But director Sanaa Hamri wanted something to make it unforgettable. ” Hamri, also an executive producer on the show, said while editing the scene in the show’s Beverly Hills production office in late October. I looked crazy, but she somehow understands my interpretive dancing. I wanted the dancers to slide.” It’s what Craft has come to expect working with Hamri, who holds an unusual executive-producing position on Empire, acting as the musical liaison between the writers room, the music producers, actors, and performers.
She recalled sharing her idea to incorporate the trendy electric scooters with choreographer Jamaica Craft. In essence, she is Empire’s conductor — working closely with Timbaland and his team of music producers, including Ne-Yo and Swizz Beatz, to shape their songs; and with Craft, the actors, and other directors to stage huge concert performances, studio recording sessions, rehearsals, or intimate jam sessions.
One constant: The song has to keep the scene moving.
“Once I talk to the writers, I go to the music producers and tell them what’s going on in the scene, how I’m filming [it], or [what] the vibe is,” Hamri said. But we're not trying to fix nothing that ain't broke.” Hamri echoed Chaiken: Fox relies on her and Timbaland to guide the show musically, as nobody else on staff has ever worked in the music industry.
This season, Empire upped its musical production by showcasing four or five songs per episode instead of last season’s two or three.
The process can be “like placing an order,” says executive music producer Timbaland. It’s like beats to-go.” He’s only slightly exaggerating.
“I tell them it needs to reference this and this and this. “They know what they don’t know.” Today, Hamri has the respect of her colleagues, who describe her as wickedly organized and potently creative.
Tiana’s club performance of “Do Something With It” on last night’s mid-season finale of Empire was, like most Empire performances, flashy.“Very quickly, I started to feel contained by the three minutes,” Hamri said of directing music videos.“I wanted to tell bigger stories.” Focus Features gave Hamri her first opportunity with Something New, a 2006 romantic drama about a woman (Sanaa Latham) in a love triangle with two men, played by Blair Underwood and Simon Baker.Now, he refers to her as “my dog.” “Me and Sanaa speak a certain language,” he said. “And a lot of those things you grow up with in a male-dominated society?
It makes you fearless." Additional reporting by Erik Parker.
Saving Our Daughters started as an inspiring book series for girls; presently the book series has launched into an inspirational organization which helps girls to overcome the many obstacles they face growing up: bullying (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), dating abuse, domestic violence and other esteem slayers.