Netflix has released the trailer for the upcoming documentary Britney vs Spears which is set for release on September 28. The documentary, directed by Erin Lee, investigates Spear’s life in conservatorship and has been the subject of much controversy for the past few months. The project was finally confirmed Tuesday when Netflix debuted an 18-second teaser on Twitter.
Soon after Jamaican editor Twain Richardson also revealed on Twitter that he was the Online Editor for the film, his first project for Netflix.
Richardson, who worked on projects for Protoje, Koffee, Shaggy, Third World and more, told DancehallMag in an interview, that he has also been working with Oscar-nominated production companies overseas and that is what led him to score the job of editing Britney vs Spears.
“Colorist Yohance Brown who is a Jamaican living in New York, who I’ve been working with over the years, (he) brought me onto a project last year called ‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ for the production company Story Syndicate, which was shortlisted for an Oscar this year in the category best documentary,” he said.
While he didn’t edit the trailer, he said he provided material for the cut.
“With online editing, the story was already told, my job was to make sure that everything is prepped for the colorist and then after he’s finished, master it for Netflix.”
Richardson has been one of the more on-demand video editors in Jamaica. Other major films he has worked on include the National Geographic documentary Becoming Cousteau as well as Spice, Shaggy and Sean Paul’s performance on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Richardson said it was his other works that caused Netflix to request his services specifically for this documentary. “The producers and the directors loved how Yohance and I worked and when this project came up, they insisted that we worked together on it”.
In the minute-long trailer, the Piece Of Me singer is heard saying “I just want my life back” in an audio recording from her June 2021 testimony at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse. The doc’s title, “Britney vs Spears,” is a play on Britney’s fight against her father, Jamie Spears, who she has accused of conservatorship abuse. The singer is urging the court to grant her freedom out of the conservatorship that she’s been under for more than a decade.
The documentary does not feature Britney, but she’s heard in the trailer saying, “I’ve worked my whole life. I don’t owe these people anything.”
Since its release, the trailer has ruffled some feathers in the entertainment business with comments coming from Britney’s fiance Sam Asghari and Lady Gaga’s manager Bobby Campbell who have both called the Netflix production ‘exploitative’. According to Glamour, Ashari wrote in an Instagram comment on Netflix’s page under the trailer: “I hope the profit from these docs go towards fighting against injustice #freebritney.”
Asghari then co-signed a comment left by Campbell who said, “How much money is being made by third parties from this documentary leveraging Britney’s personal story and its value in the media?”
“Even if it is in support of freeing Britney, this appears that it could be exploitative,” he concluded.
Controversies aside Richardson said he hopes to work on more Netflix films. “Though there aren’t any in the pipeline at the moment, my hope is that after producers/directors see the work done on this project, they will come calling for my expertise,” he told DancehallMag.
He added that while Britney vs Spears has no touch of Jamaican culture, the process demands a specific quality and standard. “The process is fairly simple, these big international projects are super organized so when it comes to the finishing stage, things tend to fall right in place. The difference is the delivery requirements that Netflix have. These are technical and have to be done precisely to their standard”.
Watch the trailer here.