Get in the Halloween Spirit with Rare Footage of Michael Jackson Practicing ‘Thriller’ Moves (Video)
In what is arguably one of the spookiest music videos in history, Michael Jackson and a crew of zombie-like dancers performed the iconic dance moves of “Thriller.” As the title single from Jackson’s 1982 sixth studio album, it was turned into a 13-minute video featuring full makeup, werewolf costuming, and visually haunting elements. With over 350-million views, it’s one of the most famous videos of all time, but Heads may be unaware of a mini-documentary made about the creative process behind the mini-movie.
The Making of Thriller was created in 1983, is broken into four different segments, all of which are available for streaming on YouTube. The segment documenting the dance rehearsal with Jackson, the backup dancers, and choreographer Michael Peters is a particularly touching glimpse into the hard work that went into creating the visual masterpiece, which has become a staple at Halloween parties across the country. At one point, Peters comments on Jackson’s dancing acumen, saying “Michael is quite amazing to me because he’s working with these people that have made a living at this and have studied this for a greater portion of their lives, and he’ll walk into a studio and purely on rhythm, and he does it…it’s an innate gift that he has. He’s a dancer in his soul.”
Jackson himself says of his dancing “I guess it’s just something that you’re born with and that you can do. You just continue doing it and you get better and better. After my Motown performance, when I was performing ‘Billie Jean,’ I was nominated for an Emmy, which I lost. But my real war was the next day after the show and Fred Estaire called my house and said ‘I saw the show last night, I taped it, I watched twice this morning. You’re incredible. You’re a helluva mover,’ and I said ‘god, thank you. It’s so wonderful for you to say that, ’cause I think you’re the best.'”
Last December, Thriller sold its 30 millionth copy, making it the best-selling album of all time.