Matt Branton on Color Grading Animated Series Kizazi Moto

Written by Jason Gaffney

[Read Time – 7 mins]


Having worked with Windmill Lane for over 16 years Matt Branton has an enviable portfolio of work across film, tv, commercials & animation. Recently Matt handled the color grading on the Disney+ animated series Kizazi Moto

This animated anthology, by animation studio Triggerfish, brings together a new wave of animation stars to take you on a wildly entertaining ride into Africa’s future. Inspired by the continent’s diverse histories and cultures, these action-packed sci-fi and fantasy stories present bold visions of advanced technology, aliens, spirits and monsters imagined from uniquely African perspectives.



The Art of Animation


Having worked on a variety of both live-action and animated projects in his career, Matt is well aware of the different requirements and expectations when it comes to grading animation.

Generally with animation, it would be quite rare to be involved in the creative side of things, we would usually be brought in at the end to tidy a few loose ends and provide a technical pass, basically the final polish in order to get the best out of the images. With live-action, there is much more emphasis on creating a look as well as dealing with real world variables… the kind of thing you don’t have to worry about with animation,” he comments. 

In his experience there are aspects of animation that allow for more fidelity. “There’s also the option with animation to be a lot more precise with the grading. If required, we can access any element in the image and adjust it accordingly using matte channels, something you often don’t have the luxury of with live-action images.



Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire


Following his work on My Little Pony: A New Generation & more recently El Deafo, Matt was excited to be approached by the Disney+ team to help with the grade. For this animation project, he was brought in early in the process and was willing to support the team with both creative and technical advice.

I was brought in quite early in the project, before the animation got underway, I was introduced to the directors and had a chat about their vision for their episodes, as well as discussing what was achievable in the grade. A lot of them hadn’t really attended grade sessions before as their main experience was in animation. When I actually started work on the episodes it was close to the end of the project, as it is in pretty much all projects, so it was familiar in that regard.” says Matt. 

Matt wanted to be granular with his ability to assist in final grade and together with the directors began adjusting the look and feel as, creatively, they all became more comfortable with the series, the characters and the narrative. 

Originally the main criteria for the grade was to provide a technical pass and deal with texture elements, such as film grain, diffusion etc. Pretty much across the board, the directors were keen to lose the crisp digital feel that animation can bring. We tried many ways to achieve this, using a mixture of grading techniques, film grain, diffusion and chromatic aberration in various combinations.” says Matt.

He elaborates “As the project went on and the creatives got more familiar with the grade sessions, we started to see what was possible with the look. I used a lot of secondary grades, character mattes and a bit of roto here and there in order to make sure the viewer’s attention is drawn to the most important action in each shot.



Technical Challenges


Inspired by the continent’s diverse histories and cultures these stories present bold visions of a future Africa. The ambition and scale of the project had to be matched in the grade and this brought about some challenges that were wholly embraced by Matt.

I think the main technical challenge was the fact that it was an anthology series, with different directors, animation houses, workflows, colour pipelines, naming conventions…pretty much each episode was completely unique. Some episodes were 2D animation, some were 3D, some hybrid, some were more technically robust than others….logistically it was a real challenge, as all the episodes were pretty much happening in close proximity to one another. There were lots of shots being sent for different episodes at the same time, so keeping on top of all the different versions was difficult.” says Matt. 

He explains further “From a grading point of view, the main challenges were shot fixing. Some episodes were more time-sensitive than others, and often it wasn’t possible to go back to get some shots amended or fixed. There was quite a lot of compositing, blending and layering work done to help with this as much as I could, in addition to the colour grade work.





Windmill Lane recently upgraded their existing Baselight TWO systems and added FLUX Store which Matt is quick to point to the flexibility and ease that this brought about for him as an artist. 

He says “With all the multiple workflows and colour pipelines in play, we were able to lean very heavily on the incredibly flexible colour management within Baselight. Regardless of the input, we were able to move everything into a unified ACES pipeline with ease, which not only helped with the grade process, but also helped massively with our deliverables at the end of the project.



Grade & Sound 


It’s always interesting to understand how artists work-through the process. Some like silence but some may require sound/music to concentrate on their craft. Matt prefers to immerse himself in the project and explains how; “My process generally would be to work only with the temp audio track for the sequence, rather than background music or even silence. I find I work best when I can immerse myself into the project. I’d then do a couple of reviews with the audio and also with silence. This project was different though as it was a live stream session, so I had a video call open the whole time.



Texture & Aesthetic 


A ringing endorsement of how Disney+ and their artists work was the surprising (according to Matt) level of his input that was welcomed throughout the creative process. 

Matt explains “I was allowed a great deal of input into the project, much more than I was expecting actually! Very early on I made the decision to treat the project as I would a live-action project, especially as the overall aesthetic was to be as organic as possible. Wherever possible I would actively avoid using supplied alpha/matte channels, and try and problem solve as I would a live-action project. The intention being that things would be ever so slightly rough around the edges, and overall not so perfectly crisp. This worked really well underneath the texture we applied to the pictures.



This openness and allowed freedom to express himself in the grade meant the “challenges” were what Matt enjoyed the most. “The variety of styles, workflows and ideas was absolutely the biggest challenge, but this also ended up being the thing that I enjoyed the most. It meant there were no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions to any of it. If all the episodes were more uniform in their approach, it might have made my job much easier, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good.


[Matt Branton]


Windmill Lane future-proofs colour pipeline with FilmLight’s FLUX Store


[Windmill Lane Baselight grading suite]

[Read Time – 2 mins]


Ireland’s leading facility upgrades existing Baselight TWO systems and adds FLUX Store for improved workflow, optimised speed and extra security.


Ireland’s leading picture and sound post-production, VFX and content creation studio, Windmill Lane, has installed a new FLUX Store 360 and upgraded its existing pair of Baselight TWO systems, allowing it to keep up to date with new technologies and workflows while improving the colour team’s connectivity, speed and performance.


Windmill Lane, which has been operating on Baselight for 14 years, has been looking to future-proof the colour department and update their network for some time. The Baselight TWO upgrade and new FLUX Store have provided immediate workflow benefits as well as the option to further expand in the future.


FLUX Store is FilmLight’s fast and highly cost-effective networked post-production storage server which utilises the high-bandwidth internal disk system and cloud network infrastructure developed for Baselight. It can be deployed as easily as general storage, whilst providing a solution that is purpose-designed and industry proven for streaming high-resolution media.


“In order to keep up with new technology and maximise workflows, we needed a better solution,” comments Matt Branton, colourist at Windmill Lane. “FLUX Store ticked every box for us in terms of performance and connectivity and it allows us to simplify our work in the colour department. Being able to share jobs, deal with growing data demands, access more media and formats all in one place, were things we were not previously able to achieve, and this has made a huge difference to us.”

“The FLUX Store definitely brings raw power, but also allows us to assign render tasks without interrupting the grade,” adds Branton. “There are countless times we get asked to do a specific output of a TV episode while we’re in the middle of a grade session. Previously we would have to down tools to do it, but the FLUX Store handles this task, rather than Baselight itself, so we’re able to continue doing what we do best – focus on creativity!”


For Windmill Lane, another benefit of FLUX Store is its position in the company workflow. Primarily, they plan to use it as storage for grading projects, but it will evolve over time to act as central storage for specific jobs – especially those that require high performance, such as 4K HDR shows – allowing other users to access the media.


“The online editor will be able to finish shows directly from our exports, or our delivery department can create IMFs, DCPs or other deliverables, without the need to copy media to another server,” says Branton.


[Matt Branton of Senior Colourist at Windmill Lane]


The FLUX Store network capabilities will also allow Windmill Lane to upgrade their storage options in the future. “As we all know, too much storage is never enough, so it’s good to know FLUX Store is easily expandable with an expansion chassis,” Branton adds.


FLUX Store now operates as Windmill Lane’s main storage so they no longer require local disk storage and have also switched to using the Baselight TWO system’s NVMe cache, for extra speed and security.


“Head of Colour, Dave Hughes, and I have been using Baselight for over 14 years now. It was important to us that we utilised these systems for as long as possible and it’s a testament to the product that they have such longevity,” comments Branton. “Having the new systems has really unlocked a lot of speed, allowing us to take full advantage of the tools available. The latest operating system also helps our workflow, as well as enhancing our system security.”


This latest addition means Windmill Lane is now running two Baselight TWO systems, a FLUX Store 360, Baselight CONFORM and Daylight.


Baselight is simply the best system out there,” concludes Branton. “All grading systems or software do the same thing up to a certain point, but when you need to find the extra gear – be that speed, workflow, flexibility – Baselight is the most suitable option. Personally, I find the colour space handling is far superior to anything else out there, and the Base Grade tool is unparalleled.”


Recent projects include episodic series for Disney+ (Kizazi Moto) and RTE/AMC+ (Kin), alongside two feature films and various commercial projects.


Watch Windmill Lane’s Colour Reel for 2023 below:


Spotlight: Fionán Higgins – Head of Audio for Film & TV at Windmill Lane


Interview by Jason Gaffney

[Read Time – 4 mins]


Fionán Higgins was recently appointed Head of Audio – Film & TV for Windmill Lane. With the company investing in talent and facilities (see the recent unveiling of Studio 1 with Dolby Atmos) – I thought this would be a good time to sit down and discuss; career learnings, advancing audio technology & inspiration.


Tell me how you began your career in Audio.


As is typical of a lot of people working in sound – a love of music was my gateway into the world of audio. I was in bands as a teenager and had the opportunity to record in RTÉ and fell in love with the feel of the studio, the lighting, the silence, the mixing desks. I knew exactly what I wanted to do from that moment on. Cut to me not getting into a sound engineering degree course in Salford University and doing a 4 year long arts degree in UCD majoring in English and Philosophy.


Still wanting to have a career in sound engineering I did a part time course in the sound training center and then applied for a masters in Music technology in Queens University Belfast. They said no until I had some computer programming experience so I did a Fás course in C++ programming and then eventually got onto the Masters course which was a dream come true. After the Masters I got an assistant job in a music mastering studio in Dublin called Digital Pigeon and then eventually fell into Film and TV work.


[Fionán, with his son Tom, graduating from TU Dublin / Post-Grad Diploma in Creative Leadership]


What is it that keeps you most engaged in your work?


I really love helping great directors realize the potential of their projects while bringing something unique to a project and in the process exceeding all expectations.



What’s the biggest project you’ve worked on in your career and what were your key learnings? 


The scope of Lance Dalys Black ’47 was huge and as a sound project presented many challenges. The guns, the horses and the period setting all meant every sound used had to be unique and appropriate to the time. One way I approached this was by spending time recording all the guns used in the film. It was one aspect of the project that really made a difference and proved to be very successful.


[Black ’47]


What’s the most challenging film or TV show that you can think of? 


The most recent example would be a scene from Kin Season 2 which was shot in an amusement arcade with a lot of noisy pinball machines which meant we had to re-record all the dialog due to the noise of the machines. We also contacted the Pinball machine manufacturer to get permission to use the correct sounds for the pinball machine the character is playing in the scene. The manufacturers eventually sent us all the thousands of sounds that are used in a pinball machine and the scene turned out wonderfully.


The Siege of Jadotville was the first Netflix original film that I had worked on. Initially I was the dialog editor on the project but a change of personnel meant I took the reigns as sound supervisor close to the mixing stage. It was also very sound heavy film with the guns, vehicles and a huge amount of soldiers involved.


[Aidan Gillen and Keith McErlean – Kin]


Are there any recent technological advancements that you have been impressed with and that elevate your work?


We recently installed Dolby Atmos capabilities in Studio 1 and I’ve been impressed with the level of immersion and detail you can achieve.


Some of the new Ai coming through to deal with noise reduction for problematic dialog has been really impressive. Applications like Descript give you the opportunity to save original performances without the need to bring an actor into a studio to re-record the line which saves time, money and also keeps the original intention of the on-set performance – which is hugely important to the story telling.



[Windmill Lane’s Studio 1]


Are there any films/ TV shows that inspire your work and help influence projects you’re working on?


Films like Barton Fink, Delicatessan, Betty Blue, Paris Texas, Down by Law, Apocalypse Now were my introduction into quality filmmaking when I was younger. They have influenced my expectations of what I work on from day to day.


Of the current crop of films out there I’m really looking forward to seeing Dune 2. I was very impressed with the sound work on Denis Villeneuves first Dune. It will be interesting to see how they develop the sound for this second instalment.


In your opinion – what are Windmill Lane’s unique selling points when it comes to managing Post-Production?


The people in Windmill Lane – Creatives and Production crew are the life blood. There is an inspiring commitment to doing the best job possible which is the reason we all turn up every day.


[Windmill Lane Team]

Finally – what do you do in your spare time to relax? 


I recently went back to playing piano having played it as a kid so I’m on grade 7 now and spend a lot of spare time practicing. I also like to run and have run a few marathons and hope to make it to the starting line of the Dublin marathon in October. I also make music in my home studio mainly for my own amusement but with the hope of making something I’d be happy to play to someone that’s not myself.


KIN – RTÉ’s Epic Crime Drama Setting A New Standard for Irish Filmmaking


[Amanda Kinsella played by Clare Dunne]

Written by Jason Gaffney

[Read Time – 8 mins]

As Season 2 of KIN continues to build a head of steam on RTÉ One – I sat down with its writer and showrunner – Peter McKenna – and Windmill Lane’s Post Production team to discuss how this massively successful series was brought to life. Full Post-Production on KIN was provided by Windmill Lane, including VFX, and the shows success bodes well for a continued partnership.


The fast rate with which content is consumed these days mean it can be difficult to appreciate the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Having worked across Film & TV for nearly 15 years I have seen the craft, time, dedication & passion that exists behind the lens and was keen to use KIN’s current success as an opportunity to examine the finer details that allow a series of this magnitude to beam into our living rooms every Sunday evening.


Episode 4 marked the halfway point with viewings figures proving more impressive by the week. With Bren continuing to undermine Amanda’s power, and the Gardai focusing their attention on her operations, Amanda is really feeling the pressure. And all that is before she discovers the personal and professional betrayals being conducted against her. I started my analysis of KIN‘s production by speaking with Peter McKenna about his approach to writing Season 2 & his evolving writing style.


You spoke with RTÉ recently about “the importance of allowing the story to unfold as it was written” (read here). In your opinion – what benefit does the audience get from this type of storytelling?


Well there is always a question over your own opinion vs what the audience expects. I am getting better at accepting audience reaction. But writing for KIN – I had the full support and trust of everyone involved which allowed me to be more emotional and character focused. I wanted to express the feelings of each character. I want the audience to enjoy spending time with these people in the same way that I did writing them. I love shows because I love characters. I hope this is what resonates with viewers.


Have you always had this approach or has your writing evolved?


I haven’t always been like this, no. Taking a step back – I learned a lot from screenwriting books and after my time at the BBC Writers Academy (which was like going back to college) I began to think more about structure, became more confident and now write in a way that, hopefully, feels more natural and surprising rather than following a taught structure.


[Peter McKenna]

You have done Post with Windmill Lane on 2 x seasons. How has that partnership been?


I particularly enjoyed making Season 2 as Season 1 was online due to Covid. This time around I was able to go in, sit in on edits and collaborate. For example I got to spend time with Dermot Diskin (Editor) and Eoin McGuirk (Editor) which was a much better experience and interactive. And whether it was Sound or Grading (which was done by the Windmill Lane team) – being face to face meant it was smooth.


Speaking of the Grade – I thought it would be useful to chat with Matt Branton (Colourist on both seasons of KIN) at this point to gain some insight into how the look & feel was achieved while also questioning how it was working within Peter’s urban landscape once more;


Grading a second season of a drama definitely has its advantages. The general look, and many of the locations, are already established so there’s less of a conversation about these things. James Mather (DOP) and I worked on both seasons so there was already a shorthand as to how to approach most scenes.


In terms of the look, the world it lives in is quite paired back and muted. Particular attention is paid to actor skintones and reducing unwanted pops of colour or luminance in shot. The show is very character driven rather than environment driven, and so all elements of the look (lighting, production design, grade etc.) is all geared towards connecting with the characters, says Matt.


[Anthony Kinsella (Mark McKenna), Jimmy (Emmett J Scanlan), Bren (Francis McGee) and Viking (Sam Keeley)]

Returning to Peter I ask whether he has a preferred stage of filmmaking?


It has changed. I have always enjoyed writing, you know? The only limits are your imagination and you can go in with so much hope that gets you through the process. There is unlimited possibility. However during that process there can be compromises which I find tough. But I now love Post Production. Maybe that is because this (Season 2) was so conflict free. Myself and Emma Fleischer (Creative Producer at BRON Studios) were overseeing the Post creative and there was no drama.


What can people expect from the second half of season 2?


The tiny details that the first half include come to fruition and pay off. There are big consequences. The heat is building and Bren (played by Francis Magee) is the flame. I would even say that Episodes 5-8 (Season 2) are my favourite across both seasons.


Following the Irish film industries recent success on the global stage and the hard work that is being done domestically to develop a more sustainable filmmaking infrastructure long-term (namely studio space construction) Windmill Lane take a lot of pride in their work for award winning KIN which showcases incredible Irish talent and maintains a production quality that is world standard.

Therefore I wanted to chat with some key members of (Windmill Lane) staff to get their two cents on the project and how they found working with Peter and the team once more.



[Aaron Carroll – Head Producer Film/TV at Windmill Lane]


Post Production Supervisor, Aaron Carroll, shared his experience working on this globally loved TV series;


Getting to work on Kin Season 2, alongside some fantastic directors (Felix ThompsonChristine MolloyJoseph Lawlor, and Kate Dolan) and the executive producer duo of Peter McKenna and Emma Fleischer has been an incredible experience from start to finish. Every day brought an opportunity to gain new experiences and contribute to this incredible show. I couldn’t be prouder of the Windmill Lane team and the work they put in – to continue the brilliance of season 1 and bring the show to new heights.


George Lucas famously said that “sound is 50% of the movie-going experience”. Luckily for Windmill Lane the sound and audio was being managed by Fionán Higgins and Mark Henry who previously worked on Season 1. Fionán shares his experience;


We welcomed the challenge of working on Season 2 of KIN with open ears. The Kinsella’s are out and about in the city a lot more this year so our sonic palette was more varied and gave us a chance to use our extensive collection of recordings of Dublin and beyond.


Mark Henry & Fionan Higgins

[Fionán Higgins & Mark Henry]


Fionán is one of Ireland’s most experienced Sound artists for feature, drama and animation audio having recently been promoted to Head of Audio – Film/TV. The same can be said for Henry, who is one of Windmill Lane’s most senior Sound Mixers across Film/TV, Documentary and Advertising work. Together they boast more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. Higgins has been IFTA award-nominated four times, while Henry has been nominated for an IFTA three times; he won the award for Best Sound for Television in both 2013 and 2015, as well as an ICAD for best Sound Design in 2019.


Another recent promotion within Windmill Lane saw Martin Fanning become Head of Editorial. Martin was recently featured in Assembled Magazine, in association with Irish Screen Editors, where he discussed his career to date and his vision heading editorial. Having edited season 1 and 2 of KIN – Martin discussed how being a fan of the show helped influence his work:


I had worked on Season 1 and was a big fan so was excited to see what Season 2 would bring. During filming, the Edit team gets to work on new scenes each day and a huge part of what I love with this job is seeing actors like Clare Dunne and Charlie Cox perform a scene 10 different ways, with subtle nuances each time but it never takes away from the enjoyment of watching the finished episode and seeing how the audience react and respond to the story. 


[Charlie Cox & Clare Dunne]


So there you have it. An Irish TV show with awards, an A-list cast, a driven production team, endless world building scope – as well as an engaged Irish audience hungry for more. Both families (Kinsella’s and KIN production crew) have endeared themselves and laid down roots that will be hard to severe. It has set the standard for Irish TV drama and laid a marker that will no doubt be chased – by an industry reaching new heights by the year. 


Below – you can check out our full credit listing plus a tantalizing promo trailer for what lies ahead in the second series. Keep a sharp eye on Windmill Lane’s social media channels and website ‘news section’ for more interviews, promo & show information!


Windmill Lane Twitter

Windmill Lane LinkedIn

Windmill Lane Facebook

Windmill Lane Instagram


Windmill Lane Production Partners:

 BRON Studios

 Metropolitan Films

 Headline Pictures


 Screen Ireland





Windmill Lane / KIN – Season 2 Credits:


Head of Production

Deborah Doherty

Post Production Supervisor

Aaron Carroll

Assistant Editors

Caleb Slane-Long

Martin Fanning

Seán Maher


Matt Branton

Online Editor

Robbie O’Farrell

Sound Supervisor

Fionán Higgins

Sound Effects Editor

Kevin Hortigüela

Dialogue Editor

Michelle McCormack

Re-recording Mixer

Mark Henry

VFX Supervisor

John Kennedy

VFX Producer

Louise Ní’Chonchuir

VFX Production Assistant

Abby Greene

Comp Supervisor

Stephen Pepper

Comp Leads

Serge Velki

Gareth Armstrong

VFX compositors

Alan Foley

Dan Cullen

Basim Ahmed

David Purcell

Matias Merino

Joe Geaney

Tony McFadden

Aisling Smith

Aidan O’Leary

KIN Season 2 goes to air on RTÉ




In the wake of Eamon Cunningham’s death, the Kinsella family is thriving. However a new threat rears its head when members of a Turkish cartel inform the Kinsellas that Eamon owed them sizable debt – and since they killed him, the debt is now theirs. Elsewhere, Viking is released from prison intent on making trouble, Amanda suffers a personal tragedy, and a looming presence from inside the family returns.


The Windmill Lane team have been working hard on KIN – Season 2 and are so delighted to see this fantastic crime drama reach Irish TV screens on RTÉ One this month!


Post Production Supervisor, Aaron Carroll, shared his experience working on this globally loved TV series;


Getting to work on Kin Season 2, alongside some fantastic directors (Felix Thompson, Christine Molloy, Joseph Lawlor, and Kate Dolan) and the executive producer duo of Peter McKenna and Emma Fleischer has been an incredible experience from start to finish. Every day brought an opportunity to gain new experiences and contribute to this incredible show. I couldn’t be prouder of the Windmill Lane team and the work they put in – to continue the brilliance of season 1 and bring the show to new heights.


Below – you can check out our full credit listing plus a tantalizing promo trailer for what lies ahead in the second series. Keep a sharp eye on Windmill Lane’s social media channels and website ‘news section’ for more interviews, promo & show information!



Windmill Lane Production Partners:

  • BRON Studios

  • Metropolitan Films

  • Headline Pictures

  • RTÉ

  • Screen Ireland

  • BAI

  • AMC+

Windmill Lane / KIN – Season 2 Credits


Post Production Supervisor

Aaron Carroll

Assistant Editors

Caleb Slane-Long

Martin Fanning

Seán Maher


Matt Branton

Online Editor

Robbie O’Farrell

Sound Supervisor

Fionán Higgins

Sound Effects Editor

Kevin Hortigüela

Dialogue Editor

Michelle McCormack

Re-recording Mixer

Mark Henry

VFX Supervisor

John Kennedy

VFX Producer

Louise Ní’Chonchuir

VFX Production Assistant

Abby Greene

Comp Supervisor

Stephen Pepper

Comp Leads

Serge Velki

Gareth Armstrong

VFX compositors

Alan Foley

Dan Cullen

Basim Ahmed

David Purcell

Matias Merino

Joe Geaney

Tony McFadden

Aisling Smith

Aidan O’Leary


Windmill Lane Unveils New Audio Studio


Windmill Lane Dublin, Ireland has unveiled major upgrades to its world class multi-room audio facility, including the installation of Dolby Atmos – a revolutionary spatial audio technology providing the most immersive sound experience. The new studios, featuring Avid and Genelec equipment installed by Big Bear, ensure Windmill Lane will continue to operate at the highest standard of post-production.


Trading since 1978 in Ireland – Windmill Lane encompasses a number of creative production entities including; Commercials, Film, TV, VFX and Animation. New consoles have been integrated into two state-of-the-art mixing rooms designed to support Windmill Lanes audio post-production services. Studio 1 is fitted with a new Genelec speaker system for Dolby Atmos immersive mixing.


Mick Creedon – Head of Audio at Windmill Lane – spoke of his delight with this investment & upgrade;

We have just completed a full re-fit of all 5 surround studios. We look forward to immersing ourselves in all things ‘Dolby Atmos’. We have also fitted out all our voice booths & studios with cameras for the increased demands on our ADR work from all corners of the world. We have a busy run to the end of 2022 with the return of Smother and series 2 of KIN, alongside a busy slate of documentaries and a beautiful animation project for Disney.”

We have a couple of new faces in Audio too. Tom Morris joins us from a seven year run of TV commercials in New York and Michelle McCormac brings a wealth of experience to Windmill in dialogue and FX editing! So we look forward to the year-end and into 2023 and beyond with our upgraded studios!”


[Windmill Lane’s Studio 1 under construction]

Having recently gone to press discussing Windmill Lanes global ambition in VFX CEO Dave Quinn felt it imperative to invest in-house and is excited about what this investment means for the business moving forward.

We are accelerating investment in innovation to deliver new gains in artistry and output for creators across all our key sectors; VFX, Film, TV, Animation and Commercials. As leaders in the Irish market we aim to heighten artistic potential, empower our staff and enhance their productivity. This will mean better results for our clients.

We spoke with Michael Browne, Managing Director of Big Bear Sound, on what this installation means for Windmill Lane. Having built his own recording studio over 10 years ago Michael is fascinated by the latest advancements in sound technology and has established Big Bear as one of Ireland’s leading professional audio services company.

The modern obsession with content means Windmill Lane have to be kitted to the highest level if they wish to compete globally. This Avid equipment will improve speed, efficiency, workflow and delivery for the business” says Michael.

On a technical level – I was curious to understand what this means day to day. Michael explains;

We have created a compatibility across all Windmill Lane studios so an engineer can move from one studio to another and work with the same equipment. You’ve now got a Dolby Atmos, Genelec monitoring system in Studio 1, 11 speakers and a sub-woofer. It’s a far more immersive experience. Plug ins are the same across all studios so the workflow is essentially the same.”


[Mick Creedon – Head of Audio]

Windmill Lane have developed an impressive slate of new and growing business with clients globally such as HBO, Netflix, AMC, Sky, BBC, Paramount and more. With a mission statement of ‘Making Great Stories’ it’s crucial that the business works with technology that is cutting edge, innovative and collaborative. Luckily Avid’s mission is to ‘empower media creators with innovative technology solutions to entertain, inform, educate and enlighten the world’ which means their desire to empower creators fits in with Windmill Lane’s long-term objectives.

Francois Quereuil, Avid’s VP of Audio Product Management put aside some time to discuss this partnership.

“It’s long been Avid’s privilege to support such an iconic brand as Windmill Lane by providing the essential tools used on their outstanding creative work for marquee clientele across film and TV. Their recent technical upgrades and innovations set the stage for increasingly powerful and dynamic storytelling—and we’re thrilled to be a part of this exciting future.”


Mark Henry & Fionan Higgins

[Fionan Higgins & Mark Henry]

I spoke with Tom Morris, Sound Editor, who explained how this investment will impact his day to day.

Our new Dolby Atmos mixing studio brings state of the art surround sound capabilities to Windmill. The comprehensive 12 speaker setup creates height and depth, delivering a truly immersive, three-dimensional mix”.

Mark Henry – Senior Mixer – was also kind enough to offer some insight;

We’re already feeling the benefits of our new system while we complete mixing on Smother Season 3 for RTE and BBC. Workflows have been streamlined allowing us more time to get creative in the mix. Exporting of files for remote approval has never been quicker and easier which is so helpful post Covid as we’re all adjusting to newer and more efficient ways of working.”

We’re really excited about starting Season 2 of Kin for RTE and AMC shortly.

Our newly upgraded ADR/VO booths with dedicated lipstick cams and Zoom feeds for the talent make it easier to run remote sessions and we’ve already ran ADR and animation record sessions for an impressive roster of clients including HBO, Netflix and Paramount.”


ADR Booth

[ADR Booth at Windmill Lane]


For more information please click here


Written by Jason Gaffney

One Way still image

Andrew Baird discusses his new film One Way


2 September 2022 see’s the release of Andrew Baird’s (Zone 414) One Way. One Way follows Freddy (Colson “Machine Gun Kelly”) Baker who’s on the run with a bag full of cash and drugs after stealing from his boss (Drea de Matteo). Slipping onto a bus, with his enemies in pursuit, Freddy turns to his father (Kevin Bacon) while also seeking redemption from his loved ones. With a script from Ben Conway – the film also stars Travis Fimmel (Vikings) and Strom Reid (Euphoria).

Ahead of the films release Jason Gaffney, Marketing Manager for Windmill Lane, caught up with Andrew Baird and Tobia Sempi (DOP) & Windmill Lane’s Matt Branton (Colourist) to discuss the films themes, technical construction and fascinating casting.

colson baker and kevin bacon


How did One Way come about?

I was in Belfast shooting Zone 414 in January 2020. Tim Palmer and Ben Conway had met each other in LA and eventually the script came my way but was, at that time, set in Ireland and was about a kid on the run between Dublin and Galway. I reached out to Martin Brennan and said that I think it could work but set in the States. I felt there was a bigger picture there. Within a day I had been sent the script. I loved it, sent it to Travis Fimmel who showed an interest. We then sent the script to Colson (who I felt was perfect for Freddy), he read it in 45 minutes on a plane and was in. Its really rare for things to proceed as quickly and seamlessly as this but there was a fate about it.


Was it challenging to get this movie off the ground?

The film is super contained which can be a worry to some sales teams in distributing the film but also in financing. Therefore it was imperative that we assembled a cast that were right for the roles but were seasoned and familiar. With Colson, Kevin, Travis, Storm and Drea – we achieved this. And again, with the film being so contained – the challenge for me and Ben was to open the film up to include locations and characters and place Colson, and his story, within a wider context.


The film is almost exclusively set at night. Was this a conscious decision early in the process?

The film was very vérité in that it was an observational, handheld approach to filming and I had this desire to shoot a noir so setting it at night-time inspires you to think more about lighting, setting etc. We initially reached out to Hi-Res in Dublin who helped with research and realized that with LED you need to keep the camera static otherwise you have to spend a fortune in post. The form and style in this movie allowed me to be more experimental throughout the process – much more so than with Zone 414.


one way


[Tobia Sempi] The film appears to be mostly shot at night. How challenging was this in terms of ensuring the performers shine through the dark but also in post-production? Any unique techniques used to achieve the visual quality?

We would light the space and give the actors complete freedom to do what they want in it and we would run very long takes with free flowing handheld cameras reacting to what the actors do. This approach makes it feel authentic but it also helps editorial – giving lots of shots to choose from. We decided to shoot with the Sony Venice as its very sensitive to low light with Hawk anamorphic lenses. We wanted the shallow depth of field to highlight the increasingly delirious state Freddy is in, so we shot most of the film wide open. This was very challenging for our ACs who did a terrific job keeping it all in focus with cameras constantly moving and with no set marks.


Another challenge is that its set on a bus which is a very tight space to work, especially with 2 camera teams plus the actors, and we couldnt drive it for real because of the short schedule. We rigged lots of built in LED (with my grip and lighting team) that we could then control during the shoot from an iPad. That made our shooting very efficient. We did some testing during prep and decided on a look and built a LUT we used for the shoot. I tried to get the dailies as close to what we wanted our finished look to be. That way everybody involved in the post could ‘feel’ our vision.


We had a sort of unconventional color grading schedule that actually was very helpful. We did a session, for a week, with colorist Matt Branton where we tweaked and went through the film to get it where we wanted it to be. Then we had a break of a few months (for some tweaks). Then we did another session (for another week) where we could really dive in to details. That was actually great as we all watched the film with fresh eyes after the break. Matt did a great job and brought lots of creative ideas that brought the film to another level.

[Matt Branton / Windmill Lane Colourist] discusses the grade to support Tobia’s technical perspective.

It’s always a challenge grading night time scenes, and the large majority of the film was shot at night! Pretty much shot entirely on a moving bus, the lighting and camerawork was very dynamic and kinetic, so there are plenty of times when it can go from 100 to zero in terms of light level. This gives and takes in equal measure. This type of lighting can hide plenty of flaws, but can also prove a problem. For example – if we really need to see a key piece of dialogue which is slightly out of time with the light. This happened a few times but thankfully Baselight‘s tools were powerful enough to make this much less of a problem.

In terms of the style of grade, the narrative really lent itself to a rough and ready style grade. It’s not pretty, but it’s really not meant to be. The strong lighting pretty much dictated the colour, and most of my job was to control it, rather than create or force it. We really leant into the noise and grain, not only that was naturally there in camera, but added here and there also for effect. Also, we decided to not go too high contrast, it really didn’t suit the film, and lots of key performance and dialogue would have been lost to darkness. We really wanted to let the performances shine, and I think we really helped this with the work we did in the grade.

one wa


Critics are raving about Storm Reid’s performance. Can you tell us what it was like to work with her?

Storm is a powerhouse of a talent. It was my producer, Martin Brennan, who suggested Storm and he got it spot on. She is such a pro and her calming presence on-set tells you everything – as she was only 17 when we shot this movie. Interestingly enough – Storm was a strong influence on Colson (on set) and helped him settle into his role. I think she has a huge future.


Colson Baker is a global superstar. How did you find working with him?

Colson had just done a brilliant performance on Saturday Night Live, left the studio and was on a flight to Thomasville Atlanta to start shooting. And when he arrived we had not done a read-through or rehearsal, he was super jet lagged, was trying to figure out his wardrobe and a day later he is sitting on this bus and carrying a movie. So it speaks volumes for his dedication to the project. He loved the script and came on board almost right away. Once we had Colson, Travis and then Kevin Bacon that was our ticket to financing the film.


How was it working with Windmill Lane?

I love Windmill Lane. I have faith in the people that work with Windmill Lane and, critically, have confidence that my work will be produced to the highest quality. And I’m not talking in Ireland – I am talking globally. It really is a world class company. It was Tim Morris who convinced me to do it all through camera. And I was working with my DP Tobias and once we made the decision to shoot at night time – we shot with the Sony Venice and knew that through working with Matt Branton – we would be able to achieve the aesthetic we had envisioned. The movie was remade again with the sound design and music in Number 4. The movie is hugely dependent on sound so having this expertise in place elevated the bus journey and made it more real.


one way still


As a director – you are well know for connecting with your cast. Is this a priority for you?

For some reason I do have a skill of casting and dealing with actors one-to-one. I don’t believe in just ‘name casting’. I need to feel like they ‘are’ the characters otherwise it won’t stand up. Actors are sensitive and you need to understand that. In fact – the very first movie I made in IADT I was doing a fantasy with a good cast but I started treating them like furniture. And that’s bad. And I remember the cameraman – Fionn Commerford – said to me “you better be careful or you’ll lose your actors treating them this way”. And that was it. I have kept that with me since. You have to make them feel safe and valued. I love actors and I love working with them.


What type of experience do you hope viewers will have with One Way?

The primary aim is to entertain and engage. And that’s what a film like One Way does. It’s an intense wild ride about a dude who is trying to make up for a life of mistakes. It’s a catharsis. There is also an underlying Irish religious theme what with the blood, the punishment and the pain and almost like the stations of cross. Freddy is almost on the Jesus journey. The Catholicism is similar to what Scorsese would reference – he has informed some of my work. There is also a redemptive element to it in that Freddy has come from nothing but still has time to make things right and that is a positive angle for viewers to connect with.


Check out the latest trailer plus ticket information here: One Way Trailer & Info

Written by Jason Gaffney

Netflix and Windmill Lane

25 Years of Netflix


On August 29, 2022 Netflix will celebrate 25 years since its foundation. It’s fair to say that Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings partnership changed the Film and TV landscape forever. Having partnered with Netflix over the years we thought it fitting to celebrate our favourite Netflix originals from the last 25 years – as chosen by some of our team. We hope you enjoy!


Matt Branton / Senior Colourist

Matt Branton


Choice? Da 5 Bloods.

Why? The story is told with such charisma, I love how it effortlessly moves between the past, present and intertwined historical archive, it’s all so well handled.


Dave Quinn / CEO

Dave Quinn

Choice? The White Tiger.

Why? Because it sure ain’t your typical Bollywood Movie.


Deborah Doherty / Head of Production

Deborah Doherty

Choice? The Christmas Chronicles (both parts!).

Why? I think I know most of the film off by heart as my kids watched it on repeat every single day the last few Decembers. Go Kate Pearse! Can’t beat Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as Santa and Mrs Claus.


Mark Henry / Senior Audio Engineer

Mark Henry

Choice? The Power of the Dog.

Why? I loved the way it constantly surprises and never settled into the kind of film I expected. Great performances from the cast too.


Emily Burke / Producer

Emily Burke

Choice? Bird Box.

Why? I get chills thinking about if I was in Sandra’s position and the stress of trying to keep blindfolds on my children!!!!


John Kennedy / Head of VFX

John Kennedy

Choice? Uncut Gems.

Why? I think the most interesting art, literature, filmmaking, etc is something that elicits a powerful emotional response, something that doesn’t always have to be feel good, formulaic and happy ever after to work and can, on occasion, take you out of your comfort zone, provoke and challenge you and Uncut Gems does this so well, being a masterclass in how it combines everything from powerful performances, to editing, sound design and craft to create a unique and unsettling mood that is not only central to how the story is told, but elevates it beyond, to something much better because of it.


Suzanne Fitzpatrick / VFX Production Manager

Suzanne Fitzpatrick

Choice? Don’t Look Up.

Why? Don’t Look Up is one of those incredibly rare films that – love it or hate it for the severity of its subject matter  – will live somewhere in the depths of your brain for decades to come (if we have that long left of course). It really shone a spotlight on how innately ridiculous humans are in a way that’s both hilarious and terrifying and that is scarcely achieved.


Fionán Higgins / Senior Audio Engineer

Fionan Higgins

Choice? The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Why? Directed by the Coen brothers. Back in 2001 I interned in Skip Lievsays’ (the Coen brothers sound collaborators) facility C5inc in NYC and had a chance to work on a Coen brothers film The Man Who Wasn’t There which was a dream come true. Before and after that seminal moment any Coen brothers films are always close to the top of my watch lists.


Jessica Felton / Producer

Jessica Felton

Choice? The Two Popes.

Why? There are a tonne of Netflix popcorn films I’ve watched and but the outstanding film, and one I now want to watch again, is The Two Popes. An absolutely fascinating look inside the Vatican and what it takes and means to be Pope. The relationship between the two of them, the intimacy and humanity. Just captivating.


Aaron Carroll / Producer

Aaron Carroll

Choice? The Old Guard. 

Why? The Old Guard is an extremely underrated action flick. It approaches the genre with a wholly different perspective, strawing away from hyper-masculine presentation’s of revenge and anger and focusing instead on found family and the lasting impact of small kindness’.

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