Mark Romanek is a very experienced director of short films for a multitude of major stars, such as Jagger, Bowie, Madonna and Janet Jackson. He directed the short film for ‘Scream’, Michael’s duet with his sister Janet and with a budget of many millions it rapidly became one of Michael’s most popular works. Romanek recently spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about his memories of Michael and the feelings he inspired.
“…He just seemed like a cool, easy-to-talk-to guy. He really focused his attention on you, which is something that very charming people do. We talked about our favourite movies. I was impressed with his knowledge of foreign cinema. When it came time to perform for the cameras, the transformation from this relatively regular guy to some sort of divinely possessed super-being was really astounding, metaphysical hard to fully comprehend. The chance to experience the phenomenon of his gift from only a few feet away gave me chills. It was the treat of a lifetime.
Michael was one of those mega-gifted artists who obviously valued the craft of what he did very highly. When you bought a Michael Jackson album, you knew that it would sound pristine, that listening to it would be a rich, sonic experience. He always worked at a state-of-the-art level of craftsmanship, seemingly without compromise. Artists like that are so rare. I find them hugely inspirational. It seemed like his career was perhaps on the verge of taking a cyclical up-turn, that maybe he was about to make some really great new music. I’m sure a lot of people feel cheated by this lost possibility. I know I do.”