A Minute With: Kenny Ortega on the 'It' in "This Is It"

Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:45pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - By now, most anybody who has read of the upcoming Michael Jackson movie, "This Is It" which debuts globally October 28, knows it was directed by Jackson's friend and dance choreographer Kenny Ortega.

Ortega had been hired to stage the King of Pop's London concerts, also called "This Is It," which would have begun last July had the "Thriller" singer remained alive. Jackson died, of course, on June 25 from a lethal combination of drugs.

After Jackson's death, Ortega was hired to edit together 80 hours of video taken on stage and behind the scenes of the "This Is It" rehearsals for the 111-minute movie. Many of the recent interviews with Ortega have been about Jackson's sudden death and the events around it, so Reuters took a minute to talk about the movie and what fans will actually see.

Q: How about for a change of pace, we focus on the movie:

A: (laughs). Thank you.

Q: It has been called part documentary, part concert film, but what does that mean? What's the "It" in "This Is It"

A: It's such a unique idea. I call it a "musical mosaic." We took the remnants of what we had and constructed a musical story that I think will help fans appreciate what Michael was putting into "This Is It", what his dreams for it were, what his goals were for it."

Q: Does it have a plot or themes? What happens onscreen?   Continued...

<p>Choreographer Kenny Ortega eulogizes Michael Jackson during the memorial services for the pop star in Los Angeles July 7, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>