Theranos had an unprecedented meteoric rise and subsequent catastrophic breakdown – and fortunately there were cameras along the way to catch it all.
The onset of blood tests had totaled $ 9 billion with its great vision of testing for a variety of issues using just a small blood sample, and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, was featured on business magazine covers and included on lists of top executives.
So in October 2015, questions were raised about how the company's technology worked, caused by investigative stories from Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.
In June 2018, Holmes went down as CEO of Theranos, who was with the company as founder and chairman of the board. She was also charged with fraud at the Ministry of Justice. Later that year, in September Theranos officially closed.
The case is the focus on "Inventor: Out for blood in Silicon Valley", a new documentary debuts Monday at 9 am. ET on HBO.
Director and author Alex Gibney ̵
Carreyrous reporting just started to develop, and Theranos was looking to mount a comeback, doubling its technology instead of operating clinical laboratories.
"It bears horrible similarities with other stories I've done before," Gibney Business Insider told. He drew similarities to "Enron: The Smartest Guys In Room" and "The Armstrong Lie" about the cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Read more: Therano's rise and fall, blood test start that went from a rising star in Silicon Valley to face scams
Early in the process, the documentary team It is difficult to get people to talk to them . Theranos, while active, had a reputation for being legal as a documentary – and Carreyrou's book "Bad Blood" – exploring.
Gibney and his team pursued other ways of telling the story, especially exploring lies. The team went to court to get video recordings of two lawsuits filed against the blood test company.
While some of that movie made it into the movie, Gibney's team was sent out during 100 hours of film that Theranos had made for his own use.
Including was video of Holmes who walked around the office, recording of her and former Therano's president Sunny Balwani who presents at all hands meetings, company companies and shots of Holmes who dances to "U can't touch this" by MC Hammer. (MC Hammer was recently involved in the San Francisco screening of the documentary).
There are also recordings of Therano's commercials, where affected family members buy gift certificates so that their loved ones can have blood work done. As the mother hates the grandmother's gift certificate, the grandchild begins to cry crying.
The film itself captured one of Balwani's notorious corporate activities: leading chants of "F — you" to people and companies that he perceived as enemies.
On the easier side, it shows that Holmes and Balwani jump in the jump house after the FDA approved one of the company's blood tests in July 2015, a few months before The Journal's reporting came out.  Holmes at the company's head office. Courtesy HBO
Gibney said that the decision to have that movie over the sales lines was that it was better to see what Holmes was like while the company was in its feast.
"It was more interesting to see Elizabeth at the moment," Gibney said.
It's an event Gibney said he wished he could have appeared in the movie, but he couldn't get any recordings.
In 2008, two Theranos executives approached Therano's chairman, venture capitalist Don Lucas, to tell him that the company's revenues had been greatly exaggerated, considering the blood testing unit Theranos building had not completed. Lucas convened a board meeting and asked Holmes to wait outside, and the board reached a decision to remove her as CEO.
In "Bad Blood", Carreyrou writes that in the next two hours Holmes got the board to change. Gibney said he would have loved to come up with how Holmes was able to change the minds of the high-powered people she had at that time.