The Man Behind the Throne

Synopsis: Vincent Paterson is the one who told Michael Jackson to grab his crotch and who was called Satan by the Pope after directing the Blond Ambition Tour. He is an artist unknown to most people, but whose moves have been imitated in front of millions of mirrors. An educated and humble man who is the somewhat unexpected link between Madonna and Lars von Trier. A poor boy from Brookhaven, PA, who became a star choreographer in Hollywood. Director Kersti Grunditz - I met Vincent in 2001, read his bio and realized I had seen all his work, but never heard of him. After a good deal of persuasion he let me into his life and allowed me to make this intimate documentary.
58 min

Saying, "I liked it

when you danced on Beat It,

"and you were really cool

"when you were

the assistant choreographer

"and danced with me on Thriller.

"And why don't you take this song

Smooth Criminal

"and create something for me?"

I had done so little.

I had done a few little...

cheesy commercials

and, you know,

one small piece in a dance concert -

I mean, nothing,

nothing that put me on the map.

And here was Michael Jackson,

the biggest and most successful

artist in the world after Thriller,

turning to me and saying,

"Come on over to the recording

studio where I am tonight.

"I want to play a song for you."

And before I left, him saying,

"Well, take it with you

"so that you can listen to the music

"and let the music tell you

what it should be."

And I said,

"Well, what do you mean?"

"Well, I want you

to come up with the concept

"and create the video for me."

This is the way

Michael and I would work,

the two of us

playing together and...

And I had already given him

the sketch of this.

He was learning it and modifying

a couple of little moments

that he felt worked better

for his body.

Playing with rhythms.

Don't forget the rhythm over

the part is...

Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,

pa, pa-pum, pow!

When he rehearsed,

he put on all the clothes -

the shirt, the tie,

the shoes, the spats,

the hat, the jacket, the pants -

to see if the movement

that he was creating for himself,

or that I was creating for him

felt really comfortable and organic

in the clothes that he wore.

Michael would stand

in front of that mirror

just doing the same exact movement -

SAME exact movement -

hours and hours and hours on end,

coming back

to the same little section

and repeating it and repeating it

and repeating it.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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