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Windmill Lane Upgrades Baselight to Deliver 4K Grading

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Dave Hughes, Windmill Lane’s head of grading and DI
Dave Hughes, Windmill Lane’s head of grading and DI
Dublin-based post facility Windmill Lane recently overhauled its color grading department, upgrading its entire FilmLight infrastructure. The facility has replaced its existing FilmLight hardware and now has two Baselight TWO grading systems running on generation 5 hardware, with the latest software release.

The 35-year-old company works on feature films, commercials and high end TV drama, both in the Irish and international markets. Much of its work is originated – and often delivered – in 4K resolution.

The company recently worked with Russian cinematographer Mikhail Krichman, and director Andrey Zvyagintsev on Leviathan, one of only 18 films selected for the Palm d’Or at the Cannes film festival this year.

“With the new Baselight systems we can tackle any codec or camera format without workarounds,” said Dave Hughes, Windmill Lane’s head of grading and DI. “The machines are infinitely quicker than they were before, too. As well as giving our colorists free rein, it means that our overnight throughput, creating dailies for Avid, has quadrupled.

“I went away on holiday while the upgrades were being installed, and I came back to a very happy department, telling me all about the improvements and speed increases,” he added. “It makes our workload easier and more efficient.”

Windmill Lane bases its entire post workflow around Baselight, using it for ingest – including direct from a Spirit telecine – and for its file processing as well as its grading capabilities. Final conforms and deliverables are run in Baselight because of its realtime processing power. It also means that color decisions can be made at any stage of the pipeline.

Alongside the new upgrades and the busy color suites, Windmill Lane is also working with FilmLight on future developments. It is a test partner for the Baselight Dailies service for near-set grading, as well as the Baselight Editions plugins for Avid and Nuke.

“Windmill Lane has been grading on Baselight since 2007, and they have been great friends to FilmLight,” said Wolfgang Lempp, co-founder of FilmLight. “The quality of their work is undeniable, and they really know what they want from their grading tools. It is great for us to be able to talk to them about future enhancements and know we are getting the opinions of a talented team of creative editors, colorists, animators and visual effects and finishing artists.”

Some recent features graded at Windmill Lane include, Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann), Young Ones (Jake Paltrow), Dare to be Wild (Vivienne De Courcy), The Price of Desire (Mary McGuckian), Let Us Prey (Brian O’Malley) and An Bronntanas (Tom Collins). Commercial campaigns include Failte Ireland, Lidl Brand, Bank of Ireland, Cuisine De France, National Lottery, Spar, Irish Water, Eircom, Stena, Calor Gas and Club Zero.

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