This spring, the Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music gave everyone around the world the opportunity to be a part of Michael Jackson’s video legacy with The Behind the Mask Project. This groundbreaking, global online casting call prompted people in all corners of the planet who love Michael Jackson’s music to shoot, upload and submit their own unique performances for inclusion in the video; the project elicited an unprecedented response from 103 countries in the world. And on June 14th, The Behind the Mask Project will be unveiled on www.Facebook.com/MichaelJackson.
Led by the creative team at @radical.media and acclaimed director Dennis Liu, The Behind the Mask Project launched in March 2011 with a state of the art website http://behindthemask.michaeljackson.com loaded with simple tools that defined the different roles one could play. Upon entering the site, users selected an action like playing an instrument, singing a lyric, acting out a crowd reaction or demonstrating a classic MJ dance move. Then, using the site’s split-screen template, contributors were able to shoot their move right on the website or with their web cam and upload the clip at the precise time it occurred in the video.
Dennis Liu comments, “This has been the most exciting and fun project I think I've ever been involved in. It's been such a privilege, and was incredibly moving to see so many people from all over the world join as one, their creative voices, dance and musical talents bound together by Michael Jackson’s spirit and incomparable artistry. We received submissions from the Sahara Desert to Venice Beach, from mountaintops to suburban backyards, with some shots featuring well over one hundred people apiece. All who participated delivered brilliantly.”
After submissions poured in from all over the globe they were carefully edited down by the director to the best 1600 submissions (including 50 kids and 36 animals). On June 14th, the 35 million Facebook fans of Michael Jackson will get the first look at this landmark video. New fans can log on to www.Facebook/MichaelJackson and click “Like” to view the video.
Technology journalist Natali Morris comments, “Michael Jackson was crowdsourcing his videos before crowdsourcing even existed. This project is a perfect way to honor his connection with his fans.”
The song “Behind the Mask” is a critic and fan favorite from MICHAEL – the unique collection of songs featuring Michael’s performances completed posthumously and released in December by the Michael Jackson Estate and Sony Music. MICHAEL was the #1 global album upon its release in December and has shipped over 3 million units worldwide making it one of the biggest albums of 2010. The album’s success continues to underscore Michael’s importance as a global icon and superstar, transcending cultures and languages.
Dennis Liu is an award-winning digital filmmaker at @radical.media. Dennis quickly made a name for himself winning awards for clients that include Apple and Microsoft and being honored in the renowned "Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase". @radical.media is a global transmedia company that creates some of the world's most innovative content and the home to @radical.media design+digital. @radical.media's award-winning projects include the Academy Award®-winning documentary “The Fog of War”; the Grammy®-winning “Concert for George”; the Independent Spirit Award-winning “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”; the award-winning digital experience “The Wilderness Downtown” for Google Creative Lab and Arcade Fire; the Grammy-nominated “The Johnny Cash Project”; the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning pilot episode of the hit series “Mad Men”; the Emmy®-winning “10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America” for the History Channel; and five seasons of the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel series “Iconoclasts,” among others.
Twitter @michaeljackson #MJBehindtheMask
Lois Najarian O’Neill