Shonda Rhimes was supposed to be on vacation.
The “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator spoke to People about the 12-minute biographical film on Hillary Clinton that she helped make for the Democratic National Convention.
“I was going away for three weeks, the first time in 12 years,” Rhimes said.
Then the Clinton campaign called and asked her and her producing partner Betsy Beers to create the film shown at the end of the convention before Clinton gave her speech accepting the nomination.
“Shonda and I looked at each other and went, ‘There goes vacation,'” Beers said.
The short film looks back at Clinton’s life and career: advocating for children’s rights, meeting her husband, working with President Obama, and rebuilding after 9/11. The producing duo told People that the toughest challenge was creating an intimate look at a public figure who has been making headlines since 1992.
“I wanted everyone who sees it to feel like they were sitting with a friend, drinking coffee, so that had to be authentic,” Rhimes said. (Clinton was actually drinking tea during the shooting.)
Originally, the film, simply titled “Hillary,” was 30 minutes, so they had to start sifting through the most important parts. After all, they had sat down with Clinton for five hours.
“As a writer who builds characters for a living, it was exciting to take an actual human being and pieces of who she is and see how it builds a person and her character, why she is who she is,” Rhimes said. “Given the Trumpiness of the world today, we felt like we were doing the work of angels. And the best part? I didn’t have to add a plot twist!”
Watch the full “Hillary” short film:
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