100 hours of leaked footage, a bouncy home, and MC Hammer: How HBO’s documentary on disgraced blood-testing firm Theranos got here collectively
Posted in Technology NewsIn "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," director Alex Gibney explores how the blood-testing startup Theranos and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, went from tech darlings to the corporate shutting down and Holmes dealing with legal prices. Alongside the way in which, Gibney bought his fingers on 100 hours of leaked footage from throughout the firm, and HBO went to court docket to unseal deposition footage from Theranos's court docket case with traders. The documentary, out there on Monday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, contains footage from all-hands conferences and firm events, in addition to video of Holmes dancing to "U Cannot Contact This" by MC Hammer. Theranos had an unprecedented meteoric rise and subsequent catastrophic collapse — and fortunately there have been cameras alongside the way in which to seize all of it. The blood-testing startup had racked up a $9 billion valuation with its huge imaginative and prescient to check for a variety of situations utilizing only a small pattern of blood, and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, was featured on the covers of enterprise magazines and included on lists of high executives. Then in October 2015, questions began being raised about how the corporate's know-how labored, prompted by investigative tales from the Wall Road Journal reporter John Carreyrou. In June 2018, Holmes stepped down as CEO of Theranos, remaining with the corporate as a founder and the chair of the board. She was additionally charged with wire fraud by the Division of Justice. Later that 12 months, in September, Theranos formally shut down. The saga is the main target of "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," a brand new documentary debuting Monday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Director and author Alex Gibney — recognized for "Going Clear," a documentary about Scientology, and his Oscar-winning work on "Taxi to the Darkish Facet" — signed on to the challenge after the previous Self-importance Honest editor Graydon Carter and now departing HBO CEO Richard Plepler steered he look into it. Each males had been admirers of Holmes, Gibney mentioned in an interview. On the time, Carreyrou's reporting was simply beginning to unfold, and Theranos was trying to mount a comeback, doubling down on its know-how relatively than working scientific labs. "It bore eerie similarities to different tales I’ve executed previously," Gibney instructed Enterprise Insider. He drew similarities to "Enron: The Smartest Guys within the Room" and "The Armstrong Lie," in regards to the bike owner Lance Armstrong. Learn extra: The rise and fall of Theranos, the blood-testing startup that went from a rising star in Silicon Valley to dealing with fraud prices Early on within the course of, the documentary staff had a tough time getting folks to speak to them. Theranos, whereas it was energetic, had a fame for being litigious because the documentary — and Carreyrou's ebook "Dangerous Blood" — explores. Gibney and his staff pursued different methods of telling the story, significantly exploring the psychology of mendacity. The staff went to court docket to get video footage of two lawsuits filed towards the blood-testing firm. Whereas a few of that footage made it into the movie, late within the course of Gibney's staff was leaked over 100 hours of footage that Theranos had made for its personal use. Included was video of Holmes strolling across the workplace, footage of her and former Theranos President Sunny Balwani presenting at all-hands conferences, firm events, and pictures of Holmes dancing to "U Cannot Contact This" by MC Hammer. (MC Hammer was lately noticed attending the San Francisco screening of the documentary). There's additionally footage of Theranos commercials, wherein involved relations purchase reward playing cards so their family members can get bloodwork executed. As a mother fingers the grandma the reward card, the grandchild quietly begins crying. The footage even captured one in every of Balwani's notorious firm actions: main chants of "F--- you" to folks and corporations he perceived as enemies. On the lighter facet, it exhibits Holmes and Balwani leaping in a bouncy home after the FDA accepted one of many firm's blood assessments in July 2015, just a few months earlier than The Journal's reporting got here out. Gibney mentioned the choice to function that footage over the deposition tapes was that it was higher to see what Holmes was like whereas the corporate was in its heyday. "It was extra attention-grabbing to see Elizabeth within the second," Gibney mentioned. There's one incident Gibney mentioned he needs he may have proven within the movie, however he could not get any footage. In 2008, two Theranos executives approached Theranos's then-chairman of the board, the enterprise capitalist Don Lucas, to inform him that the corporate's income projections had been significantly exaggerated, contemplating the blood-testing system Theranos was constructing wasn't completed. Lucas convened a board assembly, asking Holmes to attend exterior, and the board reached a choice to take away her as CEO. In "Dangerous Blood," Carreyrou writes that throughout the subsequent two hours, Holmes bought the board to alter its thoughts. Gibney mentioned he would've cherished to get into how Holmes was in a position to change the minds of the high-powered folks she had on her board on the time. Learn extra: The reporter who broke the Theranos saga vast open pinpoints the second he knew he had an enormous story on his fingers Meet the pharmacy quietly powering scorching startups like Hims and Nurx that ship Viagra and birth-control tablets straight to your door The mysterious story of former Theranos president Sunny Balwani, who former staff noticed as an 'enforcer' and now faces legal prices of wire fraud The mysterious former Theranos govt who’s been charged with fraud is popping out of the shadows and talking out Be a part of the dialog about this story » NOW WATCH: Elon Musk despatched a $100Ok Tesla Roadster to house a 12 months in the past. It has now traveled farther than every other automobile in historical past.