George Harrison said he wanted to make a “silly comedy movie full of silly music” with his production company, HandMade Films.
Initially, George formed the production company to help fund Brian’s life, a comedy of his friends in Monty Python. Then HandMade Films grew as George wanted to work on more projects. He had special plans for one of his own.
George Harrison said he got into the film industry and started HandMade Films ‘purely by accident’
In 1988 George said Movie commentary that he got into film and started HandMade Films “purely by accident”.
“An English company had withdrawn from the film Monty Python Brian’s life in pre-production,” George explained. “And the guys, friends of mine, asked me if I could think of a way to help them make the movie.
“I put the question to Denis O’Brien, who had been my business manager since the end of 1973. After thinking about it for a week, he came back and offered to produce it. I let out a laugh because one of my favorite movies is The producersand we were about to become Bialystock and Bloom.
“Neither of us had previously thought of going into film, although Denis had a taste of it managing Peter Sellers and negotiating some of the latest pink panthers movies. It was a bit risky, I guess, going totally out of line for me, but as a big Monty Python fan, my main goal was to see the movie get made.
Then O’Brien “had a bug for it”, and they decided to keep the production company after. Brian’s life.
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George wanted to make a “silly comedy movie full of silly music” with HandMade Films
For the most part, George didn’t combine music and film in HandMade Films. He wrote songs for movies like “Shanghai Surprise”, “Water” and “Time Bandits”, but that was it.
However, he dreamed of combining his talents and making a “silly comedy movie full of silly songs”.
“One day I’d like to do a real silly comedy full of silly music,” George said. “I don’t really want to be a screenwriter or an actor, but I have a lot of silly ideas in my head. If we can make enough money it doesn’t matter if I waste a few millions on my own ideas, I would like to follow some of them. Maybe for my last adventure, I will have this huge but very cheap flop with all my homies in it.
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The former Beatle said music and movies go hand in hand
George told Mark Rowland (per George Harrison on George Harrison: interviews and encounters) that music and cinema go hand in hand. However, this was not always the case.
Rowland asked, “Do you think rock and roll has – from your point of view as a film producer perhaps, or maybe just as a fan of films – had an influence on films? “
George replied, “Yeah, I think it’s been happening in music and film for years, hasn’t it. Music and cinema go very well together. If you’re making a movie, you need music on it and ever since, no matter how many years now, you’ve been making music and they’re sticking a movie on it whether you like it or not. I think in some cases music and film are part and parcel of the same experience.
“They can all complement each other. It depends on how it’s actually done. I think in some areas some things have been good. What I wanted to do one day is get the music first and then write the movie to go with the music.
“You know, because as a musician, it’s very frustrating… There’s this good friend of mine, Michael Kamen, who’s done so many movies since I’ve known him, and the most frustrating thing is that is that they make them, they spend all these millions of dollars to make movies and put them together, and then they present this rough cut to the musician, and they want the music of yesterday!
“And then there’s no more budget anyway. So they have a few dollars to do it. Then you make it, then they edit it, and the music doesn’t fit, then you have to redo it… There’s so much good music out there already, in some ways you don’t need to write new music .
George said the only option was to take already made music. “That’s what I’d like to do: put that together and then say, ‘This piece of music is so brilliant. What if this was on screen?'”
George had excellent vision. It’s just a shame we never got to see it.
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