Loving Vincent – Our Love Affair with a Vision

A once in a lifetime movie and a once in a lifetime opportunity.  It was almost unimaginable when the news came that Royal Talens was involved in the making of this full length feature film which was fully animated using over 65,000 individually painted frames, painted by hand by 125 artists and the paint selected for the entire movie was Van Gogh oil paints, by Royal Talens.


Café Terrace at Night

Co-Director Hugh Welchman:
“In 2014 we researched and tested 9 different brands of paints from 6 manufacturers. We took into consideration quality of the paint, viscosity, how the colours came across, range of colours, and price. Some of those tested were rejected because of viscosity, others were rejected because a particular colour that was important to us on the film wasn’t right, others because the oil and pigment were separating. The colour that mattered most to us was yellow. We needed a brand that had a good range of yellows, and for the yellow to be very saturated. The tests consisted of applying paint to canvas boards and photographing them under different lighting conditions.

There were 3 brands which passed our tests and Van Gogh was the obvious choice from these three because it had the greatest range of colours, and additionally it was the best price value of the 3. Price was very important to us as we would be buying over 1,000 litres of paint! The fact that the brand we chose was called Van Gogh was just a happy coincidence.”

Vice President Kyle Richardson commented about the vision of this project:

Loving Vincent Artist Dena Peterson stands in front of her 5’x10′ mural at Meininger’s!

“Rather than just accepting this great news, the team at Royal Talens North America embarked on making this opportunity into something special, something that equals the uniqueness of the movie.  We developed a program in tandem with Good Deed Entertainment, the studio promoting the film in the US, Artists who had actually worked on the film and also with retail partners in select markets.  Our goal was to bring the story to life through events and use these events to bring attention to the film in its early stages, when box office sales are measured to give theatres a guideline on where and how long to show the film.  We wanted to bring retailers under this umbrella as well, as they are an important cultural hub in our communities, and the best retailers are hard-wired into the fabric of the creative communities.  When you want something to take hold, you start with the “taste-makers”, and we did that through narrative story-telling.”

In a flurry of activities over a short amount of time, we set up events in which retailers hosted live painting events.  5’x10’ murals were created by the artists who had helped make the movie, with the support from some of our manufacturer friends in the community, such as Princeton Brush and Tara/Fredrix Canvas.

Loving Vincent artists Tiffanie Wang & Charlene Mosley doing a Q&A sponsored by RTNA.

Live Question and Answer sessions with these same artists were hosted in and around the launch of the movie, allowing the public to get a peek into the process and the experience that these artists had, working on this movie in Poland with a large team of artists who had been producing the animated frames for close to 6 years already.

This was also an incredible experience for our sales, customer service and education teams, who took on the roles of facilitators and quickly learned an incredible amount about film making and distribution, engaging themselves in this world to make these events happen.

Charlene Mosley & Tiffanie Wang outside of Artist & Craftsman Seattle working on their mural.

Jeff Olson, Art Education Director had this to say about the experience:
“The most interesting part of the Loving Vincent lectures for myself and the Artist and Craftsman Seattle staff who I worked with, was learning about the experiences of the artists who worked on the movie: including how they got involved; their daily routines; the social aspects of working as part of a team; and of course, the actual making of the individual paintings. It was especially interesting to hear how the artists struggled with their own identity as painters when they returned to their own work. Having painted in the manner of VG for so long, they had to find their own voice again.”

Dennis Metcalf, Key Account Manager worked in the San Diego, Denver and Los Angeles Markets with a variety of retailers including Artist and Craftsman, Blue Rooster, Art Supply Warehouse and Meininger’s.  When asked about the experience thus far, he had this to say:
“Creative, innovative, intriguing, and beautiful were all used to describe the feelings and emotions of this thought provoking movie. Artist’s are interested with the technical aspects in developing the film while others are fascinated by the mysterious story line coupled with multiple scenarios about the true nature of Vincent’s death.  One large retailer was so impressed that he is thinking of buying out an entire theatre so all his top priority customers can have the chance to view this movie. This is truly a one of a kind movie!”

We at Royal Talens are proud to be a part of this movie and have plans to be actively engaging the creative community with our retailer partners for the next 2 years around this movie, as it progresses from film launch, to Academy Awards time, to DVD and streaming release as well as the upcoming “Making of Loving Vincent” movie in the works.

We hope that you get out and see this very important and spectacular movie, and that it inspires you to create and engage in our creative communities.  Keep an eye out here in our newsletter and also on our social media pages(instagram, facebook, twitter) for more activities and announcements around this exciting experience.

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