Theranos had an unprecedented meteorological rise and the consequent catastrophic collapse – and fortunately there were cameras along the way to capture everything.
The blood analysis startup had amassed a $ 9 billion valuation with its great vision to test a range of conditions using only a small blood sample, and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, was present on magazine covers business and included in the lists of top executives.
Then, in October 2015, questions were raised about how society's technology worked, stimulated by the investigative stories of the Wall Street Journal journalist, John Carreyrou.
In June 201
The saga is at the heart of "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley", a new documentary that will debut on Monday at 9.00pm. ET on HBO.
Director and screenwriter Alex Gibney – known for "Going Clear", a documentary on Scientology, and his Oscar-winning work on "Taxi to the Dark Side" – signed the project after the former editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter and now the HBO CEO, Richard Plepler, suggested examining it. Both men had been Holmes's admirers, Gibney said in an interview.
At that time, Carreyrou's reports were just beginning to unfold, and Theranos was trying to get a return, doubling his technology rather than clinically operating Labs.
"It has created strange similarities with other stories I've done in the past," Gibney told Business Insider. He drew similarities with "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "The Armstrong Lie" on cyclist Lance Armstrong.
To learn more: The rise and fall of Theranos, the blood analysis startup that moved from a rising star in Silicon Valley to deal with fraud charges  At the beginning of the process, the documentary team had a difficult time convincing people to talk to them. Theranos, while active, had the reputation of being quarrelsome as the documentary – and Carreyrou's book "Bad Blood" – explores.
Gibney and his team have pursued other ways of telling the story, particularly by exploring the psychology of lies. The team went to court to get video footage of two lawsuits filed against the blood analysis company.
Some of those footage came into the film. But at the end of the trial, Gibney's team leaked more than 100 hours of footage that Theranos had recorded for his use.
The video included the video of Holmes filming in the office, the filming of her and the former president Theranos, Sunny Balwani, who presented meetings, company parties and shots of Holmes to all hands they danced to "U Can not Touch This" by MC Hammer. (MC Hammer was recently spotted to attend the San Francisco screening of the documentary.)
There are also footage of Theranos commercials, in which interested family members buy gift certificates so that their loved ones can do the work of blood. While a mother gives her grandmother a gift card, her grandson starts to cry quietly.
The video also captured one of Balwani's infamous activities: conducting "you-you" songs to people and companies that he regarded as enemies.
On the lighter side, it shows Holmes and Balwani jumping into an inflatable house after the Food and Drug Administration approved one of the company's blood tests in July 2015, a few months before the Journal report came out.
Gibney said the decision to include that footage on the deposition tapes was that it was better to see how Holmes was while the company was at its peak.
"It was more interesting to see Elizabeth right now," Gibney said.
C & # 39; is an accident that Gibney said he wanted to show in the film, but failed to get any footage.
In 2008, two Theranos executives contacted the chairman of the Theranos council at the time, venture capitalist Don Lucas, to tell him that the company's revenue projections had been greatly exaggerated, considering the Theranos blood test device he was building it wasn't finished. Lucas called a meeting of the board of directors, asking Holmes to wait outside and the council took the decision to remove it as CEO.
In "Bad Blood", Carreyrou wrote that in the next two hours Holmes changed his mind about the board. Gibney said he would like to find out how Holmes was able to change the minds of the powerful people he had on his table at the time.