‘Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D’ making debut at Venice Film Fest

Michael Jackson’s Estate has announced that the long rumored and highly anticipated Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D will make its world premiere at the 74th Venice Film Festival 2017. The original iconic short film, directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Jackson, wasn’t re-edited or cut in any way. Instead, Optimum Productions worked with Landis in an elaborate and labor intensive process that began with the original 35 mm film negative from Jackson’s archives to convert the acclaimed film into 3D using the latest available technology.

To complement the enhanced visuals, all of the audio, including Jackson’s music, Elmer Bernstein’s score and the sound effects, has also been updated to Dolby 5.7, Dolby 7.1 and Dolby Atmos standards in order to create the highest quality audio and visual experience for in theater viewing which is how Michael and Landis intended the film to be enjoyed.

“I am so happy to have had the chance not only to restore but enhance Michael Jackson’s Thriller! We took full advantage of the remarkable advances in technology to add new dimensions to both the visual and the audio bringing it to a whole new level,” Landis said in making the announcement. “Even though Thriller was shot traditionally, I was able to use the 3D creatively. Let me just warn you, there is a rather shocking surprise in there!”

“I am so happy to have had the chance not only to restore but enhance Michael Jackson’s Thriller!

From the beginning, Jackson and Landis set out to produce Thriller with the aesthetics of a feature film. Jackson was a fan of An American Werewolf In London, and called Landis to collaborate on the project. Academy Award-winning make-up artist Rick Baker was brought in for the elaborate prosthetic transformation of Jackson and the cast. Michael Peters collaborated with Jackson on the choreography. John Branca, Jackson’s attorney at the time and now the co-executor of his Estate with John McClain, worked out a deal with MTV and Showtime for a first of its kind “making of” documentary, Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to offset the cost of making the short film.

Thriller premiered at the AVCO Theatre in Los Angeles in 1983, and it sold out every night for three weeks. No other music film generated such excitement and has such a hold on our attention, such that more than three decades later, we all share it as a collective memory and it remains the only music video to be inducted into the elite National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. It is fitting that Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D and Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller will premiere at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the world. The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller was available on VHS from 1983-1990, and has never been available for purchase in any format since. No word if there are any plans to bring to Blu-ray, DVD or Digital HD. Its screening in Venice will mark the first time that the award-winning documentary has ever been shown in a theater.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com