Earth Song – Michael Jackson

The recent Michael Jackson documentary “Escaping Neverland” reminded me of a job from long ago. In 1995 I worked with English photographer/director Nick Brandt on a massive music video for Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song.” The song is a call to save the earth, a spiritual plea to protect the planet from pollution, war, animal cruelty and deforestation. It was filmed in the Amazon rainforest, Croatia, Tanzania and in Warwick, NY. Jackson’s performance takes place amidst scenes of burned forest devastation. I was first asked to scout actual forest fire areas in several states, sometimes by small plane. After awhile production realized this approach would not be visually or logistically viable, so I worked on finding a corn field where we could safely simulate a forest fire. It was quite an event in quiet Warwick.