Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Beatles: Making of Help!

United Kingdom, 2009, 3 minutes and 22 seconds

In the remastered box set of The Beatles albums, there are mini documentaries for the making of each of the albums. I remember absolutely devouring all of them. I think Help! is particularly interesting because it's not only the making of an album, but the making of their film of the same name as well. Furthermore, there's something rather innocently infectious about their earlier albums, as opposed to their more "genius" later albums. At this point they were well established as a band but still relatively young and excitable.

This short documentary isn't particularly innovative but for any Beatles fan, it's going to be interesting. It's a compilation of still photographs and video footage with voice-overs by all four of the band members, as well as George Martin. In talking about Help!, they discuss what went into making the film such as the Ticket to Ride sequence being a holiday for the band and the silly but lovable nature of the film. They also talk simply about some of the songs on the album such as Yesterday and Paul's original title for it (Scrambled Eggs), as well as Ringo singing the lead for a song.

All of the documentaries of the albums are structured the same way and each one worth the watch. I find this one particularly interesting partly because it's one of my favorite albums by them and also because I find the balancing act of this album standing on its own as well as providing the soundtrack for their film fascinating. Really, though, it's the unheard sound bites that this documentary provides and a nostalgic reflection on the band that shaped many people's childhoods (including my own) which makes this short documentary as enjoyable as it is. It is nothing particularly spectacular in terms of mise-en-scene but it is quite the pleasure to watch.


haley schattner said...

I did not realize they made mini-docs complementing their albums. I am interested in watching the rest of them. Also, I really want to go bicycle-sledding, or whatever they were doing in the film.

Morgan said...

I'm going to bounce off of the GLEE post above this post because I think there is an interesting point to be made. Above I mentioned how the GLEE behind the scenes short falls a little flat on anybody who is unfamiliar with the show or episode which is when the debate of "is it a short" arises. Does this same idea exist with The Beatles? Even though The Beatles expand a much larger audience, there are still people (hard to imagine) in the world that have never heard of the Beatles. Does this film still stand alone even if the audience has no idea who they are?