21 January 2013
Hi! It's Megan here! I'm a junior researcher for FutureArtists a company based in Manchester. Currently researching for a new film about The Beatles in Hamburg! Hope you don't mind me hanging around here getting new info and asking a few questions here and there. Say hi! Also if you have any good tips or facts feel free to let me in on the conversations
Not at all. Do let us know a bit more about the film, and feel free to join in any discussions.
Is there anything in particular you need to know about Hamburg? I've only been there once, but visited a lot of the key locations. It's an amazing city. Photos here: http://www.beatlesbible.com/forum/yesterday-and-today/visits-to-liverpool-and-hamburg/page-3/#p31369
21 January 2013
Great pictures, we much appreciate the help If we have any questions we'll just fire them away on the forum!
Heres a longer version of what we're planning.
An exciting new film project – The Beatles in Hamburg
Future Artists LTD is a film & media production company based in Manchester, we’ve produced multiple film projects including ‘Invisible Circus: No Dress Rehearsal’ with a limited edition vinyl-style DVD release, and ‘The Lost Generation’, soon to be released to Future Artists On-Demand video platform. I’ve worked here for just under 6 months now and my excitement for future projects is ever growing.
We’re planning a film about something big, bigger than Elvis, bigger than The Who, maybe even bigger than Jesus. Thats right, The Beatles, the worlds biggest and best selling band of all time.
I’ve been a Beatles fan for only about 3 years now, when I was 18 I started to appreciate their flawless style of songwriting and, being a music student myself, loved the more clever/experimental side of their music. I was given the Red (1962 – 1966) and Blue (1967 – 1970) albums on record a short time after discovering them, and from then on started collecting Beatles records.
Now I know you must be thinking “Theres literally hundreds of films/documentaries about The Beatles out there, we don’t need another”, but I can tell you now, we wouldn’t even consider it less we felt there was a gap to fill in the broad story of The Beatles.
Our film is going to be specifically about a vague and blurry part of their career, between 1960 and 1962. The time they spent traveling back and forth between Hamburg and Liverpool, the hard going years of pills, leathers and 8 hour shifts, in which these boys learnt everything there is to know about the Rock n Roll lifestyle.
I was particularly excited to learn of this project as, like many others, I hardly know anything about this early Beatles era. Thats what makes a documentary interesting, exploring a familiar subject from an unknown angle, although it will require a lot of time for in-depth research and the help of others Beatles fans with stories to share.
We’d like to encourage the mass Beatles fans to get involved in this project and help us spread the word of this documentary or by sharing any tales/general knowledge you have which may help us along. You can keep up to date with this project by following us on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook (see below) and be sure to ask us any questions by emailing TheBeatlesHamburg@gmail.com.
Thank you for your time,
George, Researcher at Future Artists.
21 January 2013
"Our role in Hamburg was to make people buy more beer." – John Lennon
Hamburg was a very dangerous place back them, people had fights anywhere and everywhere. Guns were easy to purchase and weapons were sold everywhere. When the Beatles were members of the Star Club, they were given badges for the boys to wear so that anyone who bothered them did so "at their own risk".
Sounds pretty rough, anyone here ever spend any time in Hamburg in the early 60s?
21 January 2013
Yeah you're right, that would be a real good boost, and it would be great to talk to Spencer anyway as he clearly has a lot of Beatles knowledge/experience. We're going to get on that asap.
Does anyone here have any other good contacts we could talk to?
Heres an update on our project which gives a better insight into our goal:
The Hamburg Beatles, week 2
We’ve been talking to a variety of people on social media and forums, gathering info and spreading the word for this film. Many of the responses we get indicate that there are already documentaries out there about The Hamburg Beatles, a few of them including ‘The Beatles with Tony Sheridan’, ‘Backbeat’, ‘Destination Hamburg’, and a small (too small) section of ‘Anthology’.
We’ve looked into these documentaries, and can safely say our film will be a different, new approach to this early Beatles era. Previous films have told the story through pictures, interviews/vintage footage and music recordings like any regular documentary, or recreated a modern take on the Hamburg days (Backbeat). However there aren’t many recordings from around this time, and there is no film footage, it seems the best source of info on the Hamburg Beatles is stories from fans/people who worked with the Beatles.
We’ll be tackling this subject from a different angle, through extensive research we will be accurately recreating the Hamburg music scene, the Beatles as we’ve never known them, their music, the vibe of these unknown years. This will lead the audience through the retro Rock n Roll world, only The Beatles could know.
Our next step, which will very much help us progress through this project, is to contact Apple. We’re looking for their support, hopefully allowing us rights/access to pictures, music, archived material, and to generally reinforce our intentions. We also need you fans on board our team (thats right, YOU) to help us with research, contacts, and word-spreading. Any way you could help us out would be greatly appreciated!
We’ll keep you updated with our progress, just follow us at
9 May 2012
21 January 2013
He doesn't have to act, I'm sure just his presence on set would be enough maybe we should just try and initiate the forming of the 'Sons of Beatles' band, that would surely get people interested!
Alternatively we may be interested in getting the Bootleg Beatles on board, has anyone seen these guys live? I understand they do a section of their set specifically on the Hamburg days.
Heres our next weekly update, including some great links to websites we've been recommended at the bottom
Week 3 update
Hey guys! We hope all is well in the land of Beatle fandom.
First of all I’d like to introduce you guys to the team who, for the next few years, will be working on this Hamburg Beatles Project:
Mark Ashmore from Future Artists will be the project manager/producer, pointing us in the right direction, overseeing our progress and giving us pep talks.
George Roberts is a Music Tech student from Huddersfield University who has worked with Future Artists the past year, and will be assisting in managing the project. Also providing his musical wisdom.
Joanna Pomfret, a film graduate from Futureworks, will also be acting as an assistant project manager, providing her film-based wisdom.
Sophie Broadgate is a young experienced film maker/film graduate from MMU and has previously worked with the likes of the BBC, providing her documentary-based wisdom.
Megan Lewis is the apprentice of Future Artists and has much experience in media/social research.
Carla Freeman is also a graduate from MMU in Interactive Arts, and will be helping with distribution and post production.
Over the next few weeks we’re looking to collaborate with Beatles fans, sourcing any info/photos/contacts/websites which would help us along with our research. Our main reason for undertaking this project is because we beleive there are many people out there who, just like us, would love to see this film made. We’re hoping these people will help us through the different stages of the project (sourcing, funding, filming, distributing) to essentially label this a fan-made Beatles Documentary. We’ve received great support so far, which we are extremely grateful for, here’s some nice websites we’ve been recommended:
A great fan-made website archiving Hamburg Beatles media and information.
A website by the artists Mark Rehkopf, who produces stunning Beatles artwork, as well as none Beatles artwork too.
An archive of all releases from The Beatles ‘Apple’ label.
A website sourcing all the Beatles records on different labels, containing lots of info and an excellent gallery of pictures.
We want to hear from you via social media!
Keep up to date with us in the following places:
1 May 2011
My requests are please dont make Paul right handed like many tribute bands do, get the right beatle singing the right song (no John singing Taste of Honey) and no artistic license which is movie talk for making it up to fit the film makers own opinions. Small points but its amazing how many films get it wrong by messing those up.
And good luck on getting it all done.
21 January 2013
Don't you worry, one of our main priorities in the film-making stage of this project is for the recreation of these years to be accurate. Thats mainly why we're extensively researching the subject at this current stage, talking to fans with experience or anyone who got to see them live back then. Wouldn't it be great if we could capture one of The Beatles live performances in the Star club, more accurate and raw than any Hamburg Beatles film has managed before.
14 April 2010
You need to speak to Spencer Leigh. He'd have you on his BBC Radio Mersey show – that'd help spread the word.
I loved his book on this topic but wished it was longer. I wish you well on the movie, Megan. This period of their career always fascinated me.
21 January 2013
Hey guys, hope all is well!
Just a quick update from the documentary producer Mark Ashmore and a nice poster:
It is with great excitement that we at Future Artists are letting the world know we intend to make a feature length documentary film about ‘The Beatles’, following their exploits during the Hamburg years from 1960 through to 1962.
The Beatles ‘ Young and Reckless in Hamburg’ (working title)
A project that has been 6 months in development thus far at Future Artists HQ, we feel it is the right time to let the world know what we are up to and why, and we need your help!
Mark Ashmore the films producer has this to say:
‘I grew up as a second generation Beatles fan, with the stories of my parents, listening to Beatles record, and hearing about the Beatles legacy.
But any music fan will always seek out more knowledge and stories about the people behind the music and how they developed as artists. It’s this ‘creative development’ that is at the centre of the Beatles story we want to tell.
With no manager, PR team or record label bosses standing over them, how did the Hamburg Beatles evolve into the band the world still celebrates today, – this film will hopefully act as an entry point for the 3rd and 4th generation Beatles fans around the world, to get to know the legends behind the music in their formative years.
The documentary film, produced by Future Artists, will also be like no other before it, for the past 6 months the Future Artists collective have been talking with Beatles fans around the world, gathering insights, stories, images, memorabilia, art and collaborators, which will enable the team to create a unique film that is thought provoking, insightful and a re-imagining of Hamburg in the early 1960s.
We are approaching this project with complete independence from the traditional film industry, instead we are working with Beatles fans around the world to crowd fund and crowd source the production.
Its our intention at Future Artists to allow the true fans of an artist to enable that artist to grow via collaboration. We now live in an interconnected world of social media, for us this gives unlimited scope for new ways of working with members of our audience who are also artists and media savvy.
Future Artists have done several productions in this manner, but nothing as big as the Beatles Hamburg story, this is a really exciting project to be working on, and to have the chance to collaborate with millions of Beatles fans world-wide’
So far we’ve had a huge response from Beatles fans across the world, people who are keen to work with us and keep us heading in the right direction, we are much appreciative of the help we’ve received so far!
Here are some great examples of fan collaborations:
- Luc Porte, a Beatles record/rarities collector from Belgium, has given us a sneaky peek of his original Stuart Sutcliffe painting.
- Andrea from Hamburg has directed us to her massively informative website loaded with Hamburg Beatles archive information – http://anothergirl83.tripod.com/
- Mark Rehkopf from Adventure Visuals, Ontario, Canada, has allowed us to use some of his stunning Beatles artwork, as well as creating our first fan-made poster!
- We’ve been talking to Eric Krasker, author of ‘The Beatles – Fact and Fiction’ and Hans Olof Gottfridsson, author of ‘The Beatles – From Cavern to Star Club’, both offering their help and wisdom towards the project, which is welcomed and appreciated.
So if you want to get involved in this production, please register your interest by heading to our Facebook group and introducing yourself.
Join the discussion – https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatlesHamburgFilm
We look forward to hearing from you,
The Beatles Hamburg Team – Future Artists, Manchester, UK
You can also Tweet us – @BeatlesHamburg
Or get in touch via email – TheBeatlesHamburg@gmail.com
21 January 2013
We've just launched our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo!
See it here
Let me know your thoughts
1 November 2012
I hope you can clear up a question I had about the Beatles' recording two of their hits in the German language (I realize they were recorded in Paris and not Homburg, but I would think it's relevant to your movie project, especially since no other major pop/rock group has ever re-done their hits in German).
This website here (Beatles Bible), under the "Songs" tab above, has the information about who wrote the German lyrics for "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (German version: Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand):
"A translator from Cologne called Otto Demmlar was dispatched to EMI's Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris to teach the group the new words to Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand and Sie Liebt Dich."
However, another website (The Beatles Rarity) says:
"The Beatles recorded new vocals and with the help of a German DJ named Camillo Felgen, were coached to get their pronunciation right… For publishing purposes Camillo used separate pseudonyms for his translation-composition credit. For “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” he was Heinz Hellmer and Jean Nicolas. For “Sie Liebt Dich he used Jean Nicolas again along with Lee Montague."
Which is it? Otto Demmlar, or Heinz Hellmer and Jean Nicolas? (Or was "Otto Demmlar" another pseudonym used by Camillo Felgen? If so, the question is still unanswered -- under which pseudonym did he receive his paycheck for writing those lyrics and for training John and Paul to sing them correctly?)
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