More than 50 years ago Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr won the Oscar for Original Song, for “Let It Be.” Tonight, they added Emmys to their extraordinary careers, for producing the Disney+ documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.
Producer-director Peter Jackson shared the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction series with McCartney, Starr, and fellow producers Yoko Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison, Clare Olssen, and Jonathan Clyde.
“I’d just like to thank everyone who worked on this film, especially our family back home and our second family in London at Apple Corps,” Jackson said as he accepted the award at the Creative Arts Ceremony in downtown Los Angeles. “This could not have been made without the unfailing support of Paul, Ringo, Olivia, Julian [Lennon], Yoko and Sean [Lennon] who were all always there with their support and love. Finally, a big shout out to The Beatles. Thank you so much for the over 60 years of your positive, exhuberant, joyous… Your music is so profound and I think it’s actually embedded in our DNA.”
The Beatles: Get Back faced stiff competition in the documentary series category: jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, The Andy Warhol Diaries — both from Netflix — 100 Foot Wave from HBO, and the Showtime series We Need to Talk About Cosby.
The Beatles: Get Back aired in three episodes, totaling almost 8 hours. Jackson built it from unused audio and footage recorded for the 1970 documentary Let It Be that chronicled the making of that landmark Beatles album (it was for that film that John, Paul, George and Ringo won their Oscar). The director has described his series as a “supplement” to the earlier documentary, but Get Back was hailed for reframing our collective understanding of the contentious making of the Let It Be album, which was released only a month after the Beatles broke up in April 1970.
“I didn’t want to make the movie about the Beatles breaking up,” Jackson told Mike Fleming Jr. last month at Deadline’s Contenders TV: The Nominees panel. “It’s not a film about a band that’s breaking up — it’s about a band that’s trying not to break up.”
The Oscar-winning filmmaker (Lord of the Rings) added, “We were able to include things in [Get Back] that we thought were important, but there’s wonderful stuff that we couldn’t include. I made sure that the historically important things were in there.”
The two-night Creative Arts Emmys ceremony will be edited into a show that will air on FXX network and stream on Hulu next Saturday, September 10. The live PrimeTime Emmy telecast will air Monday, September 12 on NBC.