'Michael Jackson's This Is It': Live from the premiere
Pop & Hiss is live on the scene from the premiere of 'Michael Jackson's This Is It.'
8:32 P.M.: For a collection of Los Angeles Times photos from the premiere of "Michael Jackson's This Is It" click here.
6:57 P.M.: Travis Payne, Jackson's associate producer/choreographer, was all smiles as he made his way across the red carpet. "Michael would have loved this turnout," Payne said. "It's time to celebrate Michael ... to rejoice in all his wonderful messages of peace and love. People are going to enjoy seeing the Michael I always got to see."
"This Is It" director Kenny Ortega echoed those sentiments. "You see Michael's vision for 'This Is It' ... You see him onstage as if he were standing in front of a full house. I hope the fans find satisfaction, that fans [who had tickets to the tour] will understand what Michael had planned for them."
6:46 P.M.: "American Idol" winner David Cook bobbed his head during interviews as some of Jackson's songs filtered out of the speakers. "We're here kind of celebrating the life of one the greatest entertainers of all time," Cook said. "It's a circus."
The singer, who credited Jackson as an influence, was eager to get inside to see the movie. "I'm expecting a Michael Jackson show. I think anything short of that, they wouldn't put it out. Without Michael Jackson, the bar is definitely lower for everyone else."
Another "American Idol" alum, Adam Lambert, cited the "Thriller" video as his fondest Jackson memory and was excited to get a glimpse into the "artistic genius. I'm really curious to see what went behind the creative process."
Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," commented on Jackson's legacy as seen through the thousands of contestants who audition in both reality competitions: "He's more of an influence than all the greats-- Gene Kelly, James Brown. He is it. He wasn't so much a brilliant dancer, but a brilliant mover. It's sad that it takes tragic circumstances to create a legend... but he was always a legend in my eyes."
5:11 P.M.: Dancer Dres Reid, who is featured in the film, was blown away by the crowd outside the Nokia Theatre: “This is so surreal.” When discussing what it was like to work with his idol, Reid took time to form his thoughts, finally saying, “It was like living a dream every single day.”
He shared funny memories, like the time Michael Jackson, wearing “incredibly bright” orange pants, showed off his dance moves during a ballet rehearsal. “He was amazing,” Reid said. “The influence he’s had on dance, in music ... There’s no one like him. There will never be anyone like him. His thing was, ‘If you’re not in it to achieve excellence, don't even bother.’ ”
5:10 P.M.: Celebrities have begun to make their way along a U-shaped line of reporters from all over the world who have descended on L.A. for tonight’s premiere. Conspicuously, though, Motown founder Berry Gordy opted not to do interviews, dodging quickly past to enter the theater.
4: 50 P.M.: A live-stream of the premiere is available for viewing, courtesy of Sony's Crackle.com. Updated 7:05 P.M. Pop & Hiss removed the video embed once it was no longer showing live coverage.
3:46 P.M. The A-listers hadn't yet arrived for the world premiere of "Michael Jackson's This Is It," the highly anticipated feature-length documentary detailing the late pop idol's planned comeback concerts. But plenty of enthusiastic fans dressed in MJ T-shirts, fedoras and silver gloves were on hand outside the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. this afternoon, waiting for the spectacle to begin. The jumbo screen in the L.A. Live Plaza played clips from the film as correspondents from around the globe strutted down the red walkway reporting on the scene. There was no carpet on the ground, though. Perhaps the idea was to make it easier for guests to moonwalk into the auditorium?
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Recalling Michael Jackson's final steps
Photo credits: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times