Without the BeatlesBy: Des Burkinshaw London
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
No updates for this project yet.