“I have genuine pride in what we made, and I’ll cherish that for years to come”: Peter Jackson on his music video directorial debut for the “final” Beatles song
The track is the final song made by all four member of The Beatles, and it lands this Thursday (2 November).
Image: Mark and Colleen Hayward / Redferns via Getty
The official music video for “the last” Beatles song, Now And Then is set to land this Friday 3 November at 2pm GMT. It will mark Peter Jackson’s music video directorial debut, and it celebrates the band members’ “timeless and enduring love for one another.”
The track itself will land the day before on Thursday 2 November at 2pm GMT, which was originally written and sung by John Lennon, developed by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by both McCartney and Starr over four decades later.
In a statement, Jackson says of the video: “When Apple asked me to make the music video, I was very reluctant – I thought my next few months would be a hell of a lot more fun if that tricky task was somebody else’s problem, and I could be like any other Beatles fan, enjoying the night-before-Christmas anticipation as the release of a new Beatles song and music video approached.”
Jackson’s own anxieties prevented him from saying yes, and in fact he claims that still to this day he never actually agreed to make the video. “I told Apple how the lack of suitable footage worried me. We’d need to use a lot of rare and unseen film, but there’s very little… Nothing at all seemed to exist showing Paul, George and Ringo working on Now And Then in 1995…” he adds.
“I knew The Beatles don’t take no for an answer if their minds are set on something – but they didn’t even wait for me to say no. I found myself swept along as they quickly addressed my concerns. Paul and Ringo shot footage of themselves performing and sent that to me. Apple unearthed over 14 hours of long forgotten film shot during the 1995 recording sessions, including several hours of Paul, George and Ringo working on Now And Then, and gave all that to me.
“Sean [Ono Lennon] and Olivia [Harrison] found some great unseen home movie footage and sent that. To cap things off, a few precious seconds of The Beatles performing in their leather suits, the earliest known film of The Beatles and never seen before, was kindly supplied by Pete Best.”
Jackson says that watching all of this footage “completely changed the situation” and allowed him to think of it as if he were making a short movie. He teamed up with Jabez Olssen, his Get Back editor, and began piecing things together.
The video should bring a few tears to the eye, but also shows candid and humorous footage from the band too. “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,” says Jackson.
“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.”
Premiering this Wednesday (1 November), a 12-minute short film titled Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song, will debut on The Beatles’ YouTube channel at 7:30pm GMT. You can watch the trailer below: