A Hard Day’s Night
September 18, 2014, 7:00 PM
Main Street Landing Film House
60 Lake Street, 3rd floor
Burlington Film Society
$8/ $5 / FREE for VTIFF members
Presented by Main Street Landing
A film by Richard Lester
50th Anniversary Release – Based on new 4K restoration from the original camera negative – NEW 5.1 surround mix produced by Giles Martin
UK– 1964 • running time: 87 minutes
Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A Hard Day’s Night, in which the bandmates play wily, exuberant versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. Directed with raucous, anything-goes verve by Richard Lester and featuring a slew of iconic pop anthems, including the title track, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “If I Fell,” A Hard Day’s Night, which re-conceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time.
About The Film Restoration
Using the latest in digital restoration technology, the Criterion Collection was able to restore A Hard Day’s Night from the 35 mm original camera negative, which, though incomplete, was in excellent condition. The missing material was taken from two original interpositives. The image was scanned in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner to retain the character of the film’s original printing stock without any generational loss, and the raw data was carefully treated using a variety of digital tools to remove dirt, scratches, flicker, and other damage. The final result was approved by director Richard Lester, and is in its original theatrical
aspect ratio of 1.75:1.
About The 5.1 Surround Mix
To create the best possible 5.1 surround mix for A Hard Day’s Night, our first mission was to identify the best available original audio sources. In the case of the songs, that was easy, as we still have all of the original Beatles tapes here at Abbey Road. The songs from With the Beatles are on 2-track tapes. The later songs, from the album A Hard Day’s Night, were recorded by the Beatles on 4-track tapes. Sadly, in the case of the single “She Loves You,” only the monaural mix of the track still exists.
It is worth noting that, as well as having different mixes than the original album tracks do, the songs are slower in the film than on the albums. This difference is quite noticeable during the scenes where the Beatles are rehearsing and performing in the television studio. Our understanding is that these scenes were filmed at 25 frames per second, rather than the usual 24 frames per second, so the TV monitors could be shown without any aliasing effect (flickering). The original underscore, written by George Martin, was recorded at CTS Studios in London; the original 3-track tapes for it were found at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. To begin the remix process for the movie, the tapes of both the Beatles’ songs and Martin’s underscore were transferred to digital at high resolution (192kHz/24-bit).
More problematic for us was identifying the original master dialogue and effects track. Having evaluated a number of different transfers and sources, we chose the best monaural tape based on tonal balance, dynamic range, and lack of distortion and hiss. This track was then transferred digitally, and we carefully removed such unwanted artifacts as clicks, pops, and distortion.
When remixing the Beatles’ songs in 5.1 surround, our objective is to retain the original spirit, vibrancy, quality, and charm while making subtle improvements to the balance, tonal color, and stereo picture. We employ many of the actual compressors, echo chambers, and plate reverbs used in the original recordings and mixes of these songs. Hopefully, this approach brings an authenticity to what we are doing and, at the same time, gives the listener a new way of experiencing the Beatles.
Once the mixes of the songs were completed at Abbey Road, we were fortunate enough to travel across London to Twickenham Studios, returning A Hard Day’s Night to the place where it was shot fifty years ago. It was there that we finalized the immersive 5.1 mix of the entire film.
Giles Martin and Sam Okell, Abbey Road Studios, 2014