The first trailer for Loving Vincent, an amazing-looking animated feature film telling the life story of troubled artist Vincent van Gogh, has been released – and it’s truly stunning.
This is the first fully painted feature film in the world, co-directed by Polish painter and director Dorota Kobiela and British writer and director Hugh Welchman (who won an Oscar for producing Peter and the Wolf).
Loving Vincent has been created from a staggering 12 oil paintings per second in styles inspired by the famous Dutch painter’s brushstrokes, created by a veritable army of some one hundred artists.
The feature-length film details the story of Van Gogh’s life leading up to the tumultuous time surrounding his death some 125 years ago. It’s an ambitious project and work is still in progress at the project’s headquarters in Gdansk, Poland – but the art iof Vincent van Gogh is not the only project that has inspired its co-director, Hugh Welchman, the man behind BreakThru Films.
Hugh graduated from university knowing a lot about nineteenth and twentieth century history and his obsession for wild animals took him to many corners of the globe. Having a hunch that he would like to be involved in film, he applied for, and was very surprised to get into, the National Film and Television School.
While there, he says he found himself the least knowledgable person on the subject of film in the entire school, but by the time he left he managed to improve on this, and his graduation film Crow Stone, released in 2001, won the Cinefoundation prize at Cannes Film Festival.
After leaving school he set up BreakThru Films, and has been creating projects for them ever since. Hugh won an Oscar for producing Peter and the Wolf, and, in addition to Loving Vincent as co-writer and co-director, is also working on Hound, a project developed in partnership with PillarStone Productions, the Waterford-based company originally incorporated to facilitate and offer the skillsets of artist, animator, and writer/director Paul Bolger and his creative associates.
Hound is a a live action re-imagining of the life and times of Ireland’s greatest mythological hero, Cúchulainn – The Hound of Ulster, based on the award-winning graphic novel written by Paul Bolger and Barry Devlin (which was also successfully Kickstarter funded).
Hugh says he has been magnetically drawn to the Celtic fringes of Europe since childhood and was thrilled when Paul showed him his artwork and story ideas for Hound, “the ultimate Celtic legend”.
Paul Bolger has drawn his way around the world, working on feature films and TV series as a director, designer, story board artist and lead animator. He plays in his band, or in other people’s if invited, and has been known to write the odd song. Paul also turns his hand to painting now and again.
Hound: Protector was his debut Graphic Novel.
Barry Devlin, who like Paul is something of a creative polymath, is a musician, screen writer, director and founding member of pioneering Celtic-Rock band Horslips. He has written and directed drama for cinema, TV and radio. Barry has also directed numerous music videos for U2.
Drawing on the latest discoveries and theories on ancient Ireland and Britain, their peoples and cultures, Hound will explore the themes that have kept this tale vividly alive in the Irish imagination for over 2000 years.
• You can follow their progress of the Loving Vincent project or even get involved yourself on their website; and check out their successful Kickstarter (they ran two) here
• Find out more about Hound here: http://houndthemovie.com