David Hurn was asked to be the “special photographer” for the 1964 Beatles film, A Hard Days Night. Beatlemania was at its apogee during filming of the movie. Hurn found himself very much in the eye of that storm as he worked on the set of the musical comedy, which depicted 36 hours in the life of the Fab Four. As if mirroring the film’s story, fans and press photographers would crash the set daily.

Hurn recalls the eerie ability of these super fans to seemingly appear from nowhere:“The train would stop, for various filmic shooting reasons, several times during the journey. Miraculously, thousands of fans would appear at every stop seemingly from nowhere.” Pictured here, John, Paul, George and Ringo eat a meal on the train, while thousands of fans line the route.

Life, as it unfolds in front of the camera, is full of so much complexity, wonder, and surprise that I find it unnecessary to create new realities. There is more pleasure, for me, in things as they are

David Hurn
© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

A self-taught photographer, David Hurn (b.1934) began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. He gained his early reputation through his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1967. In 1973 he set up the influential School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales and remained director until 1989.

His work is held in major collections including British Council, London; ICP, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Bibliothèque nationale de France and National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, amongst others.

David Hurn continues to live and work from his home in Tintern, Wales.

© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

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