We were commissioned by the outstanding artist and painter Paul Stangroom to make an introduction film for his website. Paul runs a little gallery from Prudhoe in the Tyne Valley where he sells his artwork and teaches several painting classes a week. Paul wanted a film that demonstrated the synergy between his painting practice and the teaching that he loves to do.
We set out by trying to gain a deeper understanding of Paul and one particular body of work that focuses on abandoned buildings in the North Pennines. The work is called In The Passing of Time and features the poetry of Noel Connor.
Paul wanted to make sure he came across well on camera so we put him at ease and involved him right through the edit process so he could be comfortable with what was being created. An artist’s business is themselves, they are their work so we fully understood Paul’s concerns and were able to authentically portray the man, his passions and his work.
Being a landscape painter we wanted to get out in the landscape and shoot where some of these wonderful paintings began. We also went back to the source of the poetry that compliments the paintings and recorded several poems so we could bring them into the film.
To introduce the film we began with one of Paul’s paintings, we went back to where the painting of two empty chairs. Amazingly the scene was exactly as Paul had painted it, untouched by anything other than the passing of time. We got to work creating some cinematic shots of the scene. We used what we captured with the reading of a poem from the book read by Mike Tickell and the whole piece really sets off the viewer into the emotion of one of Paul’s amazing paintings.
With the visuals firmly grasped we had to find Paul’s story, his why. We wanted to show the synergy between Paul’s painting and the classes he teaches, that he learns from teaching and the pleasure he gets from teaching. So we shot in the studio.
We interviewed Paul in his studio where we could really get to the bottom of his story. From there we shot him teaching using handheld camera work to put the viewer in the class and convey an organic hands on element that Paul uses when he teaches. Finally we got some footage of Paul painting in his studio. For this we wanted to convey the delicacy of Paul’s approach to painting so we used sliding camera moves to reflect this precision.
The final piece is a fantastic little portrait of Paul and his gallery in Prudhoe