August 6th, 2015
From London to Chicago, we've brought together the best and the brightest colour grades from the summer. Take a look at the short films, music promos and ads graded by Mill colourists.

Seamus O’Kane

Head of Colour, LDN


Lloyds - Horse Story

Seamus comments on the grade: "This beautifully photographed spot was a delight to be involved in. Directed seamlessly by Sam Brown, the emotion of the longstanding trust and interdependence of mankind and horse flows throughout this film.

With so much beautiful material it was important not to over style the grade but rather to produce a sense of evocative images that resolve into the memorable end portraits of each scene. The impact of these is then reinforced by their clarity and honesty.

DOP Franz Lustig produced a wonderful set of descriptions and intentions for each of the main scenes and these allowed me an insight into his vision for the film. We tried to remain faithful to this whilst reveling in the cinematic scale of the images."

James Bamford

Colourist, LDN


Audi - Born Restless

James worked with Pulse director Sam Pilling to add to the gritty feel of the spot, he comments: "I kept the film moody and cinematic while maintaining the integrity of the shadows, we also added some grain to help with the filmic gritty feel. We wanted the hanger to feel restricting and intense, whereas the outside shots should feel more hopeful and inspiring, reflecting the car's wish to be free."

Matt Osborne

Colourist, LDN


Audi - Speedboat

Matt Osborne collaborated with Pulse Films directors D.A.R.Y.L to bring a dramatic intensity to the spot. Matt comments: "I really enjoyed grading this spot for D.A.R.Y.L. The film is reminiscent of a James Bond chase scene, so we wanted to give it a classic cinematic feel. By giving the water and beach as much texture as possible, it gave the piece some weight as the only main colour was the car. We also gave the car a lot of attention, giving the red paint work a rich consistency, and making the wheels pop.”

Mick Vincent

Colourist, LDN


HSBC - Lift

Directed by The Glue Society, the emotive spot captures the ups and downs of business. Mick comments: “HSBC Lift was a really interesting job as the grade along with the art direction had to tell the passage of time from 1974 to present day. It also had to show the emotional ups and downs of one man's business life, and all set in a lift. We started with interesting looks for each time then finessed it to make the piece feel more like a story that belonged together. It's one of my favorites!”

Oisin O’Driscoll

Colourist, LDN


The Vaccines – 20/20

The quirky, grainy music promo from director Max Weiland takes us into a dark, underground world of black market eye drops with the power to give X-Ray vision. Oisin comments: "Working with Max was an absolute pleasure. We worked together to try and achieve a modern B-movie style, which incorporated a soft level of contrast teamed with some vibrant colours. From the start, we aimed to have the band stand out from the dark seedy style of the casino. This was achieved by incorporating glows and clean highlights, which contrasts nicely with the dull warm highlights in the casino."

Jim Bracher

Colourist, LDN


Nowness - A Young Summer’s Heart

Director Romano Pizzichini of Palmeira Pictures follows a vacationing skateboarder on the streets of Calabria for Nowness’ Skater's Paradise series. Jim comments: “I've worked with  Romano many times before so I already had a good idea where the grade was going to go. He usually favours a lifted look with fairly low contrast and saturation. This can be deceptively tricky so it requires a lot of control. DOP Arthur Loveday did a great job with the photography so that made things much easier. We are all really happy with the results.”

Brendan Buckingham

Colourist, LDN


Breaking the Triangle - Short Documentary

Brendan comments: "Breaking the Triangle was shot mostly on DSLR with some drone footage. The brief was to bring a balance to the film, as well as colour correction and brightening up the picture overall.

"This was a great opportunity to work with Marcus Haney, a young director who already has a huge following due to his successes gaining entry to high profile festivals and live events. It's a fun and energetic story which I wanted to make sure carried across in the picture by keeping it bright to match the Bermuda environment. He was very happy with the end result of the grade which is great to hear!"

Find out more about director Marcus Haney and his experience documenting music  festival break-ins for films like 'Breaking the Triangle' here.


Fergus McCall

Head of Colour, NY


Samsung – What Does Color Feel Like

The world comes alive with explosions of colour and feeling in this spot for the Samsung Galaxy S6. Directed by Radical Media’s Ralf Schmerberg and Furlined’s Stuart Parr, a series of vibrant scenes stream across the phone’s screen showing the beauty and emotion found around the globe and beyond.

Whether the spot is viewed on a computer screen or a tv, it was important that the colours leaped from the screen. Fergus worked with the vivid images, making sure that each and every colour read clearly while switching from scene to scene. The pops of color create a beautiful mix with lively soundtrack, giving the audience a feel for the color!


Aline Sinquin

Colourist, NY


Consumed Short Film

As one of the short films created for The Storytellers: New Voices of the Twilight Saga, director Maja Fernqvist wanted the film to stay true to the look and feel of the original Twilight series, while also creating a new story that could standalone. Since it was shot over the course of a sunny day, the final film needed a dark and moody look to fit with the story. Using a muted yet dreamy palette, Aline created an atmospheric and filmic look that matched the film's tone.

Find out more about the film in our interview with director Maja Fernqvist.

Mikey Rossiter

Colourist, NY


Haleek Maul - Money God

The music promo from directing collective ESNAF features the Brooklyn-based rapper Haleek Maul set against isolated urban settings which match the tone of the musician’s message. Beginning with a set of 35mm stills by DOP (and director) Jovan Todorovic as reference, Mikey worked to create a really dark and grainy final look. He also enhanced the saturation to help differentiate the settings as the film quickly cuts through each. The gold scene was originally lit cyan but Mikey created a yellow tone to the scene to better fit with the palette of the film.

Josh Bohoskey

Colourist, NY


Nike - Vapor, Alpha and Strike Speed

Nike enlisted three rookie football players to introduce a new line of cleats in the product film directed by Nathan Avilia. Shot in two different locations, one set of footage had a natural blue tone while the other had a warmer, yellow glow. Josh enhanced the the muted tones of blue and green throughout the footage, marrying the content from both locations to give the spot a final cool stylized look.


Adam Scott

Head of Colour, LA 


Sprout by HP - Jane

Director Lance Acord of Park Pictures shot the spot on 16mm and 35mm film to create an authentic contrast of old versus new shots as ‘Jane’ evolves through time. Adam comments: “We worked closely with Lance to achieve different looks and enhance the progression of time throughout the spot.”

Gregory Reese

Colourist, LA 


Nissan - Wake

Gregory comments: “I’ve always been a fan of Simon’s work and it was great to collaborate with such a talented group of people. It was fun to play up the dingy vibe of the salvage yard because it's not a typical opening scene for a new car commercial.”

Dave ‘Luddy’ Ludlam

Colourist, LA


KFC - Bucket in my Hand

Colonel Sanders returned for KFC’s 75th Anniversary with ‘Bucket in My Hand’ from director Stacy Wall of Imperial Woodpecker. Dave provided the spot with a warm grade, keeping the reverence of the Colonel’s legacy intact while allowing the spot’s comedic moments to shine through. 

He comments: “The challenge was to recreate the old colonel and make it a bit retro. The idea was to create a faded '70s colour with subtle pastels coming through in order to differentiate from a typical commercial look. A little more classic, a little more retro."

Nick Sanders

Colourist, LA

REDirect Surf 2015 - 4K Video

The film from Director Riley Blakeway is part of REDirect and Surfer Magazine’s competition and short film festival celebrating the passion that goes into both filmmaking and the sport of surfing. Nick comments: "We did a very light grade, easy on contrast and saturation, to let the latent beauty of the images as shot shine through. Riley is a talented young filmmaker who favors a subtle, natural approach and we were able to translate this spirit into the grade. The result represents a moodier approach to the surf film genre and I'm really happy with the look that we came up with."

Watch the full film here or the REDirect page, and Nick discusses discovering colour grading and the projects that inspire him in our recent interview here.

Luke Morrison

Colourist, CHI


PSA Argentine Liver Transplant Foundation - The Man and The Dog

Directed by Rodrigo Garcia Saiz of Central Films North, the film, which recently won a Bronze at the Cannes Lions festival, tells the compelling visual story of a devoted pet and its elderly owner to raise awareness and promote organ donation. Luke comments: "The importance of the story and the cause are what it's all about. I was just happy to help bring awareness to an issue that deserves global attention. If our care for the pictures can contribute in any way to that, we're thrilled.”

Find out more about Colour at The Mill on the #MillColour page.