Photo: Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times
Mark Bentley, a noise litigation attorney, turned his love of the Beatles into a documentary.
Economic Backbone: Law
Noise litigation attorney Mark Bentley's Beatles passion project debuts at Florida Film Festival
Bentley, of Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, is a longtime Beatles memorabilia collector and music afficionado.
Attorney Mark Bentley of Tampa turned his passion for the Beatles into a documentary that kicked off the Florida Film Festival in Orlando. Pre Fab! shares the story of drummer Colin Hanton, who is also the custodian of John Lennon’s childhood home and wrote a book of the same name. Hanton and John Lennon formed the Quarrymen with their friends in the 1950s, which later evolved into the Beatles.
Bentley, of Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, is a longtime Beatles memorabilia collector and music afficionado. He was the film’s executive producer but touts the project as a team effort. His extensive knowledge of rock 'n' roll also helps in his legal practice — Bentley specializes in noise litigation, having participated in a wide range of cases that stem from bars, restaurants and even the amphitheater at the Florida State Fairgrounds. “This new urban living and emphasis on mixed-use environments (live, work and play) has created a lot of conflicts, and I work with acoustic experts to find solutions and if not, often end up in litigation,” Bentley says.
But when it comes to the Beatles, Bentley says his passion project is all about preserving history. In addition to conducting most of the interviews in the film, Bentley also acquired rare photographs and negotiated the rights to music and archival footage.
Bentley was in England in 2018 when his son’s band, Nashville-based Arch Echo, was touring. Bentley ended up meeting with Hanton. Hanton never left Liverpool and had a life that revolved around Lennon and the Beatles.
As part of the documentary, Bentley and fellow filmmakers conducted various interviews, including one with Paul McCartney.
Bentley also is working on a documentary about the life of rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter Del Shannon.