Michael Jackson's long-rumored Thriller 3D will make its world premiere at the 74th Venice Film Festival 2017 August 30 to September 9 in Venice, Italy. The Michael Jackson estate made the announcement today.
Creating Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D, the original iconic short film, directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Michael Jackson, was not changed. Optimum Productions and Landis supervised an elaborate and labor intensive process to convert the original 35mm film negative from Jackson’s archives into 3D.
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 5.7, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos.
Landis said, "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. 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."
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson estate said, "Michael Jackson made Thriller a rich theatrical experience: fun, funny, scary and wildly entertaining. No one before or since has made anything like it. Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D is a modern day technical enhancement of his and John Landis' original vision, and I think fans will love it."
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 on the choreography. Branca, Jackson’s attorney at the time 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.
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 then. Its screening in Venice will mark the first time that the award-winning documentary has ever been shown in a theatre.
The following companies and people provided services for the creation of Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D: 2D film restoration, Deluxe Lab; 3D film conversion, Legend3D; audio work, NBCUniversal Studio Post Feature Sound; and Humberto Gatica and Martin Nessi.