Martina McBride was just shy of 2 when Elvis Presley filmed his 1968 "comeback" TV special. This year, the country singer steps back in time 40 years to join the King of Rock 'n' Roll in a video for Blue Christmas.
The effect is similar to Celine Dion's American Idol duet with Presley on If I Can Dream in 2007, but producer George Flanigen says the process used for the illusion was entirely different.
"They took Elvis out of the '68 special and put him on the Idol stage," he says. "We were taking Martina to the '68 special."
The posthumous collaboration also appears on Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, a new album that pairs Presley with singers such as Carrie Underwood, Amy Grant and Olivia Newton-John.
In the original footage — the only existing video of Elvis performing a Christmas song — a leather-clad Presley appears with his band on a small stage at the center of a studio audience. In the video, McBride walks out of the audience and sits next to him.
"There's a spot between (guitarist) Scotty Moore and Elvis that's open, like somebody should have been sitting there," says Flanigen. "We're like, 'We could probably figure a way to put her with Elvis.'
"We scoured the footage and picked shots of Elvis throughout the whole special to be able to put them together. There are shots where he and Martina share the frame, where he looks over at her, where she looks back at him and sings and smiles."
McBride filmed her parts in front of a green screen. "It took four weeks" to piece together, Flanigen says.
nice duet also technically very well, but this just ain't my thing. the way she pretends to smile at Elvis and Elvis supposedly to smile at her at the end, for this kind of romance I'd rather watch the bold and the beautiful or as the world turns..
...and then Will Young after that. Somebody shoot me, please! Elvis The Robot - there to perform with anybody and everybody at the flick of a switch. Credibility? They don't know the meaning of the word. Jeez, how did it come to this?
Thanks to the wonders of modern man we now have Elvis singing with people who were not even born yet when they show them togather, nice idea but lets get real. When the King was on stage he shared it with no one. Thats why he is, was , and always will be THE KING !!!!!
Fine for young people who were not born during Elvis' lifetime, and also for the wide public around the globe. But nothing more. I will NOT buy the new Xmas duets album; listen to the original album anytime man ! By the way: would there be any outtakes in the vaults of those Xmas studio session of EP in 57 ? Would like to have those.
I like the video very much. It's amazing what they can do with technology these days. As to the subject of surviving '57 Christmas outtakes: The general consensus among fans has always been NO. BUT, I have seen it suggested on another message board that a tape does survive, BUT it is in private hands. Take that bit of info for whatever it may be worth.
Jerry - that tape thats supposed to be in the hands of a private collector was supposed to go on the auction block a few years ago and never surfaced. I doubt it exists but I hope I am wrong and it comes around one day.