“The idea was inspired by the chance meeting in 1957 that would change Paul, John, George, and Ringo's lives forever,” explains director Vincent Haycock.
The proposal Haycock wrote for “Early Days” simply begins, “This film is a poetic homage to the legendary beginnings of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s relationship.”
Expanding on his idea Haycock says, “Their story at its core is a universal one, two young kids who bond over their passion for music and form a band and friendship. This video is about them, and every band, and every kid who has suffered the ups and downs of starting a band, whether or not they became successful.”
He continues, “The universality of their story was a big inspiration of setting the film in Mississippi during the ‘50s. This is a time period that inspired The Beatles – American Rock and Roll and the Mississippi Delta Blues of the ‘50s. ‘Early Days’ is about the spirit and inspiration young musicians find in each other.”
Haycock previous work includes an Emmy nomination in 2004 for designing and directing the main title sequence for the TV show Nip/Tuck. Since then he’s gone on to work on music videos for artists such as Florence + The Machine, Cheryl Cole and Spiritualized. He has established a unique freeform docudrama-style music promo, and in 2012 he won a MTV VMA for Best EDM video for the track "Feel So Close" by British DJ/producer Calvin Harris.
Watch McCartney’s video for “Early Days” right here:
Recalling how he came to work with McCartney, “I sent over a written treatment and then spoke with Paul about it and it developed from there," Haycock shares. "Paul generously shared some old stories with me that inspired many of the scenes in the video."
Shot between Los Angeles, California, Natchez, Mississippi and Faraday, Louisiana, Haycock spent almost a month in total working on the video. The casting involved an extensive process and it was important to Haycock that all the characters be as authentic as possible. His team took to street casting in the locations, utilizing local churches, schools and record stores to find people with genuine emotional connections to the music and history of the areas they were shooting in.
McCartney recorded his parts in LA over two days and the story unfolds around an intimate performance with just him and an acoustic guitar. By the end of the video McCartney is playing with a group of blues guitarists, including his friend Johnny Depp. Depp, no stranger to a McCartney video and an accomplished guitar player too, stopped by on the day for a jam.
Haycock describes his experience of working with McCartney as “such a pleasure.” “Paul’s scene was incredibly fun to create. It was just him, some blues players and Johnny Depp jamming on set all day. Patti Smith also turned up on set and hung out, which made the crew very happy! One of my favorite days of filming ever.”
“Early Days” is taken from McCartney’s 16th solo album NEW, which was released to critical acclaim in October 2013.
Paul McCartney is currently touring the US on his Out There tour which opened in South America earlier this year.
Find out more at www.paulmccartney.com.