The official video clip of Now And Thenthe Beatles’ last song, will be directed by Peter Jackson, making his debut behind the camera of a music video.
The video clip will be released at 3.00 pm (Italian time) on Friday 3 November on the Beatles’ official YouTube channel. The heartwarming and funny music video invites viewers to celebrate the group’s timeless and enduring love for each other along with John, Paul, George and Ringo as they created the Beatles’ final song.
Peter Jackson, director of the video clip, said:
When Apple asked me to direct the video I was reluctant – I thought my next few months would be a lot more fun if that difficult task was someone else’s problem and I could be like any other Beatles fan, enjoying the night before the release of a new Beatles song and video. In 1995 I loved the childlike excitement I felt when Free As A Bird was about to come out.
I could experience all of this again – if only I had said no to the Beatles.
To be honest, just thinking about the responsibility of having to make a music video worthy of the Beatles’ latest song has generated a set of anxieties that are perhaps too overwhelming to handle. My lifelong love of the Beatles was met with a wall of pure terror at the thought of disappointing everyone. This instilled a strong insecurity in me, because I had never made a music video before and I couldn’t imagine how I could even begin to create one for a band that had broken up over 50 years ago, who had no never sang the song live and in which half of its members were no longer with us.
It was much easier to run away.
I just needed some time to find a good reason to say no to the Beatles, so I never agreed to do the music video for Now And Then (in fact I never have to this day).
I told Apple that the lack of suitable footage concerned me. We were supposed to use a lot of rare and previously unseen footage, but there is very little… There didn’t seem to be anything showing Paul, George and Ringo working on Now And Then in 1995… There isn’t much footage of John in the mid-seventies, when wrote the demo… I complained about the lack of unreleased footage of the Beatles from the 1960s… And last year they didn’t shoot a single clip of Paul and Ringo working on the song.
A Beatles music video must have great footage of the Beatles at its center. CGI actors or Beatles cannot be used. Every shot of the Beatles had to be authentic. By now I had no idea how you could make a Now And Then music video if you didn’t have any decent footage to work with, and this was by no means a trivial excuse. My fear and insecurity now had more than solid reasons to prevail and allow me to say no without looking like a chicken.
I knew the Beatles don’t take no for an answer if they have a project in mind, but they didn’t even wait for me to say no! I found myself being carried away by them as they quickly addressed my concerns. Paul and Ringo took some footage of them performing and sent it to me. Apple unearthed over 14 hours of long-forgotten footage shot during the 1995 recording sessions, including several hours of Paul, George and Ringo working on Now And Then, and gave it all to me. Sean and Olivia found some previously unreleased videos and sent them to me. To top it off, Pete Best kindly provided me with a few precious seconds of the Beatles performing in their leather suits, the earliest known footage of the Beatles and never before shown.
Seeing these videos changed the situation completely – I now saw how a music video could be made. In truth, I found it easier if I thought of it like making a short film, so that’s what I did…my lack of confidence with music videos no longer mattered if I hadn’t made one.
Despite this, I still didn’t have a solid vision for what this short film should be, so I turned to the song for inspiration.
Having separated John’s vocals from the demo over a year ago, Giles had produced an initial mix of Now And Then. He sent it to me in 2022. I really liked it. Since then I will have listened to Now And Then more than 50 times, just for the sheer pleasure of it.
So I started listening to it carefully for different reasons. I hoped that the ideas and inspiration for the short film would somehow emerge from the music. And that started to happen. As I continued to listen, it seemed as if the song created ideas and images that began to make their way into my head, without any conscious effort on my part.
I worked with Jabez Olssen, my editor on Get Back, to try to understand how new footage could be used to support these vague ideas. It was a very organic process, and we slowly started building little pieces, flowing images and music in different ways, until things started to fall into place.
We wanted the short film to shed some tears, but generating emotion using only archive footage is a difficult thing. Luckily, the sheer power of this beautiful piece did most of the work for us, and we finished the first 30 – 40 seconds of the film quickly.
Once this was done, we moved straight to the finale and attempted to create something that could adequately sum up the enormity of the Beatles’ legacy – in the final seconds of their final recording. This proved impossible. Their contribution to the world is too immense and their wonderful gift of their Music has become part of our DNA and is almost unspeakable.
I realized that we needed each viewer’s imagination to do what we couldn’t do, and have each viewer create their own farewell to the Beatles – but we had to gently usher everyone into that moment. I had some vague ideas, but I didn’t know how to carry them out.
Luckily, Dhani Harrison was visiting New Zealand at the time. I discussed the ending with him and described a vague idea I was toying with. His eyes immediately filled with tears, and so we took that route.
Jabez and I started thinking about the middle part. Now we could look at the beginning and the end, and we quickly realized that our initial plan of having the same emotional power through this middle section would have been completely wrong. The Beatles weren’t like that. At their core they were irreverent and funny, and the middle was something else.
We needed to laugh at the Beatles and do it with them. They were always making fun of themselves and the more others took them seriously, the more they acted like fools.
Luckily we found a collection of previously unreleased visual material in the vault, in which the Beatles are relaxed, fun and quite candid. This became the focus of our central section and we inserted moments of humor into some shots taken in 2023. The result is quite crazy and gave the video a newfound balance between sadness and fun.
The video was finally completed after WētāFX finished some simple but tricky VFX shots.
To be honest, while we hope we’ve given The Beatles a proper farewell, that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself when the video is finally released, a few days from now.
Having reached the end, I’m very happy not to wait for the release of the Now And Then music video directed by someone else. I’m really proud of what we accomplished and will cherish it for years to come. A huge thank you to Apple Corps and the Fabs for giving me all the support I needed and for not letting me back down.”
The video clip follows the release of “Now And Then” is the last Beatles song, written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later .
“Now And Then” will be released simultaneously worldwide at 3.00 pm (Italian time) on Thursday 2 November via Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.
The single’s double A-side pairs the Beatles’ last song with their first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do,” completes the circle perfectly. Both songs were mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos® while the original cover was created by renowned artist Ed Ruscha.
THE DOCUMENTARY FILM
A 12-minute documentary film, “Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song,” written and directed by Oliver Murray will premiere on November 1. It will also be uploaded to the Beatles’ official YouTube channel at 8.30pm (Italian time). The moving short tells the story behind the Beatles’ final song, through exclusive video material and commentary by Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson.
The documentary “Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song” will be available to watch on the Beatles’ official YouTube profile.
On November 10, the Beatles’ collections, 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’), will be released in new 2023 editions via Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. Since first appearing 50 years ago, these albums have introduced the Beatles’ music to subsequent generations. Now the tracklists of both collections have been extended, with all songs mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos. 4 new CDs and a 180 gram 6LP vinyl collection join “Red” and “Blue” in a collector’s box set. The UK version of the single “Love Me Do” opens 1962-1966 (2023 Edition), while “Now And Then” is contained within 1967-1970 (2023 Edition) to complete the collections that cover their entire career.
WEB & SOCIAL
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