working with clients, old and new, to bring their creative visions to life.

Sarah says; It’s exciting to be part of this new vision for WML Creative moving forward, and to contribute ambitious and inspiring content to the Irish Creative scene.


Windmill Lane have made a number of key appointments recently – not just in commercials -, including Stephen Pepper in VFX, and spearheading this ambitious drive is their CEO Dave Quinn (recently featured in a Sunday Independent profile piece). Having been with the business since the 1980’s Dave has always had a love for commercials and was keen to share his excitement; 


“This iteration of our Commercial offering is definitely one of the strongest we’ve ever had. Jess is a fantastic choice to lead this great new team, and to produce and deliver excellent creative content to our Advertising clients.“


VFX Team: 

Audio Team:

Colour Team:

For more information visit: 


Written by Jason Gaffney

A New Hire 45 Years in the Making

Tom joined the Post Production studio last month from New York

There is certainly a full circle legacy to Tom Morris’s recent appointment as Sound Editor at Windmill Lane but let’s not hope that’s the end of this family story. Tom’s father, James Morris, and uncle, Tim Morris, have both worked for Windmill Lane (going back as far as 1978) and would both, no doubt, approve of his decision to join the growing post production studio based in Dublin, Ireland.

“I’m from Dublin originally where I received a BA in Jazz performance. I got my start in the audio post industry in Windmill Lane back in 2015 as an intern, and then moved to New York City. I worked at the audio post facility Heard City for six years, where I specialised in high-end commercial mixing/sound design. I worked on projects for clients like Google, Mercedes, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Bank of America.”

The fact that Tom worked as an Intern at Windmill Lane, before jetting off State-side, has a full circle to it. Having honed his craft working with major companies – he feels ready for the challenge.

“I will bring my international commercial experience to the audio team at Windmill, where I hope to make great connections with the agencies here and make a name for myself. I will also be working on some exciting long form projects, sound editing as well as mixing.”

When asked how it feels to be back at his “old stomping ground” Tom says “I’m thrilled to be back at Windmill Lane, the team and facilities here are amazing. It’s an exciting time for the industry and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in and meeting new people.”

CEO, Dave Quinn, is delighted with the company’s latest addition; “Our client base is global so having someone, such as Tom, on board is critical. He will bring a fresh perspective, new ideas and a wealth of experience to the table. Hopefully we can nurture his career and we are so excited to see what he does as Mixer / Sound Editor.”

To learn more about Tom – please visit his website here or touch base with Windmill Lane.


Written by Jason Gaffney

Donal O’Keeffe Joins Windmill Lane as Creative Director

Over the last 12 years Donal has worked across Film, TV and Advertising. His short Dead Ahead was chosen as a ‘Vimeo Staff Pick’ in 2017′. So who better to bring fresh impetus to Windmill Lane; “I hope to bring a new design perspective to the team at Windmill Lane and to add to their diverse range of talents”.

When asked about his career to date Donal states he has consistently looked to challenge himself and set new goals; “I graduated from Limerick School of

Art and Design in 2004 before completing a Masters in Film from UCD 2006. I then relocated to London in 2009 and over the past 12 years I moved from being a motion designer at ITV/ITN, to senior designer at Gramercy Park Studios in Soho and finally to become an art director and commercials director at MPC Advertising in 2016”.

A healthy studio is always growing and changing, challenging itself to do better and so with Donal joining the business – it provides a new sense of energy, experience and momentum. Established in 1978 Windmill Lane will celebrate 45 years of trading in 2023. However – appointing accomplished talent, such as Donal, marks their intention to evolve with market demands.

So what drove Donal’s decision to join Windmill Lane in March 2022? “My creative aim has always been to create clean and strong visuals that tell a story, to be original and bold, and finally to work with people that share my enthusiasm and ambition”.

Donal works continuously on personal projects to help focus his creative ideals and to fulfil his obsessive need to create. Should you wish to learn more, connect with Donal or just absorb his portfolio – regular updates can be found here on his Behance page; Donal O’Keeffe Behance 

In Conversation With…

Would you like a tea or coffee Ed?

Coffee please

Sit down and tell us about yourself…

I joined Windmill in 2022 as Head of Operations. Prior to arriving at Windmill I was lucky enough to fulfil a childhood dream and worked for almost 2 decades in the animation industry. I also teach animation production techniques in a local animation degree program.  I grew up consuming as much Movies, TV, and video games as I could get away with; everything from ‘Street Hawk’ to ‘Thundercats’, ‘The Goonies’ to ‘Road To Perdition’, ‘Duck Hunt’ to ‘Left for Dead’.  I can still occasionally be found watching cartoons and eating giant bowls of cereal while trying to convince my kids to rewatch all 7 seasons of ‘Hill Street Blues’.

Favourite TV theme tune?

Has to be either ‘Jayce and The Wheeled Warriors’ or ‘Magnum PI’.

Work you’re most proud of?

I try to bring energy to every project I’m involved in, but watching former students of mine embark on their careers and fulfil their potential is something I’m very proud to have contributed to.

Favourite joke?

Anybody who’s spent any length of time with me knows that I have a penchant for groan inducing dad jokes. One of my all time favourites is:

How do you organise a party in space? You Planet!

But… you can’t have a party in space.  There’s no atmosphere.

Favourite social channel?


Tip for anyone looking to work in film & tv?

Talent can only ever get you so far. Attitude, attention to detail, consistency and (sometimes) a thick skin are equally, if not more, valuable. Don’t take advice from me though, take some from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; “Be the hardest worker in the room”. 

What song should people listen to after reading this?

Colter Wall – The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie


Ed Smith IMDB

Ed Smith LinkedIn

Effie Awards 2021 to go ahead

Great to see the Effie Ireland Awards are going ahead this year. Effie is a global forum that exists to lead, inspire and champion both the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness.

The awards are open to all agencies and brands that want to be recognised for their most effective marketing efforts that made a difference and achieved real, measurable results.

After the inaugural awards were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, IAPI have announced that they will be officially launched on February 17 at an online event called How to Win an Effie.

The following day the awards will be open to enter, with the first entry deadline set for April 23. The second deadline will be May 21 while the third deadline will be June 18.

It is expected that the first round of judging will take place in early July with the second round scheduled to take place in early August. The awards themselves will take place on September 23.

ICAD Launches ‘The Best Of Us’ Exhibition, Dublin 3-5 December

ICAD has launched The Best Of Us, a unique exhibition using pioneering video projection along with interactive digital guides, to present the best of Irish advertising and design projected onto landmark Dublin buildings.

The event, which will be staged in association with Dublin City Council, Creative Ireland, JCDecaux Digishelters, The Business Post and Algorithm, will take place across Dublin city and online from December 3rd to 5th.

The exhibits consist of commended projects from over 600 submissions into the 2020 ICAD Awards, which were judged by a distinguished creative panel of national and international judges, with the results overseen and ratified by Nicky Doran, of Davy Stockbrokers.

The Best of Us exhibition will bring life, colour and animation to the city centre with some stunning work included in the selections. And its outdoor staging ensures this high-profile exhibition can be viewed by thousands, yet be completely compliant with official COVID-safety guidelines.

Never be afraid to be a Poppy…?

How many of these have you spotted? This little cutie is Poppy, created by our own Manus Goan for Rothco for Tesco’s sponsorship of The Big Big Movie on RTÉ. Manus created Poppy using 3D animation, with Mick Creedon adding his audio expertise to the sound mix. They created a series of weekly stings that feature Poppy in various comical scenarios as he accidentally pops, transforming from a cute little popcorn kernel into a surprised popcorn.


CG Artist and Animation: Manus Goan
Sound Design, Mix and VO: Mick Creedon
Post Producer: Talma O’Sullivan
Audio Post Producer: Renata Fitzpatrick Sheridan
Music Composition: Folding Waves