The Birth Of Thriller Cover chapter 1--The First Meeting
Dick Zimmerman has been referred to by the media as an artistic
genius. Known as "The Image Maker", he is considered to be the most
accomplished portrait artist of the 20th century. Zimmerman is sought
after by the world's most celebrated entertainers, dignitaries,
politicians and influential personalities.
In 1982, Dick Zimmerman worked with Michael Jackson to create what
to become the THRILLER album cover.
The illustruous photographer tells us more about this key moment in
his career and shares special moments that took place during this
legendary photo shoot.
The First Meeting
"I first met Michael Jackson at a recording studio on Beverly Blvd.
Hollywood, where he was three quarters of the way through finishing
what would be the largest selling album in history. CBS records
indicated that the project was between myself and another very well
known photographer whose identity was never divulged to me.
Michael wanted to personally meet both candidates before deciding who
he wanted to work with on the album package. I know now after having
worked a substantial amount of time with Michael on other projects
since, that he needed someone that was at the top of his profession,
wasn't egotistical, was trustworthy and creative. But most
someone who would treat him with delicacy and consideration, who
wasn't threatening or offending.
My first impression of Michael as he slowly and carefully moved
through the studio doors where our meeting would take place was that
he was taller and thinner than I had expected. His hand shake was
delicate with hardly a squeeze, and I was very conscious to return
As we talked, Michael would ask me questions in his whispered voice
about my likes and dislikes. I could tell from the way he poised his
questions, that in a sly way, I was being highly scrutinized. That's
when I first realized how important it was to Michael to work with
exact kind of person that would make him feel comfortable. Our
lasted about twenty minutes and we parted with a cordial good-bye.