This morning, the “100% fan made” Michael Jackson music video “Behind the Mask” was premiered on Michael Jackson’s Facebook page.
The Behind the Mask Project, started in March 2011 by the Estate of Michael Jackson an Sony Music, asked fans from across the world to submit their videos paying tribute to the late Michael Jackson and become a part of music video history. The result? A groundbreaking and unprecedented response from over 100 countries.
Crowdsourcing is nothing new to Michael Jackson videos. The King of Pop was crowdsourcing long before it was technologically feasible. Therefore it’s fitting for a man who had such a close connection to his fans to be honored with a 100% fan made music video.
To facilitate the creation of such a video, a website was launched for the Behind the Mask Project which defined the different roles one could play from performing a Michael Jackson dance move to singing a lyric to playing an instrument, etc. Visitors who elected to do so, got to upload their video and sync it with the song thanks to a split-screen template. The submissions were then edited down by Dennis Liu, the video director/editor, to the best 1600 submissions.
Aside from honoring the late Michael Jackson, the buzz the Behind the Mask Project has created with this video is likely to rejuvenate sales of the King of Pop’s first posthumous album Michael.
In order to view the video on the Michael Jackson Facebook Fan Page, visitors have to click “Like” if they are not already a Fan. Though it stands to reason that many people who want to watch the video already “Like” the Michael Jackson Fan Page, it’s still a good way to get those fans who may not have known about the page to “Like” it. Some may view this as a way to force people to “Like” the page. However, realistically, anyone who simply wants to watch the video and doesn’t want to “Like” the page will simply “Like” and then unlike it after watching the video. This is not a way to trick people to “Like” the Michael Jackson Fan Page, but rather simply a way to get more fans to “Like” it and subsequently receive updates from the page in their Facebook stream.
Technological and Progressive Aspect
In addition to everything mentioned above, the Behind the Mask Project has given us a glimpse at the future, crowdsourcing for the collaborative creation of projects by various contributors throughout the world. Imagine how much more difficult this project would have been if the fans had submitted random videos, not synced to parts of the song, and the video was submitted in a physical format rather than digitally over the internet. All the video would need to be captured and someone would have to log and transcribe the captured footage. With all that video to go through, this project would have taken a year as opposed to 3 months.
Dennis Liu did a fantastic job on this project. Check it out below.