Dome Project’ reportedly featured elaborate sets, including a ‘Thriller’-like cemetery.
In addition to overseeing the over-the-top, effects-heavy stage show for his comeback shows at the O2 Arena in London, Michael Jackson completed a mysterious video production known as the “Dome Project” two weeks before his death on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
The production could be the last video piece from the singer known for creating some of the most acclaimed, elaborate music videos in history. While details on the project are hard to come by due to confidentiality agreements signed by those who worked on it, two unnamed sources with knowledge of its existence spoke to the AP.
According to these sources, the five-week project was housed at Culver Studios in Los Angeles — the same set used for “Gone With the Wind” production 70 years ago. Jackson was said to be on set for most of the days it was shot, from June 1-9. Four sets were constructed for the video, including a cemetery similar to the one from the singer’s famous 1983 “Thriller” video. Other sets included one draped in black with an oversized portrait of Jackson in his “Thriller” werewolf costume, a simulated lush jungle and a fake construction site.
The project is now in post-production and is slated for completion next month. Michael Roth, a spokesperson for concert promoter AEG Live, told the AP that he had not heard about the “Dome” shoot, but it could have been part of the company’s contract with the entertainer, which reportedly had provisions for the release of musical recordings and videos. MTV News could not reach Roth for further comment at press time.
An anonymous source said a very thin, pale Jackson left a strong impression on the crew during the production, arriving in a caravan of SUVs with “hulking security guards in tow” and introducing himself to workers on the set. The singer was described as having a “spring in his step,” but it was noted that at one point he needed help while walking down a set of stairs on the stage.
The shoot reportedly included one scene on the construction site set featuring scantily clad male dancers wearing construction belts.
In addition to the “Dome” project, AEG Live is reported to have filmed 100 hours of rehearsals for the London shows, including last Wednesday’s final rehearsal, which wrapped up just hours before Jackson’s death. That footage could be used to create what would be Jackson’s first-ever live CD and DVD.
Video of Rehearsals Just Days Before His Death