One to one concerts scheduled for documentary

One to one concerts scheduled for documentary

Many years ago, film footage and audio recordings of John and Yoko’s “One To One” benefit concerts for Willowbrook in 1972 was reedited, remixed and remastered by Jack Douglas at Yoko Ono’s request, but no product ever made it to the public. Now it emerges that a documentary about the concerts is in the making. 

Audio remixing duties are now said to have been done by John Lennon’s son, Sean. There was a posthumous album as well as a concert video, both titled “John Lennon Live In New York City” available in the eighties, but the products were never updated to new formats or remixed again. You can read about those, and comments from Jack Douglas about the remake of the project in our 2014 blog post titled “Lennon’s One to One concerts due soon” 😀

Here’s the press release for the upcoming documentary:

LOS ANGELES, May 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Mercury Studios today announced its new feature documentary, “One to One: John & Yoko,” a moving look at the couple’s life upon their entry into a transformative 1970’s New York, exploring their musical, personal, artistic, social, and political world. Set in 1972 against the backdrop of a turbulent era in American history, the film was directed by Kevin Macdonald.

Photo credit: © Ben Ross Photography

At the core of the story are the One to One Concerts, John Lennon’s only full-length performances after The Beatles, accompanied by Yoko Ono, The Plastic Ono Band, Elephant’s Memory and Special Guests. With remixed concert audio produced by Sean Ono Lennon, the film features newly transferred and restored footage, as well as a wealth of previously unseen and unheard personal archives, such as phone calls and home movies recorded and filmed by John and Yoko themselves.

A look inside two of history’s most influential and iconic artists, the film provides an intimate opportunity for viewers to travel inside the lives of John and Yoko and experience the decisions, passions, and challenges they faced during this time.

“I wanted to make a film that surprises and delights even the most dedicated Lennon and Ono fans by focusing on one transformative period in their lives and telling the tale through their own words, images and music,” said director Kevin Macdonald. “Built around the beautiful 16mm film footage of the only full-length concert John gave after leaving the Beatles I hope the film will introduce the audience to a more intimate version of John and Yoko – while also reflecting their politically radical and experimental sides.”

Sean Ono Lennon says, “Kevin’s documentary brings completely fresh insight into my parents’ lives during their Bank Street and early New York years, showing first hand their unwavering dedication to promoting peace and non-violence during a turbulent era of unrest, corruption and unnecessary war.”

Alice Webb, Mercury Studios CEO says “This film is ultimately a story of radical hope. It is an honest and intimate look at a pivotal year in John and Yoko’s lives – a melting pot of politics, youth culture, self-growth, and spine-tingling artistry. I’m honored to bring this story to fans everywhere with the impeccable Kevin Macdonald, Sean and Peter.”

Macdonald is no stranger to documentaries, directing multiple award-winning stories such as Oscar® winning “One Day in September,” BAFTA Best British Film “Touching the Void,” “Life in a Day,” BAFTA and Grammy® nominated “Marley,” Grammy® nominated “Whitney,” and “High and Low: John Galliano.” He also executive produced the award-winning documentaries “Senna” and “The Rescue.”

“It has been a remarkable privilege to be given access to the Lennon archives from the period,” said producer Peter Worsley. “Incorporating previously unheard recordings of private phone calls and home movies they made together, while setting the film inside a reconstruction of their apartment, brings us right into their world.”

The film is produced by Peter Worsley, Alice Webb and Kevin Macdonald and executive produced by Steve Condie, David Joseph and Marc Robinson for Mercury Studios and by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner for Plan B/KM Films. Editor and Co-director Sam Rice-Edwards, Consulting Producer Simon Hilton, and Line Producer Melissa Morton Hicks served on the project.

About Kevin Macdonald

Kevin Macdonald is a writer, director and producer of documentaries and fiction films. His documentaries as a director include One Day in September (Oscar® for best documentary, 2000); Touching the Void (BAFTA best British film, 2003), Life in a Day (2011 and 2021) Marley (BAFTA and Grammy nominated, 2012) Whitney (Grammy nominated; 2018) and High and Low: John Galliano (2024). He has also executive produced numerous documentaries including the award-winning Senna (2010) and The Rescue (2022) and has recently started a joint producing venture with Plan B in Los Angeles, with the goal of finding new talent and encouraging innovative, director-led documentaries. Kevin has also directed TV drama and fiction films, include The Last King of Scotland (2006, Oscar® and Bafta winner) State of Play (2009), How I Live Now (2013) and The Mauritanian (2021, Golden Globe winner and BAFTA nominee).

About Mercury Studios

Mercury Studios is a full-service production studio, focused on telling compelling stories through the lens of music. Current and recent projects include Oscar® and BAFTA award nominated American Symphony, directed by Matthew Heineman for the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions/Netflix, If These Walls Could Sing, directed by Mary McCartney for Disney+, My Life as a Rolling Stone for the BBC and MGM+, Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl for Netflix and This Town, a six-part series for the BBC from writer, creator, and executive producer Steven Knight. Mercury Studios also produced Sam Smith: Live at the Royal Albert Hall for BBC, Billie Eilish’s Overheated at the O2 London and Lang Lang Plays Disney for Disney+. Editorially independent, Mercury Studios is powered by Universal Music Group and represents the world’s leading catalog of music-related content, consisting of thousands of hours of premium music-driven film and television programming.

About Plan B/KM Films

Plan B/KM Films is a new joint venture between Kevin Macdonald and Plan B Productions, with the goal of finding new talent and encouraging innovative, director-led documentaries. One to One: John & Yoko is the first film from Plan B/KM Films.

SOURCE: Mercury Studios

If this documentary doesn’t feature a full concert, perhaps one will follow?


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