New York, NY – It was announced today that Academy Award nominated filmmaker Spike Lee, in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music, is in the final stages of post production of a Michael Jackson documentary focusing on Michael’s landmark BAD album and worldwide tour. The project marks the first ever in-depth, behind the scenes film project to chronicle a Michael Jackson album, and is being filmed amid the 25th anniversary celebration of the iconic album, record-breaking world tour and groundbreaking short films that changed music history. The documentary features over 40 interviews conducted personally by Spike Lee with Michael’s confidants, choreographers, musicians and other collaborators who collectively unveil the real story of this “coming of age” project through their vivid recollections of what it was like to work day in and day out and live this project with Michael. BAD’s lasting influence is captured through interviews with some of today’s top artists, including Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green and Sheryl Crow, who was a back-up singer on the BAD tour.
The Michael Jackson BAD documentary joins an incredible body of Spike Lee documentaries including the Peabody and Emmy Award winning, When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts and its follow up, If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise, Kobe Doin’ Work, and the Oscar Nominated, 4 Little Girls. Lee directed both short films for Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” in 1996.
Spike Lee comments, “I’m more than just a huge fan of Michael Jackson, and having the chance to actually know him and work with him, I deeply care about his legacy. With this BAD project I was able to uncover just what made this such a huge, important coming of age in his career and unearth compelling stories surrounding the making of the album, the long awaited follow-up to Thriller – the best selling album of all time - the short films and the tour that may have never seen the light of day.”
Among the interviewees are Oscar-winning film director Martin Scorcese, Joe Pytka and other filmmakers who worked with Michael to bring the stories in his songs to life on the screen through short films that remain today some of the most vivid and creative storytelling by a musical artist as well as one of his Michael’s personal engineers, Matt Forger, who worked with Michael at the recording studio at Michael’s Hayvenhurst home where the songs first came to life, keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, who worked on the album and then the BAD Tour. Also shedding light on the BAD album, short films and tour are individuals like former CBS Head Walter Yetnikoff, as well as choreographers Jeffrey Daniel and Vincent Paterson.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of The Estate of Michael Jackson comment, “Spike Lee’s genius as a storyteller combined with his passion and first-hand appreciation of Michael’s artistry makes him the logical filmmaker to tell the story of BAD. We are thrilled to be working with him on this unique project.”
The third and final album collaboration for Jackson and Quincy Jones, BAD launched a pivotal coming of age for the King of Pop as a performer, composer and producer. The album was #1 around the world, made history with five consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard chart, produced ten chart-topping singles, nine ground breaking short films and to date, the BAD album has generated over 45 Million units in sales. BAD was nominated for six Grammys and won two; the album earned Michael the first-ever Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMA Awards. Songs on the original album are: “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Speed Demon,” “Liberian Girl,” “Just Good Friends” featuring Stevie Wonder, “Another Part of Me,” “Man in the Mirror,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Dirty Diana,” “Smooth Criminal,” with “Leave Me Alone” added to the CD version of the album once released.
Spike Lee’s film supports the 25th anniversary of BAD, which will also be celebrated with the September 18th release of BAD 25, a must-have deluxe package featuring three CDs, two collectible booklets, and features the first-ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD tour, the concert at Wembley Stadium on July 16, 1988 attended by Princess Diana, Prince Charles and a sold-out crowd of 72,000 fans. A BAD 25 two CD standard edition featuring the original album plus the CD of demos and new remixes will also be made available as will a stand alone edition of the DVD and a picture disc of the original album. More details on this and other exciting projects relating to BAD’s 25th anniversary will be announced soon.