Michael Jackson in Earth Song Music Video
Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song,” music video, filmed in 1995, is coming back into popularity in the wake of his death. Directed by photographer Nick Brandt, the video shows Jackson performing the third single from his album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 in a simulated forest fire filmed in a corn field in Warwick, New York. The video evokes Jackson’s concerns about deforestation, animal cruelty, war and pollution with footage from the Amazon rainforest, a Croatian war zone, animal poaching in Tanzania.
Michael Jackson and the world’s people unite in a spiritual chantâ€””Earth Song”â€”which summons a force that heals the world. Using special effects, time is reversed so that life returns, war ends and the forests regrow. The video closes with a request for donations to Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation.
The video was filmed in four geographic regions. The first location was the Amazon Rainforest, where a large part was destroyed a week after the video’s completion. Natives of the region appeared in the video and were not actors. The second scene was a war zone in Croatia, with residents of the area. The third location was Tanzania, which incorporated scenes of illegal poaching and hunting into the video. No animals were harmed in the making of the “Earth Song”, as the footage came from documentary archives. However, a poacher killed an elephant within a mile of the shot. The final location was in Warwick, New York, where a safe forest fire was simulated in a corn field.
The Earth Song music video was awarded with the Best Video Award at Le Film Fantastique in 1996 and was nominated for Best Music Video, Short Form at the 1997 Grammy awards.