MJWN Est. 1998

New Picture From Ghosts

The Stan Winston School has shared a post on their Instagram page, reflecting on Winston’s work on Michael’s 1996 short film ‘Ghosts.’ With the post they shared a few unseen pictures from the set, including one of Michael wearing the clothing for motion capture. This is their post:

In 1996, with the campaign to promote his HIStory album in full swing, @michaeljackson set out to make a music video that he and horror novelist, Stephen King had dreamt up several years earlier, in 1993. Looking to follow up on the success of his 1983 masterpiece, ‘Thriller,’ masterfully directed by John Landis, Michael originally planned a short music video for the song, ‘Is It Scary,’ which was originally written, but not used, for the 1993 film Addams Family Values. When Michael expanded the track and the concept, the project became for a time, the longest music video ever created, a short feature clocking in a 39 minutes and 32 seconds and renamed, “Michael Jackson’s ‘Ghosts’.”

Originally the writer/director Mick Garris (Stephen King’s “The Stand,” Hocus Pocus, Critters 2) was slated to write and direct the short film, but in 1996 when Michael Jackson was finally ready to green-light ‘Ghosts,’ Garris was committed to another project, a three-part mini-series based on King’s The Shining. Garris recommended effects wizard Stan Winston (Pumpkinhead), to take over the reins. Michael Jackson called Stan personally to ask if he might consider directing the film. Stan agreed with only one condition: that Michael would play all the lead roles.

“I wanted Michael to play the haunted house guy,” said Winston, “but also the mayor of the town, and an evil demon who comes in at one point. Michael wanted badly to be accepted as an actor, as something more than the King of Pop. But it was so difficult for people to get past Michael’s persona, I thought that the only way he would be accepted as a real actor was if he played all these parts, disguised in makeup, so that no one would know it was him until the end. And he was very agreeable to that idea.”

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