The short documentary film “Up There” will premiered yesterday in New York City with a simultaneous online debut at www.uptherefilm.com.
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” (www.theritualproject.com). 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