Michael Jackson re-recorded I’LL BE THERE for a Pepsi commercial with him singing with himself as a young boy. We were searching for a boy that could mimic him and were having trouble. Michael suggested a boy from Australia, Wade Robson. Wade was white but that didn’t matter since we were going to superimpose Michael’s head onto Wade’s anyway and the rest was to be a silhouette. The movements were the only thing important.
Digital work was still in its infancy so we were restricted in what we were able to do. We shot the spot and it was compelling despite the compromises we had to make. The press was anther matter. I got a call asking why we used a white boy. I answered that he was best for the job but it didn’t matter as we were using old Michael footage to adjust for that. Of course, the press didn’t care about any truths and they did a hatchet job on Michael.
Years later, Wade Robson is choreographing Britney for a Pepsi commercial I’m doing. We reminisce about Michael’s greatness and influences and what a wonderful coincidence this is to see each other after all these years.
Well don’t you know that Wade sued Jackson’s estate after Michael had passed away. The judge threw out the suit for various reasons including the fact that Robson had testified under oath in a prior case that nothing had ever happened.