Mother announces release of short film, "Up There"

The short documentary film “Up There” will premiered yesterday in New York City with a simultaneous online debut at

The film chronicles the dying craft of hand-painted advertising, a trade that is equal parts artistic precision and grueling labor. Shot over two months, “Up There” tells the stories of the New York painters who are struggling to keep this advertising method alive.

“Up There” presents the painters’ work on Stella Artois’ “The Ritual Project” ( The 21-day project in NYC’s SoHo Cast Iron Historic District featured painters from Sky High Murals hand-painting the steps of the Belgian Pouring Ritual in sequence on a 20- by 50-foot wall, which was captured for a stop-motion film. Additionally, the “Up There” profiles retired artist Bob Middleton, owner of the prominent Mack Sign Company, who discusses his long career as a wall painter in New York City.

The documentary was a collaborative project, based on an original concept from Mother New York, produced by San Francisco creative production studio Mekanism and directed, filmed and edited by Mekanism’s Malcolm Murray.
“It was an amazing experience to witness the painters’ meticulous attention to detail, their sacrifice and passion. The film shows their untold story as they work in a suspended world isolated from the busy streets below, battling both the natural elements and changes in the advertising industry that could make their livelihoods extinct,” said the film’s director Malcolm Murray.

AGENCY CREDITS - UP THERE (branded content/film portion)

Agency: Mother New York

Executive Creative Directors: Linus Karlsson & Paul Malmstrom

Creatives: Christine Gignac & Jon Lancaric

Mother: Alex Stankiewicz

Producer: Mike Aaron, Emma Starzacher

Strategist: Mark Fielding, Ben Parker

Director: Malcolm Murray

Production Company: Mekanism

Executive Producers: Mat Lundberg, Tommy Means

Line Producers: Katie Matson, Beth Shulman

Director of Photography: Malcolm Murray

Editor: Malcolm Murray

Painters: Colossal Media/Sky High Murals, Bob Middleton

Music: The Album Leaf, courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Sound Mix: Peter Buccellato, Sound Lounge

Music Supervisor: Jason Baker, Singing Serpant

1st AC: Christopher Parker

Timelapse Photography: Morgan Howland

Comments (1)

  • Dabitch's picture

    awesome. Was always fascinated by these guys. That's really hard work, and a serious skillset.

    Apr 21, 2010

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caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.