OPENCV: How The Video Trail For Blame It On The Boogie Was Created


The video trail effect is nothing new: it was first used in music videos like “Blame it on the boogie” from the Jackson 5 in 1978. Now,  Antonio Ospite has put together a nice article that shows the basics of using OpenCV to create this effect in live video. He used the open source video processing package OpenCV for this, creating the effect with a short script. It can run in multiple ways, creating video trail effects, or “catch-up”trails (where the trail reverses into a final frame).

Mr. Ospite states that a few conditions are required to create a decent effect:

  1. the camera should not move;
  2. the lighting in the scene should be quite stable (when doing background subtraction it is recommended to disable auto-gain in the camera, and avoid any artifact introduced by the power line frequency);
  3. the subject should enter the scene only after the background learning phase has finished, i.e. after opencv_trail_effect has shown the preview window.

The effect in “Blame It On The Boogie” could be described as a short faded trail and can be achieved with this command line:

$ ./opencv_trail_effect -l 12 -s background -d fadeaccumulate

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This provides an interesting example of how these video effects have become so much easier to create. The Jackson’s video was created using a Scanimate and Quantel Paintbox system that was as big as a closet and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Now, you can create these effects with free software and a cheap PC. Now you just need to figure out what in our modern world looks awesome with this throwback effect.

Sources: Hackaday | Antonio Ospite | All Things Michael

Deputies Surprise Boy With Terminal Illness With Zombies And Thriller Dance

Sources: Fox 13 – Haley Hinds | All Things Michael


– A group of Pasco County deputies went above and beyond the call of duty, battling zombies and giving a little boy with a terminal illness a day he’ll never forget.

Spencer Holt, 7, has spent far too many days in hospital rooms, battling a form of Mitochondrial disease and seizures.

“There’s no cure for it, no timeline for how long of what his future holds,” his mother Cher said. “We just live day by day.”

When Sheriff Chris Nocco invited him to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, complete with a motorcade, Spencer’s family knew it would be a special day, but they had no idea what was in store.

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Spencer loves law enforcement. He also loves zombies. Deputies found a way to combine the two.

“You like going after the bad guys?” Nocco asked Holt.

Nocco barely got a few words in when trouble struck.

“Zombies, they’ve overrun the jail, we can’t hold them back!” yelled a SWAT member. “We need help!”

“How many are there?” Nocco asked.

See video and read more here

Bass And Saxophone Musician Wilton Felder Dies

Sources: LA Times | All Things Michael

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Bass and saxophone player Wilton Felder, who was an original member of the Crusaders and performed on hundreds of recordings with artists such as Joni Mitchell and Michael Jackson, has died at his home in Whittier. He was 75.

The cause of his death Sunday was complications from cancer, said his son, Wilton Felder Jr.

Felder was in high demand for recording sessions; it’s him on bass for the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” album and numerous tracks by Mitchell.

“She’s a phenomenal composer and person,” Felder said of Mitchell in a 2006 interview with the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. “Her music is just fun to play.”

Felder also recorded with B.B. King, Randy Newman, Nancy Wilson, Steely Dan, Barry White, Cat Stevens and many others, on saxophone as well as electric bass.

Mike’s Daily Jukebox called Felder:

“One of the greatest saxophone players and bassists of the 70’s and 80’s. He left his mark on music history with some of the biggest hits of the decade. Remember that incredible bass line in “I Want You Back”? It looked like Jermaine Jackson was playing, but it was studio musician, Wilton Felder. How about that nasty funk on Marvin’s “Let’s Get It On” and “I Want You”? All done by Wilton Felder.”

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Sources: LA Times | Mike’s Daily Jukebox| All Things Michael

Secrets of Elizabeth Taylor’s Amazing Home: Diamonds, Photos Of Michael Jackson And More

Sources: People – BY ALYNDA WHEAT | All Things Michael


With her Oscars and her activism, her great loves and even greater roles, Elizabeth Taylor will always be a Hollywood icon. But in a new book, 700 Nimes Road, photographer Catherine Opie shines a light on the private world of the legend. Opie spent months shooting Taylor’s Bel Air, California, home, just before and after the star’s death in 2011.

“I never met her,” says Opie, who shares exclusive photos from her book (out on Oct. 6 from DelMonico Books•Prestel) and memories of her time at Taylor’s house in the new issue of PEOPLE. “But I got a sense of what an incredible human being she was by everything that was precious to her.” Some of the more surprising objects in Taylor’s possession include a collection of Buddha statuettes, many books about angels, and a shelf full of horses sculpted by her daughter Liza – oh, and the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond, gifted to her by then-husband Richard Burton in 1968. (Not even Liz’s biggest – that would be the 68-carat Taylor-Burton diamond the couple splurged on the following year.)

Colin Farrell wrote a message in lipstick on her vanity mirror. CATHERINE OPIE / COURTESY REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES AND LEHMANN MAUPIN, NEW YORK & HONG KONG

Colin Farrell wrote a message in lipstick on her vanity mirror.

For the book, Opie was given access to some of Taylor’s most private spaces, including her dressing room, with its sunken tub and lavender carpets to match Taylor’s famous eyes. “That was a beautiful room,” recalls Opie. “The light in that room was just gorgeous,” showing off the stars pretty perfume bottles and fresh-picked orchids. “She had this beautiful little greenhouse that was just for orchids in her backyard,” adds the photographer.


Taylor’s home was also filled with reminders of her friends and family, mementoes of a life lived to its fullest. “There were lots of family photos,” says Opie, who captured a shot of Taylor’s bedside table with pictures of her longtime friend Michael Jackson among family photos. Pictures of Burton, whom Taylor married twice, were all around the house. “Richard Burton was in every room,” says Opie. “Yeah, pretty much. He was in every room.”


Taylor kept her own childhood shoes.

Read the full article here

Watch Paul McCartney Talking About His Duets With Michael Jackson And Stevie Wonder

Sources: The Guardian | All Things Michael


In this mini-documentary, the former Beatle talks about the collaborations that featured on his Tug of War and Pipes of Peace albums.

Paul McCartney’s got a new deluxe reissues of Tug of War and Pipes of Peace coming out next Friday, featuring the usual array of bonus tracks. Tug of War, his first album after Wings split, was only McCartney’s third solo album, and featured his collaboration with Stevie Wonder on Ebony and Ivory, while its successor featured the duet with Michael Jackson on Say Say Say.

In this special mini-documentary, you can see contemporary interviews with McCartney, discussing those collaborations, and how the albums came together. Have a look.


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Music Review: Paul McCartney – ‘Tug of War’ and ‘Pipes of Peace’ (Archive Collection Reissues)

Sources: Blog Critics | All Things Michael


Available from Concord Music Group on October 2, 2015 are the latest additions to Paul McCartney’s award-winning Archive Collection reissue series. Tug of War and Pipes of Peace were mostly recorded together throughout 1980-82. The best material landed on War, which was a global chart-topper and multiple Grammy nominee in 1982 (including Album of the Year). It features two collaborations with Stevie Wonder: the funky “What’s That You’re Doing?” and the mega-hit “Ebony and Ivory.” The leftovers, plus a pair of Michael Jackson collaborations (the mawkish “The Man” and another mega-hit, “Say Say Say”), wound up on Peace in 1983.

For the new reissue, available as a two-disc CD set or a three-disc CD plus DVD deluxe edition, Tug of Warhas been remixed. The change in overall sound is not dramatic, which should be welcome news for anyone planning to pick up the lower-cost two-disc version (which only includes the remix). Completists, however, can still get the remastered original 1982 mix as the third CD in the deluxe edition. The new mix boasts a broader dynamic range, with notably crisper high end and full-bodied low end. War is one of McCartney’s most consistently strong albums and its exciting to hear it sounding so fresh.

The second disc contains seven demos of album tracks, one demo for an unreleased song (“Stop, You Don’t Know Where She Came From”), and three B-sides (“Rainclouds,” “I’ll Give You a Ring,” and the solo version of “Ebony and Ivory”; the former two haven’t been commercially available since their original vinyl release). The deluxe edition’s DVD is a bit skimpy, containing four music videos (“Ebony and Ivory,” “Take it Away,” two for “Tug of War”; each framed in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1) and a 19-minute documentary about the making of the “Take it Away” video. The doc is the best part, featuring great behind-the-scenes footage of McCartney and the band (which, for “Take it Away,” includes Ringo Starr) plus guest star John Hurt.

Pipes of Peace, while not remixed, sounds noticeably better than the old 1993 reissue. Both War andPeace were produced by Beatles producer George Martin. The layers of Martin’s often intricate, inventive production can be more fully appreciated in the new remaster of Peace. The underrated, album-closing ballad “Through Our Love” sounds richer than before, particularly when the climactic orchestral score kicks in. The over-driven lead guitar on “The Man” cuts sharper, while the acoustic showcase in “Sweetest Little Show” feels more delicate than before.

Nine bonus cuts adorn the second disc in the both the standard and deluxe Pipes of Peace. Three are demos for album tracks, but it’s the demos for “Simple as That” and “It’s Not On” that are most fascinating. While the ’93 Peace edition contained a track called “Simple as That” (a contribution to a 1986 benefit album, The Anti-Heroin Project) and that song is absent from the new edition. The included “Simple as That” demo is for an entirely different song which just happens to have the same title. “It’s Not On” is a strange little art rock song that McCartney probably should’ve pursued further (it’s definitely more interesting than Peace‘s weakest tunes, things like “Hey Hey” and “Tug of Peace”).

Peace‘s second disc also contains the B-side “Ode to a Koala Bear” (a reverb-drenched pop number that has been unavailable since its original vinyl 45 release), “Twice in a Lifetime” (the theme song to a 1985 Gene Hackman movie), and the previously-unreleased instrumental “Christian Bop” (incorporated years later as part of McCartney’s classic work Liverpool Oratorio). Also on the second disc is a new 2015 extended remix of “Say Say Say,” notable for its utilization of alternate Michael Jackson vocals in place of lines sung by McCartney on the album version.

The Pipes of Peace deluxe edition DVD includes three music videos (“Pipes of Peace,” “Say Say Say,” “So Bad”) plus three home movie-based featurettes. One shows McCartney and crew goofing around during some down time, another features candid footage of Michael Jackson riding horses with the McCartney family, and the most interesting piece is behind-the-scenes footage in George Martin’s AIR Studios. Here we see McCartney working on a few tunes, including “Keep Under Cover” and the ultimately unused “It’s Not On.”


The Concord Music Group-supplied advance copies are simply the discs held in a CD wallet, without the elaborate printed materials (including extensive liner notes and photos) that will accompany the full deluxe editions.


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Peace Day – September 21, 2015 (Playlist Release)

Sources: Peace One Day | All Things Michael


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Founded in 1999 by filmmaker Jeremy Gilley, the non-profit organization Peace One Day ( drove the initiative that led to the unanimous adoption by the United Nations member states of an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. In 2007, Jeremy Gilley and Peace One Day Ambassador Jude Law travelled to Afghanistan to help develop and document preparations for life-saving activities across the country for Peace Day. As a result of this work since 2007, Peace Day agreements in the region have resulted in the immunisation against polio of 4.5 million children.

With the day well-established, Peace One Day’s objective is to institutionalize Peace Day around the world, making it self-sustaining. A 2014 report supported by McKinsey & Company estimated that over 1 billion people have been exposed to the Peace Day message. Further to this, 610 million people are now aware of the day, with around 10 million behaving more peacefully as a result of being involved in activities on the day. Peace One Day’s target for 2016 is to share the message of Peace Day with 3 billion people.

Thanks to the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Peace One Day is focusing its resources on the Great Lakes region of Africa. We intend to bring local, regional and international attention to on-going peace efforts in the region and engage all sectors of society in a campaign with renewed focus on community engagement, education and humanitarian activity.

The first-ever Peace Day Playlist, including ‘One’, the Peace Day Anthem by Coke Studio Africa and songs chosen by stars of sound and screen, will be available on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify from Peace Day, 21 September. The Playlist will be promoted across all relevant platforms on the day.

All proceeds from the sale and streaming of ‘One’, the Peace Day Anthem by Coke Studio Africa is supporting the non-profit Peace One Day to raise awareness and engagement of Peace Day, 21 September in the Great Lakes region of Africa and the world. The song is written by Grammy award-nominated South African musician Zwai Bala and sung by prominent African singers Ice Prince (Nigeria), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), Maurice Kirya (Uganda), Alikiba (Tanzania) and Wangechi (Kenya). Peace One Day is grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for making our campaign in the Great Lakes region of Africa possible.

Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley said today: “I’m extremely grateful to every single artist who helped make the Peace Day Playlist a reality. I hope that as many people as possible visit the playlist and download or stream ‘One’, the Peace Day Anthem by Coke Studio Africa. Proceeds from every download and stream support Peace One Day to take the message of Peace Day even further.”

‘One’ the Peace Day Anthem sung by stars of the African music industry is available to pre-order now on iTunes: Other playlist songs include Imagine by John Lennon (Yoko Ono), Love’s in Need of Love Today by Stevie Wonder (James Morrison), Michael Jackson’s Heal The World (Olly Murs) and Bob Marley’s One Love (UB40). The entire Peace Day Playlist can be found at:

On being asked why they chose their selected songs: Yoko Ono said of her choice Imagine sung by late partner John Lennon, “it gives a deep feeling of peace and also it’s a song that is such fun to sing for everybody.” Olly Murs said Heal the World has, “a great message behind it and it is about really uniting the whole world together to make it a better place.” The Libertines said of their song choice Daydream by The Loving Spoonful, “a song like that offers timeless asylum. Nothing can come between us and our freedom to dream.”

Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley responded, “music is an important vehicle for peace building and it is humbling to receive song selections from some of the biggest supporters of Peace One Day to help us raise awareness of Peace Day.”

Peace One Day supporters: Olly Murs, Bonnie Wright, Michael Caine, Yoko Ono, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Snow Patrol, Eddie Izzard, Richard E Grant, UB40, Basement Jaxx, The Libertines, Stephen Merchant, James Morrison, Monique Coleman, Rag N Bone Man, Hurts, Jack Savoretti, and Stornoway.

“One” Video teaser

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Michael Jackson’s Super Lawyer John G. Branca Endorses Clinton Young

Sources: Mount Vernon – By Jason Bisnoff | All Things Michael

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — “Mount Vernon native John G. Branca has endorsed Clinton Young for mayor in the Sept. 10th Mount Vernon Democratic primary.

Branca is the son of the late New York State Assemblyman John R. Branca who also served as chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. As one of the preeminent entertainment and corporate lawyers in the country, Branca serves as co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate and chairman of The Michael Jackson Company.

“Clinton Young is a high character guy, and my family has a great deal of respect for him and his vision for saving Mount Vernon,” said Branca in a written statement. “He has personally shown me that he cares for his fellow citizens. He was the only Mount Vernon politician to attend my father’s funeral in Florida. It meant a great deal to me and my family.”

A long time Mount Vernon resident, Young served as the 20th mayor of the city from 2008 to 2011. His administration is highly praised for crime reduction, low taxes, and clean, efficient government.

He previously served on the Mount Vernon School Board from 1982-1992 and in the Westchester County Legislature from 1996-2007. He is a graduate of famed Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. “The Branca family is one of Mount Vernon’s most distinguished and accomplished” said Young. “John’s father served as Mount Vernon Recreation Commissioner and built a playground and park system that has served our young people for three generations. John himself has scaled the heights of the music and entertainment business. His uncle Ralph Branca was an outstanding major baseball player with the Brooklyn Dodgers, whose friendship with Jackie Robinson helped break the color barrier in sports. Our city is very proud of the Branca family’s legacy of service, tolerance and high achievement.”

John Branca has represented 29 acts in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Carlos Santana, Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Bee Gees, Earth, Wind and Fire, and The Doors, which is believed to be more than any other entertainment attorney.


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