Producers are crowdsourcing artists for the first-ever fully-painted feature film

A still from the “Loving Vincent” trailer.
A still from the “Loving Vincent” trailer.
Image: Breakthru Films
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What would “Starry Night” look like animated? A team of filmmakers is seeking artists to help complete the first feature-length film composed entirely of paintings: a Vincent Van Gogh biopic entitled Loving Vincent.

The film about the Dutch artist’s life and death will animate more than 120 of Van Gogh’s works.

The process is as fascinating as it is painstaking. For each animation, one of Van Gogh’s paintings is projected onto a blank canvas. An artist paints a copy of the original, and then slightly alters the painting for the next frame. It takes 12 of these frames to produce one second of film.

“On a daily basis, I go between thinking we’re completely inspired, we are doing something no one’s ever done,” producer High Welchman told Voice of America. “And I also think this is insane. There’s a very good reason why no one has ever tried to make an entire film out of paintings.” Welchman won the 2008 Academy Award for best animated short for Peter and the Wolf.

Loving Vincent is made in Poland, and directed by Polish artist and filmmaker Dorota Kobiela. The team is seeking artists to help complete production. Interested painters can learn more and submit portfolios on the film’s website.