7 February 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Interview with Jess Felton and Dean Jones of newly-formed Post-Production studio RAYGUN
09 Nov 2015 : Seán Brosnan
RAYGUN opened their doors for business on September 8th 2015
With their new boutique post production house RAYGUN having opened in September of this year, we talk to creators Jess Felton and Dean Jones about their new “small and collaborative boutique offering”.

A collective of creative audio engineers, motion graphics artists and editors who specialise in commercial campaigns, documentaries, features and digital content, RAYGUN offers a complete in-house post production service: offline, online, grading, audio, motion graphics and VFX.

As a facility, RAYGUN may be the new kids on the block but Jess and Dean certainly aren’t as both are established names in the industry. Jess has over 20 years’ experience in commercial, long-form and feature post-production and has developed her skillset in a number of well- known Facility Houses in both Ireland and Australia. Dean is an accomplished Sound Engineer with over 13 years in audio post-production; he has worked on numerous successful commercial campaigns, animated series, feature films & TV Dramas.

IFTN: Opening a new Post-Production studio is obviously no easy task but both of you are well-known and established in the industry which must have given you both confidence when firing up RAYGUN?

Jess Felton: ‘Well, what gives us both a lot of confidence is the talent that exists in our team. We are both determined to market that and use our relationships and experience to get some really nice work through the door. We are very aware of our size and position in the market and our offering is not aggressive, I think we have very nice environment for people to work in comfortably and creatively.’

IFTN: Tell us a little about your facilities?

Jess Felton: ‘We have five Avids, four Motion Graphics / VFX Stations, one Flame, Lustre Grading and three high spec audio studios. We also have a CAR department as well as a Digital Media department. We have a lovely relaxed and contemporary space in RAYGUN, we hope that clients feel that and enjoy hanging out here.’

IFTN: You are not even two months in operation but RAYGUN has been busy…

Dean Jones: ‘We have been working on Zig and Zag’s new 26 part animation series for BBC/RTÉ so that has kept us pretty busy – we are doing the dialogue recording, sound editing and mixing for that.’

Jess Felton: ‘We are also working on a documentary series called ‘The Joy’ which starts on TV3 this week and we have also completed a series for Wildfire Films called ‘Our New School’.’

‘Commercial wise, we have done a lot of work for high-profile car companies, financial institutions, and retail projects.’

Dean Jones: ‘We are doing pretty well with mixing for TV and radio commercials. We've done a lot for Three Mobile – TV, radio and online, as well as working a lot with RaboDirect and AA Insurance, Dunnes Stores, HSE and iD Mobile to name but a few.'

IFTN: Moving forward, what area of post-production do you hope RAYGUN will make more of a mark in?

Jess Felton: ‘It's important to get a good mix of work, we both have many strong relationships with our friends and colleagues in Dublin's commercial production companies, and we'd love to pick up more work with them. We would also like to do more drama work down the line as well as more feature films. Dean has already done quite a bit of feature work….’

Dean Jones: ‘Yeah, we have worked on Alex Fegan’s ‘Older Than Ireland’ which recently hit cinemas and was quite successful – we did the online, grading and sound mix on that. Earlier in the year we did full audio post for ‘You're Ugly Too’, a successful feature film for Savage Productions. We have a few more feature length documentaries lined up too. Aside from that, the animation sector is very strong in Dublin and Ireland so we would love to work on that as well as more TV drama.’

IFTN: Was it seeing just how much animation/features/TV Drama that was in production in Ireland that gave you the idea to open up this new Post Production studio? The work has to go somewhere…

Dean Jones: ‘Yeah, certainly with animation, I think most Post-Houses in Dublin would be trying to get animation work. There is a bit of a boom going on with it at the moment. They normally bring decent budgets and animation projects also take a long time so they kind of prop you up for a year or two. There was also quite a lot of TV drama happening in Ireland in recent years – due in no small part to our tax incentives – and I think they are also very attractive for any Post-House. We are coming out of recession now and budgets are starting to open up a little bit and it’s great to see.’

IFTN: You mentioned earlier that you aren’t ‘aggressive’ as a post-production studio and that you offer a very creative atmosphere for incoming clients – do you think this element of RAYGUN is what makes you unique?

Jess Felton: ‘We are small and manageable so everyone knows what everyone else is working on. For example, we have a lovely job in at the moment and the idea behind it is that everyone on the team would have say in it. Dean is doing the mix on it and the magic of it is that he could go to the graphics guys to enhance the project to match the audio and vice versa. Everyone gets involved in every aspect of it. It’s not just a case of “here is a storyboard – make it happen”.’

‘Because of the size of it and because we all know each other – RAYGUN is a very comfortable place to work and I keep hearing that from clients and visitors. They tell us we have a very nice, relaxed atmosphere which I think offers added value to everything we are working on. I don’t think it’s the same in other larger Post Houses as it is more foot-to-the-floor. There’s a lot of scope for exploring and going down avenues that may or may not pay off.’

IFTN: If we were to come back to you in a year’s time where do you hope the company will be? Would you always be looking to remain small and manageable?

Jess Felton: ‘For me, I hope that these projects that we are working on now would go out and be successful so we can stand over the collaborative spirit we talk about and be proud of it and our work. We want to do exciting, creative work. I don’t mean to drop the bomb but....awards! We want to create award-winning results - that term is a little lofty but there you go. To be the best we can be all the time regardless of budgets, or size.’

Dean Jones: ‘If people buy into what we are trying to do, that’s the most important thing. If, in a year’s time, RAYGUN is known as a bunch of talented people offering this great creative and collaborative atmosphere, then that’s enough. That’ll do. We have done our job.’

For more information on RAYGUN, visit their website at www.raygun.ie.

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