Thriller Music Video Analysis


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First Analysis presentation for A2 media studies. Michael Jackson- Thriller

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Thriller Music Video Analysis

  1. 1. Thriller Michael Jackson
  2. 2. InformationDirected by: John LandisProduced by: George Folsey, Jr., Michael jackson & John LandisWritten by: John Landis & Michael JacksonStarring: Michael JacksonCo-Starring: Ola RayDirector of Photography: Robert Paynter, B.S.C.Special Make-up Effects Designed & Created by: Rick Baker & EFX, IncChoreography: Michael Peters & Michael JacksonEdited by: Malcolm Campbell & George Folsey, Jr.Art Director: Charles HughesCostume Designed by: Kelly Kimball & Deborah Nadoolman LandisProduction Manager: Dan AllinghamFirst Assistant Director: David SosnaScary Music by: Elmer BernsteinExtraPerformed by: Michael JacksonFeaturing Rap by: Vincent PriceProduced by: Quincy Jones & Michael JacksonWritten by: Rod TempertonRecorded & Mixed by: Bruce Swedien
  3. 3. Introduction I think that looking at existing influential music videos is very important when finding out more information about music videos and also seeing what sells well and what doesnt. When people think about influential music videos, the first one that comes to mind is Michael Jacksons 15 minute short film and music video, Thriller. The music video for Thriller was produced by JohnLandis and came in the top 5 of MTVs 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made. The pyrotechnics, illusions and make-up that were used were unimaginable, especially for the time when it was made. As a Media student, when thinking about all the organisation that must have had to be done, all the thought that was put into creating the music video andhow long it must have taken to get the actors and actresses dressed, notto mention how many hours of rehearsals it took to get the dance routine on-point.
  4. 4. Personal CommentsYou will find at the start and also at the end, a few comments which aresaid to have come straight from Michael himself about the video. They really finish the video off with the added touch of brilliance.
  5. 5. Dance RoutineFor one, it is written and sang by the most influential artist of all-time and has the most memorable dance routine EVER! Below are some shots taken from the music video which you will find zombies dancing to the memorable ‘Thriller’.
  6. 6. Dance Continued…
  7. 7. First Storyline The first storyline that you are introduced to starts as a horror story, usingMichael and a very petite female character. After it finishes, when it gets to thepoint where the girl is about to get eaten, it instantly cuts to the scene shows below where there is a cinema full of people watching a film.
  8. 8. StorylineThe fact that it has a story within a story means that you know somehow they are going to be related. However at the time it was very clever in the way it wasthought up of and it must have been really confusing to film each part. Below are some shots of the first story you are introduced to.
  9. 9. Main Storyline The music starts after the happy couple have come out from the cinema. As they are walking out, the name of the film they have walked out from is named ‘Thriller’ and is advertised a lot, when the music starts to play.The camera paces from this shot to the next in which it then zooms to show the two characters.
  10. 10. Setting The Scene When it comes to seeing where the scenes will be set, they are particularly good. As seen on the previous slide, you see where the scene is set after we have visited it and ready to go to the next scene.The scene below is at 10:37 where the female character is running awayafter seeing Michael turn into a zombie. She runs into the nearest derelict house and a whole new experience begins.
  11. 11. Music Starts The unforgettable music starts to play, where Michael starts dancing and following the female as she walks away because she thinks Michael is being silly talking about ghosts and zombies. Lots of camera angles are used to show body language and how each of the characters feel about the situation.This long shot is used to This over-the-shoulder shot is This close up shot shows theshow that after the small used to show that he wants body language and emotionsargument they both had her to trust him but she is of both of them. That sheoutside the cinema is slightly unsure. trusts Michael and they haveinfluencing the way she looks a Michael. She is notlistening to him and wants
  12. 12. Close Up’s Used Close up’s are used in these two contexts in different ways. The first close upwith the female character is used at fairly the beginning at 5:14 where Michael is singing to her down the dark alley. At the start of the song, she is unsure about Michael, and she seems to warm to him the more he sings. This shows her positive, flirty expressions towards him before they pass the graveyard.The second close up is at 8:25 where it shows the transformation of Michael when he turns into a zombie, after both of them being circled by a herd of them. It shows his change from human to zombie.
  13. 13. The Zombies Immersion of the zombies is an important part of the music video. The shots shows the 2 different ways that zombies can immerse from and also show how the hard of zombies walking and ‘ganging’ together. 1. Close up of someone pushing his/her hands out of the grass belonging to the gravestone holder. 2. Medium shot of someone pushing the granite lid off his/her own coffin.1. 2.
  14. 14. Surrounded The two shots below show the transition between getting followed by walkingzombies and being circled by them. I love these two shots, every single person in each of the shots is in character and looks individually scary. To be in that situation in filming would be such an adrenalin rush.
  15. 15. EndingIt end with three influential scenes. The first two of which are linked together andare found below. It comes from the point of view from the female screaming and hiding her face whilst sat on a sofa. Between the two scenes, all you see is a blink of her reactions.
  16. 16. Final Michael Scene The last scene that you see with Michael in it is the one shown below. You see this scene after he asks ‘ Do you want me to take you home?’ After which hehelps the female up from the sofa, walks out and whilst walking out turns round to face to camera with yellow eyes as seen below.
  17. 17. Post-ProductionThe post-production to add all the sound effects, lighting effects, camera angles and the cuts between each scene. It must have taken forever! Hard work pays off however Im sure the budget of $800,000 really helped.
  18. 18. Bibliography I had to use a few websites to help me with finding out more information aboutMichael, his solo career and also the whole concept of the song. It has made me respect him more as an artist, as I now know more about him.