Without the Beatles
What are the strangest knock-on effects of the Beatles having existed?
London, United Kingdom
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I am an ex-BBC director/producer and have been working on a full length documentary for the past two years called Without the Beatles. I have been looking at some of the strangest knock-on effects of the Beatles having existed, two or three generations down the line.
I have interviewed more than 50 people so far including Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Bon Jovi, David Attenborough, Steve Van Zandt and many others.
Having done all of the preliminary interviews in New York, LA and Europe (entirely self funded) I am now ready to shoot some actuality of some of the more interesting stories and need to get to India, the Sioux reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and the Great Barrier Reef. These are the final points in some of the stories I've found.
There is a website for the film www.withoutthebeatles.com
I will provide a range of pledges to encourage people to contribute. I've been working in the media with very big names for 23 years so I have lots of interesting items to give away. I have produced and directed several documentaries for the BBC and have produced shows such as The Mercury Music Prize, Glastonbury etc.
The aim is to get some TV commissions of course, but also to get this philosophical film to every documentary festival. I wanted to self-fund and crowdsource the film to maintain editorial independence.
The story chains range from the cultural - no Beatles therefore no Monty Python, no Handmade Films, no Terry Gilliam as director - to the untold story of how the Beatles indirectly funded the development of CT scans.
I have set a high target with the aim of covering the last bits of foreign filming I need to do, but I would be happy to exceed that target and use any excess to help with the cost of getting to festivals etc.
The money would cover the filming costs of three pieces of foreign filming.
1) We need to go to America to do two bits of filming. David Lynch - whose meditation foundation is heavily featured in the film - has agreed to be interviewed in Calfornia. Secondly, we have to go to the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation in South Dakota where Klaus Voorman and his wife are using their Beatles' connections to raise money to clean radiation out of the water. This technology has been so sucessful that it is being tested in India and Bangladesh where a lot of drinking supplies have been contaminated with arsenic. Estimated cost £5k
2) We also need to go to India to see that work in action. Because of the meditation thread we also intend to visit the Maharishi's Ashram in Rishikesh where the Beatles studied. We also have to go to Mumbai to see the slums being rebuilt as a result of the money coming from the succes of Slumdog Millionaire. This is a film which could not have been made without the Beatles for various reasons. This trip is also likely to cost around £5k
3) Our final trip will take us to the Great Barrier Reef to talk to some ecologists. A large part of the green movement stems from the Beatles impact on young minds back in the 60s. All 4 Beatles ended up vegetarian. Paul in particular has campaigned hard on ecological issues. Through various links, we have found people who can trace their involvement with preserving the coral reef to the influence of the Beatles. Estimated cost £4k.
Although there are many famous people in the film, it's these gripping stories (as well as the ones already shot in Europe and New York) which are the examples we've chosen to illustratve the all-pervading nature of the Beatles' influence - a long way from changing haircuts and the way music was recorded. In reality, the film is going to cost about another £30k to complete but we have about half of that covered already and we hope that support from Pleasefundus will help us get all the way there quickly.
Time is tight as the ideal time for transmission now is August 2012 - the 50th anniversary of Ringo joining the Beatles.
Thanks for your time. Des
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A "special thanks to" credit on the film and a DVD copy signed by the team and some of the interviewees.
A signed picture sleeve copy of the rare Rutles 45rpm single I Must be In Love by Ron Nasty - aka Neil Innes.
Ever fancied being a runner on a professional TV shoot and want to see a celebrity interviewed? We still have plenty of UK interviews to do. We will take you on one of the shoots - who and where to be sorted but as you can see, we have a high calibre of interviewee. Unpaid, and travel expenses not included so you'll have to make your own way there.
An invite to the planned premiere of the film in London which we will be inviting many of the interviewees too. We haven't completed the film of course, and can't guarantee who will show up, but there will be a premiere and drinks in London when it is done.
Lunch in the canteen at the BBC's famous Maida Vale studios where the Beatles, Pink Floyd etc all recorded sessions. This will be with the film's producer, Des Burkinshaw. Depending on which studios are open that day, we will also have a look around the studios themselves.
A signed copy of Nancy Sinatra's classic single These Boots are Made for Walking which Nancy signed for us in LA.
Paul McCartney's plectrum. I interviewed Paul at his studio in Sussex about 10 years ago (and several times since) for the ITV Chart Show. I asked him if he had a plectrum for my collection and he gave me three. I'm keeping one but the other two are up for grabs. I don't think he actually played with them, but he definitely handed them over to me!
A first edition copy of George Martin's book Summer of Love - The Making of Sergeant Pepper signed by Sir George Martin himself. We picked this up at its launch in Abbey Road studios in the early 1990s. The book itself is worth about £100.
A copy of Madonna's Ray of Light CD signed by Madonna at Top of the Pops to our film's researcher, Shazna. The signature reads "To Shazna, love Madonna" but is 100% genuine and very difficult to find elsewhere.
We have a personally signed vinyl copy of the Beatles' Revolver album by its designer, Klaus Voorman. He was the man who discovered the Beatles in Hamburg, Astrid's then boyfriend. He went on to play bass on Imagine and All Things Must Pass. We interviewed Klaus for the film, which is when he signed it. It would look stunning framed.
A beautiful Epiphone John Lennon acoustic guitar signed by many of the contributors to this film. This is a unique item and includes signatures from Lemmy, Nancy Sinatra, Richie Sambora, Robyn Hitchcock, Kevin Godley, Al Jardine, Ian Broudie, Lol Creme, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Neil Innes, Roger Greenaway, Andy Partridge and others.
Co-producer credit on the film. This is a purely honorary title and does not confer any editorial privileges on the recipient.
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