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Tim's Vermeer
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Tim's Vermeer (2013) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 22 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
Tim's Vermeer --  	Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.
Tim's Vermeer -- Clip from Tim's Vermeer
Tim's Vermeer -- Clip: Tim Paints His Father-In-Law
Tim's Vermeer -- Clip: Tim Is Not A Painter


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Penn Jillette (written by)
Teller (written by)
View company contact information for Tim's Vermeer on IMDbPro.
Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 5 nominations See more »
(86 articles)
User Reviews:
A masterpiece See more (44 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tim Jenison ... Himself

Penn Jillette ... Himself

Martin Mull ... Himself
Philip Steadman ... Himself (as Prof. Philip Steadman)

David Hockney ... Himself
Colin Blakemore ... Himself
Leslie Jenison ... Herself
Eric Armitage ... Himself
Daniëlle Lokin ... Herself (as Daniélle Lokin)
Bob Groothuis ... Himself
Ankie Bonnet ... Herself
Ruth Steadman ... Herself
Mike Hayes ... Himself
Nicola Vigini ... Herself
Graham Toms ... Himself
Claire Jenison ... Herself
Luren Jenison ... Herself
Natalie Jenison ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Teller ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Penn Jillette  written by
Teller  written by

Produced by
Glenn S. Alai .... executive producer
Peter Adam Golden .... executive producer
Natalie Jenison .... associate producer
Tim Jenison .... executive producer
Penn Jillette .... producer
Teller .... executive producer
Farley Ziegler .... producer
Original Music by
Conrad Pope 
Cinematography by
Shane F. Kelly (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Patrick Sheffield 
Makeup Department
Phylis Bond .... makeup artist: Las Vegas, Nevada
Jessie Deol .... makeup artist: London, England
Production Management
James Harris .... production manager: London, England
Sound Department
Larry Blake .... re-recording mixer
Marcus Clotfelter .... sound: Las Vegas, Nevada
Matt Coby .... dialogue editor
Yohan Forbes .... sound: London, England
Allen Green .... sound: San Antonio, Texas
Reddi-Rich Herren .... recording engineer: narration
Billy Theriot .... sound editor
Steven Van Sijk .... sound: The Netherlands
Scott Wildfong .... sound: Las Vegas, Nevada
Visual Effects by
Clint Beckwith .... compositor
Jarrod Davis .... digital effects artist
Dave Jerrard .... computer-generated imagery
Dave Jerrard .... digital effects artist
Rob Powers .... digital effects artist
Graham Toms .... digital effects artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Darren Abate .... additional camera
Robert M. Berger .... cameraman: The Netherlands
Carlos Boillat .... camera department intern: San Antonio, Texas
Gary Day .... additional camera
Leslie Jenison .... additional camera
Natalie Jenison .... additional camera
Tim Jenison .... additional camera
James Lewis .... camera assistant: London, England
Stuart McSpadden .... camera operator: San Antonio, Texas
Stuart McSpadden .... digital imaging technician: San Antonio, Texas
Kevin Nations .... additional camera
Ben Newberry .... digital imaging technician: Las Vegas, Nevada
Rex Olson .... additional camera
Mark Rabdall .... additional camera
Kurt Rauf .... camera operator: Las Vegas, Nevada
Kurt Rauf .... gaffer: Las Vegas, Nevada
Kevin Rouviere .... additional camera
Karl Schmidt .... additional camera
E.M. Seinert .... additional camera
Charles Seligman .... gaffer: San Antonio, Texas (as Charlie Seligman)
Patrick Sheffield .... additional camera
Richard Spierings .... camera/light trainee: The Netherlands
Tony Stutterheim .... additional camera
Teller .... additional camera
Carlo Villarreal .... additional camera
Felix Wiedemann .... cameraman: London, England
Jonathan Wilkinson .... additional camera
Jay Wroblewski .... lighting: Pen & Teller Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada
Roel Sooma van Ypma .... gaffer: The Netherlands (as Roel Ypma)
Farley Ziegler .... additional camera
Editorial Department
Nick Smith .... colorist
Nick Smith .... on-line editor
Daniel Stuyck .... color assist
Music Department
David Arch .... musician: piano (as Dave Arch)
Chris Baron .... musician: marimba
Thomas Bowes .... musician: principal violin
Fiona Cruickshank .... assistant music recording engineer
Caroline Dale .... musician: principal cello
Jay Duerr .... music editor
Roger Garland .... musician: principal 2nd violin
Isobel Griffiths .... musicians contractor
Dave Hage .... music preparation: Dakota Music Sevice (as David Hage)
Jake Jackson .... music recordist
Karen Jones .... musician: flute
Skaila Kanga .... musician: harp
Chris Lawrence .... musician: principal bass/upright bass (as Chris Laurence)
Adam Miller .... assistant music recording engineer
Bill Newlin .... orchestrator
Conrad Pope .... conductor
Frank Ricotti .... musician: vibes
Richard Skinner .... musician: bassoon
Damon Tedesco .... music mixer
David Theodore .... musician: oboe
Lucy Whalley .... assistant musicians contractor
Bruce White .... musician: principal viola
Other crew
Julie Angell .... production counsel: Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo
Cameron Arguelles .... conversion
Rip Beyman .... production counsel: Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo
Kathleen Boyette Bramlett .... stage manager: Penn & Teller Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada (as Kathleen Burt Boyette)
Bryant Espimosa .... production assistant: Las Vegas, Nevada
Taj Fennell .... production assistant: San Antonio, Texas
Laura Foley .... assistant: Penn & Teller
Bobby Keber .... staging: Penn & Teller Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada
Michael Kossew .... production assistant: London, England
Matthew Porter .... production assistant: London, England
Robert Shulevitz .... production consultant
Daniel Stuyck .... end titles designer
Daniel Verrier .... production services: London, England
Julie Wamsley .... production accountant
Susan Bliss .... post-production scripts (uncredited)
Colin Blakemore .... love and gratitude to
Dominique Cardona .... the producers wish to thank
Laurie Colbert .... the producers wish to thank
Joanie Diener .... the producers wish to thank
Bob Dylan .... love and gratitude to
David Fincher .... love and gratitude to
David Hockney .... and especially
Claire Jenison .... love and gratitude to
Leslie Jenison .... love and gratitude to
Luren Jenison .... love and gratitude to
Natalie Jenison .... love and gratitude to
Tero Kaukomaa .... the filmmakers wish to thank
Martin Mull .... love and gratitude to
Stephen Nemeth .... the producers wish to thank
Arthur Penn .... love and gratitude to
Austin Richards .... the producers wish to thank (as Dr. Austin Richards)
Gary Rosen .... the producers wish to thank
Holly Goldberg Sloan .... love and gratitude to
Philip Steadman .... love and gratitude to
Ruth Steadman .... love and gratitude to
Essi Suomela .... the filmmakers wish to thank
Graham Toms .... the producers wish to thank

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some strong language
80 min
Canada:G (British Columbia) | Germany:0 | Singapore:PG13 | Singapore:NC-16 (DVD rating) | South Korea:12 | UK:12 | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

About 2400 hours of footage was collected. Director Teller had trouble editing the footage down to feature film length and consider stopping the editing process all together. He consulted his friend Penn on where to go next, and Penn gave him a one sentence plot summary: "A man discovers how to create art without knowing how." This was all Teller needed to get the film down to feature film length.See more »
Tim Jenison:There's also this modern idea that art and technology must never meet - you know, you go to school for technology or you go to school for art, but never for both... And in the Golden Age, they were one and the same person.See more »
Smoke On The WaterSee more »


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31 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
A masterpiece, 13 March 2014

I'm not blessed with a natural sense of curiosity, so the question of how Dutch Master, Johannes Vermeer, painted his extraordinary masterpieces has never kept me up at night. Tim's Vermeer made me realize I should be kept up at night by the mysteries of the past. I love this movie. I love that I paid close attention through it all. I love Tim Jenison's biting humor. I love the mystery surrounding his theory. I love that even back then, there were people doing things behind the scenes to make the ordinary extraordinary. And I love that we will never know if it's true.

Let me bring in my friend Heidi Sullivan to explain the meat and potatoes. Heidi and I made our yearly trek this year to the Hamptons together for the Hamptons Film Festival. She is an award-winning documentarian, and much, much, much smarter than I am. She also picks the movies we see because she is a deep-sea diver who spends time diving into things, while I am a water skier, flying over things on the surface level. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Anyway, in the interest of making sure you get the whole thing, I asked her to write the paragraph explaining Tim's theory on Vermeer's painting process. Here is it. After you read it, you will be glad I asked her. She is nothing if not articulate when it comes to complex issues. She went to Harvard. Just sayin'.

"Unlike those of his contemporaries, none of Vermeer's sketchbooks have ever been found, nor have X-rays of Vermeer paintings revealed any pencil marks underneath the paint, Intrigued by this fact, Jenison reasoned that Vermeer must have used a camera obscura, the 17th-century equivalent of a camera, to obtain his hyper-realist look (as the film points out, camera obscura literally means darkroom). To test out his theory, and limiting himself to objects and pigments that would have existed in Vermeer's day, Jenison positioned a mirror on a stick, placing the mirror at an angle to reflect the image to be painted onto his tablet. To match the color of the reflected image exactly, Jenison continually kept his eye on the edge of the mirror. Looking between the mirror and the reflected image he was painting, if the color he was using was too dark or too light, the edge of the mirror was visible to his eye. But once he mixed his colors to match exactly, the edge of the mirror seemed to disappear – his eye and the mirror functioning as a sort of photo-sensor. It was an incredibly painstaking paint-by-numbers process, but one that yielded uncanny results." Amazing right? But more amazing is Tim's exploration of this question. His journey to see if he could replicate is told with honesty, humor, and intelligence. Perhaps best of all, it approaches an extremely difficult topic with a sense of comic perspective. No one is curing cancer. He was responding to his own internal boredom with a project he admits he would have abandoned had not the cameras been rolling. There were 2,500 hours of film to edit. A feat in itself.

There is a moment on film that I couldn't leave behind. Tim's daughter spends her week home from college posing for the painting. She has to be perfectly still. A contraption is strapped to her head that makes it look like she has just broken her neck and is in traction. She has a Diet Coke on the table, and the moment when she reaches for it and takes a drink is priceless. Coke should use it in a commercial. And, Tim's comment that she couldn't wait to return to school was priceless.

I have to mention Penn Jillette, who was the 'Director' of this movie. But he really wasn't. He was the famous person whose backing allowed it to be made. Or so it seemed. I'm not a fan anyway, so having him associated with the film would have been a reason not to go, rather than a reason to pay attention.

I like stick-to-itiveness in a person. I do. I can't wait to see a Vermeer and at the Met the next time I am in New York City. I like to be smarter than I was a few hours ago. I like to know things. For those reasons alone, go see the Tim's Vermeer. Become smarter. Ask yourself if Vermeer could secretly have been a paint-by-numbers kind of guy, hiding it because he knew it was a form of cheating? If the answer is yes, what else is possible?

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