It was no child’s play. The acting out of dance routines by a make-belief hologram of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards didn’t come for free. It was the fruit of efforts and the latest in cutting-edge technology.
"We've been talking about it for the last five months and while we were talking about it they were still inventing the process," says BBMA director and producer Larry Klein. "It was really strange talking about something that did not exist."
By preparing the choreography routines and cutting and splicing footage of the deceased musical genius’s scenes on television, the hologram was made possible. Like Tupac Shakur’s hologram some time ago, this one wowed the audience too.
Only the producers of the Billboard Music Awards saw a tiny portion of the final display a few days before the screening. Discussions had been going on regarding this hologram depiction. And while the whole thing was being orally planned, real life proceedings were taking place on another front.
The singer appeared along with several other live players on stage in the form of a hologram. It was a strange and surreal experience seeing a departed soul being reanimated on stage. "You were watching the magic of Michael Jackson just like you would have when he was performing," says Klein.
The Michael Jackson hologram performed “Slave to the Rhythm” ith a five-piece band and 16 dancers live onstage. He wore a golden jacket, white tee and red pants while dancing to the number. The song comes from his album titled "XSCAPE".
Unbelievable. What'd you guys think of the Michael Jackson Xperience at the #BBMAs?— billboard (@billboard) May 19, 2014
"Slave to the Rhythm" was selected for the hologram performance last year. Jackson associates the Talauega brothers and Jamie King choreographed and direct the video while Pulse Evolution and Tricycle Logic produced it.
"At the time we made the decision," says Jackson's lawyer and adviser John Branca, "'Slave to the Rhythm' felt like a song was something people could dance to, a potential club song. We talked to Jamie King, who directed the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil shows and we all felt the song was very likeable."
The whole sequence of events was choreographed to be perfect. As Michael appeared on stage in all his fame and glory, it almost seemed to the audience that they were viewing a ghost. And the laser lights and flames that shot up out of nowhere made the happening occurrence uncanny in its soul and spirit.
"We knew we didn't need to go so far left field with his dance moves -- we just kept it within his world," Rich Talauega says. "Its just the way you reconfigure his steps so it looks different. You're still speaking the same language, it's just a different dialect."
The magical realism of taking a gander at Michael in the capacity of a performer when he was actually no longer there was totally mind-blowing.
The Michael Jackson hologram's live performance will be remembered as a meme for a long time to come. And that is because it showed that science and technology are able to literally bring back the dead from the past into the present and make them live in all their true colors before the crowd of onlookers.