Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison in THE BEATLES: GET BACK. Photo courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd.
If your looking for a docuseries to take you back to an exciting time in music, look no further than Disney+’s The Beatles: Get Back. This is a unique experience by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson. Time travel back in time to the band’s January 1969 intimate recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history. Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given exclusive access to the private film archives of The Beatles. This included 60 hours of unreleased film footage.
In this footage, we see the creative process as The Beatles attempted to write fourteen new songs as they prepared for their first live concert in over two years. It chronicles how this legendary band made music together in their final year together as a group. So how did Jackson out of all filmmakers, end up with this massive project?
In a recent press conference with Jackson that LRM Online took part in, he tells the story of how he became involved with The Beatles: Get Back. He begins by sharing that he had met Paul McCartney at a premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. But that besides knowing who each other were professionally, that was really the extent of their relationship. But then while on a trip for another project, he met with Johnathan Clyde and Jeff Jones.
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“They wanted to talk to me about VR and AR. They must have read an interview with me where I said that I was interested, and that which, yeah, I am. So, they wanted to pick my brains, ‘cause they were doing an exhibition of The Beatle. They were planning it on a Beatles exhibition. It was gonna have some sort of VR or AR thing. And that’s all long gone now, but during that meeting, I didn’t want to act like a fan, but one of the things I’d always wondered about over the last 40 years is what happened to all the unused footage from Let It Be?” Said Jackson.
“I was always curious about that and that you know. Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot a lot of stuff that didn’t get used. I had no idea if it survived and had no idea how much there was. And no books really talk about it. So, I asked my fan question of them, and I said, ‘Oh, by the way, you know, that when Let It Be was shot in 1969, you know, is there any outtakes? Have you guys got anything you didn’t use?’ You know, I was trying to not act like a fan. And they said, ‘Yeah, yeah, there’s-there’s-there’s about 60 hours of film and 130 hours of audio. And we’ve got all that.’ And yeah, and I’m sort of going, ‘Oh my God, how do I get to see that?’” He continued.
It just so happened that they were also thinking about revisiting that collection of footage. As they hadn’t seen it either. In fact, they had also thought of the possibility of making a documentary out of it. To do that, they would need a filmmaker, and who is better than the man before them, Peter Jackson. He concludes the story by crediting being at the right place and at the right time.
It’s always interesting to hear how projects like these come together. Especially with the footage of a beloved band like The Beatles. With the direction of an amazing filmmaker like Peter Jackson. What you get in the end is an amazing view of the final days of one of the most influential groups of all time.
Are you a fan of The Beatles? Let us know in the comments below!
The Beatles: Get Back is now available on Disney+.