Once upon a time an artist could make a great album and promote it for a long time, instead of doing a new one almost every year. For example, “Thriller” was the seventh video released from Michael Jackson’s classic album. Seventh. And it was almost a year after the album came out and helped sales double.
This is among the factoids that Buzzfeed culled for their nifty list of things we (sort of) didn’t know about Michael Jackson’s walking dead music video. If you are old enough to have the original VHS, a lot of this info is on there. But the rest of you can consider yourself educated.
1. MTV And Showtime Helped Pay For It
An executive at Sony freaked out and rejected a $900,000 budget Jackson proposed for the video, and talked him down to $500,000. (An expensive video at the time would top out around $100,000.) To balance the budget, a behind the scenes documentary was sold to MTV for $250,000 and Showtime for $300,000.
2.Jackson Lived With His Parents When The Video Was Made
He was the best-selling pop star in the world, but was living with his folks in Encino, California. This is part of the reason why Landis and the producers rejected Jackson’s offer to pay for the entire video out of his own pocket.
3. Jackson Was Almost Excommunicated For Making The Video
When the Jehovah’s Witnesses found out he was making a werewolf video, they threatened to excommunicate him because it violated their strict rules about occult imagery. (we guess Marlon Wayans was pulling our leg after all)
4.Jackson Almost Had The Footage Destroyed
Michael ordered the film to be destroyed when he found out that he was in trouble with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the editor and director hid the film canisters until the singer changed his mind.