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    The Cold Case: Director Mick Garris on Michael Jackson's Forgotten Ghosts


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    The Cold Case: Director Mick Garris on Michael Jackson's Forgotten Ghosts

    Писане by andeli on Вто Сеп 14, 2010 1:56 pm

    The Cold Case: Director Mick Garris on Michael Jackson's Forgotten Ghosts

    Exhausted by endless replays of Thriller? Fed up with CNN treating Michael Jacksons’s “ghost” as actual news ? This week, a special edition of The Cold Case talks to Mick Garris about 1997’s Ghosts, the all-but-forgotten 38-minute film he created with Michael Jackson, the late Stan Winston and horror legend Stephen King.

    In the 24/7 media meltdown that surrounded Michael Jackson’s untimely death, it appeared that every clip of the superstar was unearthed, dusted off and replayed over and over. Even so, somehow, every story or tribute package led to 1983’s Thriller, that game-changing 14-minute horror short that remains the highest-selling music video of all time. We should probably be grateful that the networks didn’t have a working VCR and a copy of 1997’s Ghosts, lest we be subject to an immediate overload of TV talking heads’ endless analysis of what it meant and, God forbid, what it predicted.

    To be fair, this 38-minute short film, not so much a sequel to Thriller than an operatic bookend, lends itself to such discussion. In it, Michael Jackson depicts himself as a misunderstood monster who’s persecuted by those who love and hate him — led by himself. The singer messes with his face, turns white, dies, is resurrected and moonwalks as a skeleton. Most poignantly, Jackson asks his fans and followers whether they’ve been scared and whether they’ve had fun. The answers are yes and yes.

    Early in his career, Mick Garris, creator of the Masters Of Horror TV series and director of Stephen King adaptations such as The Shining and The Stand, and his wife Cynthia donned zombie make-up for Thriller. A decade later, Garris became part of the team that put Ghosts together. He spoke with Movieline recently about developing the project, working with his formidable creative partners and how Jackson battled monsterdom both onscreen and in real life.

    First things first: How did you come to be a zombie in Thriller?
    John Landis had already been a friend for several years. We actually met when I was a receptionist for the original Star Wars at an off-lot office at Universal. John’s office was next door to mine when he was prepping Animal House. And Rick and his wife at the time, Elaine, had been very close friends and neighbors to me and Cynthia. So when they invited us, we came running. I was a hopeful writer then, doing publicity for studios and the like, just starting to get screenwriting jobs.

    Was there the sense that you were seeing pop-culture history being made?
    We knew we were doing something special, but had no idea just how special. We knew it was a much bigger scale than music videos at the time had been, and so much different than the usual 1980s performance things. But watching Michael come alive on that first night I was there was electrifying. I became a fan right there.

    Did you become friends with Michael Jackson then?
    We did not become friends at that point. Later on, when I was shooting The Stand, Stephen King and Michael put together a script for another scary music video — one with huge scale, even compared to Thriller. King recommended me for it, and that’s where I really met Michael on a one-to-one basis. We became friends through that experience.