James Patterson | The Last Days of John Lennon

In this book trailer for James Patterson, lifelong Beatles fans relive the triumphs and failings of John Lennon’s life, and the chilling crime that ended it.

When we found out James Patterson needed a book trailer for his John Lennon biography, there was a scramble. Everyone wanted to be a part of it! After all, who doesn’t like the Beatles?

We tossed around every concept from Yellow Submarine-esque animation to a live-action recreation of Lennon”s assassination. See, the book isn’t simply a biography! It also flashes forward in time, detailing Mark David Chapman’s mental state leading up to the shooting. We recognized this “ticking clock” gives the book the feel of one of Patterson’s trademark thrillers. When we eventually settled on interviewing real Beatles fans, that thriller vibe never left our minds. 

Producer/Production Designer Muriel Lee crafted the sets where Director Cameron Shaw and Director of Photography wanted the talent. The look was to be moody and dark, taking inspiration from crime documentaries and channeling that “untold story” vibe. We ensured this interview-based spot would hold visual interest by using two-camera setups in two different locations, lighting one with red, the other blue.

On the day of the shoot, the reactions were unanimous! Everyone loved the book, and they gave the team tons of amazing answers. The only downside? We couldn’t include all their stories in the edits!

These interviews could’ve been visually stale, but instead the team executed a strong artistic vision. And if you’re going to make art out of a commercial, who better to do it for than John Lennon?

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