Red Onion Films Ltd has for the past few weeks been working on the shooting of a short film about the Abbey Road zebra crossing. This will be, they believe, the definitive mini-documentary about this unique symbol of musical history. In the next few weeks they are wanting to film a plan view of the crossing using a 20ft camera crane. The filming will be done on a sunny Sunday morning.
We will be looking forward to see the finished product. Of course, this will not be the first time the crossing has been filmed, it regularly appears in travel and music documentaries, it's in the "Free As A Bird" music video and the memorable re-enactment for the Rockband commercial.
And if we are to believe a commentary from a few years ago, home movie footage of the actual Beatles photo session is also out there somewhere, in someone's private collection.
"My grandfather and his sister were in Abbey Road the morning of the Beatles photo shoot and he filmed them walking across 3 or 4 times on his 8mm movie camera. He was on holidays in London and a big Beatles fan back then. He went to EMI studios to see where the Beatles work and couldn't believe it when they came outside and took the photos right out the front. He's since passed away but his film is still in our family"
Another interesting commentary from just recently, is this, from Joe Shields:
To anyone out there, I am looking for any photos (or where i can view such ) of the other side of that iconic photo,with particular reference to the policeman who is holding up the traffic so the Beatles can cross, and get that iconic photo. That policeman is my father-in-law. it is his van (the old fashioned "black mariah",as they were known as),that is parked on the right hand side of the road and is facing the wrong (according to him he turned up late for his "duty", and had to abandon the van .) It would be great if i could find any photos of him as he is now in his 60's and it would make a great present for him. I have regalled people with the story for years and even won a radio from Absolute for it.
Can anyone help me!
Of course, Joe's story is just another piece of evidence in the case against the widely spread story about Paul Cole being the man beside the police van. Cole claimed to have been talking to the police officer in the van, but according to Joe Shields, the van was empty, as the policeman was busy holding up the traffic. And we also now know why the police van is missing in the first few photos, it had arrived late. Must have been quite a young policeman, by the way, now in his sixties. Younger than the Beatles, anyway.
Best of luck to Red Onion Films with the new definitive Abbey Road zebra crossing documentary, and I hope they will use this opportunity to disspell some of the myths about it. Now, for those of you haven't been able to make the pilgrimmage yet, here's how a walk from Abbey Road studios to the crossing, over the road and looking back looks like: