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Attica

Loving Vincent - Bringing the paintings of Van Gogh to life

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Attica   

Wowza.  This is mindblowing.  

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Josie   

Thank you for posting this, Attica.

I love the trailer and I think I would love the essential vision and voice of this film. Only the talking portrait device didn't work for me and  came across as unintentionally comical and silly. Hopefully that's just me, or it's a first take that would subside as I watched, especially as it seems to be the focus of the k.s. campaign!

 

 

p.s.I liked the trailer for your film too (in the indif.  thread) especially how your vampire darts about.

Was the 'sequel' link broken? 

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Attica   

Hi Josie.  I suspect that the talking portrait is only a small part of the film.  I think the general intent is to pretend that Van Gogh had drawn a frame of the action (so to speak) and that the filmmakers are now filling in the other frames to bring his scenes to life and tell a story through them.  So I think that through most of the film the characters aren't going to be talking portraits but moving and interacting like any other film.

 

But just to give a sense of how huge of a task this film is.  Film has 24 frames per second (video 29.99...) and they are probably animating this on an average of what is known as two's.  Those old Warner Brothers cartoons were animated on two's, while Disney's stuff was animated on ones.  Disney's work is smoother and more flowing than Warner Brothers, but its not as if Warner Brothers didn't have some great animation, plus animating on ones is just more work.  So if this film is animated on twos than that basically means that they will be averaging 12 Van Gogh styled paintings a second.

 

This type of thing has been done before as short film, but to my knowledge it has never been accomplished in a feature film.

 

 

I'm glad that you liked that little segment from my film.   smile.png    The sequel hasn't been released yet.  All of the music and the foley (sounds) is finished but I have yet to hear and approve the final mix.  I expect there will be at least some tweaking because there is one joke that really depends on the timing of the sound.  Then there are a couple of more voices to add in and It will be finished.  

 

I'm not sure if I'm going to have this film distributed on IndieFlix, but I'll have to see.  There seems to be a larger market in Europe for small short animations like mine, plus there is a market for things such as short film playing on oversees plane flights.  So I'll probably first look into distributors that can get the film into those markets, and those distributors often have "exclusive" contracts, meaning that the film can't then be distributed through any one else.

 

The first step is to get the film in as many film festivals as I can, because that helps with later distribution, and I get to go and sit on European beaches and drink funny looking drinks with straws in them.    wink.png

 

 

But anyhow.  I feel kind of silly talking about my little film on a thread for a film that could likely be epic, but if your interested in following my film I've set up a Facebook page for it here.  The film that you had seen the clip from was my first film and I didn't really know what I was doing.  I was mostly teaching myself while making it.  This film will be a lot more accomplished.

Edited by Attica

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Josie   

Hi Josie.  I suspect that the talking portrait is only a small part of the film.  I think the general intent is to pretend that Van Gogh had drawn a frame of the action (so to speak) and that the filmmakers are now filling in the other frames to bring his scenes to life and tell a story through them.  So I think that through most of the film the characters aren't going to be talking portraits but moving and interacting like any other film.

 

 

Or like his art is the storyboard. My sense was that it would blend speculative biography and documentary and in its version of clips from interviews, the subjects of Van Gogh's portraits would voice passages from letters they'd written in 'real' life.  I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I love that the film's canvas is his paintings and the script these personal documents, both animated by motion and sound. (When I watched the trailer I was trying to figure out why old letters are so very poignant, and I don't know, maybe it's as ephemera and in the vein of a photo that catches people being themselves.) 

 

But just to give a sense of how huge of a task this film is.  Film has 24 frames per second (video 29.99...) and they are probably animating this on an average of what is known as two's.  Those old Warner Brothers cartoons were animated on two's, while Disney's stuff was animated on ones.  Disney's work is smoother and more flowing than Warner Brothers, but its not as if Warner Brothers didn't have some great animation, plus animating on ones is just more work.  So if this film is animated on twos than that basically means that they will be averaging 12 Van Gogh styled paintings a second.

 

This type of thing has been done before as short film, but to my knowledge it has never been accomplished in a feature film.

 

 

 

 I know loosely about the composition of frames per second but my mind  definitely glosses over the numbers - how much detail and labor goes into the impression of spontaneity. Maybe it has to in order to watch a film on its own terms.

 

I'm glad that you liked that little segment from my film.   smile.png    The sequel hasn't been released yet.  All of the music and the foley (sounds) is finished but I have yet to hear and approve the final mix.  I expect there will be at least some tweaking because there is one joke that really depends on the timing of the sound.  Then there are a couple of more voices to add in and It will be finished.

 

 

I did like it and if I were an Indieflix subscriber I'd have watched the rest. How much of the work are  you able to do yourself with these films?

Thank you for the link to the sequel, I'll check it out!    

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Attica   

Hi Josie.  Sorry for my late response.

 

 

Josie had said:

 

:My sense was that it would blend speculative biography and documentary and in its version of clips from interviews, the subjects of Van Gogh's portraits would voice passages from letters they'd written in 'real' life.

 

 

This is my sense as well.

 

 

:I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I love that the film's canvas is his paintings and the script these personal documents, both animated by motion and sound. 

 

 

Yup.  If this film entertains his Christian worldview influencing so many of his paintings, then this film will be that much more remarkable.

 

 

 

:When I watched the trailer I was trying to figure out why old letters are so very poignant, and I don't know, maybe it's as ephemera and in the vein of a photo that catches people being themselves.

 

 

It's something we are losing as a society.  Both the dignified graceful handwriting, and the attention to good prose in conveying our feelings and experiences to others.  Plus the fact that those letter took time.  Both to write and to arrive.  Now we just rip off E-mails full of cut apart words and spelling mistakes (even though we have a spell check.)

 

It represents a way that is being lost.  But this also fits with a general concern that hand drawn animation is being lost, at least in the North American feature film.  This film is hand drawn, and then some.  

 

 

 

I've also responded to some of your other thoughts here to keep from derailing this thread.

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phlox   

I found this purely dazzling, as a one-of-a- kind visual experience that took 7 years,  with 125 artists painting over 62,450 frames in Van Gogh’s style. (Seven years- ! like the devotion/obsession of the artist himself). I especially enjoyed seeing /hearing Saoirse Ronan animated as Marguerite Gachet. And the score by Clint Mansell is moving. The weak part is the story itself, investigating Van Gogh’s supposed suicide, which lacks dramatic energy-- though the film did change my mind about the circumstances of his death.

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Rob Z   
On 11/17/2017 at 5:32 AM, phlox said:

I found this purely dazzling, as a one-of-a- kind visual experience that took 7 years,  with 125 artists painting over 62,450 frames in Van Gogh’s style. (Seven years- ! like the devotion/obsession of the artist himself). I especially enjoyed seeing /hearing Saoirse Ronan animated as Marguerite Gachet. And the score by Clint Mansell is moving. The weak part is the story itself, investigating Van Gogh’s supposed suicide, which lacks dramatic energy-- though the film did change my mind about the circumstances of his death.

I absolutely loved this! I can't overstate how unique and special the experience of this film was. I've seen painted animation before, but this was different because it took van Gogh's paintings style and subject matter as the starting place. As with the man and events the film centers around, we only have access to them through his paintings and letters, and that's what this film gives us in its narrative, where van Gogh is not the protagonist and whose story is told in flashbacks reminiscent of his sketches. That narrative tries to be as documentary as possible while the color painted scenes featuring Armand are historical fiction. That the historical aspect of that is fairly rigorous, is my understanding. The "fiction" aspect isn't very strong, as has been noted, but it serves to foreground the documentary nature of the film as an investigation of the circumstances of van Gogh's death. That didn't bother me at all, and the visuals were so immersive. When we got point of view shots corresponding to Armand in the film, we were really getting POV shots that put us in the position of van Gogh painting the original. I felt as though I were experiencing the world charged with light, beauty, and spirit just as van Gogh saw and conveyed it. That's what truly great animation (and any truly great film, but especially animation) can do: represent the physical world in such a way that changes your experience of it and shows it to be charged with the grandeur of God. (The Man Who Planted Trees is another example of animation that does this for me.)

I also liked the score. I could tell as I watched it that the composer was the same one who scored Darren Aronofsky's films. I thought it sounded especially like Requiem for a Dream's music.

I feel so fortunate that this past year I was able to see  not one but two creative biopics about artists (the other being Emily Dickinson) who have been significant for me and my faith. Really there are two more 2017 films about (literary) artists in that same category: Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul and Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, but I have yet to see those! Maybe Gerard M. Hopkins  next year???

Edited by Rob Z

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phlox   
17 hours ago, Rob Z said:

I feel so fortunate that this past year I was able to see  not one but two creative biopics about artists (the other being Emily Dickinson) who have been significant for me and my faith. Really there are two more artists in that same category: Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul and Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, but I have yet to see those! Maybe Gerard M. Hopkins  next year???

Mr. Turner was another memorable artist film, though the character is not nearly as sympathetic as Van Gogh.

[spoilers]

It would have been interesting if Loving Vincent could have showed more of the artist’s Christian faith… as I recall it skimmed over his religious paintings, his desire to become a preacher like his father, his exhausting missionary work with the miners.  The film’s focus was on the investigation… but Van Gogh taking the blame and covering for the teenage boys who very likely killed him accidentally, makes more sense when we see how compassionate and self-sacrificing he was all along.

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Rob Z   
On 12/21/2017 at 9:21 AM, phlox said:

Mr. Turner was another memorable artist film, though the character is not nearly as sympathetic as Van Gogh.

[spoilers]

It would have been interesting if Loving Vincent could have showed more of the artist’s Christian faith… as I recall it skimmed over his religious paintings, his desire to become a preacher like his father, his exhausting missionary work with the miners.  The film’s focus was on the investigation… but Van Gogh taking the blame and covering for the teenage boys who very likely killed him accidentally, makes more sense when we see how compassionate and self-sacrificing he was all along.

***spoilers***

Yes, I too would have liked more of an exploration of van Gogh's spirituality and Christian journey. That's a good point you highlight about how the film shows it would have been in character for him not to have sought to blame others but to extend grace even to those who caused his death. It adds another dimension to the significance of the title which goes beyond the stance of the filmmakers and intended viewership toward van Gogh (and of course Vincent's valediction to Theo) and shows that Vincent loved even those who persecuted him. I hadn't even thought of the Christlike dimensions of this, but I think they are there.

Honestly, I'm still conflicted about the film's argument regarding the true nature of van Gogh's death. It's a much more hopeful, though no less tragic, scenario that the film presents. Of course, I had always been conflicted about the conventional understanding of his death as a suicide since most of the the indisputable, tangible dimensions of the circumstances point away from suicide, except  van Gogh's statement--"I tried to kill myself." His struggle with mental illness and despair could go either way in thinking about this, though. the film shows well the fact that this didn't seem to be as much of an issue for him at the time of his death. What do you think?

Has anyone seen Lust for Life with Kirk Douglas, or other van Gogh biopics? Are there similarities or differences with Loving Vincent?

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phlox   
On 12/28/2017 at 8:16 PM, Rob Z said:

His struggle with mental illness and despair could go either way in thinking about this, though. the film shows well the fact that this didn't seem to be as much of an issue for him at the time of his death. What do you think?

Not to belabor this, but  [spoilers]  as you note, Vincent’s state of mind was quite optimistic shortly before his death.  The film convinced me it was accidental homicide-- by the doctor’s testimony about the angle of the bullet, by the fact that someone trying to commit suicide would not shoot his stomach, and by the reports of the village boys harassing him, drinking and playing with guns.  The pistol was never found. Saying he tried to kill himself protected the teenagers from punishment, and seems to fit his devotional character.  Probably the film was influenced by the murder theory in the 2011 book  Van Gogh: the Life, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory Smith.

Edited by phlox

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