Animated Van Gogh film returns to Kickstarter

An oil-painted, animated film about the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh has returned to Kickstarter with a more modest funding goal.

Michelle Starr Science editor
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Michelle Starr
2 min read

An oil-painted, animated film about the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh has returned to Kickstarter with a more modest funding goal.

(Credit: Breakthru Films)

There's never been a stop-motion animated film quite like this. Loving Vincent, by Oscar-winning animation studio BreakThru Films, will be a feature-length documentary about the artist's life, art and controversial death — entirely hand-painted in his own style.

"What is truly groundbreaking about Loving Vincent is that every frame of the film is an oil painting on canvas, using the very same technique in which Vincent himself painted," the studio said. "And what makes it a great story to experience is the intriguing, tragic, and inspiring story of Vincent Van Gogh himself."

The film itself will take the form of a sort of mockumentary, with interviews with animated versions of Van Gogh's portrait subjects, brought to live, and dramatic reconstructions of the events leading up to his death, using scenes from his paintings. Overall, more than 120 of Van Gogh's paintings will be used in the film, and the plot will be based on over 800 letters written by the artist.

To make the film, however, over 56,800 paintings will be required — the work of 40 artists. BreakThru has created what it calls Painted Animation Work Stations (PAWS) that streamline the animation process by allowing the artists to focus on the work of painting rather than animation.

What the studio needs from Kickstarter is help training more artists. An additional 60 artists would greatly speed up the process without compromising the quality of the work. The £40,000 funding goal — down from the £75,000 sought in the previous campaign — would allow the training of 30 of these artists, which would provide a large enough pool of artists to commence filming.

"Your support will not only be helping create the world's first painting animation feature film, not only be bringing great paintings of Vincent Van Gogh to life, you will be helping talented painters, young and old, find a suitable outlet for their artistic flair," the team wrote.

It's certainly a hugely ambitious project; but, based on the short clips already filmed, it's going to look spectacular.

Head over to the Loving Vincent Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.