Crowdsourcing Michael Jackson

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

How Michael Jackson's Virtual Flash Mob Was Crowdsourced
by Eliot Van Buskirk
evolver.fm
June 14, 2011

The king of pop might be gone, but he's not forgotten.

A massive collaborative act of music video creation by - and for - his fans has helped make sure of that. Thousands of MJ fans worldwide contributed to the posthumous Michael Jackson music video for "Behind the Mask" released Tuesday on the star's Facebook page.

Director Dennis Liu told Evolver.fm that the video was inspired by Jackson's own work, in particular, his 1991 "Black or White" video, with its emphasis on "connecting" people - something that today's social technologies are sometimes about, too.

The idea of having people act out moves from the video came from the crowd too, according to the director - in particular, flash mobs in which everyone from Philippene prisoners to Swedish volunteers dances to his music.

The new video for the song "Behind the Mask" premiered on Facebook, where Jackson's regularly-updated presence has been "liked" nearly 36 million times - a large number that pales in comparison to the over 750 million albums he is said to have sold.

This crowdsourced, professionally-produced video was under tight wraps until today, but director Dennis Liu, whose other clients have included both Apple and Microsoft, gave Evolver.fm a verbal preview of the virtual flash mob he made from the over 15,000 videos submitted by fans since March.

Read more about how the video was produced here.