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(Left to right) David Thompson, Hugh Welchman and Kristin Marshall

29 September 2017

Loving Vincent director gives media students insight into groundbreaking film

Hugh Welchman shares inspirations and processes behind the film that took 125 artists to create

Director Hugh Welchman, co-director of Loving Vincent alongside Dorota Kobielam visited Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University to share the history and process behind his new film with Animation, Filmmaking and Film and Media Studies students. 

The film, which is due to be premiered at the National Gallery in London on 9 October and broadcast live to cinemas around the UK, portrays the life of Vincent Van Gogh. It brings to life scenes from his life, recreated in the style of his paintings, utilizing innovative oil painting techniques. 

It took approximately 7 years to complete the complex animation project and 125 painters, to bring the work to life. 

Students were treated to first hand accounts of the inspiration behind the film, research of Vincent Van Gogh's life, the processing of recruiting artists and technical processes and timescales behind the film, in a Q&A session with Hugh. 

Questions were put to the director by BA (Hons) Filmmaking Programme Leader David Thompson and BA (Hons) Animation Programme Leader Kristin Marshall, before the floor was opened up to students who quizzed him about the casting, difficult choices in the animation process, and upcoming projects. 

'It was amazing that we had the first fully painted feature film shown here, and not only that, but a Q&A with Hugh Welchman - one half of the exceptionally talented, hardworking and inspirational pair of filmmakers who created it,' commented David Thompson. 

'I think the most important thing for out Filmmaking students (from my point of view), is that they get a personal connection and experience real people doing extraordinary things.

In an intimate Q&A situation like this, they see that these filmmakers are human, they have had their struggles and made mistakes creating their film, but it's how they respond to those mistakes that counts the most.

The directors may be doing press junkets, walking the walk and talking the talk, but they're everyday people just like our students. They have a vision, they work hard and in the case of Loving Vincent, work for an exceptionally long time to achieve it!

The students can hopefully get to see that achieving their dreams, getting where they want to go is simply about doing the work, putting in the hours and staying focused. 

In Manchester right now (the second largest creative hub in Europe - and growing), they have an unbelievable opportunity to achieve their goals and shape the future of filmmaking in the UK. It's a very exciting time.' 

Students will also have the opportunity to hear from Hugh Welchman at the upcoming Manchester Animation Festival 2017, which is also set to feature students films.