Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art
One of the most visually acclaimed films of 2017, Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully oil-painted feature film. It details the complicated life and controversial death of Vincent van Gogh. More than six years in the making with the help of 125 artists, this brilliant animated feature is composed of 65,000 painted frames. Drawn from meticulous research and inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings, subjects, and correspondence, the film’s story begins a year after the artist’s death, when the postmaster’s son (Douglas Booth) is tasked with delivering Van Gogh’s last letter and ends up interviewing those who knew the artist in his troubled last days, trying to understand Van Gogh’s character and what happened. Among the other actors are Saoirse Ronan, Chris O’Dowd, and Aidan Turner.
Loving Vincent Trivia
1. Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully oil-painted feature film.
2. 125 animators worked to create the 65,000 frames of the film on canvas.
3. Loving Vincent had a 7-year production journey—director Dorota Kobiela had originally planned it as a short film.
4. Developing the film started in 2008 and involved several years of testing and training before painting on the shots used in the final film began.
5. The Loving Vincent team produced 377 design paintings in the early testing stages.
6. Some 5,000 artists applied to work on Loving Vincent. The selected animators had to complete a 180-hour training program.
7. A Kickstarter campaign was launched in 2014 to fund part of the training process.
8. Loving Vincent was first shot as a live-action film with actors who worked on sets specially constructed to look like Van Gogh paintings, or against green screens. This reference footage was used to hand-paint the film frame-by-frame in oils.
9. Used in the making of the movie: 125 painters, 65,000 frames, 6,500 tubes, and 1,300 liters of Royal Talens paint.
10. The team decided to make Loving Vincent in the Academy ratio, as it is closer to the composition of most Van Gogh paintings.
11. Twelve frames of individual oil paintings make up each second of Loving Vincent, with 65,000 paintings forming the entire film.
12. The painters spent up to 10 days painting one second of film.
13. Each frame was painted 67x49 cm on canvas and was recorded with a Canon 6D digital stills camera at 6K resolution.
14. The majority of the animators worked in a studio in Gdańsk, Poland, but there were also smaller teams of painters in Wrocław, Poland, and Athens, Greece.
15. Each painter worked inside a Painting Animation Work Station (PAWS) designed especially for the project. There were 97 PAWS in 3 studios in 2 countries.
16. Vincent van Gogh created over 860 oil paintings and 1,000 drawings in just 9 years, and 120 of them were incorporated into the film.
17. For some scenes in the film, like Van Gogh’s early life, there weren’t any paintings to draw from. So the team decided to paint these flashbacks in black and white, in the style of photographs from the era.
18. Van Gogh wrote over 800 letters during his lifetime, and many direct quotes from them are included in the film.
19. Van Gogh only decided to become an artist at age 28. He died at 37.
20. Van Gogh’s Wikipedia page was among the most edited Wiki pages of 2016, with 3,551 edits
21. Van Gogh cut off his ear in 1888 after a fight with his artist friend Paul Gauguin, who was living with him in Arles at the Yellow House.
22. While in Arles, Van Gogh completed nearly 200 paintings in just 15 months, many of which are now among his most recognizable images today.
23. Director Dorota Kobiela was named as one of Variety’s 2017 “10 Animators to Watch.”
24. Before they began writing the script, directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman read 40 publications about Van Gogh and visited 19 museums in 6 countries to view some 400 Van Gogh paintings.
25. The opening shot of the film, descending through Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, contains over 600 paintings and took three painters a combined 14 months to paint.