Stella Artois and Mother provide a brief, but inspiring glimpse behind the rare profession of sign painting in the documentary film Up There. The film was directed by Malcolm Murray, produced by Mekanism, and based on an original concept developed by the advertising agency Mother NY.
“Shot high above the streets of New York City, Up There reveals the dying craft of large-scale hand painted advertising and the untold story of the painters struggling to keep it alive.” —Up There film
“Hand-painted advertising is a dying craft, equal parts art and labor. Shot predominantly in Lower Manhattan in the Fall of 2009, ‘Up There’ is the emotional story of a few generations of men — some working on Stella Artois’ 'The Ritual Project' wall, others reflecting on the lives they’ve lived – who continue to keep this form alive despite changing economic conditions...” —Mother
It isn't often that I am interested in promotional campaigns affiliated with Anheuser-Busch, but this unique approach is compelling, good-natured content. This short film is a clever way to bring attention to the Stella Artois brand, a Belgian beer brewery with a long history.
The next time I pass an in-progress sign painting promoting a new film on 23rd street, I'll have a new found appreciation for the meticulous craft, and dedication of the painters behind it. Here are a few I've spotted: