Today one of the most anticipated premieres comes exclusively to Disney +: the original three-part documentary series “The Beatles: Get Back”. Today, tomorrow and November 27, the audience is invited to enter the creative universe of John, Paul, George and Ringo like never before. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, the new docuseries is made entirely from previously unreleased footage of the band’s 1969 recording sessions, showcasing The Beatles’ creative process as they attempt to write 14 new songs and prepare for their release. first live concert after more than two years without public appearances.
The new documentary series is not only a powerful historical document that allows us to understand the dynamics of the most influential band of all time, but it is also an extraordinary example of the power of technological innovation, put at the service of restoring the image and Sound.
Here, eight curiosities about “The Beatles: Get Back” to enter the universe of the “Fab four” and absorb to the maximum everything that the documentary offers:
1.- Peter Jackson was the only one in 50 years to access the archival material: Acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson, known for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and recently for his World War I documentary “They will never grow old.” , is the only person in fifty years who had access to the audiovisual material stored in the Apple Corps vaults., the company that handles all the creative and business interests of Los Beatles. It consisted of 60 hours of film material and more than 100 hours of audio material, captured over three weeks in January 1969, at Twickenham Studios and at the Apple Corps office studio, both in London. The material had been recorded to produce a live television special that never came out and was filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, author of the 1970 documentary “Let It Be.” After receiving the tapes, Jackson was impressed with what he saw, and took advantage of the isolated context of the COVID-19 pandemic to immerse himself fully in the material and find a narrative thread that would structure the story.
2.- The project, however, presented him with a personal dilemma: Jackson says that while the material he discovered in the Apple Corps tapes was fascinating, the project placed it, as fan of the Beatles, faced with a great dilemma. The opportunity to see and work with the only extant substantial footage of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr composing in the studio was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I had qualms about being part of the “separation movie.” of the band, considering that the group disbanded a few months later. However, the images alone led him to make the decision to accept the project. The footage closely showed the band working together at a seminal moment in their career. It was entertaining and showed the group members warm and jovial with each other, and their interactions were lighthearted, emotional, and often silly and playful. “I don’t think there is another three-week period in Beatles history that is more prolific and creative than this,” says Jackson. So instead of seeing it as the sad breakup moment for The Beatles, which resulted in bad recordings, it’s actually one of the most hectic writing, rehearsal and recording periods they ever had. “
3.- The process of selecting and restoring the material took four years: “The Beatles: Get Back” is the result of unprecedented technical restoration work. Jackson and his team worked on the material for four years, painstakingly analyzing every second to optimize the image for unique sound quality. The restoration of the film material was carried out at Park Road Post Production in New Zealand, with a team of 14 specialized technicians. The cleaning of the sound, meanwhile, was worked in a millimetric way, taking the original recordings made in mono and paying special attention to the separation of the dialogue fragments between the members of the band in order to highlight what they were saying. “Our work with the audio revealed conversations that were previously impossible to understand, allowing us to present with greater precision and detail the ‘Get Back Sessions’ from January 1969,” says Jackson.
4.- The Beatles had not performed live in almost three years: Upon entering the studio for the sessions portrayed in the series, Los Beatles they had not performed live for almost three years, so they were eager to get together to record. They missed the connection they had as a group and hoped to recapture the energy of their early live performances in Hamburg and the Cavern Club. By this point in the career, gigs had become difficult for the band as it was difficult to hear each other above the screaming fans, so they had stopped touring in 1966.
5.- The docuserie includes “the rooftop concert” in full version: In addition to the band’s songwriting and recording sessions at Twickenham Studios and Apple Corps, The Beatles: Get Back includes, for the first time, the full 42-minute Beatles concert on the Apple Corps rooftop on January 30 1969, their last live performance as a group. It was an impromptu concert for friends and colleagues, a free performance, not scheduled or promoted, heard by anyone within three or four blocks of the vicinity.
6.- Intimate moments with family, collaborators and friends are seen: In addition to capturing the creative process of the band, “The Beatles: Get Back” allows fans to peek into the family privacy of John, Paul, George and Ringo. The material reveals the presence in the studio of Yoko Ono and Linda Eastman, who a few months later would become wives of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, respectively. You can also see some special participations, such as that of the musician Billy Preston, and tender and funny moments that involve little visitors to the studio, such as Heather McCartney, Linda’s biological daughter and Paul’s adopted daughter who at that time was just six years old.
7.- Iconic Beatles songwriting process revealed: Thanks to the extraordinary restoration of sound, the fans of the Beatles have access to “the kitchen” of some of the legendary songs of the quartet of Liverpool. Among others, you can see how the band writes “Get Back” and “Something”, revealing like never before the songwriting dynamics and creative process of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr.
8.- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were shocked by what they saw: The new documentary series moved even the very Paul McCartney. The artist comments: “As I looked at it, I thought: ‘What a fertile period that was.’ It was a very fruitful period for me. It was great for me to see it. It’s like looking at old photos. And the fact that Linda (Eastman McCartney) is taking photos obviously makes it even more special to me. It’s extraordinary. Those aspects of that whole situation are great memories, is to look at the family photo album again. There I am composing, just for fun. He was definitely going through a good musical period at the time. ” Ringo Starr, for his part, says: “I’m very excited for people to see it. Peter is extraordinary and it was great to see all that footage. There are hours and hours of us laughing and making music. There is much joy and much more peace and love, as we really were ”.