'Fantastic opportunity to have work showcased at event to mark Sgt Pepper anniversary'
For many people, A Day in the Life is simply the best track the Beatles recorded. As the concluding song on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, its plaintive opening strums and climactic sonic tumble frame one of the richest flights of the pop imagination ever etched into black vinyl.
And like all the greatest songs – all the greatest art in fact – the story it tells doesn’t begin and end with the artefact itself. Having beaten a path via the listener’s ear into the brain, it then stimulates a potentially infinite series of moods and responses – a never-fading, ever-mutating echo of its original intent.
It is this ability for songs to catalyse the imagination that underpins Liverpool’s Sgt Pepper at 50 celebrations. As the Beatles’ most celebrated album (let’s not say “best” as that’s an argument waiting to happen), its 50th anniversary has prompted a festival built around each one of its 13 tracks.
A variety of artists, both global and local, are using the music as a jumping-off point for some work of their own – from small theatre pieces to sweeping city-wide statements. And now, would you believe, everyone reading this article can have a go at joining the line-up.
The screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man, Millions and 24 Hour Party People) has written a film inspired by A Day in the Life, and Hurricane Films, its producer, is inviting “aspiring filmmakers” to make their own short movie about a 24-hour period in their lives .
The 24 hours in question are the ones that fall on Thursday June 1, and anyone with the means of making a short five-minute film (which, in this smartphone era, is everyone) will have the chance to see their own cinematic mini-epic up on screen alongside the Cottrell-Boyce original that stars comedian Tom O'Connor.
A Day in the Life – 24 Zero Hours is the name of that piece, and it will be premiered at Woolton Picture House as the final event of Sgt Pepper at 50 on June 16. The public’s films will be chosen for their originality and emotional impact more than their technical quality.
However, while you really don’t need a Steadicam and a paid crew to see your work up on the big screen, professional-standard films are equally eligible.
Simply make a film of under five minutes about your life on Friday June 1, 2017. Then upload it to either YouTube or Vimeo, and email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight on Friday June 9.
Carl Hunter, the director of A Day In the Life – 24 Zero Hours, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring film makers to have their work showcased at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper. A collection of films that portray different lives on one day will provide us with an invaluable visual time capsule.”
The film features the comedian Tom O’Connor taking a ride on the 86 bus – “through the space-time continuum” it says here. But celebrity comics and universe-straddling excursions are not a prerequisite for entry.
If you can wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across your head… you can let your imagination take it from there.
Entries to the A Day in the Life film challenge should be shot on June 1 and submitted before midnight on June 9. The film premiere takes place at Woolton Picture House on June 16, and tickets can be purchased here. More information about the Sgt Pepper at 50 festival can be found here.