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The Beatles and The Birth of The Music Video

Today’s instant pop phenomenon world makes it difficult to comprehend just how incredibly popular The Beatles really were.

But no musical act of any kind has ever been bigger, had such a lasting and far-reaching impact – and nobody has since generated the incredible excitement that The Beatles did during 1964, when they exploded onto the American scene. The group’s stranglehold on American musical tastes was powerful and immediate; at one point during 1964, the band charted four of the Top Ten singles being played on the radio. The Beatles were everywhere.


Innovative director Richard Lester brought “The Fab Four” to the big screen in 1964.

Music and Film
The Beatles were not only omnipresent in every form of media of the day, but they were also re-inventing every form of media – like no other artist before them. It was inevitable that The Beatles would star in a feature film. The band’s first movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was the group’s best. It was also a ground-breaking mixture of music and film and what many consider to be one of the inspirations for modern music videos. A Hard Day’s Night remains a cinematic treasure – not only because it was an inside look at early Beatlemania, but it brought music and pop star images together in an entirely unique way. This was all presented as a superb comedy loaded with fresh cinematic ideas all courtesy of director, Richard Lester.


The Beatles were huge celebrities when filming began. The crowd chasing The Beatles at the railway station at the beginning is made up of real fans actually chasing the Fab Four. The scene was recently recreated for the opening of The Beatles Rock Band videogame.


Paul McCartney greets a fan during the filming of Hard Day’s Night.

A Hard Day’s Night took the film world by surprise. No one had any idea it would be that good. Critics were stunned, and reviews almost completely positive. Critic Roger Ebert noted the film’s long-standing influence. “Today when we watch TV,” he wrote, “And see quick cutting, hand-held cameras, interviews conducted on the run with moving targets, quickly intercut snatches of dialogue, music under documentary action and all the other trademarks of the modern style, we are looking at the children of A Hard Day’s Night.” Suffice it to say that anyone interested in learning how to make music videos really must see this film.

Director Richard Lester is one “old school” director who would have probably felt right at home in today’s fast-paced cinema. His work on A Hard Day’s Night suggests he would have loved the flexibility and freedom that Final Cut Pro X offers. Many of today’s most respected filmmakers, such as the Coen brothers (True Grit) and Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather), have spent time learning how to use Final Cut Pro. Apple’s Final Cut software is both flexible and easy to use.

The Beatles have always been at the cutting edge of media, if they were still making films and videos today they’d be most likely making music videos and producing them using state-of the-art editing software like Final Cut.

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posted by Phill Powell in Digital Music Production,News Blog and have No Comments

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