This arts documentary chronicles the making of the well-known music video featuring Michael Jackson's hit song "Thriller." The tape begins by showing the video in its entirety. In it, Michael and his girlfriend, played by Ola Ray, are attacked by a group of ghouls as they walk home from a scary movie. Michael eventually becomes a werewolf-like zombie himself and leads his new pals, freshly resurrected from the dead, in an eerie line dance. The viewer is left with the impression that this is only fantasy -- or is it? After the video is shown, behind-the-scenes segments are featured of the video's rehearsal and taping. As the program progresses, fans watch the taping and comment on Jackson's talent; Jackson and his producer/director John Landis recall their collaboration as a result of their admiration for each other's earlier work in "An American Werewolf in London" (Landis) and "Beat It" (Jackson), clips from both of which are shown; footage of the Jackson 5 performing at various venues shows Jackson's development; Rick Baker, the video's monster maker, talks about his craft and the process behind transforming Jackson into a frightening creature; Kelly Kimball, video co-designer, explains the process of "aging" costumes to give them the look of years spent in the grave; Ray talks about landing her role and explains how Jackson's mask alters his personality; and choreographer Michael Peters discusses the complexities of making monsters dance. The program ends as producer George Folsey, Jr., explores the process of editing the footage to achieve the desired final look.


  • DATE: 1983
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:38
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:47002
  • GENRE: Arts documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Music


  • For "Thriller" (video):
  • George Folsey … Producer
  • Michael Jackson … Producer, Writer, Choreographer
  • John Landis … Producer, Director, Writer
  • Dan Allingham … Production (Misc.), Production Manager
  • David Sosna … Direction (Misc.), First Assistant Director
  • Elmer Bernstein … Music by, Scary Music by
  • Michael Peters … Choreographer
  • Michael Jackson … Performer
  • Ola Ray … Performer
  • For "Thriller" (music):
  • Quincy Jones … Producer
  • Michael Jackson … Producer
  • Rod Termperton … Writer
  • Michael Jackson … Performer
  • Vincent Price … Performer
  • For "The Making of " 'Thriller' ":
  • George Folsey … Producer
  • Michael Jackson … Producer
  • John Landis … Producer
  • Jerry Kramer … Director