While we are worrying about the specter of print’s demise, the death of hand-painted billboards and wall paintings is happening right now. Fortunately, the brewers of Stella Artois beer have funded an excellent short documentary about the arts and crafts persons who climb high to make monumental images. “Up There,” directed by Malcolm Murray, is based on an idea by the ad agency Mother New York and produced by Mekanism with music by The Album Leaf. Shot over two months, the film tells the stories of the New York painters who are struggling to keep this method alive.
“Up There,” which you can see right here, was filmed high above the streets of NYC and chronicles the painting of a five-story Stella Artois billboard known as “The Ritual Project” in NYC’s SoHo Cast Iron Historic District. The project featured the painters from Sky High Murals. With many billboard companies turning to digital printing, this is a welcome chronicle of the daredevils who make these spectaculars.