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Friday, June 26, 2009

Thriller filmed here or not?

Thelma Gibson, Grove historian, claimed on tv today that she witnessed the filming of Thriller at the Grove cemetery so many years ago. So make what you will about that. More here on that.

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11 Comments:

Blogger CvD PhD said...

If she (Ms. Gibson) says she saw it being filmed and Channel 10 is currently in the Grove doing a story, I am inclined to believe that the video was in fact filmed here. Perhaps the New Times misspoke? Just my take on it.

Btw, Thriller is STILL my favorite video of all time :-)

June 26, 2009 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Grape is always questioned about facts and always seems to have the correct story in the end. (ie Anokha closing and this and others).

June 26, 2009 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the Wikipedia article about the Thriller video:

"The music was re-edited to match the video, with the verses being sung one after the other followed by the ending rap, then the main dance sequence (filmed on the 3600 block of Union Pacific Avenue in East Los Angeles) to an instrumental loop, and finally the memorable finish: the choruses in a "big dance number" climactic scene."

June 26, 2009 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard the same thing. The website with information on the graveyard also states it was filmed there.

I've made the graveyard my top tourist attraction for people visiting from out of town because of the video.

I wish the graveyard had funds to maintain the area. Who owns it? A local church, the city?

June 26, 2009 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dance for Thriller was shot on Union Pacific Avenue, an industrial area in East Los Angeles. Specifically, it's on Union Pacific Ave. and Calzona Street.

In the first shot (crane shot) when Michael and the girl are walking by the graveyard, the spotlights illuminating the set are visible - you can clearly see in the top-right corner of the screen the sound stage that they used.

The theatre they used was the Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena, CA.

You can check the facts in Making Michael Jackson's Thriller (ASIN: B00004YRHZ).

June 26, 2009 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it true that video for
Careless Whisper by George Michael was filmed at a Grove bayshore condo?

June 26, 2009 1:33 PM  
Anonymous reality check said...

While Ms. Gibson is likely to have seen something filmed at the cemetery, it is unlikely that it was the Thriller video.
Consider this...the video was made near the beginning of the era of music videos and was budgeted at $500,000. While this was substantially more than the $100,000 that typically went into a music video in those days, it was still a token amount compared to making a major movie and certainly would not have afforded bringing an entire crew out from Los Angeles for one or more days (nights) of rehearsal and filming in Coconut Grove, especially since the whole scene could so easily be created on a sound stage. Unless there are contemporary news accounts or photos of this having taken place, one can be pretty confidant that it never happened.

June 26, 2009 1:37 PM  
Anonymous swlip said...

I worked in the business for years, and recalled hearing a lot of trivia about how that video was filmed. I also looked up the info on the video on IMDB, just to check my memory.

Principle photography was in Pasadena, California. It was an all-union crew (Florida is a right to work state, so no unions would have been involved if it was shot, here), which led to a previously unheard-of budget (for a music video) of $500k. This was 1982, the days before CGI FX. The special FX shots were all clearly done on a soundstage, and that includes ALL of the cemetery shots.

June 26, 2009 2:41 PM  
Anonymous swlip said...

Just noting the obvious in follow up - all of the cemetery shots have ghouls crawling out of graves, sarcophogi, and caskets. There is no way that a film crew would have attempted, or would have been allowed, to desecrate an existing cemetery in such a fashion. And in Coconut Grove, it also would have been highly impractical. Anybody who's tried to plant a shrub in this neighborhood knows what I mean about that.

June 26, 2009 2:53 PM  
Blogger Viva Liz Vega! said...

The Thriller Video was not filmed in Miami it was filmed in East L.A. I was in middle school and my dad drove me and a friend to watch it being filmed by our house. The filming took place after midnight and it was by the railroad tracks of a small street that ran parallel to Olympic blvd in East Los Angeles-So get your Facts right!

June 27, 2009 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thriller was filmed in E LA - after midnight.I worked non-stop on the zombie costumes up until the time of filming the scene.

July 01, 2009 5:11 PM  

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