Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully painted animated film directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, has blazed its own artistic path — much like the artist who inspired it: Vincent van Gogh. Across the globe, the movie has secured 11 wins and over 48 nominations, including Best Animated Motion Picture at the 2018 Golden Globes, held Jan. 7, and Best Animated Feature Film at this year’s Academy Awards, held March 4 in Los Angeles.
“The reason we made the film is not because we want to be the first, or that we want to set any records, it is because we believe that you cannot truly tell Vincent’s story without his paintings,” reports the film’s official website, LovingVincent.com. “So we needed to bring his paintings to life.”
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The film was first shot with live actors, starring Robert Gulaczyk as van Gogh, then converted into oil paintings frame by frame. Taking six years and an estimated $5 million to create, 125 artists painted more than 65,000 frames in oil — all in van Gogh’s signature style, of course.
“It was the most amazing experience,” recalls Sarah Wimperis, one of the artists who worked on the movie. “Like a boot camp for artists, at times it was brutal, very tough getting through the training. [There were] long hours, and [it was] very difficult to shed your own artistic style. Everyone was far from home and families. But it was also brilliant [and] a fantastic project to be involved in.”