The Beatles notoriously split up amid controversy by the end of the 1960s. However, their legacy and cultural influence continues to last. During their time as rock stars, the group of Englishman also filmed a number of movies. However, one film, “Let it Be,” named for their classic hit, spurred a bit of frustration from the group while it was being filmed. After its release, the film flopped as The Beatles had split. In a recent interview, director Peter Jackson shares theirs concerns – as well as his new project.
Peter Jackson is best known for directing “The Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies. However, he’s taken on a new project. On November 25, the director and producer will release a docuseries about The Beatles and their time filming “Let it Be” – where they reportedly had a “running battle” with the film’s original creator.
In an interview with UCR, the director discusses these issues.
“They have this wonderful running battle with Michael Lindsay-Hogg,” Jackson says in the interview. “Michael is determined to try to capture as much candid material as he can. … They’re aware that he’s doing this. … He would get the cameraman to set up the tripod, set up a shot, press the button and then walk away as if they’re off to have a cup of tea. And the camera would have a 10-minute roll of film in it, and it would just be quietly rolling. He used to put some tape over the red light.”
Uncovering Original Filmmaker’s Methods
He went on to describe the filmmaker’s secretive recording process. Which is something The Beatles members caught onto quickly.
“And Michael would also hide microphones everywhere to try to capture candid conversations. What John [Lennon] and George [Harrison] used to do is, if they were in a conversation, they would turn their amps up loud and they’d strum the guitar. So all Michael’s microphones were recording was this loud guitar. What we’ve been able to do with artificial intelligence-based technology is strip the guitars off now and expose the private conversations that they had. Some key parts of our movie feature private conversations that they tried to disguise or tried to cover up at the time that he was recording them.”
The Beatles as Individuals
For Jackson’s latest project, titled “The Beatles: Get Back,” the director is utilizing that technology to strip away the guitar sounds to get the real private conversations that took place. This is of course with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr’s permission, of course.
The documentary will attempt to show the ‘Liverpool lads’ as individuals. Though they were known as a single image – fame and stardom beyond anyone’s beliefs – there was a complex side to the group as well.
“And here we see that they’re not a unit; they’re just four guys, four separate human beings, just like any four people are. They have their own opinions. They deal with things in a different way. I came away respecting them more … thinking they’re actually pretty decent, sensible guys. There’s no ego. There’s no prima donna. They have disagreements. They have different ambitions. They’re different people,” Jackson says.
The director’s docuseries will debut on November 25 on Disney Plus.