The Get Down: A 120 million dollar success
Baz Luhrmann’s captivating drama series recounts musical history of the Bronx through the eyes of the borough’s disgruntled youth. | vogue.com
“The Get Down” brought Netflix binge watching to an entirely new level, but its creation was far from smooth. The series became the most expensive show to premiere on Netflix when the budget skyrocketed to 120 million when Baz Luhrmann decided to join the project. Luhrmann is best known for directing 1996’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
Presenting a beautiful train wreck
Baz thought his continuous rise over his original budget would kill his vision. His vision for the show became so outrageously expensive that Ed Bianchi original director from Sony TV, had doubts about premiering the the show. However, Baz’s respected position as a director did not disappoint Bianchi or the audience.
“We’re about supporting our artists and supporting their vision. Working with Baz and his team was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Every aspect of the process was unconventional. It was really inspiring,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of original content, during an interview with Variety. The challenge of trying to find a neutral ground when directing something on this scale becomes properly balancing the music and the storyline. Baz brought music and cinematography together to create an excellent effect.
The series premiered on Aug. 16, leaving the audience wanting more. It has a cluster of visually pleasing scenes throughout the show. The show kicks off with a 90-minute episode, which initially feels more like a movie to the viewer. The series brings the audience back in time during the rise of hip-hop. The show has several different stories tied together, leading back to the main character, Ezekiel, played by Justice Smith. Taking place in 1977 in the Bronx, “The Get Down” presents a beautiful train wreck as the birth of hip-hop and Baz’s directing expertise collide.
The Netflix series stood out to the audience because the narration of the show was not spoken, but rather rapped. It also displayed a cluster of visually pleasing scenes throughout the show which provides footage from the 70s to make it more genuine. The soundtrack itself took an enormous amount of time- so much that Grandmaster Flash, a legend in the hip-hop world, was asked to help with the track. Elliot Wheeler did an amazing job when finding a middle ground of trying to duplicate exact 70’s hip-hop, yet still intriguing today’s audience. Naturally, this drama series orients itself more towards music and can be comparable to an album. In this case, this album is seen as a multi-platinum album, but does not kick off until track three, but once it starts, it grows until the end.
The series displays the last days of disco and the rise of hip-hop. Fusing Grandmaster Flash with the help of the team consisting of Fantastic, Ezekiel, Boo-Boo, Ra-Ra and Dizzee, known as “The Fantastic Four Plus One,” birthed hip-hop. Though the series centers more around hip-hop, Herizen Guardiola, playing Myleene Cruz as Ezekiel’s lover, does not fail to show her talented voice. Not just a fusion of drama and romance, this show provides a hard look at what it was like living in the Bronx in the 1970s. The teens rose up, turning against the playful disco music which did not correspond to the heavy situation they were living in. The Grandmaster is seen as a leader that shows “The Fantastic Four Plus One” and Myleen that music is a gateway out of the Bronx. “The Get Down” does this by reopening every door in hip-hop and cinema and fusing them together to create greatness.