'Made me tear up' - Leak truth as Newcastle budget pays off and deleted Adidas scene revealed

You have all seen it. Once. Twice. Maybe even three times by now. It is not so much a launch video for Newcastle United's new home shirt, but a celebration of all things black and white by Dan Emmerson, whose father, Peter, was among those supporters 'going nuts for it'.

"He was just over the moon," the director told ChronicleLive. "He sent me a message that pretty much made me tear up.

"He said, 'Best yet, Dan. Only a Geordie could really understand what it represents. Any football fan will recognise how powerful the identity is with the team and the city. Puts a lump in my throat. Well done.' Messages like that make it all worth it."

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Emmerson, unlike his father and older brothers, does not have a Geordie accent these days after the family moved away when he was just six, but the filmmaker was born in Jesmond and remains a match going Newcastle fan to this day. While shooting, Emmerson made sure to let players and staff know that he was 'not just some Cockney who was swanning around telling people what to do'. The director even had a Newcastle tattoo to point to if they needed any further proof.

A few days on from the launch, you can still hear the pride in Emmerson's voice about being involved in the project - even if the premiere came a little earlier than planned.

"It was quite mad seeing that leak on Thursday night," the 37-year-old said. "We were sort of panicking, wondering, 'How did that happen?'

"It was meant to be Friday morning and then, suddenly, all the production started messaging on our email thread: 'Oh my God - someone has leaked it!' They then just decided to put it out there and then but, hey, we all love a bit of drama at Newcastle. It's the typical Toon way, but we wouldn't have it any other way."

In truth, the early release of the video only raised excitement further on the eve of the launch of the club's first home kit with Adidas since 2009. So how did it all come about?

Well, it was several months ago now that the Midnight Club agency approached Emmerson with a loose script and an idea for the film, which the director had to bring to life in his own way. The aim was to create a film that would not only resonate with Geordies but with football fans in general, too, with a 'real love and passion for people of the North East' running through it.

Alexander Isak recreates *that* meme
Alexander Isak recreates *that* meme -Credit:NUFC

There was a lot of history to pull from, as seen with the archive footage of Sir Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan and others, which helped with the 'scale and wider appeal'. However, as much as the production team wanted to pay tribute to the club's heritage, they also wanted to 'bring it to a new audience' with the help of the current men's and women's players. Most importantly, they wanted to capture the 'ubiquity' of the shirt.

"It isn't just a once a week shirt like [Alan] Shearer said - it's a second skin," Emmerson explained. "You really feel that when you live in Newcastle and you see the black and white stripes wherever you go.

"That was the starting point. I wanted to lean into some of the culturally iconic memes that we all recognise like Alexander Isak walking his dog and Shola [Ameobi] and the apple. All those little touches we were hoping Geordies would go mad for and they seem super into it.

"It was all about reinstilling that pride in the area and the club because we have a lot to be proud of going forward. It's amazing to see."

Rather than being a typical studio shoot with just the players, the club wanted 'proper filmmaking techniques' in the words of Emmerson and the budget ended up being 'quite a decent number'. The considerable production team set out to 'really stretch that budget' - running around like 'mad men' to shoot as much as they could in three days - and a handful of scenes even had to be left out of the final cut. These include one of a little boy and his mum in the Grainger Market.

However, the end result packs an almighty punch: the narration, the black and white, the haunting reworked version of the Blaydon Races...

"It's always a bit of a risky one doing different versions and changing the tonality of such an iconic and important song for the club," Emmerson admitted. "But, thankfully, it seemed to resonate with people and take the film to an otherworldly, more cinematic world, which is something I really wanted to tap into and bring to the audience."

The anthem was sung by Heidi Curtis, from North Shields, and the Felling Male Voice choir and Emmerson was conscious of getting as many people from the region involved to ensure it was authentic, whether it was using genuine supporters rather than actors or enlisting Geordie photographer Ewen Spencer to take the stills.

There were a few names 'kicking around' when it came to choosing a narrator, but Emmerson was adamant it had to be Shearer to 'carry it'. Little did the director know that the club's record goal scorer would recognise him. Well, sort of.

"My oldest brother, Nick, was actually Tino Asprilla's interpreter when he was at the club many years ago," he revealed. "My mother is Spanish so, believe it or not, we all speak Spanish in my family.

"Nick was known to the club and they brought him in so Shearer sort of actually recognised me through him. He asked, 'Have you got a brother?!'

"It goes without saying what a legend he is. I was over the moon that he was available to come and help out.

"He was amazing and really patient on set. Quite often, a lot of these things are slow moving. There's a lot of people, a lot of crew, and a lot of lighting. He was just a consummate professional and nailed it. Working with him was the dream one for me."

If Shearer was one of the more experienced names involved in the shoot, Lewis Miley was one of the youngest. The crew even surprised Miley with a Colin the Caterpillar cake to mark his birthday back in May to leave the Newcastle midfielder 'proper blushing'. The fact Miley turned 18 that day was, amusingly, the 'only reason he was actually allowed' into the King Street Social Club in North Shields for filming.

The coaching staff also got involved. Eddie Howe and assistant Jason Tindall even showcased their considerable acting talents in the Strawberry.

"I was very keen to have Mad Dog in there," Emmerson smiled. "While we were waiting, I was like, 'Just set up a game of pool for them'.

"Eddie is quite the player. He's got a snooker table at home so it explains a lot. They were competitive. It was funny seeing their relationship.

"They were such nice lads. Everyone was. A lot of players came from training and were knackered. I was just very grateful that they got stuck in and gave us what we needed for the shoot. The club is a family and it was definitely important to represent every corner of it as best we could."