An executive at Sony freaked out and rejected a $900,000 budget Jackson proposed for the video, and talked him down to $500,000. (An expensive video at the time would top out around $100,000.) To balance the budget, a behind the scenes documentary was sold to MTV for $250,000 and Showtime for $300,000.
He was the best-selling pop star in the world, but was living with his folks in Encino, California. This is part of the reason why Landis and the producers rejected Jackson's offer to pay for the entire video out of his own pocket.
Michael ordered the film to be destroyed when he found out that he was in trouble with the Jehovah's Witnesses, but the editor and director hid the film canisters until the singer changed his mind.
"He was shy, she tried not to scare him by coming on too strong," Ray told Vanity Fair. “What we had was such like a little kindergarten thing going on." In the same interview, Ray confirmed that she and Jackson had “kissing and puppy-love make-out sessions,” and teased that there was "a little more than that.”
It was the final single and video from the record, and came out over a year after the album was released. Thriller was already the best-selling album ever before the video for the title track was released, and the sales doubled once the clip was in heavy rotation on MTV.
The Making of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," which includes the video in full, was the best-selling musical on VHS ever, worldwide. It was sold at a lower price point than most VHS tapes at the time, which helped boost sales.
The iconic jacket, designed by Deborah Nadoolman, sold for an absurd amount of money at an auction in 2011.