Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Scorecard: Oregon/Michael Jackson

November 13th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Oregon critic, Oregon director, Scorecard series


Number of Oregon films with a Michael Jackson theme song: 1

Number of Oregon filmmakers who have directed Michael: 2

Number of Oregon filmmakers who directed Michael twice: 1

Number of pop critics with roots in Portland  who were chosen to write about Michael Jackson: 2

Number of Oregon filmmakers who danced with Michael at his Neverland Ranch: 1


Key for the Oregon/Michael Jackson challenged:

Michael Jackson sings the theme song Will You Be There in Free Willy (1993), which was shot on the Oregon coast and starred Medford resident  Jason James Richter.

Will Vinton directed Michael in the “Speed Demon” sequence of Moonwalker (1988).

Jim Blashfield directed Michael in the “Leave Me Alone” sequence of Moonwalker (1988).

Will Vinton directed Michael Jackson first as a California Raisin, in 1987.

Former Portland journalist Mikal Gilmore wrote the cover story for Rolling Stone’s memorial issue devoted entirely to Michael Jackson.

Former Portland journalist Kim Morgan has three chapters in the forthcoming “Official Michael Jackson Opus” book, which, at 38 pounds, serves dual purpose as a weight training system..

Will Vinton traveled to Neverland Ranch to co-create, in person, the choreography of the duet which ends the “Speed Demon” sequence. Just as experienced Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers fans know that Fred worked out his routines with Hermes Pan before shooting them with Ginger, the experienced Oregon movie buff can see that in the “Speed Demon” duet, Spike Rabbit stands in for Vinton himself. Vinton studied dance growing up in McMinnville, along with his sister, who later, as Mary Vinton Folberg, founded Portland’s Jefferson Dancers.

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