Michael Jackson rehearsing for the 1995 MTV VMAs.
In Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking video for “Black Or White” he used a technology known as “morphing” to seamlessly transition from one face to another. When the video was released in 1991, this was cutting-edge film making, and that, coupled by Jackson’s enormous star power, let the video to be one of the most-watched video premieres of all time. Technology has come a long was since the 90’s, however, and we now have digital means to “morph” faces without having to go through all of the steps we used to. This is the technology that was used to create a new tribute to Jackson’s “Bad,” which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year (it was released on August 31, 1987). In the video, 1000 Michael Jackson fans of all shapes, ages, and sizes were recruited to perform the song while wearing shirts featuring Jackson. When the frames were edited together, the t-shirt Jackson dances like he did in the video, creating an effect where the fans and Jackson are almost dancing together. We love a good old classic Youtube tribute–you know the ones, photos of an artist slowly fading into one another while a song plays–but this is by far the best artist tribute we’ve seen so far. The video was, in fact, produced by Sony Japan, who picked through over 30,000 fans to pick the final thousand for the clip.
The t-shirt illustrations were hand painted by artist Saburo Hashimoto. We would LOVE to know how long it took for him to paint all of those tiny movements onto the tees, but for now, we’re just going to settle for watching this mesmerizing video over and over.