The Untold Story of the Svengalis Who Made the Sixties Swing
Logline: In Sixties London, the managers of the Beatles, the Stones and the Who struggle to marry art and commerce in a bid to become the world’s biggest hitmakers. Think: Mad Men goes pop.
Outline: Hitmakers follows the story of the key pop managers of the Sixties – Brian Epstein, Andrew Loog Oldham, Kit Lambert and Allen Klein – as they invent the modern music business. Beginning in 1963, when Epstein is turning the Beatles into the biggest stars the world has ever seen, the series tracks the untold behind-the-scenes story of Sixties pop up to 1967, when the dream begins to fall apart and commerce overtakes art.
Long-listed by the BBC Writers Room
“This is an immediately interesting and entertaining story – [exploring] a fascinating moment in pop culture history, written with an in-depth knowledge of the period, without ever feeling heavy handed. It’s a nice idea to tell the well-worn story of the Beatles from the perspective of their managers and irony and humour is generated by the fact that we know they became a global phenomenon, yet no-one in this story knows that yet.”
HOLD ON. THIS SOUNDS EXPENSIVE.
I get it. I address this concern straight off the bat: we NEVER hear the bands in Hitmakers.
Oh, and… we NEVER see them either.
ER, WHAT? WE NEVER SEE THE BANDS???
Look, I realise not everyone has the budget of Vinyl. Plus, actors pretending to be famous pop stars is naff as hell. So no, we never see the Beatles, or the Stones, or the Who. This is about the people in the background who made the deals, wrote the rules, purchased the drugs, and skimmed the money. The far more interesting people…
…AND NOT JUST THE MEN
Yes, I realise that there’s a lot of pictures of blokes at the top of this page. But Hitmakers is about more than just the men with the money. The women behind the bands – Sheila Klein, Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Yoko Ono, Linda Keith, Patti Boyd – have never had the story of their crucial role in this era brought to the screen in the way Hitmakers intends to.
WHY THIS, WHY NOW?
The Sixties pop era continues to be a compelling subject that audiences love.
Get Back has kindled new interest in the story behind the music of the Sixties.
While the Brian Epstein saga has been told before, the equally thrilling stories of Oldham, Lambert and Klein have yet to be brought to the screen.
The Hitmakers format has the potential to stretch to multiple seasons, taking in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and beyond (see HITMAKERS SERIES BIBLE).