Written and Composed by Michael Jackson
Produced by Quincy Jones for Quincy Jones Productions
Co-Produced by Michael Jackson for MJJ Productions, Inc.
From the album Bad, released August 31, 1987
Released as a single November 9, 1987
THE SHORT FILM
Director: Joe Pytka
Primary Production Location: Los Angeles, California
Michael Jackson’s short film for “The Way You Make Me Feel” was the second of nine short films produced for recordings from Bad, one of the best selling albums of all time. As a single, “The Way You Make Me Feel” hit No. 1 in two countries in 1987, topping the charts in the United States and Ireland and reaching Top 5 in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Australia and elsewhere. In the U.S., “The Way You Make Me Feel” was the third of five consecutive No. 1 singles from one album on the Billboard Hot 100 – making Michael the first artist to achieve this milestone.
In the short films for the Bad album, Michael continued to expand the possibilities of the “music video” as art form, working with high-profile collaborators to realize his artistic visions. Acclaimed commercial director Joe Pytka made his mark on music videos with the short films for both “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Dirty Diana,” from Bad.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” short film was designed to show off a more flirtatious and romantic yet still edgy side of Michael. In the film, a gang of brash young men pursues a girl, portrayed by model Tatiana Thumbtzen. Emerging from a crowd of these potential suitors and encouraged to “be yourself” by an old man (played by actor Joe Seneca), Michael gets the girl’s attention, singing and dancing to “The Way You Make Me Feel” as his friends look on. The action unfolds across a few city blocks, culminating in a silhouetted dance routine against the backdrop of a spraying fire hydrant. At the end of the video, Michael wins the girl over, and the pair embrace.
The short film continues to resonate with modern musicians. Record executive L.A. Reid has cited “The Way You Make Me Feel” as a cornerstone of music video production, encouraging many of the artists he’s worked with to seek influence from it.
Alongside “Bad,” the short film for “The Way You Make Me Feel” was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography in 1988. In 2015, the short film became VEVO Certified for more than 100 million views worldwide. With 10 VEVO Certified videos, Michael Jackson has more of these honors than any other artist.