Give us your Beatles footage say 'crowd-source' producers

Nov 16, 2012
Richard A Jinman

Beatles Live! doc and Springsteen biopic will both rely on 'user-generated comment'

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THE STORY of The Beatles may seem as familiar as a fairy tale to anyone over 40. But the rise and fall of the band that redefined pop music is to get a fresh telling in a film put together using footage filmed entirely by fans.

Beatles Live! is a feature-length documentary produced by Toronto company OVOW Productions with the approval of the band's record label, Apple Corps. It will be stitched together from "bootlegs, photographs, sounds and stories from the height of Beatlemania, including material from the band's airport arrivals and radio station visits," says The Guardian.

OVOW has launched a "collaborative global quest to find and reveal hidden films" and is working with archivists, collectors and "social media strategists" to track down Beatles footage from October 1963 until their last major gig, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on 29 August 1966. That's 253 concerts in 114 cities, according to the project's official website where fan footage can be uploaded.

"The ultimate goal: to combine footage, images, music, interviews, and stories in a definitive, emotional and visceral feature film about Beatlemania," OVOW says in a statement on its site. "This cultural phenomenon not only brought the world together through song, but helped usher in what is now recognised as a golden age of contemporary music."

The use of 'crowd-sourcing' or 'user-generated content' to uncover unseen footage of music icons seems to be gathering momentum. News of the proposed Beatles film follows the announcement earlier this week of Sprlngsteen & I, a biopic of rocker Bruce Springsteen that is backed by Alien director Ridley Scott.

Springsteen & I will be told through fans' raw footage, personal insights, abstractions and reflections, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It is set to be released in 2013.

Beatlemania is very much alive if the sale this week of an original piece of artwork from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album is any indicator. The work, by artist Sir Peter Blake, fetched £55,250 when it went under the hammer on 13 November in London.

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