In the wake of his glorious and well received documentary on the First World War, They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson will undertake his documentary hat again to edit over 50 hours of unseen Beatles footage for a new film.
The film will utilise footage shot in January 1969 when the band first started to work on the Let It Be material (however it wasn’t known at the time). The sessions were an experimental departure for the band by eschewing Abbey Road for Twickenham studios, with the intention to produce a live performance of the new material as part of a television special. Unfortunately the band famously failed to finish the work and abandoned TWickenham before returning to work at Abbey Road.
It’s unclear how much of the footage was intended or left off the cutting room floor for Let It Be. It might potentially be a even more brutal look at the sessions that were dubbed to ‘break up the band’. However Jackson has stated the footage shows less of the ‘fighting’ than people imagined happened.
Jackson will be working with his They Shall Not Grow Old partners, Producer Clare Olssen and Editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for the WW1 documentary film which has been nominated for a BAFTA for best documentary.
If the footage is restored and audio suitably treated in the same delicate and detailed manner as They Shall Not Grow Old, this could be the most intimate look at the Beatles in the studio ever officially released. Recent restoration and releases from the band have been well received throughout various 50th anniversaries for the band’s material. It’s stunning to think a band that stopped working together 50 years ago can still be culturally relevant and in demand.
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New Film Project We are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson. The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, 1969. These studio sessions produced The Beatles’ Grammy Award winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award winning title song. The album was eventually released 18 months later in May 1970, several months after the band had broken up. The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but organically turned into something completely different, climaxing with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office — which took place exactly 50 years ago today. Peter Jackson said, “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about.” “I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continues Jackson, “it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate”. “I’m thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy.”