Lucian Freud’s Holland Park studio is an otherworldly space normally barred to all but the notoriously reclusive painter’s select group of sitters. It was a coup when filmmaker Tim Meara was granted access to shoot what would become his short film, Small Gestures in Bare Rooms. Freud himself no longer uses this studio—approaching his tenth decade, he finds it increasingly difficult to get up the stairs—but the paint-soiled sanctum is a testimony to the countless hours the artist has spent re-working his canvases, wiping his brush after every stroke and endlessly refining his obsessive depictions of the human body. Tim Meara created the film over six months, interviewing members of Freud’s inner circle and re-staging moments from their stories as “silent portraits,” with a voiceover by the novelist Francis Wyndham. During filming the unthinkable happened—Freud agreed to appear on camera, prompted by the memory of the birds of prey he used to keep in his Delamere Terrace studio in the 40s. For half an hour, the painter allowed himself to be filmed walking along the canal in London’s Little Venice, a kestrel perched on his arm. The full version of Meara’s short—destined to be a feature in time for Freud’s 90th birthday—can be seen beginning March 10 at the Pompidou Center, as part of the museum’s Freud retrospective.