Michael Jackson's Thriller is a 14-minute music video for the song of the same name released on December 2, 1983 and directed by John Landis. It is often considered to be the best music video of all time, and redefined the concept of music videos; hence it is acclaimed in its genre. It was the most expensive video of its time, costing US$800,000 — the equivalent of 1.4 million in 2007 U.S. dollars, until Michael beat his own record with sister Janet for the US$7,000,000 video for "Scream". It also held the record for the world's longest music video, ceding that to Jackson's 35 minute, long-form music video, "Ghosts", in 1996.
Thriller was less a conventional video and more a full-fledged short subject or mini-film; a horror film spoof featuring choreographed zombies performing with Jackson. The music was re-edited to match the video, with the verses being sung one after the other followed by the ending rap, then the main dance sequence (filmed on Union Pacific Avenue, Los Angeles) to an instrumental loop, and finally the memorable finish: the choruses in a "big dance number" climactic scene. During the video, Jackson transforms into both a zombie and a "werecat," complete with yellow slit eyes and long cat whiskers (makeup artist Rick Baker referred to it as a "cat monster" in the "Making of Thriller" documentary); familiar territory for Landis, who had directed An American Werewolf in London two years earlier. Co-starring with Jackson was former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video was choreographed by Michael Peters (who had worked with the singer on his prior hit "Beat It"), with significant contributions by Jackson. The video also contains incidental music by film music composer Elmer Bernstein, who had previously also worked with Landis on An American Werewolf in London. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by Vincent Price, horror film veteran. Rick Baker assisted in prosthetics and makeup for the production.