HBO Max’s “On the Record” is a look at the sexual harassment allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons.
The documentary follows Drew Jam Records executive Drew Dixon, who accused Simmons of rape and sexual harassment. Other women, including Kimberly Cranshaw, Joan Morgan and Tarana Burke, also shared their stories on the dock.
The team behind directors Kirby Dick and Amy Giering, “The Hunting Ground” (about rape on American college campuses) and “The Invisible War” (about rape in the military), is not unfamiliar with the story of giving lenses about harshness.
As Dixon lets us enter the powerful world of hip-hop, he reveals the ugly truth behind closed doors, recalling how Simmons revealed himself to him and persuaded him to come to his apartment on another occasion.
Cinema (Streaming starts May 27) The Sundance Film Festival received criticism in January after Oprah Winfrey sparked controversy by severing ties with the project.
Sara has discussed editing the film with Neuins Diversity.
Did you make any changes after the film appeared on Sundance and after Oprah Winfrey withdrew the name of the film?
There were very minor changes and shots swapped, it was. However, this is almost the final version to appear in Sundance.
How did the story come together and get to the point where Drew Dixon finally talks about his rape?
When I was first hired, the conversation became more interested in telling multiple women their stories and concentrating on them. We don’t expect to improve the story of the draw as much. I will never forget the variant footage I kept with them and us to see her reflect so much in that moment.
With the interview that Amy took, it went so deeply and it only became clear that we could make it stronger by incorporating the things around us.
As much as I was creating the story and background of the draw, I was not only intimate with the past and the present, but also realized that it was going to be a story that analyzed the experiences of black women. It was one of the most complex parts of finding the challenges that colored women faced and finding those balances.
We had to find out where it got very cerebral.
It was strong to hear Drew say, “And then I was blacked out.” As the camera turned black, you had a fascinating moment as a spectator. How did you get to this place?
It came together very early on. I think it was in the first iteration of the construction and it felt right to underscore this moment for the audience.
The whole sequence is spectacularly combined with re-correction-style shots. It was this subtle dance of how to do it without feeling significant or exploitative.
Kirby and Amy have done a lot of test screening, which is huge for their storytelling success. Through this screening they could guess what was too much and what was not enough.
The story goes beyond rape, as you say. It describes how women were removed from the description and why it was so important. How did you weave the story without waking it up?
In many ways, through interviews and in Vert’s moments, the reflection of the draw took us down those paths because he is such a profound thinker. We understood her thoughts about other women.
Much of it was about trial and error. We wanted to provide a historical context. Where we see Misogini in hip-hop and music, how far we can go to Aframp and return to Drew
So much for the courage of women to talk and share their stories, what do you expect women to get out of it?
For me, working on it was incredibly deep. I didn’t think deeply about the black woman’s experience. I hope it engages the audience even more and complicates the experience of how to move forward and how race and class
Terrence Blanchard contributed to the score; Talk about how you used his music.
I liked that I could think of the world of music and the world of Drew music. As an editor, you have been working with a temporary score for a long time. When Terrence came to talk about the score he was going to make, he talked about how he was going to appreciate the hip-hop in the film. He was listening to humming and piano and he also tapped hunting and complex scores. While they were scoring live I was able to go to a recording session and work with him and it was a really enjoyable part of the process.