”Our World” speaks to Justin Bieber’s growth as an artist and in life: director Michael D Ratner


PTI, Oct 6, 2021, 9:44 AM IST

Filmmaker Michael D Ratner says his upcoming documentary “Justin Bieber: Our World” will show the viewers a never-seen-before side of the singer’s personality as they get to see him up, close and personal while he prepared for his concert in the middle of the pandemic.

Ratner, who has previously worked with the multiple Grammy-winning artiste on “Justin Bieber: Seasons” docuseries, its follow-up “Justin Bieber: Next Chapter” and music video “Intentions”, said the upcoming documentary aligns perfectly with where the singer is currently in his life.

“Justin had the idea (for the documentary). It was mid-November of 2020 during the pandemic. And he was beginning to prepare for the show that was going to be on New Year’s Eve, in a time when people weren’t having shows. And he said, ”I think this is going to be a process worth documenting and really unlike anything I’ve ever done before”.

“It perfectly lined up with where he was in his life, where he really needed to step up and lead. In a macro sense, it speaks to Justin”s growth. Also, people will get to see him prepare for this epic performance and his life behind the scenes,” the documentary filmmaker told PTI in a Zoom interview.

The concert ”T-Mobile Presents New Year’s Eve Live with Justin Bieber”, was the singer’s first full performance after a three-year break and took place on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 240 invited guests while millions of fans across the globe watched the show via livestream.

The docu-feature follows Bieber and his close-knit team in the month leading up to the show as they rehearse and construct a monumental stage while adhering to strict health and safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 27-year-old Canadian singer has self-shot various moments for the documentary, including some with his wife Hailey Bieber.

Ratner said his work relationship with the pop music star is a product of trust, which they have built over the years, and it helps in creating something different every time they collaborate.

“It”s about building trust, getting to know one another and respecting one another’s boundaries. Justin’s vision always leads the projects and I’m there to see his vision through. After working together for as long as we have, I understand what he’s looking to accomplish, and what he’s trying to say to the world,” he said.

As somebody who is not in the business of “creating false narratives”, the documentary filmmaker, whose last release was “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil”, said open and honest communication with his subject is the most crucial part of his storytelling process.

“Aligned incentives, clean communication… I always pay attention in the meetings and try to understand what somebody is looking to accomplish. Are they ready to be really open and honest? That’s probably more important.

“I’m not in the business of creating false narratives. So I want to make my films as objective as possible. And when making something with an artiste, they are the subjective person, because it”s their story. So they’re going to be more open if that subjectivity is harnessed the right way.”

“Justin Bieber: Our World” is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday. Audiences across 240 countries and territories will be able to stream the documentary.

According to Ratner, access into the life of their favourite music stars is the reason behind the increasing interest of the audience in music documentaries.

“Everybody wants more and more of these artistes. They’re getting these quick glimpses through social media, but in a proper film or docu-series one is able to really get to know the artiste,” he said.

“Our World” is produced by Ratner”s OBB Pictures, Bieber Time Films, and Scooter Braun Films.

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