“The idea was inspired by the chance meeting in 1957 that would change Paul, John, George, and Ringo’s lives forever,” explains L.A. director Vincent Haycock.
The proposal Vincent 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 Vincent 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. 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.”
Vincent has a CV that 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.
Talking about how he came to be working with Paul he recalls, “I sent over a written treatment and then spoke with Paul about it and it developed from there. Paul generously shared some old stories with me that inspired many of the scenes in the video.”
Shot between L.A., Natchez, Mississippi and Faraday, Louisiana, Vincent spent almost a month in total working on the video. The casting involved an extensive process and it was important to Vincent 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.
Paul recorded his parts in L.A. over two days and the story unfolds around an intimate performance with just him and an acoustic guitar. By the end of the video Paul is playing with a group of blues guitarists, including his friend Johnny Depp. Johnny, no stranger to a McCartney video and an accomplished guitar player too, stopped by on the day for a jam.
Vincent describes his experience of working with Paul 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 Paul’s 16th solo album NEW, which was released to critical acclaim in October 2013. In the UK it entered the Official Album Charts at Number Three and in the US Billboard charts it also charted at Number Three. Within months it had sold almost quarter-of-a-million copies in America alone and counting. NEW also went Top 10 in 17 different countries including a Number One position in the Japanese charts. Since its release it has achieved Silver sales status in territories including UK and France, Gold status in Japan and Platinum in Russia, to name just a few international sales achievements.
Paul is currently touring the US on his Out There tour which opened in South America earlier this year.