Some people regard these promotional films to be the first pop music videos. Made to avoid the necessity of constant exclusive TV appearances, and to make profit from direct sales to various TV companies throughout the world, these promos, shot at Twickenham by Intertel VTR Services, were quick to make. According to Mark Lewisohn's Complete Beatles Chronicle, the BBC paid NEMS £1750 for several broadcasts of the clips (largely on Top of the Pops), while the cost of the production was itself just £750. Although many of the clips made only a semi-diegetic use of music (on ‘Help!’ Ringo simply holds an umbrella, on I Feel Fine he rides on an exercise bicykle). There's also a version of "I Feel Fine" where the Beatles are snacking on fish and chips, while occasionally mouthing the words of the lyrics.
Although filmed in black and white, still photos were in colour. Some of these later became internationally released record sleeves.
The promo for "Help!"
The "fish and chips" promo for "I Feel Fine"
The regular promo for "I Feel Fine"
One of the promos for "Day Tripper"
One of the promos for "We Can Work It Out". Photo provided by our blog reader, Marcelo Ravelo from Barcelona.
Curiously, I couldn't find a colour photo from the black clothes versions of "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper"
More about The Beatles and Movies can be found over at The Beatles Movies.
The Intertel Promos, 1965:
The first of the clips in this collection, "We Can Work It Out", is a sample from the upcoming Unsurpassed Promos DVD set.