"I have genuine pride in what we made, and I’ll cherish that for years to come."
Peter Jackson is soon making his music video directorial debut with a collaboration that’s not at all surprising, lining up director duties for The Beatles’ final song, Now And Then. Jackson directed the eight-hour documentary music film, The Beatles: Get Back, which premiered in 2021.
The “poignant and humorous” music video will premiere on the band’s YouTube channel on Friday, 3 November.
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“To be honest, just thinking about the responsibility of having to make a music video worthy of the last song The Beatles will ever release produced a collection of anxieties almost too overwhelming to deal with,” Jackson said in a statement via The Beatles’ website.
Explaining his anxieties about approaching the project he was asked to do by Apple, Jackson continued, “My lifelong love of The Beatles collided into a wall of sheer terror at the thought of letting everyone down.
“This created intense insecurity in me because I’d never made a music video before, and was not able to imagine how I could even begin to create one for a band that broke up over 50 years ago, had never actually performed the song, and had half of its members no longer with us.”
It was a process – bemoaning the lack of “suitable footage”, Jackson wasn’t sure how to create the video.
Knowing that The Beatles didn’t take no for an answer, the Lord Of The Rings director was “swept up” by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr’s enthusiasm. The pair sent Jackson footage of themselves, while Apple found over 14 hours of forgotten film shot during 1995 recording sessions.
The cherry on top of the cake was when John Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia, sent Jackson “great unseen home movie footage”.
“Watching this footage completely changed the situation – I could see how a music video could be made,” Jackson explained. “Actually, I found it far easier if I thought of it as making a short movie, so that’s what I did… My lack of confidence with music videos didn’t matter anymore if I wasn’t making one. Even so, I still had no solid vision for what this short film should be – so I turned to the song for guidance.”
He continued, “To be honest, while we hope we’ve given The Beatles a suitable final farewell, that’s something you’ll need to decide for yourselves when it’s finally released - only a few days from now.
“Having got to the end, I’m very happy I’m not waiting for the release of somebody else’s Now And Then music video. I have genuine pride in what we made, and I’ll cherish that for years to come. A huge thanks to Apple Corps and the Fabs for giving me all the support I needed - and not allowing me to wriggle away.”
In addition to releasing the final single, The Beatles will unveil a 12-minute documentary film, Now And Then - The Last Beatles Song, written and directed by Oliver Murray. You can watch the trailer below before the documentary arrives on YouTube on 1 November.