How Hocus Pocus writer Mick Garris went from 'Thriller' extra to Michael Jackson collaborator
Hocus Pocus writer Mick Garris began his relationship with the legendary Michael Jackson when he and his wife had the opportunity to play extras in the famous “Thriller” music video.
“I’m really fortunate to have been able to work with, and become friends with, Michael Jackson,” Garris said on Entertainment Weekly: The Show. “It was right after American Werewolf — Michael had seen that and had been blown away by it. He wanted to do something on film like that. Michael was very frightened of horror films and was fascinated by the makeup of it.”
Though Michael Jackson apparently didn’t remember Garris’ extra work on “Thriller,” the two got to work together extensively on the 35-minute “Ghosts.” Horror expert Stephen King linked the two together after the pop superstar pitched his original idea to the author. Though the final product did take quite a bit of time and money, Garris stands by the results.
“It had a very large transformation over the course of it and eventually became by far the most expensive music video ever made,” he says. “We shot for two weeks and never got into the music video part because when you work ‘Michael hours,’ they’re not the same as regular hours. By the time everything shut down, we’d spent $7 million dollars. It ended up coming in at about $15 million dollars, all of it out of Michael’s pocket. It became this 35-minute — what do you call it? It’s not really a short, it’s not a music video, but it’s something unique.”
You can watch the clip above for Garris’ full comments.