At a studio in the port city of Gdańsk, Poland, an unprecedented cinematic effort is underway. More than 100 painters, all trained in the style of famed Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, are painstakingly crafting 12 oil paintings per frame for a new biopic called "Loving Vincent."

The project, in development since 2014, is the brainchild of Polish painter and director Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. According to Kobiela, she was inspired to create the film after reading a letter from Van Gogh to his brother, a fellow artist.

“He said we can only speak through our paintings," she told Voice of America. "And these words were very important for me, and they were actually the reason we are making this film like that."


"Loving Vincent" will explore Van Gogh's life and death through 120 of his paintings and some 800 of his personal letters. After a live action scene is filmed, the individual frames from the captured video are sent to the painters, who get to work applying the brushstrokes that define Van Gogh's style. When finished, the single oil painting is captured, and the process is repeated and slightly tweaked for the next frame. According to the producers, the 80-minute film will likely end up requiring more than 57,000 individual oil paintings.

“On a daily basis, I go between thinking we're completely inspired, we are doing something no one's ever done, we're going to do it and I also think this is insane," Welchman told VoA. "There's a very good reason why no one has ever tried to make an entire film out of paintings."


To help speed the process along, the "Loving Vincent" production is seeking artists from around the world interested in collaborating on the film. And if you've never painted in the style of Van Gogh, no worries. Those who make it past the initial audition will receive an intensive 180-hour course in painting like the master himself.

Check out a trailer for "Loving Vincent" below. The film is expected to be completed sometime in the next two years.