Beatles Live Project update
Posted by Roger Stormo
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The Beatles Live - news trickles in slowly.
A Beatles news page of the Japanese Universal Music site now has a few details regarding "The Beatles Live Project". The "project" part of the title has been dropped, and THE BEATLES LIVE is the current working title. The page also has the autumn of 2016 as the approximate time of the film's release.
Translating somewhat awkwardly from Japanese, using Google Translate, the page goes on to say that "The Beatles Live" covers the Liverpool era of the band, and chronicles the tour years from 1963 onwards, spanning 15 countries, 90 cities and 166 performances and ending with the August 29, 1966 concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. The film interweaves filmed concert footage with interviews with celebrities and officials, exploring the evolution and phenomenal popularity of the group.
The news item goes on to list film credits:
Director: Ron Howard.
Producer: White Horse Pictures' Nigel Sinclair and Scott Pasukutchi. Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer.
Executive producers: Apple Corps Ltd. represented by Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde, Imagine Entertainment represented by Michael Rosenberg, White Horse Pictures represented by Guy East and Nicholas Ferral.
The production crew has been pretty tight lipped about what's in the film, if there's going to be spin-off products etc. Here's what White Horse Pictures writes on their website:
"The Beatles Live Untitled Project" is a feature-length documentary focused on The Beatles’ touring years, from the early days of the Cavern Club in Liverpool and engagements in Hamburg in the early ’60s to their last public concert in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, in 1966. By their last tour date in August of 1966, The Beatles had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities around the world. The cultural phenomenon their touring helped create, known as “Beatlemania,” was something the world had never seen before and laid the foundation for the globalization of culture.
Beatlemania was not just a phenomenon. It was the catalyst for a cultural shift that would alter the way people around the world viewed and consumed popular culture. At its core the film will be a piece of raw entertainment that includes an undercurrent that explains the climate that allowed for this cultural pivot point to occur. The unique conditions that caused technology and mass communication to collide. The film will also explore the incomparable electricity between performer and audience that turned the music into a movement – a common experience into something sublime. Most of all, the film will aim to illuminate what it was about the band itself – both the music and the musicians – that made the world fall at their feet, to unfurl itself in a joyful wave of youthful revolution that would reverberate through the ages.
Here at the Wogblog headquarters, word has reached us that a two hour plus "rough cut" of the film was screened in Los Angeles this month, and only to people involved with the film project. Still, the fact that Universal Music in Japan now has a news item about it, is perhaps is a sign that we are about to get some more detailed news from the official sources.
As fans of The Beatles, all we need to see is a multi-disc video collection stringing together all available performance footage in chronological order, perhaps linked with a few comments by the Fab Four themselves and Brian Epstein, taken from sixties interviews and press conferences. But that's not a likely scenario. This will be a film targeting a broader audience, and we must prepare ourselves for an ordinary documentary with talking heads and some edited performances from televised concerts, video taped concerts or home movie footage from concerts. If we're lucky, we'll get to see some stuff we didn't know existed. But we'd surely wish that Apple Corps would bring out full concert home video discs as spin off products for the fans. The Beatles' legacy deserves that kind of treatment.
Get ready: Ron Howard's 'The Beatles Live' movie coming this autumn
February 23, 2016
Apple Corps Ltd.
Universal Music Group's Japanese website has posted that “The Beatles Live,” which is the tentative title of what has also been known as “The Beatles Live Movie Project,” the long-awaited documentary of the Beatles on tour directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard, will be out this autumn. The posting, however, gives no specific date. Speculation has been that the film would be out this fall though there had been nothing previously confirming that. The website says the film was made with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono, widow of John Lennon, and Olivia Harrison, widow of George Harrison.
The Beatles' Apple Corps first announced Howard's involvement in the project in 2014. One Voice One World had previously invited Beatles fans to send in clips of home movies and photos and set up an official website. As originally announced, the film will cover the Beatles' touring years, including the early days of the Cavern Club in Liverpool and engagements in Hamburg to their last public concert in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, in 1966.
The translated Japanese text, which doesn't have a whole lot of detail, appears to say the film will start in 1961 and include the Beatles at the Cavern Club, plus the start of a European tour at the end of 1963. The film will also feature their debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964, and first world tour. The film will continue through the subsequent two years until August, 1966, when the band decided to stop touring. Production of the film has been pretty under wraps the past couple of years though a crew was seen filming at Paul McCartney's concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 2014.
The Beatles have sparingly released live material through the years. They officially released a vinyl LP combining their Hollywood Bowl shows, but have yet to release it on CD. A live audience recording of the Beatles at the Star-Club in Hamburg was taken off the market after the group put a stop to it. But they have released two double CD sets of songs recorded for BBC Radio. .
Ron Howard is known, of course, for his TV roles as a child actor on “The Andy Griffith Show” and later “Happy Days.” The first full-length film he directed was “Grand Theft Auto” in 1977. He has since directed a long string of films, including “Apollo 13,” “Ransom,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Backdraft,” “Gung Ho,” “Cocoon,” “Splash,” “Night Shift,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code.” He won a Best Director Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind” in 2002, and the film also won an Academy Award for Best Picture that year.