The Paul McCartney Project

Filming of “No More Lonely Nights (Dance remix)” promotional video

Saturday, October 13, 1984 • Posted in “A day in the life

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From Club Sandwich N°44, Spring 1987:

[…] As you would expect, the brief for the remix video was rather different. Director David G. Hillier, recently nominated for a BAFTA award for his work on the Max Headroom TV series, had edited MPL’s Buddy Holly short The Music Lives On for US TV. To illustrate the disco ‘Lonely Nights’, he was asked to intercut breakdancing with entertaining archive footage. Producer Nick Maingay takes up the story.

“Paul wanted movement in all the old footage. There are specialist companies which seek out film under the heading you want, so I went to them and had to watch hours of film to pick out the few seconds I wanted.”

The variety in the old clips is dazzling: disco, comic and old-time dancing; ’60’s twisters and tribal dancers; athletics, jitterbugging, Salvador Dali, a traffic policeman; a country hoedown; backwards film of a weightlifter dropping his dumb-bells. All this amid shots of Paul, cordless mike in hand, surrounded by hectic breakdancing. (The Cavern girls knew him and Ringo as the best dancers in the Beatles, but he’s taking it easy here!) Linda and two dancers join him at the mike.

Nick: “The video was shot at the Hippodrome with MTV in mind. I toured the clubs looking for likely dancers – if I saw someone breakdancing in Leicester Square, I asked them along. There was also Jeffrey Daniels from Starlight Express (not to mention the ‘Ballroom Dancing’ sequence in Broad Street) and his dancers. Paul got very involved with the dancers: they loved it.

“It was a relatively straightforward shoot, but the editing was horrendous. Paul was shot on 35mm film, transferred to video via the film negative, using a tele-cine machine. Most videos are done that way, so that you have the quality of film and the convenience of video.”

Horrendous perhaps, but with spectacular results. Well done, Nick and David.

Last updated on May 4, 2020

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