MANAGED DECLINE

In 2004, I was hired to write the audio-description script for a Canadian-made “biopic” about Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story. It was a difficult job done too quickly with not enough of a budget. We had a great deal of trouble with the recording of the script – amazingly, we ran too short and kept coming in early during descriptions.

The finished described audio track was sent along to CITY-TV, then owned by CHUM. We never heard about it again.

Shortly after Michael Jackson died in June 2009, the movie popped up on TV, but without audio description. Since I own the rights to the work, I thought I’d publish the script out of interest.

In a couple of places below, we couldn’t figure out what something was from the low-resolution QuickTime file we were given and had to fill it in at recording time. I don’t remember, but we couldn’t possibly have read out all the opening and closing credits, particularly at the end.

This is solely the script of what the describer says. You aren’t seeing any visuals or hearing or reading any dialogue. As such it’s substantially worse than hearing only one side of a phone call.

Script

  1. Against a black background, blurry images shimmer and dissolve. Titles appear: “A Blueprint Entertainment/Nomadic Pictures Production in association with VH1.” The blurry images coalesce into bright squares like sequins. They assemble to form mosaics. A man in black clothes and white socks dances slowly in one mosaic; his mirror-image appears in the other. The mirror images spin and resolve into two reflecting rectangles with a title: Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story.

  2. Close-ups reveal knickknacks and souvenirs in a cluttered room: A sign showing a crown and the word “King”; framed gold records on the walls; a colourful, jewelled dragon statue baring its fangs; a make-up mirror on a pedestal reflecting a distorted face; a bronze bust; a mannequin dressed in a nautical cap and red blazer.

  3. Credits appear: Starring Flex Alexander as Michael Jackson; Eugene Clark as Bobby, the bodyguard; Fred Tucker as Joseph Jackson; Patricia Idlette as Katherine Jackson; and Peter Onorati as Ziggy.

  4. Now, a black boy with an afro haircut, seated on a concrete step, watches kids play baseball.

  5. The boy turns around with a start.

  6. In a darkened room, Michael frowns and fusses in bed.

  7. Flashbulbs.

  8. A black woman in a white feather boa.

  9. Michael blinks awake and rises out of bed. He sees shadows on a far wall in the form of a hat and jacket on a rack. They morph into a man holding the hat on his head. The shadowy man moves his arms, then transforms into other figures, with and without hats and jackets, who dance and pose dreamily.

  10. More credits: Written by Claudia Salter. Directed by Allan Moyle.

  11. A grown-up Michael performs onstage. Titles: “In 1983, Michael is named Artist of the Year. Thriller breaks all records, selling 51 million units worldwide.”

  12. Teenagers, mostly girls, trample each other as they hurtle down a hallway. Words appear: “He went from being a superstar to a global phenomenon. His life would never be the same.”

  13. A bodyguard waves Michael to a limousine as another guard holds the door for him.

  14. In the limo, the bodyguard, Bobby, secures the door and catches his breath. Teenage girls hold up signs reading “Michael, we love you!” and pound on the car.

  15. A blond girl smashes face-first against the window.

  16. Daytime. In slow motion, three men in black suits stride down a concrete path. Title: “Michael was raised a devout Jehovah’s Witness.” Inside.

  17. Ziggy looks up from his cellphone.

  18. Inside a spotless garage.

  19. Ziggy looks down, then throws up his arms and walks away.

  20. On the phone.

  21. A red, two-storey home. Title: “Michael’s parents’ house.”

  22. A young boy slumps at Michael’s side. A woman enters.

  23. Katherine and a girl walk in.

  24. The boy glumly leaves with his family.

  25. In another room, Joseph Jackson finishes assembling a gun.

  26. Katherine turns to Michael.

  27. Michael turns away, his eyes shifting.

  28. As Katherine leaves, Michael’s gaze follow her.

  29. In a stark concrete passageway, Michael dances frenetically next to a small boombox set on the floor. He whirls around, bats his hands against the wall, and turns to stand on tiptoes. With shoulder-length curly hair, wearing high-cut pants and white socks, he two-steps, spins, points, and kicks. His black tunic has padded horizontal ridges and large epaulets.

  30. A photographer aims a camera. Crews work with cables and lights on a stage.

  31. A pyrotechnic charge explodes. Words appear: “Pepsi commercial shoot, January 1984.” In his dressing room, Michael rolls a cueball-sized crystal in his fingers, smiling as he watches the glittering facets.

  32. The blonde woman shakes Michael’s hand, which has two light-coloured patches.

  33. A pill bottle.

  34. Joseph walks in.

  35. He pulls on a single glove.

  36. Michael and Joseph head to the door. Michael turns, smiles, and waves.

  37. On set.

  38. A crewhand sets off a charge behind them. Michael flinches.

  39. The young director walks off. Michael, Joseph, and Bobby stop.

  40. Michael looks back at the detonated charge. He blinks, takes a breath, and starts walking.

  41. Now, a wall of tiny lamps highlights Michael’s profile. His eyes shift and he bobs his head in slow motion. His black sequin jacket with white armband covers a gold lamé shirt. Four male dancers jog up on stage in different outfits. They pat Michael on the arm as they pass. As sparks twinkle downward a short distance away, Michael’s serene gaze trails the dancers. He bows his head, then licks his lips, takes a few steps, spins around once, and disappears out of view. Fade to black.

  42. Sparks shower down in front of stage lights. Elsewhere, Bobby and some paramedics wheel Michael out on a stretcher.

  43. A reporter.

  44. Michael holds up his gloved hand.

  45. A blonde woman in surgical greens aims an overhead light at Michael. His head in a bandage, he looks at her groggily.

  46. Michael’s eyes close and his head bobs to the side.

  47. In a dream sequence, Michael sees a young black girl; his mother; his father; and Bobby. The faces of young boys and girls flash by. Other kids hold a candlelight vigil near a fence. Two girls wear T-shirts emblazoned “Michael.” Children’s faces mix and match with the faces of Katherine and Janet Jackson, who smiles sweetly and disappears in a blurry glow.

  48. In a hospital room, a girl shakes Michael awake.

  49. In an empty ballroom, Michael practices. Title: “Michael prepares for the Victory Tour.” Now with Ziggy.

  50. Michael’s black shoes and white sequinned spats pace along a floor. His dancers, in sequin jackets, mill about excitedly. A title reads “The final show of the Victory Tour, December 9th, 1984.” Bobby looks on.

  51. Ziggy and a floor director burst in.

  52. Four dancers hustle up a staircase. The Jackson family and entourage applaud.

  53. Michael grins at the floor director, who shrugs and leaves. His arms crossed, Michael paces, wearing a worried look.

  54. Bobby and Joseph trade a glance. Ziggy gapes at Michael.

  55. Joseph lunges toward Michael. Katherine holds him back.

  56. Michael looks up, then closes his eyes.

  57. He nods.

  58. Katherine walks right up to Michael and beams a warm smile.

  59. Michael caresses his mother’s cheek with his gloved hand and trots upstairs.

  60. Joseph stares angrily and Katherine continues smiling as Michael pauses at the head of the staircase. He spins around, glances at his mom, and dances in place with precise, choppy movements. He flexes his wrist as he pokes his arm out and kicks.

  61. At the concert, young girls’ heads barely clear the stage riser as they thrust their hands toward Michael. He shakes hands with many of his fans using his gloved hand. Wearing a textured, pearlescent white shirt, Michael sings and dances onstage before walls of coloured lights and his dance troupe. In the wings, five people stand with a small boy in a wheelchair, who claps in time. (Read the sign they’re holding up.) Young fans, bathed in blue light, reach out their hands from the audience. In different scenes, Michael moves his cordless microphone back and forth from his bare right hand to his left, wearing the rhinestone-studded glove.

  62. The dancers all frown.

  63. The men look shocked.

  64. The five brothers raise their hands and link them together, each painting on a broad smile.

  65. Michael blows a kiss to the crowd, nods, and makes a peace sign with his gloved hand.

  66. Offstage.

  67. Bobby blocks Joseph from Michael’s limo.

  68. Joseph walks away with the other Jacksons.

  69. The limo door closes.

  70. Title: “At age 30, Michael is still living at his parents’ home.” Outdoors, Michael adds photos of butterflies, animals, and carnival rides to an album. Images of Joseph flash by.

  71. Now Michael carries the album into a bedroom.

  72. Throngs of fans.

  73. Michael smiles and trades hugs with his fans. Daytime. Two limos drive under a gate labelled “Neverland.” Words appear: “A dream come true.”

  74. Pink flamingos at a pond.

  75. Kids ride a miniature train.

  76. A lion charges at a fence.

  77. The limos pull up to a house. A man throws open the doors. Michael exits the car holding the album.

  78. Ziggy and some staff hold up signs.

  79. Michael does a little dance.

  80. Sarah smiles and nods.

  81. Michael runs to a counter and grabs a remote control.

  82. Onstage, Michael wears the white shirt and rhinestone glove as he performs before the bank of coloured lights. Fans reach to him from the audience. Now with Dr. Gordon.

  83. Michael rubs his hands. On a cloudy day, a helicopter lands and a passenger leaves. Inside, Michael shuts off old footage of himself on a TV. A woman enters.

  84. They smooch.

  85. Michael leans on the bed laughing. Liz munches on pizza.

  86. In a park, Michael, dressed in a military tunic with red piping, lifts up a young girl. Other kids, wearing matching hats, run in a circle around them. Bobby drives up in a yellow bumper car.

  87. It’s the boy Michael had read a story to! His family looks on. Now all the kids hold sparklers as the boy’s mom chokes back tears.

  88. The boy’s plastic oxygen cannula traces a line over his ears and under his nose. His red sequin jacket extends over his wrist as he waves his own sparkler in slow motion.

  89. At a cemetery, a few trees intersperse with headstones. The boy’s mother and a young girl, both dressed in black, walk to a point on the lawn and stop. The woman sets a bouquet on the grass. Her daughter looks up, turns to her, and embraces her. They walk off together.

  90. Inside. Michael clasps his hands.

  91. Sarah’s son places his hand on Michael’s.

  92. Sarah walks in carrying towels.

  93. She picks up the remote.

  94. Michael and the boy stir from sleeping bags in a pretend tent. Sarah pulls open the red velvet curtains, walks toward them, and stops.

  95. Sarah’s eyes grow wide. She sighs and looks away.

  96. Seen through an inside window, Sarah and her son walk out of the house carrying bags. The boy stops and looks back sadly. He jogs up and takes his mother’s hand. Michael, in a red shirt, presses his fingers against the window as he watches Sarah and the boy walk down a long driveway. He purses his lips, then leaves.

  97. Michael’s eye in a mirror.

  98. Michael looks in another mirror. Now, overhead surgical lights flare brightly.

  99. The same doctor looks down at Michael, who wears a hospital cap. She pulls on her green mask, raises an eyebrow, and winks at Michael.

  100. Michael’s eyes close. The surgeon pulls the light fixture in low.

  101. Instruments sit neatly on a tray. A gloved hand picks up a scalpel, then returns it to the tray as a blurry head lies nearby. A hand works a pair of spring-loaded clippers. Fingers pick up a pair of forceps, which retrieve a swab from a pan. Two different right hands trade instruments. A scalpel lowers, then a forceps and a swab do the same. Hands pick up and exchange more instruments.

  102. The surgical lights fill our view, then fades.

  103. Michael lies unconscious with bandages around his eyes and nose. In a time-lapse sequence, a man in a white coat and women in pink and blue uniforms check Michael and jot on his chart. He fidgets in bed, touching his face, now covered in smaller bandages. His cheek and eyelid are puffy and reddened. Now he rubs his chest as Bobby strides in.

  104. Bobby grins, points, and leaves. Michael stretches his arms out in bed.

  105. Title: “Michael’s new friend, Manny.”

  106. A stuffed animal head wearing a cap and tunic.

  107. Michael and Manny dance on a stairway landing. Photos show Manny with his mom and Michael posing near statues and landmarks. Ziggy holds a cigar as he flips through the photos of Michael and the family at a mall, outside Big Ben, and in the White House Rose Garden. Ziggy rubs his forehead and lets out a breath as he looks through a window.

  108. Michael, with long wavy hair and a more pointed nose, sits at an electronic piano. His face is nearly expressionless as he plays.

  109. Ziggy, dressed in a suit and tie, walks into the ornately-decorated room carrying a clipboard. He stops, then approaches Michael.

  110. They walk outside.

  111. They stop. Michael points his finger ahead of him.

  112. Ziggy pulls back a little and regards Michael. Now, Michael sits in a tree as Bobby paces.

  113. Bobby looks at Michael, his eyebrows raised. Daytime at a three-storey building. In a room, we zip from wall to wall, each festooned with Michael Jackson posters. One poster is signed “To Manny with love – Michael Jackson.” Pushpins hold up photos on a board. One poster reads “Michael Jackson: King of Pop” and shows a light-skinned Michael with long hair and a thin nose. Manny props himself up on his bed and reads. The door opens.

  114. They sit at the end of the bed.

  115. A rabbit’s foot.

  116. Michael does a dance and runs into a man standing in the doorway.

  117. Michael blinks and tenses.

  118. Michael bumps his shoulder against the door jamb, then leaves. Mr. Thomas smiles at Manny.

  119. Video footage shows hundreds of excited fans, mostly Asian. Helmeted police officers guard a fence and hold the fans back. Cameras flash as a crowd surges against a single male guard wearing a business suit. Title: “The Dangerous Tour, August 1993.” Michael performs onstage in black trousers and a high-collared gold lamé tunic that extends down like a codpiece. His right forearm wears a buttoned-up white sleeve with a stirrup across the palm. White and blue floodlights follow Michael as he moonwalks and dances, mouthing words. More flashes pop.

  120. Offstage, an Asian woman presents Bobby with a telephone. He picks up the receiver and talks.

  121. Images of old-style flashbulbs meld with an overhead view of an open-air stadium and audiences filled with swooning fans, some on the verge of tears. Michael makes a set of slashing motions like karate chops, then stops, arms outstretched, gazing to the side.

  122. Bobby, still on the phone, looks concerned as he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes.

  123. More flashes. Onstage, a smiling Michael taps his heart and points to the audience.

  124. Michael spins around and waves a peace sign with his right hand. He leaves the stage. Now, a reporter on TV.

  125. The middle-aged white man looks at Bobby, who gets up and uses a remote.

  126. Michael stands and crosses his arms.

  127. The attorney, his necktie loosen, looks at his papers and shakes his head.

  128. Later, Michael sits and fingers a teacup. Mannequins dressed in nautical caps and ruby-red blazers line a nearby wall. The door opens. It’s Liz, wearing a pink tracksuit. She plants her hands on her hips.

  129. Liz holds Michael’s chair as he sits. Bobby walks in and Liz notices.

  130. She taps Michael’s shoulder and walks to Bobby.

  131. Liz walks over and takes a seat. She waves at the mannequins.

  132. In another room, Bobby packs a small suitcase. With Liz, Michael dials a phone.

  133. She nods at Michael and grins.

  134. Words appear: “Police raid Neverland.” Squad cars pull up to the Neverland house. A man opens the front door. Men in two-piece business suits get out of unmarked sedans and point at the door. One detective pushes the man aside as he and two other men walk right in.

  135. The living room is decorated with coloured lights and Christmas garlands. Red-suited mannequins stand like statues.

  136. A blond detective walks to the mantel and picks up a sequined glove.

  137. Three detectives walk away. One stays behind and picks up a tape. The men look at a jukebox and large console video games.

  138. A detective thumbs through an album. Another picks up a handful of candy.

  139. With Mr. Thomas and Mandy in his bedroom.

  140. In Mexico City, Liz appears in the doorway.

  141. Liz looks at Bobby, then Michael.

  142. “Nightingale Clinic, London, England.”

  143. A jittery young black man in a group session.

  144. The two men glance at Michael. The woman takes a drag. Nighttime: Protesters carry a banner reading “100% Innocent. We believe in Michael Jackson.” Others hold a candlelight vigil. Two young black boys address the camera.

  145. “Michael’s sister, LaToya,” on TV.

  146. Liz stands with Michael at Nightingale.

  147. Liz picks up her handbag and prods Michael to walk. In another room.

  148. Liz paces from one wall to another.

  149. Michael looks distraught. He sits down slowly.

  150. Liz sits down alongside him.

  151. She cups his cheek in her hand.

  152. Liz starts to speak, then stops. They huddle in a corner of the room.

  153. In a room, Michael stands, shirtless. He flinches as men shoot photographs. Pulling back, we see his nude body from the side. At the door, Bobby holds up a painting of Liz. A couple of detectives, one with a badge pinned to his belt loop, look on. Michael winces and looks teary. A photographer aims at Michael’s crotch. Now, Manny sits with his dad and holds his rabbit’s foot as he talks with detectives.

  154. Manny bows his head.

  155. He moves his lips and turns to Mr. Thomas.

  156. A detective looks shocked. Mr. Thomas rubs Manny’s shoulders.

  157. Johnny Cochrane with reporters.

  158. Michael, Bobby, and four guards walk up to Johnny.

  159. Michael, Johnny, and the men walk out.

  160. At Neverland Ranch.

  161. Fans holding candles cheer on two white limos as they drive through the gate.

  162. Inside, Michael sits with his back to a piano. He turns and touches the keyboard. Titles read “According to a 1993 agreement, Michael paid $25 million to settle the suit.” Now, on a bridge.

  163. Bobby leads Michael inside.

  164. Bobby hurries to the door. Michael fusses with his sunglasses. He’s wearing a nautical tunic with brass buttons.

  165. Bobby walks with the petite, long-haired woman.

  166. He pulls off his shades and nervously shakes her hand.

  167. Bobby beams and darts his eyebrows up as he leaves. He leans back in.

  168. Michael averts his eyes. Lisa looks him over.

  169. Flowers and butterflies fill a greenhouse.

  170. Seated on a bench, they look down. A huge grey butterfly perches on Lisa’s hand.

  171. The butterfly is three inches tall and has a marking like an eye on its wing.

  172. Bobby holds Michael’s shoulders as they leave the room. In a sunny park, Michael wears a red jacket and white armband. He and Lisa, dressed in a white blouse, hold hands and share hugs. Michael dances in place. He spins Lisa around and points jokingly at her. Michael bursts out laughing. They slow-dance together. Lisa looks contentedly at Michael. Inside, Lisa, seated and wearing a silk robe, pulls languidly at her hair and beckons Michael over.

  173. Michael bashfully shuffles over to her. Lisa rubs an edge of his long black nightshirt between her fingers. Michael moves strands of hair out of his eyes.

  174. Lisa pulls back the neckline of her robe to reveal clear, pale skin.

  175. Michael squats down and produces a diamond ring in a black case.

  176. Michael pulls out the ring and slips it on Lisa’s left ring finger.

  177. They look into each other’s eyes. Lisa leans in to kiss Michael. He delicately pushes her back onto the carpet. Michael brushes his hair from his cheek. They kiss as Lisa caresses Michael’s hair.

  178. Title: “The Dominican Republic, May 26th, 1994.” At a table, the couple signs a register with a quill pen.

  179. They peck each other on the lips. Bobby, a boy and a girl, and the priest and interpreter stand with them under a white canopy. Michael picks up the young boy. Now snapshots show Michael, Lisa Marie, and the two kids. They blow a kiss and the boy makes a sequence of funny faces.

  180. Now, watching TV in bed.

  181. Bobby, the kids, and Lisa walk in a park. Lisa spots Michael emerging from behind a tree, hands behind his back.

  182. A teenage boy jumps out. Michael shoots him with a squirt gun. Lisa stops short and blinks. Michael and the boy go on playing. Lisa looks to the side, then turns and walks back to Bobby and the children, shoes dangling from her hand. She glances over her shoulder. Her calf-length print dress hugs her body.

  183. Inside, the kids eat from bowls at a table. Lisa brings a mug to her lips.

  184. She touches her daughter, then pulls away. Lisa worriedly checks her wristwatch.

  185. Lisa gives the children a steady, melancholy look.

  186. Seen from the ornate panelled hallway, the kids resume eating.

  187. On the floor by a fireplace, Michael tickles and roughhouses with the boy. Lisa and her daughter watch from the sofa. The boy bats Michael’s face.

  188. Michael presses his fingertips against his nose as he gets up and looks in a mirror. Lisa comes over.

  189. Michael sternly glances at Lisa’s reflection and walks away. Lisa stands still and fidgets her hands.

  190. In a bedroom, Michael angrily tosses clothes into a suitcase. Bobby walks up to him.

  191. Michael narrows his eyes and leans forward.

  192. Another day. Theatre marquees read “Michael Jackson: December 10, 8 PM, HBO.” A pedestrian walks by. Inside, Michael practices before a wall of mirrors. A black-haired woman coaches him. Words appear: “December 1995. Michael rehearses for his comeback concert on HBO.”
    The woman leans over and demonstrates a dance move, windmilling her arms. Michael mimics the movements. Later, the choreographer performs other dance steps, like jittering her arms close to her body. Michael tries to copy the motions, gets them wrong, then stops and puts his hands on his hips. They try more and more moves. Bobby, in a suit, walks in. Michael waves him off. Bobby leaves, making an “OK, OK” motion. Michael and the dancer keep working. The woman holds out her arms and Michael takes a break.
    Now daylight floods into the room. The choreographer’s red blouse is wrapped around her waist, revealing dancing tights. Bobby strides in, wearing a shirt and tie, and shows her his watch. Michael makes a “Five minutes” gesture. Michael tries a dance step and gets it wrong – twice. The choreographer, looking frustrated, waves at him and leaves. Michael dances alone, looking at his reflection. He whirls in place faster and faster, stops, then falls backward. His limbs quiver then lie still against the floor.

  193. In a dream sequence, Michael sees Diana Ross in her feather boa; Liz looking bemused; Janet Jackson, with a broad smile; Bobby; and Joseph. At the hospital, Lisa Marie, dressed in a business suit, rubs Michael’s foot through the bedclothes as she walks to his side. She puts down her handbag and sits, noticing helium balloons tied to the chair. She wears a concerned expression and fiddles with her hands. Lisa picks up a greeting card, reads it, and sets it back. She rubs Michael’s arm. He lies still in bed.

  194. More dream images: Johnny Cochrane; a detective; Manny; Bobby walking through a corridor; Janet.

  195. Lisa scratches her head. Still asleep, Michael stirs. In his dream, Bobby walks right up to him. Joseph pulls off a tuxedo jacket and talks angrily.

  196. His eyes open. Lisa puts her hand on his chest.

  197. Lisa looks away uncomfortably.

  198. Lisa retrieves her handbag and walks right out of the room, downcast. A title reads “Lisa Marie files for divorce.”

  199. A uniformed maid walks in with a blonde-haired woman.

  200. More surgical lights flare and recede. More gloved hands select and manipulate forceps, clippers, a scalpel, and a swab. A surgeon’s hands move the instruments near a blurry bandaged head. The overhead lights glow bright once more. Now, Michael sits at a wooden table, dressed in a military tunic with red epaulets. His face is powdery-white and his hair straight. He flashes back on Manny smiling at him and picking up a basketball. A young Michael sits on the concrete step watching kids, including a boy like Manny, play baseball. Michael remembers himself as a preteen, happily dancing at a family gathering. At the wooden table, Michael holds up and rotates an object. Diana’s face appears.

  201. Everyone leaves but Katherine. She and her son search each other’s eyes. She blinks, nods, and follows the others out. Michael picks up the object: It’s a [unclear on picture].

  202. A pen signs a paper. It’s Michael’s hand. Words fade in: “Michael marries Debbie Rowe, November 15, 1996.” Now Debbie, pregnant and wearing a white dress, also signs. A grey-haired man picks up and folds the sheet.

  203. Michael leaves! Katherine comes in holding a cake.

  204. Hands hold aloft a light-skinned newborn baby. Title: “Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. is born, February 13, 1997.” Michael, in surgical greens, picks up the tiny child. Debbie sits up and watches.

  205. Debbie sobs and looks lovingly at Michael.

  206. In hospital greens, Bobby and Michael jog down a hallway.

  207. A woman hands Michael a tiny baby. A title appears: “Paris Michael Katherine Jackson is born April 3, 1998.” Debbie calls after Michael.

  208. On a video.

  209. A dozen people use a room as a makeshift office. Bobby and Joseph talk on cellphones.

  210. He puts down the phone. Katherine sits with Joseph.

  211. Michael dances onstage in a loose, all-white outfit with silver metallic knee- and shinpads. “Madison Square Garden 2001 – a celebrity-filled tribute to Michael and his astounding career.” Michael points to the crowd and ruffles his shoulders, grabs his crotch, and walks jerkily like a robot. The Jackson brothers, dancing backup, have different costumes, some with white or yellow overcoats, one with a shiny black jacket. Blue spotlights trace around Michael as he dances before a bank of darkened lights. Joseph paces and watches from the wings, then pinches out a smile. Michael moonwalks in silver-buckled shoes, motions to the crowd, and drops to his knees. Joseph puts on a pair of shades and walks backstage.
    Flashbulbs meld with video footage of delirious fans, mostly teenage girls.. The stadium is full. Michael waves to the crowd, as do his brothers. He takes a bow and they run offstage, smiling jubilantly. Now with Bobby and Joseph.

  212. Bobby checks his watch.

  213. Videotape shows an aircraft flying directly toward the World Trade Center towers. It disappears behind the north tower. A different view shows huge orange fireball spilling off the side of south tower. The walls of the upper stories of the north tower are damaged and black smoke pours out. At home, Michael and Bobby watch the same scene on television.

  214. Michael hugs Prince’s shoulders. Katherine enters carrying Paris. They watch the south tower collapse straight down.

  215. Katherine hurries out with the kids.

  216. On TV, businesspeople hold cloths to their noses as they walk along a street.

  217. Bobby rubs his knees and lifts himself off the sofa. Michael, wearing a red shirt, brings a hand to his distraught face and blinks through tears.

  218. A TV news reporter.

  219. Blanket sits on Michael’s lap.

  220. A camera operator and two other men ride down a path in a golf cart. Inside.

  221. A man picks up his camera.

  222. Martin Bashir and his camera and sound crew walk through well-manicured grounds. He stops at a fence to address the camera. In a greenhouse, the dark-skinned, black-haired man spreads his arms wide and looks amazed. A large grey butterfly lands on his finger, and the camera does a long closeup. Now Bashir holds a pen and sits across from Michael and a boy.

  223. Just outside the house.

  224. Video images show fans holding a banner and applauding outside the Hotel [unclear on picture].

  225. A title reads “Berlin, November 19th, 2002.” Michael, an Asian woman, and his children run around a hotel room. A uniformed nanny holds Prince Michael II and watches. Michael somersaults over the chesterfield. Paris runs over and Michael hugs her. The kids and the Asian woman sit down, out of breath. The nanny walks toward Michael.

  226. Police watch over fans as they clamour and hold up banners

  227. Michael looks to his left and pushes himself up off the floor.

  228. Standing before Blanket and the nanny Michael hesitates, looks back and forth, then picks him up. He slips a swaddling cloth over the boy’s head and opens a door.

  229. Video shows Michael Jackson dangling Prince over the edge of a Juliet balcony. He ducks back in.

  230. He hands the baby back to the nanny and blows a kiss to the crowd. He hides his face in a sheer curtain and tosses a swaddling cloth down to the street, where fans race for it.

  231. Everyone in the room stares at Michael.

  232. In slow motion, Michael looks heavenward, then casts his eyes down and circles pensively.

  233. Michael’s dark hand caresses the arm of his light-skinned baby. He cups Paris’s face in his hands. A pink elastic holds her blond hair in a ponytail. The elder boy, Paris, looks apprehensive as Michael places his hands on his cheek and his long blond hair. The Asian woman regards Michael almost tearfully as he touches her shoulder. Michael rises and sees the nanny, who cradles Blanket and averts her eyes.

  234. His back turned, Bobby looks dubious and shakes his head slightly.

  235. In a screening room. Title: “Living with Michael Jackson airs February 6th, 2003.”

  236. The Asian woman takes Blanket. All the kids leave. Bobby stands up.

  237. Blurred video images. Now Michael sits alone in the screening room and clicks a remote. Bobby walks in.

  238. Hurrying upstairs.

  239. Michael steps to a door.

  240. Bobby gestures to Michael and walks sadly downstairs. Michael, in a cranberry-coloured satin shirt, slumps to the floor, leaning against the tall wooden door. He crosses his arms and pulls his knees to his chest.

  241. “Santa Maria, California, January 16th, 2004.” Head bowed over his piano, Michael flashes back to practising dance steps, Diana’s face, and a room packed with trinkets and wall decorations. He thinks of himself sitting pensively and sees Bobby walking through a hospital hallway.

  242. A fan runs, carrying a banner reading “We support the king.” Michael, Bobby, and an entourage leave a building. Words appear: “Michael Jackson was indicted on four counts of committing lewd acts on a child, four counts of administering an intoxicating agent to assist in the commission of a felony, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.” Reporters rush to Michael as Bobby holds open the door of a black SUV. Michael pauses and looks blankly at his fans and the reporters. He makes a weak peace sign with his bare right hand.

  243. Michael looks up.

  244. Flashbacks of Joseph, Katherine, Bobby, Liz, Janet.

  245. Michael clambers up onto the roof rack of the SUV! He stands up straight.

  246. Diana’s face flashes. Now Michael hesitates. The crowd is almost motionless. Some teenage girls grip their hands together tensely. All eyes point upward at Michael. Bobby, standing at the car door, takes a look around, his mouth agape. Michael looks to the sky. We move from face to face in the crowd, each gazing up at us.

  247. Michael blows a kiss and a peace sign. A woman holds a placard. Cameras point upward. A bodyguard holds back a young woman. Michael gives the crowd three bashful waves. Fade to black. [ the mysterious blond woman]

  248. Titles read: “Michael Jackson has denied all charges. His trial was scheduled to begin on September 13, 2004.” More faces from the crowd fade in and out: A teenage boy with dark hair and eyes; a young black man; a teenage black boy with hearing aids; a blue-eyed woman; a black woman in a lace blouse; a white guy with a nose ring and a metal necklace; a girl with blonde dreadlocks; a blond girl with a black hat and a stud in her lip; a guy with dreads and facial tattoos; a young Asian man; four young women; and a fair-skinned girl with large blue eyes.

This audio description was produced by Nancy Harvey Productions, Toronto. Written by Joe Clark. Read by Nicola St. John.

Remaining opening credits:

  1. With Fred Tucker, Patricia Tocette, Lynne Cormack, Krysta Rae, Amy Sloan, Barbara Mamabol, April Amber Telek.

  2. Casting by Jackie Lind, Stacey Alexander, Forrest & Forrest.

  3. Music by Bruce Leitl.

  4. Edited by Bridget Durnford.

  5. Production design: John Blackie.

  6. Director of Photography: David Greene.

  7. Coproducer: Christine Shipton.

  8. Executive producer: Jon Katzman.

  9. Executive producers: Joseph Plager, John Morayniss [quite probably a phonetic spelling for the narratrix].

  10. Produced by Chad Oakes, Michael Frislev.

Closing credits:

  1. Flex Alexander as Michael Jackson.

  2. Eugene Clark as Bobby.

  3. Amy Sloan as Holly.

  4. Krista Rae as Lisa Marie.

  5. Patricia Idlette as Katherine.

  6. Lynne Cormack as Liz.

  7. Brendan Prost as Manny.

  8. Peter Onorati as Ziggy.

  9. April Amber Telek as Debbie.

  10. Robert Seeliger as Holly’s Producer.

  11. Steven Saunders as Sara’s Son.

  12. Barbara Mamabolo as Janet.

  13. Roxanne Wong as Rebecca.

  14. David LeReany as Jack.

  15. Dan Litman as Dr. Goodman.

  16. Fred Tucker as Joseph.

  17. Samantha Danton as Diana Ross.

  18. Cedric DeSouza as Bashir.

Additional music:

  1. “Lulabomb,” performed and written by John Gilbert and Eric Ratz.

  2. “Away,” performed by Shannon Gaye. Written by Shannon Gaye and Kristian Alexandrov.

  3. “OR Points,” performed and written by Arlene Bishop.

  4. “The Freeman,” performed by Behavior. Written by Michael A. McCann and Kevin Olson.

  5. “Microphone” and “Shelter,” performed by Transientworld. Written by Mary Anchete and Mark Lazeski.

  6. “Break You,” written and performed by Hawaii.

  7. “In the Gloaming”: Traditional. Arranged by Lon Cullen. Performed by Lon Cullen.

  8. “Souvenir” and “Who Knew?,” performed by Diana Chaplin. Written by Diana Chaplin and Stefan Hengst.

  9. “Busted (Halo Remix),” performed by Jaeness. Written by Jesse Lipscombe, Nathan Brown and Steven Dora.

  10. “The Truth About Love,” performed by Shannon Gaye. Written by Shannon Gaye, Kristian Alexandrov and Alex Harnson.

  11. “Truly,” performed by Shanice Wilson. Written by Jamey Jaz and Shanice Wilson.

  12. “Araby,” performed and written by BlueScreen.

  13. “She Had a Boyfriend,” performed and written by John Gilbert.

  14. “Believe in Me,” performed by Yasmeen. Written by Allan Rich, Jud Friedman and Jeanette Olsson.

  15. “Human Kind,” performed by Dana Crawford. Written by Bruce Leitl and Jeff Leitl.

This motion picture is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America and other countries. Any unauthorized duplication, copying or use of all or part of this motion picture may result in civil liabilities and/or criminal prosecution in accordance with applicable laws.

Copyright 2004 Face the Music Productions Inc.

A logo of a fingerprint inside a snippet of celluloid: Blueprint Entertainment.

Another logo: Gold letters against a cloudy backdrop read “Nomadic Pictures.”

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.06.29 14:13. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2009/06/29/mj/

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