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History / Filmography

This Is It Blu-ray CoverThis Is It

'This Is It' is a 2009 American documentary–concert film directed by Kenny Ortega that documents Michael Jackson's rehearsals and preparation for his concert series of the same name that was originally scheduled to start on 13 July 2009, but cancelled due to his death eighteen days prior on 25 June.

Description:

Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' offers Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London’s O2 Arena.

Chronicling the months from April through June, 2009, the film is drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, and genius as he creates and perfects his final show.

Director:

Kenny Ortega

Produced:

Paul Gongaware
Kenny Ortega
Randy Phillips

Music:

'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'/'Jam'/'The Drill'/'They Don't Care About Us'/'Human Nature'/'Smooth Criminal'/'The Way You Make Me Feel'/'Jackson 5 Medley'/'Shake Your Body' (Down To The Ground/'I Just Can't Stop Loving You'/'Thriller'/'Beat It'/'Black Or White/'Earth Song'/'Billie Jean'/'Man In The Mirror'/'This Is It': audio played during the end credits/'Heal The World': played during the end credits.

This Is It - Rehearsel (23-06-2009)
Michael Jackson, just two days before he died, he practiced his moves during a rehearsal at Staples Center in L.A. for the London concerts.

'This Is It' was released on DVD and Blu-ray in North America on January 26th, 2010. It sold over 1.5 million units in U.S., alone within its first week of release, setting a new record for the first week sales of a music DVD. By March 2011, in USA alone DVD and Blu-ray sales stood at 3.2 million with gross earnings of $62 million. The film was released on the same day in Japan, also breaking records, with $18 million in sales on the title's first day of release—$11.3 million in DVD and $6.7 million in Blu-ray—breaking Ponyo‍ '​s record of $6.2 million. In Ireland, the DVD became the joint-third best-selling music "record" in terms of units, going 5x Platinum by the end of 2010.


Moonwalker Video CoverMoonwalker

'Moonwalker' is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson. Rather than featuring one continuous narrative, the film is a collection of short films about Jackson, several of which are long-form music videos from Jackson's 'Bad' album.

The film is named after the dance technique known as the moonwalk, which Jackson was known for performing in the 1980's. The name of the dance move was dubbed by the media, not by Jackson himself; however, he did choose the title of the film himself. 'Moonwalker' was a success at the box office, making a total of $67,000,000 worldwide.

The release of 'Moonwalker' was originally scheduled to coincide with Jackson's 1987 album, 'Bad'. During the theatrical release of 'Moonwalker', Jackson was also embarking on the Bad World Tour, his first tour as a solo performer. The film was released theatrically in Europe and South America, but Warner Bros. canceled plans for a Christmas 1988 theatrical release in the United States.

'Moonwalker' was instead released on home video in the United States and Canada on January 10, 1989, just as the 'Bad Tour finished. The video had sold more than 800,000 copies in the U.S. by April 17, 1989.

Description:

Come on a wondrous adventure.
Come on a magical, musical journey into the world of Michael Jackson.

Enter the realm of 'Moonwalker', a story of the classic struggle between good and evil set against a backdrop of some of the most stunning special effects and spectacular song and dance numbers ever put on film.

'Moonwalker' is a combination of live footage of Michael Jackson in concert, as well as a series of fantasy pieces with him as the central character. It features some of Michael's best music videos, footage from the Bad World Tour, along with an extended video for a 'Smooth Criminal' fantasy storyline. It is a story told with music and dance that is full of special effects.

Director:

Jerry Kramer
Will Vinton (stop-motion sequences, segment 'Speed Demon')
Jim Blashfield (segment 'Leave Me Alone')
Colin Chilvers (segment 'Smooth Criminal')

Produced:

Dennis E. Jones
Jerry Kramer
Will Vinton (segment 'Speed Demon')
Paul Diener (segment 'Leave Me Alone')
Executive:
Michael Jackson
Frank Dileo
Line producer:
John Romeyn

Cast:

Michael Jackson: Himself
Joe Pesci: Frankie "Mr. Big" LiDeo
Kellie Parker: Katie
Sean Lennon: Sean
Brandon Quintin Adams: Zeke "Baby Bad" Michael (Smooth Criminal) / Kid MJ (Badder)
Speed Demon: Claymation by Will Vinton

Music:

The first segment of 'Moonwalker' is a live performance of 'Man In The Mirror' during his Bad Tour in Europe. Clips from Wembley Stadium among others can be seen. It also features a montage of clips of children in Africa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, and other historical figures.

'Badder'
'Speed Demon'
'Leave Me Alone'
'Smooth Criminal'
'Come Together'
'Closing credits': During the closing credits, two more segments are shown. The first has Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing "The Moon is Walking" in Club 30's amidst behind-the-scenes clips. The second is the four-minute version of the 'Smooth Criminal' music video.

Moonwalker Movie - On the set (08-1988)
Michael Jackson on the set of the movie 'Moonwalker' directed by Jerry Kramer.

The Video Software Dealer's Association awarded Jackson in 1989 with an award for Favorite Music Video - 'Moonwalker' and Michael Jackson's "good vs. evil" sci-fi film, 'Moonwalker', wins the award for "Best Long Form Music Video" at the 32nd Grammy Awards from Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California. Michael was not present that evening.


Captain EOCaptain EO

'Captain EO' is a 1986 American 3D science fiction film starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Coppola (who came up with the name Captain EO' ['EO' is Greek for 'dawn'], that was shown at Disney theme parks from 1986 through 1996.

'Captain EO', Michael’s 17 minute 3-D musical fantasy is premiered at Epcot Center in Disneyworld (Florida) on September 12th, 1986 and the day after in Disneyland (California).

The movie would end it's first run on July 6th, 1994. On September 18th, 1986 it opened for the first time in Disneyland Anaheim. The Disneyland attraction would remain open for almost 3 years longer until April 17th, 1997. Tokyo Disneyland got its version on March 20th, 1987. 'Captain EO' would stay on Tokyo until its closure in September 1996.

The film's executive producer was George Lucas. The film was choreographed by Jeffrey Hornaday and Michael Jackson, photographed by Peter Anderson, produced by Rusty Lemorande and written by Lemorande, Lucas and Coppola, from a story idea by the artists of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Lemorande also initially designed and created two of the creatures, and was an editor of the film. The score was written by James Horner, and featured two songs ('We Are Here To Change The World' and 'Another Part Of Me'), both written and performed by Michael Jackson.

After its première at Disney World Florida, the 3-D movie was shown at all 4 Disney Theme Parks [Florida, California, Japan, France] with tremendous success and became one of the main attractions of the parks. "Working on 'Captain EO' reinforced all the positive feelings I've had about working in film and made me realize more than ever that movies are where my future path probably lies", Michael says later.

Description:

The story goes about a boy who goes on mission to a gloomy planet which is been reigned over by a malicious queen.
His responsibility is to rescue the inhabitants from her and to bring light and beauty in their world.
'Captain EO' must give the public the feeling that they are in a spaceship. It's just like the spacecrafts are skimming over the public and lasers passes next to your head.

Director:

Francis Coppola

Produced:

George Lucas

Cast:

Michael Jackson: Captain EO
Anjelica Huston: The Supreme Leader
Dick Shawn: Commander Bog
Tony Cox: Hooter
Debbie Lee Carrington: Idee
Cindy Sorenson: Geex
Gary DePew: Major Domo

Special effects:

'Captain EO' made full use of its 3D effects. The action on the screen extended into the audience, including asteroids, lasers, laser impacts, smoke effects, and starfields that filled the theater. These effects resulted in the seventeen-minute film costing an estimated $30 million to produce. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced on a per-minute basis, averaging out at $1.76 million per minute.

Music:

The show's orchestral score was composed by James Horner, while the area and pre-show music was written by Richard Bellis.

Michael Jackson songs are used in the 'Captain EO' attraction. The first song is 'We Are Here To Change The World'. This is the song performed as the gift for the Supreme Leader. The second song, at the end of the movie, is 'Another Part Of Me'. This song is only performed partially in the movie. It is a shorter version as the one found on the album 'Bad'.

'We Are Here To Change The World' was not released on any album or record when it first came out. The song was only used inside the 'Captain EO' attractions. Only years later would it be released on a Michael Jackson album. It was part of the 2004 release of the 'Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection' box set. The song is the last one on the second disc of this set.

Captain EO Movie - On the set
Michael Jackson with director Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas on the set of the movie 'Captain EO'.

Making Michael Jackson's Thriller Video CoverMaking Michael Jackson's Thriller

Michael Jackson made history and forever changed MTV! 'Thriller' was the first music video produced completely and entirely to be a short film. Filming of the video began on October 11th, 1983 at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, the zombie dance sequence at the junction of Union Pacific Avenue and South Calzona Street in East Los Angeles and the final house scene in the Angeleno Heights neighborhood at 1345 Carroll Avenue.

Released in tandem with the video was an hour-long documentary providing candid glimpses behind the scenes of the production. Called 'Making Michael Jackson's Thriller', it, too, was shown heavily on MTV for a time and was the top-selling home-video release of all time at one point, with over 9 million copies sold.

MTV paid $250,000 for the exclusive rights to show the documentary; Showtime paid $300,000 for pay-cable rights; and Vestron Music Video reportedly put down an additional $500,000 to market the cassette, in "a profit participation."

Rick Baker expected to have a few weeks to do the special effects make up for the zombies (which usually requires impressions to be taken of the actors face to base the prosthetics on) only to find out the dancers would not be cast until a few days before shooting began. It was decided to do generic make up for the dancers (using a combination of precast prosthetics) while members of Baker's crew in the more elaborate make up for shots that featured more close ups (like the zombie coming out of the manhole).

A major budget, at the time the largest ever assigned for production of a video clip, was personally advanced by Michael. John Branca, Michael's long-time lawyer sounded the alarm: It was clear to everyone that the film's budget, US$ 600'000.-- at the time, was obviously going to double before long. The solution: A film based on the making of 'Thriller'.
Choreography by Michael Jackson and Michael Peters.

'Making Michael Jackson's Thriller' was instead released on home video on December 14, 1983. The video had sold more than 500,000 copies in its first month.

Description:

A night at the movies turns into a nightmare when Michael and his date are attacked by a hoard of bloody-thirsty zombies - only 'Thriller' can save them now.

Superstar Michael Jackson in a sensational music movie. 'Making Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' brings a almost 60 minutes during top music-video-program with:

1. The sensational video clip, a 14 minutes during film production: 'Thriller'!
2. Michael Jackson's hit 'Billie Jean' from the 'Motown 25'.
3. The culminating points out of Michael Jackson's fantastic video clip 'Beat It'.
4. The video premiere of Michael Jackson's 'Can You Feel It'.
5. A view behind the scenes during the shooting of 'Thriller'. The all-star team, Michael Jackson and director John Landis at work.
6. And a lot more, much more!

Director:

John Landis

Produced:

George Folsey, Jr.
Michael Jackson
John Landis

Cast:

Michael Jackson
Ola Ray

Special effects:

Rick Baker

Choreography:

Michael Jackson and Michael Peters.

Thriller Video Clip - On the set (13-10-1983)
Michael Jackson, Ola Ray and director John Landis on the set of the video clip 'Thriller'.

'The Making Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller' wins two awards at the 3rd annual American Video Awards in March 1985 in the categories: Best Long Form Video and Best Home Video. Rebbie Jackson accepts the awards on Michael’s behalf.


The Wiz Video CoverThe Wiz

'The Wiz' is a 1978 American musical adventure film produced in collaboration between Motown Productions and Universal Pictures.

The premiere & opening night party of the movie 'The Wiz' was on October 25th, 1978 at the Pitt’s Century Plaza Theater in Century City (Los Angeles).

'The Wiz' was the eighth feature film produced by Motown Productions, the film/TV division of Berry Gordy's Motown Records label. Gordy originally wanted the teenaged future R&B singer Stephanie Mills, who had played the role on Broadway, to be cast as Dorothy. When Motown star Diana Ross asked Gordy if she could be cast as Dorothy, he declined, saying that Ross—then 33 years old—was too old for the role. Ross went around Gordy and convinced executive producer Rob Cohen at Universal Pictures to arrange a deal where he would produce the film if Ross was cast as Dorothy. Gordy and Cohen agreed to the deal. Pauline Kael, a film critic, described Ross's efforts to get the film into production as "perhaps the strongest example of sheer will in film history."

'The Wiz' was filmed at Astoria Studios in Queens, New York. The decaying New York State Pavilion from the 1964 New York World's Fair was used as the set for Munchkinland, Astroland at Coney Island was used for the Tinman scene with The Cyclone as a backdrop, while the World Trade Center served as the Emerald City. The scenes filmed at the Emerald City were elaborate, utilizing 650 dancers, 385 crew members and 1,200 costumes. Costume designer Tony Walton enlisted the help of high fashion designers in New York City for the Emerald City sequence, and obtained exotic costumes and fabric from designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Norma Kamali. Albert Whitlock created the film's visual special effects, while Stan Winston served as the head makeup artist.

Produced by Rob Cohen and directed by Sidney Lumet, 'The Wiz' stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson (in his only starring role in a theatrical film), Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor.

Description:

Diana Ross and Michael Jackson star in this fantastic, funfilled spectacular musical based on the smash hit Broadway show which in turn was drawn from L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".

In this Motown production, Dorothy (Diana Ross) is a shy Harlem kindergarten teacher who is whisked to a wonderland to follow the yellow brick road.

Michael Jackson is the Scarecrow who wants a brain, along with Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man searching for a heart, Tedd Ross as the Cowardly Lion, Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch and Richard Pryor as the Oz's great wizard.

With such a cast, exiting musical numbers and fabulous visual effects, 'The Wiz' will reach every generation of moviegoers.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Produced:

Rob Cohen

Cast:

Diana Ross: Dorothy (last name never mentioned)
Michael Jackson: Scarecrow
Lena Horne: Glinda the Good Witch of the South
Ted Ross: Cowardly Lion
Nipsey Russell: Tin Man
Thelma Carpenter: Addaperle/Miss One, the Good Witch of the North
Theresa Merritt: Aunt Em
Stanley Greene: Uncle Henry
Richard Pryor: The Wiz/Herman Smith
Mabel King: Evilene, the Wicked Witch of the West

The Wiz - On the set
Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross and Ted Ross on the set of 'The Wiz.'.

All songs written by Charlie Smalls, unless otherwise noted:

1. Overture Part I (Instrumental)
2. Overture Part II (Instrumental)
3. The Feeling That We Had - Aunt Em and Chorus
4. Can I Go On? (Quincy Jones, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson) - Dorothy
5. Tornado/Glinda's Theme (Instrumental)
6. He's The Wizard - Miss One and Chorus
7. Soon As I Get Home/Home - Dorothy
8. You Can't Win, You Can't Break Even - Scarecrow and The Four Crows
9. Ease On Down The Road #1 - Dorothy and Scarecrow
10. What Would I Do If I Could Feel? - Tin Man
11. Slide Some Oil To Me - Tin Man
12. Ease On Down The Road #2 - Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Tin Man
13. I'm A Mean Ole Lion - Cowardly Lion
14. Ease On Down The Road #3 - Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion
15. Poppy Girls Theme (Anthony Jackson) (Instrumental)
16. Be A Lion - Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion
17. End Of The Yellow Brick Road (Instrumental)
18. Emerald City Sequence (music: Jones, lyrics: Smalls) - Chorus
19. Is This What Feeling Gets? (Dorothy's Theme) (music: Jones, lyrics: Ashford & Simpson) - Dorothy (vocal version not used in film)
20. Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News - Evillene and the Winkies
21. Everybody Rejoice/A Brand New Day (Luther Vandross) - Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Chorus
22. Believe In Yourself (Dorothy) - Dorothy
23. The Good Witch Glinda (Instrumental)
24. Believe In Yourself (Reprise) - Glinda the Good Witch
25. Home (Finale) - Dorothy

'The Wiz' was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Art Direction (Tony Walton, Philip Rosenberg, Edward Stewart, Robert Drumheller), Best Costume Design, Best Original Music Score and Best Cinematography, but did not win any of them.


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Updated: 06/12/2015 7:22 AM

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