Herizen Guardiola, Justice Smith, and Shameik Moore of The Get Down photographed by Mike Ruiz for Emmy Magazine

“I could have made a movie, but the question is at what [cost],” Luhrmann says, relaxing on a couch upstairs between setups. “And more importantly, there would have been constraints. It’s not a book, not a franchise. Who’s going to finance an unheard-of story with a bunch of African-American and Puerto Rican kids no one’s ever heard of?”