'Thriller'

Jackson was already a pioneer in the fledgling music-video form, dating back to "Off the Wall," and was one of the first black artists to get heavy airplay on MTV thanks to the videos for "Billie Jean" and "Beat It." Then came "Thriller," a 13-minute short film directed by <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB002909" title="John Landis" href="/topic/entertainment/john-landis-PECLB002909.topic">John Landis</a> and featuring a dance sequence that has pervaded pop culture (how far? <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMnk7lh9M3o">This far</a>). Jackson did a number of other long-form videos, but this remains the standard.
zap-michael-jackson-on-screen-thriller

( MJJ Productions )

Jackson was already a pioneer in the fledgling music-video form, dating back to "Off the Wall," and was one of the first black artists to get heavy airplay on MTV thanks to the videos for "Billie Jean" and "Beat It." Then came "Thriller," a 13-minute short film directed by John Landis and featuring a dance sequence that has pervaded pop culture (how far? This far). Jackson did a number of other long-form videos, but this remains the standard.

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