Peter Jackson—the filmmaker behind such epics as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong—has spent the better part of the last four years cutting together footage from The Beatles’ final album-making process. And just as he grew up in the perfect era to fully appreciate the iconic rock group, Jackson suggests that now is the ideal time for fans to take in Get Back.
As the name suggests, the three-part docuseries follows The Beatles through their storied “Get Back” studio sessions. Of course, fans know that the final product of these sessions was the Let It Be album. It was released in 1970, months after initially intended and under the reworked title.
The fact that the band broke up in the process of putting the record together led many to speculate that the studio experience was miserable. After all, the headlines seemed to indicate deep divisions among the band members. Indeed, they were more divided than they’d ever been. But according to Peter Jackson, who spent weeks combing through hours upon hours of footage, The Beatles got along famously.
Their behavior drove Jackson to tears… of laughter. The filmmaker was shocked at how much fun the group was having, especially considering all the rumors he’d read and heard over the years. In an essay he wrote ahead of Disney+ releasing The Beatles: Get Back, he explained why the story, which on its face seems sad, is actually uplifting.
“I’ve been making Get Back for Beatles fans, but it’s not just for Beatles fans. The events of January 1969 make a compelling story that everyone can enjoy for a few hours. We all need some cheering up right now, and the Beatles certainly provide that — just like they’ve done for me these past five decades,” Jackson wrote.
The Four Years of Post-Production on The Beatles Docuseries Is the Longest Peter Jackson Has Spent on Any Project
Remember when we told you Peter Jackson was the mind behind the award-winning Lord of the Rings adaptations? Well, if you’re at all familiar with those movies, you know the director’s cuts of each one clock in around the three-four-hour range. Given the sheer scale of those films, that meant editing for months on end.
Fast forward to 2021, and Jackson found himself wrapping up the lengthiest project of his career. Who knew it’d be a docuseries about a rock group?
“I’ve been editing that footage into Get Back for four years now, which makes it the longest postproduction I’ve ever done on a project,” Jackson wrote.
Of course, the pandemic didn’t help his process any. But working on The Beatles: Get Back provided Jackson a welcome reprieve from the depressing realities of the world around him. And if it could cheer him up, he thinks the final product can do the same for audiences.