Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
An eighty-minute long biographical movie on the life and death of Vincent van Gogh is expected to come out sometime this year, but what makes this film far different than any other documentary is that it is to be composed entirely of animated paintings in the artist’s own style. The movie, called Loving Vincent, is based off eight-hundred of the famed painter’s own letters and is depicted through oil paintings done by over one-hundred artists.
The movie’s directors, Polish painter Dorota Kobiela and filmmaker Hugh Welchman, recruited talented artists to attend three week teaching sessions to learn to recreate van Gogh’s unique impressionist style before getting to work at the film’s studio in Gdansk, Poland, where they will continue production until August 2016.
It is definitely intensive work, but the creators, BreakThru films, who have won an Academy Award for their Peter and the Wolf stop-motion, are definitely putting all that they can into this movie. The group specially designed Painting Animation Work Stations (PAWS) to allow each of the 56,800 frames to be completed in forty minutes and the movie to be finished in under two years.
Check out the trailer, and one will find even with so many frames, the images are still moving seamlessly, and quickly, with twelve frames cycling every second. Hand-painted animation allows for such smooth transitions of such beautifully done scenes, and if the shots seem familiar, that is likely because the story will be told through images and characters created by van Gogh, and although the characters are silent in the trailer, there will be voice actors. The cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Aidan Turner, Chris O’Dowd, Douglas Booth, and Polish actor Robert Gularczyk as van Gogh.
This will be the first fully painted animation feature film, and there are high expectations for all of the actors and for the artists. Many expect the film to win numerous awards for all of the creative liberties taken and for bringing to life an amazing story about van Gogh’s intriguing life and strange death.
In one of van Gogh’s final letters he wrote, “The truth is, we cannot speak other than by our paintings.” Well, if this movie follows the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then it will definitely have a lot to say.