The Paul McCartney Project

Filming of the “Ebony And Ivory” promotional video (duet version)

February 1982 • Posted in “A day in the life

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Two very different, but highly successful, treatments are given to the “Ebony and Ivory” theme in their promotional videos. The first film, directed by Keef McMillan and recently screened on BBC-TV’s Top of the Pops programme, relates the black/ white, ebony/ ivory theme to the lyrics and the piano keyboard. Featuring Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing the song, one of the scenes depicts a specially constructed 40ft keyboard upon which Paul walks and then sits with Stevie. Also included in the film are the reggae band, the Cimarons. At the end of the shoot, Keef and his staff celebrated the completion of their 500th video project.

From Club Sandwich N°26, 1982

From TV Studio History website:

Other work during this period included the emerging phenomenon of pop promos. One of the most famous was David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes, made using video cameras and using some of the latest electronic effects, directed in 1980 by David Mallet. Another video that was well known in its day was the one for Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s 1982 No.1 hit Ebony and Ivory – probably directed by Keith (Keef) McMillan. I was informed by someone on the crew that although it looks as though both men are singing together, Stevie Wonder’s contribution was made in the US whilst McCartney was filmed here at Ewarts, the two being cleverly combined in post-production. No less than the VT editor himself – David Hornsby – has contacted me to confirm this. He says it took about a week to ‘glue’ it all together.

So in the B Studio was the piano and the panelled room and the curtains, and in Studio A was the set – we did the keyboard stuff and struck that, and then did the main set, the wide-shot set. I think we did one day with the piano and opening the windows and the curtain things, and then a day with the wide shot. Three days maximum, more than likely two.

[…] It was six weeks later when we filmed Stevie. He was tied up with other stuff, and it was obviously agreed between management behind the scenes that it would all happen. […] We waited, I think, four days after the agreed schedule date. […] We did all the post-production at Ewart’s in London. […]

Director Phil Davey, from KeefCo – from Tug Of War Archive Collection, 2015.

Last updated on May 10, 2020

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